Greyhound Guide to Baltimore
Birthplace of our national anthem and Babe Ruth. Home of the Orioles and the beehive. Land of Edgar Allan Poe and the crab cake. Baltimore has a special place in our country’s history—and its future.
And as any Loyola student can tell you, Baltimore will have a special place in your college experience. A major city with a small-town feel, there’s something for everyone here.
For those who are new to Charm City—or for those who haven’t had the pleasure of venturing off campus more than a couple of times to explore, or whose families are coming to visit from out of state, and wondering where to take them and what to show them, here are just a few of Baltimore’s offerings for whatever speaks to you…
For the Nature Lover
Trails, Parks, Flora & Fauna
Loch Raven Reservoir
Loch Raven Reservoir is a scenic destination featuring 2,400 acres of water and over 50 miles of hiking trails. It’s just 20 minutes from Loyola’s campus, but you’ll be a world away from the city. Visit the reservoir year round (the fall foliage around the reservoir will make your Instagram followers envious). If you’re looking for a weekend retreat, pack a lunch and take advantage of the fact that the roads surrounding the reservoir are closed to vehicles on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., allowing walkers, runners, and bikers to enjoy the area uninhibited by cars.
Located at Pier 3 of the Inner Harbor, the National Aquarium is home to more than 17,000 specimens of over 750 species. It first opened in 1981 and is recognized as one of the best aquariums in the country. As you tour the complex, you move through five levels, each designed to showcase a particular biome or set of species—from the Blacktip Reef, which replicates an Indo-Pacific reef environment, to animals native to the state of Maryland and tropical and Amazon rain forests. Students can take advantage of half-price admission on Friday evenings after 5 p.m. What better way to spend a Friday than taking in the wonders of our planet’s oceans and then grabbing a bite to eat downtown?
Gunpowder Falls State Park
With over 120 miles of trails for biking, cross country skiing, hiking, and horseback riding, Gunpowder offers 18,000 acres less than a half hour from the Evergreen campus—including beaches for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming, depending on the season.
The Maryland Zoo is the third oldest zoological center in the United States. Located in Druid Hill Park, the second-largest park in the city (and also worth checking out!), the zoo is home to African lions and Arctic foxes, bobcats, warthogs, leopards, polar bears, crocodiles, flamingos, and many, many more species. With its most recent completion of the African penguin exhibit, the Maryland Zoo is an example of the city's dedication to the conservation of wildlife and the educational opportunities it seeks to provide to its visitors. Throughout the year, the zoo features concerts and events for visitors to enjoy before, during, and after they see the animals.
Cylburn Arboretum is an urban oasis just 4.5 miles from campus with hundreds of trees, gardens, wooded trails, and an historic mansion. Free and open to the public year-round, this is a perfect place to picnic, spend an afternoon outdoors, or take a break from the weekly grind of college classes.
This 500-acre park features nature trails and waterfront access for canoeing and kayaking. The Lake Roland Nature Council initiated the “Art on the Trail” project in 2015, partnering with various Maryland artists to provide a platform for their work and a spotlight of Lake Roland’s natural beauty. The park also sponsors year-round events such as camp-outs, Earth Day Clean-Up, the Haunted Halloween Hike, and the Zombie Horde Scavenger Hunt.
For the Foodie
Restaurants & Markets
Just east of the Inner Harbor, Little Italy was founded by Italian immigrants who came to Baltimore in the 1800s. Today many of the local businesses are owned by the same families. Sabatino’s is a classic choice for superb homemade pasta. Da Mimmo features live entertainment. Amicci’s is a casual eatery where the meatballs and the chicken parmigiana are big enough to bring home and share with your roommates. Head to Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop to you'll satisfy your sweet tooth with dozens of traditional cookies, tiramisu, gelato, and their famous cannoli.
Fell’s Point Main Street
Established around 1763, Baltimore's historic waterfront welcomed large populations of Slavic immigrants as well as German and Irish. The famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass was a former resident, as was Billie Holiday. Today Fell’s Point boasts more than 50 places to eat (in addition to many local shops and exhibits) with waterfront views. After your meal, grab some ice cream from the Fell’s Point Creamery or a gelato from Pitango and walk the Waterfront Promenade, or ride the Water Taxi across the harbor.
Loyola students know RHouse for good reason: This former auto shop just a few minutes from campus features 10 food stalls with culinary creations by the city’s hottest chefs. Everything from breakfast and coffee to tacos and poke bowls... Venezuelan arepas and Mediterranean street food... Korean BBQ, vegetarian dishes, and ice cream can be found here. Big tables, booths, and outdoor seating are great for groups there are plenty of power outlets, so you can plug in and study—or come for the live music during Sunday Brunch. Looking to socialize? Wednesday night is trivia night and Molina’s pizza has a half-price pie special.
