African-American Cultural Tours, 10 E. Lee St., Suite 707, (410) 727-0755.
Baltimore-Area Convention and Visitors Association, 100 Light St., (410) 659-7300, (800) 282-6632.
Baltimore City ArtsNet, www.baltimorecity.gov/arts/index.html.
American Dime Museum, 1808 Maryland Ave., (410) 230-0263, www.dimemuseum.com, $5, ages 7-12 $3, ages 6 and under free. Recent exhibits at this vaudeville-style fun house of a museum have included finger paintings by a chimp and homemade smells concocted by local artists. Stop by to see what novelties are on display, or just to say hi to the bearded lady.
American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway, (410) 244-1900, www.avam.org, $6-$8, ages 3 and under free. AVAM didn't create the concept that being crazy and having a box of paints and a lot of spare time were prerequisites for being an artist, but it certainly perfected it. The current exhibit, Golden Blessings of Old Age and Out of the Mouths of Babes, is on display through Sept. 5.
Baltimore City Conservatory, Gwynn Falls Parkway and McMulloh Street, Druid Hill Park, (410) 396-0810. A sparkling glass greenhouse that dates back to the 1880s houses a wonderful collection of tropical plants. And another greenhouse displays plants associated with the desert, Mediterranean, and tropical climates.
Baltimore Civil War Museum/President Street Station, 601 President St., (410) 385-5188. The first bloodshed of the Civil War occurred right here in Baltimore. Learn all about Billy Yank and Johnny Reb while taking in lectures like "Maryland's Blue and Gray Colors in Red, White and Blue" June 12.
Baltimore Maritime Museum, piers 3 and 5, Inner Harbor, 802 S. Caroline St., (410) 396-3453, www.baltomaritimemuseum.org. $5-$6, ages 6-14 $3. See Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, the bright beacon that, for 133 years, illuminated the way for ships of yore on their way to the bustling Baltimore Harbor. Also learn about the museum's veteran ships, which have plied waters from the Sea of Japan to the Mediterranean.
Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, (410) 396-7100, www.artbma.org, free-$7. At the BMA you can not only gaze at a truckload of Matisse, you can laze around the outdoor sculpture garden, sign the kids up for great children's programs, and take advantage of free events the first Thursday of every month. This 90th anniversary summer features The Hewitt Collection of African-American Art, May 30-Aug. 8.
Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway, (410) 727-4808, www.thebmi.org, $7. This blue-collar city used to be teaming with bottle-cap and umbrella factory workers. Learn about industry from back in their day, when there was no such thing as Industrial Arts class.
Baltimore Streetcar Museum, 1901 Falls Road, (410) 547-0264, www.baltimore-md.com/streetcar. Satiate your desire for streetcars at this museum dedicated to the history of pre-SUV transportation in Baltimore. Admission includes unlimited rides on original trolley cars.
Baltimore Zoo, Druid Hill Park, (410) 366-5466, www.baltimorezoo.org, free-$11. Lions and giraffes and world-famous polar bears, Magnet and Alaska! Not to mention life-sized dinosaurs on exhibit as part of "DinoQuest" open May 29-Labor Day weekend. Thank goodness they're in cages.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Cathedral and Mulberry streets, (410) 727-3564. It's a mouthful, but for just a short walk from central Mount Vernon, you can tell your friends you've said your hallelujahs at the country's oldest metropolitan Roman Catholic cathedral.
Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Ave., (410) 396-0180, www.cylburnassociation.org. 207 acres of trails and plantings house the Baltimore Bird Club Museum and Nature Museum and feature a perennial garden and a Garden of the Senses for the physically challenged.
Contemporary Museum of Art, 100 W. Centre St., (410) 783-5720, www.contemporary.org. Minimalist, chic, cutting edge. No, we're not talking the Ikea store in White Marsh, we're talking high art in Mount Vernon. Stop in and get conceptual.
Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center, 847 N. Howard St., (410) 225-3130, www.eubieblake.org. This museum is dedicated to the living tradition of Baltimore jazz. Celebrate local legends Billie Holiday and Eubie Blake with dance classes, open mic nights, and live concerts by the Eubie Blake Legacy Band and others.
