Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Glamorous Pursuit's Guide to Baltimore

I had such a great time last weekend in Baltimore with my friends Katharine and Andrew, but a busy  week in trial has delayed any postings.  Here are some of my suggestions for a great weekend in one of America's most historic cities. 

First, take a trip to Fort McHenry.  This National Park is the scene of an important battle of the War of 1812 which inspired Francis Scott Key's National Anthem.  It is a peaceful place to view the city, its water, and huge shipping docks. 

The more modern part of the city is equally as striking.  Go to Federal Hill and overlook the skyline.  This park is surrounded by some beautiful colonial-style houses. 
I think that these roses must have been from a wedding or other ceremony.  Always keep your eyes out for the unusual. 

I always loved the love story of Wallis Simpson and King Edward, the Duke of Windor who abdicated the throne to marry her.  Wallis grew up in Baltimore and returned to the amazing Hotel Belvedere often throughout her life.  I could easily imagine the chic international set here.  The neighborhood, Mt. Vernon was a slice of Europe in America. 

 The hotel bar, the Owl Bar was just what you look for in a lunch place on vacation: unique, quirky, and beautiful.  The story is that the bar was a speakeasy during prohibition and the owl statute's eyes would be your key to a stiff drink.  If the owl's eye blinked you knew that there was whiskey and that it was safe to order a drink.  These little touches always make a food stop more memorable. 
 The food was also absolutely amazing.  This truffle and wild mushroom pizza was amazing!

Tip: Always look for the chicest hotel in town and use that as your pit stop for drinks/lunch in between sightseeing/shopping.  The prices are usually reasonable and it is so much more memorable than the closest chain restaurant. 

Shopping in Baltimore is a fun diversion.  Head down to Harbour East for an area mixed with chain and independent store.  Some of my favorites: South Moon Under, the Under Armour headquarters (great Baltimore souvenir t-shirts), Urban Chic, and Sassanova. 
I found some great jewelry pieces and enjoyed the rest of the window shopping.

Tip: Best shopping break: the Four Seasons' coffee shop. 

Check out Baltimore for a great mix of old and new, historic and history-making, and glamorous and gritty.  Best tip of all, take the trip with some great friends!

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