While many of Baltimore’s biggest tourist attractions can be found at the Inner Harbor, the rest of “Charm City,” an hour’s drive or train ride from Washington, D.C., offers a good deal to do as well.
Art lovers will enjoy the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and the American Visionary Art Museum. The BMA is particularly strong in modern and contemporary art, with more than 500 works by Matisse alone in its modern collection, along with masterpieces by Cezanne, Gauguin, van Gogh, and Gris, and an entire wing devoted to contemporary works by Jackson Pollack, Bruce Nauman, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jasper Johns, Barbara Kruger, and Frank Stella, among many others.
The American Visionary Art Museum, number one on Travel and Leisure magazine’s list of “Top 10 Places to See Before You’re 10,” showcases outsider art: pieces made by self-taught creators outside of the artistic mainstream. Don’t miss their bizarre collection of mechanized sculptures or their mega-exhibition “The Marriage of Art, Science and Philosophy,” which draws together more than 100 artists, scientists, inventors, and philosophers.
Baseball fans should make sure to catch a game at Camden Yards, the beautiful brick-walled stadium whose construction in 1992 kicked off the retro craze that brought old-style ballparks to many other cities during the 1990s. For game food, be sure to try the pit beef at Boog’s Barbecue, owned by former Orioles first baseman Boog Powell. If you can get there early, visit Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, devoted to the history of American pop culture, with galleries on pioneer toys, comic books, the early days of comic strips, the early days of television, and more.
Not far away is the B&O Railroad Museum, home to the “oldest, most historic, and most comprehensive American railroad collections in the world.” There you’ll see locomotives, cars, buildings, and equipment from the famous old Baltimore and Ohio Railroad –America’s first.You can also take a ride on the historic rails.
Finally, for dinner or drinks at the end of the day, head over to Fell’s Point, where the cobbled streets are lined with restaurants and hopping bars.
For more on the BMA, visit www.artbma.org. For more on the American Visionary Art Museum, visitwww.avam.org. Learn more about Geppi’s Entertainment Museum at www.geppismuseum.com or the B&O Railroad Museum at www.borail.org, and get a full list of the eateries and drinkeries in Fell’s Point atwww.fellspoint.us.
Metrorail: On weekdays, you can take the MARC train from Union Station in Washington, D.C. to Penn Station in Baltimore for 50 minutes each way, or to Camden Yards (which is closer) for the same price in about an hour and ten minutes.
The Baltimore Museum of Art
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, closed Monday, Tuesday, New Year’s Day, July 4, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Parking: Free for up to 30 minutes, otherwise $6, or $4 after 5 p.m.
American Visionary Art Museum
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed Mondays, Christmas, and Thanksgiving.
Admission: $14 for adults, $10 for adults over 60, $8 for students and children, free for children 6 and under. Click here for tickets.
Parking: Metered parking is available on Covington Street and Key Highway.
Admission: Tickets range from $8 for the standing-room areas behind the outfield to $80 for field box seats during prime games.
Parking: There are lots of spaces in the stadium lots for as little as $6.
Geppi’s Entertainment Museum
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed Mondays, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Admission: $10 for adults, $9 for adults over 55, $7 for children between 5 and 18, free children 4 and under. Or $1 for everyone on days of Orioles or Ravens home games.
Parking: Paid parking is available in the North Warehouse Lot, directly south of Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, except three hours prior to Orioles home games.
B&O Railroad Museum
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Closed Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
Admission: $14 for adults, $12 for adults 60 and older, $8 for children ages 2 to 12, free for children under 2. Train rides are an additional $2 for adults, $1 for children.