Evergreen House, 4545 N. Charles St., (410) 516-0341, www.jhu.edu/historichouses. A patroness of the arts and her husband, an American diplomat, last lived in this butter-yellow Italianate mansion. See her impressive art collection and his jaw-dropping library, check out the rotating exhibit in the gallery, or just take a stroll on the grounds.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Fort Avenue and Wallace Street, (410) 962-4290, www.nps.gov/fomc. At this star-spangled fort, you can check out the actual ramparts, o'er which American soldiers watched the gallant streaming of broad stripes and bright stars during a British attack in the War of 1812.
George Peabody Library, 17 E. Mount Vernon Place, (410) 659-8179, free. After a multi-million dollar renovation, the stunning six-level Peabody library has reopened its doors to the general public. It's impossible not to feel smart here, whether you're reading one of their medieval manuscripts or the issue of Hustler that you snuck in.
Great Blacks in Wax Museum, 1601 E. North Ave., (410) 563-3404, www.greatblacksinwax.org. From Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut to cowboy Bill Picket, wax nostalgic about some of the greatest figures in black history.
Harbor Boating and Water Taxi, 1615 Thames St., (410) 563-3901, www.thewatertaxi.com. Whether you're a filthy sailor bar-hopping on shore leave or toting the ankle-biters to downtown attractions, the water taxis are a great way to get around the city. A $50 Frequent Floater pass gets you a year of all-u-can-ride.
Hi-Flyer Tethered Balloon Ride, 35 Market Place, (410) 949-2359, www.portdiscovery.org, $8.50-$15. The tether makes it kind of hard to make it around the world in 80 days, let alone around the world at all, but the city looks like a whole new place from 450 feet up in the air.
Historic Senator Theatre, 5904 York Road, (410) 435-8338, www.senator.com. Cinephiles rejoice in the Senator's old-time movie house feel with its red velvet curtains, an orchestra pit area, and the largest indoor screen in the region. Private skyboxes in this Art Deco landmark are available by reservation for groups of 15 or more.
Homewood House Museum, 3400 N. Charles St., (410) 516-5589, www.jhu.edu/~hwdhouse/homewood.html. The hot summer months bring crowds of sunbathing college kids to the front yard of Charles Carroll's historic 1801 mansion, situated on a grassy hill on the campus of Johns Hopkins University. Federal-style furniture and elegant décor made Homewood one of the most fashionable houses of its time.
Irish Shrine at Lemmon Street, 920 Lemmon St., (410) 669-8194, www.irishshrine.org. Get a slice of the hard-knock life for Irish immigrants who escaped the "Great Hunger" of the 1840s to settle en masse in Southwest Baltimore, where they worked on the nearby B&O Railroad, all the live long day.
Jewish Museum of Maryland, 15 Lloyd St., (410) 732-6400, www.jhsm.org. Located on what used to be known as Corned Beef Row (a street dotted with kosher delis), the museum celebrates Maryland's Jewish history. Current exhibits include oral histories in Weaving Women's Words: Baltimore Stories, and Lives Lost, Lives Found: Baltimore's German Jewish Refugees, 1933-1945, both open throughout the summer.
Maryland Science Center, 601 Light St., (410) 685-5225, www.mdsci.org, free-$16. The revamped Science Center features some old dino bones in the Earth Science and Dinosaur Hall and highlights Discovering Chimpanzees: The Remarkable World of Jane Goodall--the inaugural exhibit for its new 7,000 square foot main hall, not to mention IMAX's glimpse of stock-car racing in NASCAR 3-D.
Mission Space, 338 N. Charles St., 2nd floor, (410) 752-8950, www.missionmedia.net. This gallery is the display space for local jack-of-all-trades company, Mission Media, which also engineers state-of-the-art recording, Web design, and graphic design. The photos and illustrations of legendary Devo guitarist-turned-artist, Mark Mothersbaugh are on display through June 12.
National Aquarium in Baltimore, Pier 3, 501 E. Pratt St., (410) 576-3800, www.aqua.org, free-$17.50. This place isn't just about fish. See puffins, poison dart frogs, and pygmy marmosets--the smallest species of monkey in the world--all under the striking glass roof of Maryland's number one tourist attraction. Don't miss out on "Play!", the aquarium's newest dolphin show.
Port Discovery, 35 Market Place, (410) 727-8120, www.portdiscovery.org, free-$11. Finally a place where curious kids can touch the exhibits without worrying about a sharp scolding from grouchy museum guards. Port Discovery boasts a three-story urban tree house and this summer's events include cooking demonstrations by local chefs, visits from Pets-on-Wheels puppies, and an appearance from popular cartoon character, Arthur Aardvark.