Mount Vernon Marketplace
Mount Vernon Marketplace located midtown (just south of Baltimore's train station) offers some of the city's best concentration of artisan food and drink that bring the world to you: gourmet cheeses, French and Ethiopian cuisine, fair trade coffee, Korean bibimbap, vegetarian and vegan options galore. Events range from trivia and karaoke to lobster night. After your meal, stroll up N. Charles Street to the Washington Monument, Mount Vernon Park and its photogenic statues and fountains, and the striking Gothic spires of the United Methodist Church on the corner of W. Monument Street.
Choose from the “Top 50”
Every year, Baltimore magazine dedicates an issue to the Top 50 Restaurants in the city—from seafood to tapas to fusion to crab houses—so you can discover Baltimore’s culinary scene by neighborhood and by type of food.
For the History Buff
Monuments, Landmarks & Museums
It is at this star-shaped bastion that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was born, during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814, when Francis Scott Key was inspired by the valiant defense of the Baltimore Harbor. You can bike, Uber, drive and park, or take a Water Taxi from the Inner Harbor to Fort McHenry. You should plan to spend around two hours to complete the self-guided tour. The site is a national park, and the land surrounding the fort offers amazing views of the Inner Harbor, a bike and walking path, and shaded areas to spread a blanket and take it all in.
Baltimore Museum of Industry
Learn how a key port city like Baltimore has managed to develop through the Industrial Revolution and over the course of American history, and the work that contributed to the economic and social prosperity of the city. Located in South Baltimore, the BMI is a great stop alongside Fort McHenry, the AVAM, or Federal Hill Park, which are all close by.
Baltimore is home to one of the most impressive collections of military vessels in the world, including the U.S.S. Constellation. Part of a naval effort solely designed to capture slave ships and free African slaves destined for the Americans, she is the last sail-only warship built by the United States Navy in 1854. Experience daily cannon firing demonstrations and explore the decks and cabins where the sailors and the officers (captain included) slept and conducted their administrative activities.
The Washington Monument
Little-known fact: The first monument dedicated to our country’s first president is right here in Baltimore! Designed by Robert Mills, the same architect of the Washington Monument in D.C. and the National Mall, Baltimore’s Washington Monument is the iconic center of the Mount Vernon neighborhood. Climb the 227 marble steps to the top for an incredible view of the surrounding neighborhood and the Baltimore skyline. Every December, thousands gather to watch as the Monument is lit with hundreds of Christmas lights; fireworks, carolers and live music, and mulled hot cider are all part of this annual celebration to kick off the holiday season.
For the Art Enthusiast
Museums, Exhibits & Festivals
The Walters Art Museum
The Walters hosts some of the most awe-inspiring pieces from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th century Europe, to Greek and Roman sculpture and sarcophagi, armor and weaponry, the Ancient Near East, and the Ancient Americas. Admission is free. Located about two miles south of Loyola’s campus, visit the Walters and then explore the Mount Vernon neighborhood (it's a few blocks from Mount Vernon Marketplace!).
Baltimore Museum of Art
The BMA is known for its engaging and dynamic exhibitions and its collection of more than 1,000 works of Henri Matisse, showcases of African art, European and American paintings, ancient Antioch mosaics, textiles, and contemporary artists. You’ll want to visit the BMA more than once, as it always has a new exhibition ready for installation. It’s also a great place to take visitors—and it’s walkable from campus. Gertrude’s Restaurant and the adjacent Sculpture Gardens are a must for brunch, lunch, or an afternoon coffee or tea. The BMA features events throughout the year inviting visitors to engage with art while enjoying jazz music or dinner (or both!). Admission is free.
American Visionary Arts Museum
People often describe Baltimore as “quirky.” One visit to the AVAM, and this will all make sense. Wild. Wonderful. Weird. Home to pieces that provoke and exhibits that inspire, the AVAM’s exterior is also curated to include mirror mosaics and sculpture and a barn that showcases Baltimore’s time-honored tradition of screen painting. Admission for students is under $10, which means you’ll have some money left to spend at the gift shop. (Don’t skip the gift shop.)
Baltimore is proud to host Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival, every July. Sprawling across Mount Royal Avenue and Cathedral Street, Charles Street, Bolton Hill, and Station North Arts & Entertainment District, this outdoor event has hundreds of tents featuring crafts and artwork for sale, a variety of large-scale art installations known as Anchor Projects that are curated each year for the festival, and performing arts featuring local artists, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, local theater, jazz, opera, film, and much more. It is a colorful weekend filled with concerts and opportunities to enjoy music and see the latest contemporary works by both local and renowned artists from around the country and world.
For the Sports Fan
Baltimore is for the birds
Baltimore is home to two major professional sports teams, the Ravens and the Orioles, and has a vibrant fan culture that is contagious. You can enjoy cheering on the home team (or your own team) at M&T Bank Stadium or Camden Yards, both located in the heart of downtown and easy to get to. Friday nights are Student Night at Camden Yards and offer discounted tickets with a student ID. Pro hockey, basketball, soccer, and more football and baseball are just a train ride to D.C. away.