St. Jude's Shrine, 512 W. Saratoga St., (410) 685-6026. Any time you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain at this shrine to the patron saint of desperate and hopeless causes.
Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, 31 S. Greene St., (410) 706-0060, www.dentalmuseum.org. Open wide for George Washington's original set of pearly whites, a toothbrush used in 1969's Apollo X Mission to the moon, and an explanation of how circus acrobats perform the "Iron Jaw" balancing act, found in the museum's permanent exhibit, 32 Terrific Teeth.
Top of the World Observation Level and Museum, 401 E. Pratt St., (410) 837-8439, www.bop.org/topworld, $2-$4. A few numbers for you: 27, as in stories up, 423, as in feet high, 360, as in wraparound degrees. Not sold? How about only four bucks, tops, for spectacular, unmatched views of The Greatest City in America.
U.S.S. Constellation, 301 E. Pratt St., (410) 539-1797, www.constellation.org, free-$6.50. Launched in 1855, the last all-sail ship built by the U.S. Navy was once a spry, young thing. The U.S.S. Constellation spent years chasing down slave ships, blockading Confederate shipping during the Civil War, and carrying relief supplies to victims of the Irish Famine until she was brought to Baltimore to be retired. Take tours that highlight the machinery of the ship, its restoration, and the life of young sailing recruits called "powder monkeys."
Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., (410) 547-9000, www.thewalters.org, free-$8. This stately midtown museum specializes in ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art. Don't miss Revolution! Documents From the American War of Independence, which closes right before the Fourth of July. The exhibit includes an original copy of the Declaration of Independence and the invoice Paul Revere was required to write up for the expenses he incurred during his famous ride.
Washington Monument, Charles and Monument streets, (410) 396-0929. This 178-foot Doric column may not be as tall as D.C.'s 555-foot Egyptian obelisk, but the same architect designed both, and Baltimore's came first. Located in the heart of the city, you can climb to the top, or just gaze up from below, where the famous general's Revolutionary War victories are chiseled into the marble base.
Artscape, 4-10 p.m. July 16, noon-10 p.m. July 17, noon-8 p.m. July 18, Mount Royal Avenue between Lanvale and Cathedral streets, (410) 396-4575, www.artscape.org. Get your art on at this yearly Mount Royal block party boasting vendors and arts events of every stripe, polka dot, and zigzag. We list all the musical acts lined up this year in the Music listings.
Balticon the 38th: Maryland Regional Science Fiction Convention, noon.-2 a.m. May 28, 10 a.m.-2.a.m. May 29-30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 31, Wyndham Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel, (410) 53-2737, www.balticon.org. The area's largest and longest-running sci-fi convention is sure to bring out freaks and geeks from all walks of life. Highlights include author Lois McMaster Bujold as guest of honor, a masquerade, and Dude, Where's My Ring, a parody film series of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Baltimore Book Fest, 5-9 p.m. Sept. 17, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 18-19, Mount Vernon Place, 600 block of N. Charles Street, (410) 752-8632. Bookworms venture outdoors for this three-day literary festival including talks by local authors, demonstrations by area chefs, and a kids section featuring children's-book authors and illustrators.
Baltimore Museum of Industry Fourth of July Celebration, July 4, 1415 Key Highway, (410) 727-4808, ext. 144, www.thebmi.org, $35 per car ($25 for museum members), $5 per person. See the fireworks display unfold from a unique vantage point: sitting in a comfy lawn chair on the museum's grounds in Locust Point. Grab the kids and introduce them to the Moon Bounce, face painting, and balloon sculptures while you dig into an all-American picnic of dogs, burgers, and beer.
Baltimore's Red, White and Boom! A Tall Ships Salute!, June 30-July 4, Inner Harbor and Fells Point, (410) 522-7300, www.sailbaltimore.org. An international fleet of tall ships will be in town for Sailabration--the 150th anniversary of the launch of the U.S.S. Constellation.
Baltimore Summer Antiques Fair, noon-9 p.m. Sept. 3, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 4, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 5, Baltimore Convention Center, (410) 649-7396, www.baltimoresummerantiques.com. 550 exhibitors from 38 states and five countries will have their wares on display for collectors of everything from toast racks to Art Deco art glass.
Brew at the Zoo, 3-7 p.m. May 29, Baltimore Zoo, (410) 396-7102, www.baltimorezoo.org. Ever wish you could talk to the animals? Well maybe you'll be able to after a few brewskies at this delightfully debauched annual event.
Charles Village Festival, June 5-6, Wyman Park Dell, 29th and Charles streets, www.charlesvillage.net. This hip "urban village" starts the celebration with an early morning 5K run and kids 1K fun run which finish up just in time for a parade starting from St. Paul and 23rd streets at 10 a.m. Tours through the gardens of the neighborhood's green-thumbed city dwellers and live music takes place throughout the festivities.
City Sand, noon-4 p.m. June 19, Harbor Place. The Baltimore Architecture Foundation oversees the building of sand sculptures by meticulous professionals and fun-loving amateurs for prizes from a judging panel. Prizes!
Cylburn Perennial Day and Sale, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. June 6, Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Ave., (410) 367-2217, www.cylburnassociation.org, $2. Take a tour of the gardens, listen in on a lecture, and buy your share of perennial plants that will survive the winters to bloom year after year.
Ethnic Festivals. This port town is home to almost every conceivable cultural group and host to just about as many cultural festivals. Eat ethnic food, learn about a few traditions, and make these yearly festivals a tradition of your own. Polish Festival, June 4-6, Patterson Park, (410) 563-8760, www.pattersonpark.com; Greek Festival, June 11-13, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, (410) 633-5020; Saint Anthony Italian Festival, June 12-13, St. Leo's Church, (410) 675-7275; African-American Heritage Festival, June 18-20, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, (410) 318-8286, www.aahf.org; Caribbean Festival, July 23-25, Druid Hill, (410) 230-2969; LatinoFest, June 26-27, Patterson Park, (410) 783-5404, www.latinofest.org; German Festival, Aug. 15-17, Carroll Park at Washington Blvd., (410) 522-4144; Ukrainian Festival, Sept. 6-7, Patterson Park, (410) 687-3465; Irish Festival, Sept. 19-21, Fifth Regiment Army at 29th Division Street near Howard Street, (410) 472-2291, www.irishfestival.org; Korean Festival, Sept. 27, War Memorial Plaza at Fayette and Gay streets, (410) 242-6838.
Federal Hill Jazz and Blues Festival, noon-7 p.m. June 13, 1000-1100 block of S. Charles and Cross streets. (410) 727-4500, www.historicfederalhill.org, free-$3. Peruse antiques and crafts while listening to your choice of 15 different live jazz and blues music groups, including the James Cotton Blues Band.
Fells Point Walking Tours, call for times, starts at 808 S. Ann St., (410) 675-6750, www.preservationsociety.com. Take a jaunt around the downtown maritime district and find out about everything from its history to the ghosts that haunt it.
First Fridays on the Avenue, 6-8 p.m. June 4, July 2, and Aug. 6, The Avenue, 36th Street in Hampden, (410) 235-5800. Groove to street music while taking advantage of deals from Avenue merchants and restaurants.
First Thursdays, noon-2 p.m. and 5:30-8 p.m. June 3, July 1, Aug. 5, and Sept. 2, www.godowntownbaltimore.com, free. Check out a lunchtime concert series at Hopkins Plaza located on Charles and Baltimore streets and then choose between evening concerts of live music or live opera in the park at Mount Vernon Place while enjoying discounts from Charles Street merchants.
Garden and Home Tour, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. June 12, 1-4 p.m. June 13, Park Avenue and Reservoir Street, (410) 383-8535, $10. Get some inspiration for your own abode during this weekend of tours through 30 gardens and 13 open houses. Private tours on Sunday.
Gospel Music Crab Feast, 1-5 p.m. June 26, July 17, Aug. 7, and Aug. 21, FC Music Center Banquet Hall, (410) 484-5600, www.crabfeast.com. Praise the Lord and pass the Old Bay. Enjoy music from local gospel groups while chowing down on the bounties of the Chesapeake.
HERO AIDS Walk Maryland, 8 a.m. June 6, Baltimore City College High School, 3220 the Alameda, (410) 685-9255. Help the Health Education Resource Organization (HERO) help people with HIV/AIDS by pledging to walk. All it costs is a few bucks and a little sneaker leather.
Honfest, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. June 12, the Avenue, 36th Street in Hampden, (410) 243-6800, www.honfest.net. Beehives, cat glasses, and housedresses abound in this festival that celebrates that particular breed of blue-collar female native to Baltimore: the Hon. Enjoy a parade, a musical line-up, plenty of festival food, and a "Best Bawl'merese" competition.
Jazzy Summer Nights, 5:30-9 p.m. first Thursdays June-Sept., War Memorial Plaza, Fayette and Gay streets, (410) 235-4427, free. The area's most popular jazzmen and women get to scatting for you during twilight concerts while you kick back and get mellow.
Liberty Week, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 29-June 6, Baltimore Maritime Museum, www.baltomaritimemuseum.org. Commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day with the Baltimore Maritime Museum and Liberty Ship the S.S. John W. Brown, one of the last surviving vessels of a class of cargo ships built during WWII.
Little Italy Open-Air Film Festival, dusk Fridays July 2-Aug. 27, Da Mimmo Italian Restaurant parking lot, 217 S. High St., (410) 727-6876, free. Dine al fresco while watching films like Moonstruck and Like Water For Chocolate. Of course, Cinema Paradiso is--by sacred tradition--the closing film. Folding chairs provided.
Old Bay Shrimp Peel and Eat Contest, Sept. 3, Harborplace Amphitheater, Light and Pratt streets, (800) 632-5847, www.mccor-mick.com/content.cfm?id=10764. See local seafood lovers duke it out for bragging rights and a $10,000 prize in the finals for this national event.
Pier 6 Pavilion Concert Series, show times and dates vary June 6-Sept. 21, Pier Six Pavilion, 731 Eastern Ave., (410) 481-7328, www.piersixpavilion.com, $35-$78. Lounge on the lawn while taking in this outdoor concert series. This summer, the stage under the gigantic tent features the likes of Lyle Lovett and Cyndi Lauper.
Pride 2004, June 19-20, (410) 837-5445, www.baltimorepride.org . A parade kicks off from Charles and Franklin streets at 5 p.m. and then its terminus on Eager St. between Cathedral and Charles streets turns into a bumping block party. For the second day of revelry, the action moves to Druid Hill Park
Sowebo Festival, 1-9 p.m. May 30, Hollins Market, 1100 Hollins St., (410) 244-8368, www.soweboarts.org/festival04.html. Feed yourself some art, music, fun, and food at this yearly festival held in what would have been Baltimore legend H.L. Mencken's front yard.
Spice It Up, 7 p.m.-midnight June 6, Baltimore Clayworks, 5707 Smith Ave., (410) 578-1919, www.baltimoreclayworks.org , $25-$30, ages 12 and under $12-$15. This Mount Washington-area street fair is guaranteed to feed you full of spicy international foods, move your feet to the beat of a reggae band, and offer handmade pottery from Baltimore Clayworks for a steal.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539, www.baberuthmuseum.com, free-$6. "The Bambino," "The Sultan of Swat," or just simply "The Babe." No matter how you know him, Babe Ruth, who was born, raised, and played on his first pro team in Baltimore, will always be a hometown boy.
Baltimore Bayhawks, Ravens Stadium, Russell and Hamburg streets, (410) 481-7328, www.baltimorebayhawks.com. There are plenty of ways to remind yourself that you're in the thick of lacrosse country here in Baltimore, and one of your best bets is a Bayhawks Major League Lacrosse game.
Baltimore Orioles, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 333 W. Camden St., (410) 685-9800, www.TheOrioles.com, $5-$40. For tour information call (410) 547-6234. Those inimitable O's are having one of their best seasons in years, Camden Yards is one of the most beautiful stadiums in the game, and any place you can throw peanut shells on the ground and leave 'em there is a good time by us.
Baltimore Sports and Social Club Softball, June 7, Patterson Park, Patterson High School, Holabird Park (410) 464-5444, www.baltssc.com. You only need to know two basic facts about the adult recreational BSSC. First, there are two leagues: Social, for players who like to socialize and have good softball skills, and Extreme Social, for players who just like to socialize. That, and their mascot is a beer-swilling crab. Have fun.
Bocce Tournament, 8 a.m. June 13, Little Italy bocce field, 902-904 Stiles St., (410) 536-0886. Pull your socks up to your knees, grab a bottle of Pernod, and get ready to mix it up on the bocce field with the old Italian men who dominate this king of all lawn sports.
Gwynns Falls Trail, Leakin Park, (410) 396-0440, www.gwynnsfallstrail.org. Take refuge from the hustle and the bustle in 2,000 acres of green shade available for hiking, biking, roller blading, fishing, picnicking, bird watching, or just napping under a tree.
Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training 5K/10K Run, registration 6-7 a.m., the run starts 7:30 a.m. May 30, War Memorial Plaza, Lexington and Gay streets, (410) 377-8882, www.finishedproduct.com, $25, $18 advance. The proceeds from this race go to benefit veterans who are homeless or in need.
Mount Pleasant Golf Course, Northern Parkway near Harford Road, (410) 254-5100. Duffers can perfect their swing at this public course where it doesn't cost more than one of those spendy new retro Izod shirts to get a tee-time.
NCAA Lacrosse Championships, 2:30 p.m. May 31, MandT Bank Stadium, (410) 261-7283, www.lax4baltimore.com. The granddaddy of all college lacrosse battles takes the field downtown at the 40,200 seat Ravens Stadium. As usual, Maryland powerhouses, Hopkins, U Maryland, and Navy, all have a solid chance to bring home the trophy.
Pimlico Race Course, 5201 Park Heights Ave., (410) 542-9400, www.marylandracing.com. Watch the horsies tear up the famous track that hosts the annual Preakness Stakes. A word to the wise: Don't bet your money on the bobtail nag.
Ravens Training Camp, July 30, McDaniel College in Westminster, www.baltimoreravens.com. The season hasn't started, but that doesn't mean you can't get front-row seats to watch Ray Lewis smear running backs all over the gridiron. Camp also includes an interactive fan area with competitions, autographs, and opportunities to meet the players.
Robert E. Lee Park, entrances off of Lake Avenue, Bellona Avenue, (410) 396-0808. The ordered grid of city streets is nowhere to be found in this labyrinth of twisty trails that meander around Lake Roland.
Women's Classic 5K, registration 6:30 a.m. , the run starts 8 a.m. June 27, Rash Field, Key Highway in Federal Hill, (410) 377-8882, www.finishedproduct.com, $30, $25 advance. This long distance festival benefits the Barnett-Searing National Cancer Foundation.
Antique Row, 800 block of North Howard Street. A lot of treasures can be found in this antiques district located in Mount Vernon.
Baltimore Farmers' Market, 8 a.m.-noon Sundays, Holliday and Saratoga streets, www.bop.org. A cornucopia of fresh fruits, veggies, herbs, plants, and flowers are on hand at this Saturday-morning fixture, just ripe for the picking.
Cross Street Market, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. every day, Cross Street between Market and Light streets, www.southbaltimore.com/shop/crossmkt.html. Federal Hill's one stop shop for the butcher, the baker, and the soft-pretzel maker has one of the freshest and best raw bars in the city, open until 8:30 p.m.
Hampden Shopping on The Avenue, 36th St., (410) 332-4191. Some people are hard to shop for, but if you can't find a gift for that special someone on this strip of quirky boutiques, you're a lost cause. Specialty merchants include Shine Collective, Galvanize, Sturgis Antiques, Fat Elvis, Oh! Said Rose, In Watermelon Sugar, and Hometown Girl.
Harborplace and the Gallery, Light and Pratt streets, (410) 332-4191, www.harborplace.com. Eating. Shopping. Laughing at tourists. Trying to imagine what it meant to work in the harbor shipping and factory yards before the Cheesecake Factory existed. These activities and more are best done at these heavily trafficked downtown sites.
Lexington Market, 400 W. Lexington St., (410) 685-6169, www.lexingtonmarket.com. Local delicacies like fried chicken, Berger cookies, Utz 'tater chips, and crab cakes abound at this 80-vendor market, dating back to 1782.
Waverly Farmers' Market, 7 a.m.-noon Saturdays, the 400 block of E. 32nd Street, (410) 366-6362. Farmers' markets are a haven for babies and dogs, and the Waverly market is no exception. The place is chock full of the cute little things, not to mention the freshest, most colorful produce in town. For an all around sunny demeanor, and a deal on some salad fixin's, this is the place to go.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201