May 23, 2024
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More to Explore: Mt. Vernon & Charles Center

August 6, 2021
Two women pushing strollers in front of Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon Baltimore in the spring. In Baltimore, you can climb to the top of the Mt. Vernon Monument.

As summer winds down, Downtown Partnership invites you to turn your unused vacation time into staycation time!

There are so many things to do in Baltimore. Places to see, dishes to taste, people to meet…you don’t need to catch a flight to experience something new. Spend an upcoming weekend exploring close to home in one of Downtown Baltimore’s unique neighborhoods. Every weekend in August, DPOB will be sharing a neighborhood-specific weekend itinerary filled with activities, places to stay, good eats, shopping and more.

This weekend, there’s more to explore in Mt. Vernon & Charles Center


Disclaimer: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, city rules and regulations are frequently changing. We encourage you to verify hours and safety protocol with each establishment you plan to visit.

Where to Stay

The unique combination of culture and community engagement  makes Hotel Revival a DPOB favorite. Image owned by Hotel Revival.


1. Your Own Home – FREE

The most budget friendly option. If you already live in or around the city and/or are looking to save money, staying at home is a great option for you.


2. Hotel Revival – $$$

We love Hotel Revival. Why? It’s just cool. Once a private mansion owned by an art enthusiast, Hotel Revival is rooted in Baltimore’s art history, and the integrity of this history remains intact through the hotel’s design and guest experience. Hotel Revival also pays special attention to community outreach through the creation day-to-day programs where local businesses are able to use their space to raise money for nonprofits in the area. This unique combination of culture and community makes Hotel Revival a DPOB favorite.


3. Home2 Suites by Hilton – $$

The culture-rich streets of Mt. Vernon await you. We’re in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood, steps from famed food hubs like Mt.Vernon Marketplace and and cultural must-sees including The Walters Art Museum and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. WiFi and breakfast are free, and pets are welcome.


4. Delta Hotels By Marriott – $$

This modern hotel is just a few blocks south from Mt. Vernon, in Charles Center. Their central location makes for a great choice exploring Mt. Vernon, the Inner Harbor, and beyond.


5. The Ivy Hotel – $$$$

For those who like to indulge in more luxurious things from time to time, The Ivy is the perfect place for you. This gorgeous, Black-owned Baltimore-gem sits in a historic Mt. Vernon Mansion. The Ivy is one of those places you could happily spend the weekend at without ever leaving the grounds. Not only does the hotel boast 17 beautiful guest suites and quaint common areas, it also features a luxury spa and delicious culinary concept, Magdalena, A Maryland Bistro.


What to Do

We love that The Walters offers free admission for all, making art accessible to anyone who is interested in appreciating it. Image owned by The Walters.


1. Learn More About Our State’s Heritage at the Maryland Center for History and Culture

If you proudly don Maryland flag garments and bumper stickers, but have never actually been to the Maryland Center for History and Culture (MCHC), are you even a proud Marylander?! MCHC houses one of the country’s largest collections of state heritage maintained by a private, nonprofit institution. Come see Flickering Treasures, an exhibit celebrating Baltimore’s forgotten movie theaters currently on view through September 2022.

MCHC is currently open Wednesday — Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $6 Children over 3.


2. Climb to the Top of the Mt. Vernon Monument  

Yes, you can actually do that. Many Baltimore residents walk by the monument daily, or are annual attendees of Downtown Partnership’s Monument Lighting Celebration during the holiday season, and still don’t realize they can actually go inside. You can! And you should! Not only will you find a gallery space that features an appropriately sized bust of George Washington, but you can also climb the 227 marbled steps to the lookout tower. There, you can take in beautiful views of Baltimore from all 4 directions.

The Monument is open to the public year round, except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, Wednesday through Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM. Admission is Free.


3. Snap the Perfect Instagram Photo at the Breathtaking Peabody Library 

It’s no wonder every Baltimore bride wants to have their wedding at the Peabody Library. I mean, have you seen it? The George Peabody Library, on the campus of Johns Hopkins’ Peabody Institute,  is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful library spaces in the world, but is also an essential space for teaching and research. The stack room boasts five tiers of ornamental cast-iron balconies, that rise to a striking skylight 61 feet above the floor, containing roughly 300,000 volumes, mainly from the 19th century.

Edit: The Peabody Library is currently closed to the public, but may be reopening in early September.


4. Catch An Intimate Jazz Performance at An die Musik 

This unpretentious, cozy jazz club is know for attracting an unlikely, but impressive lineup of musicians. Enjoy the ambiance that adds to the experience of the music. An die Musik is located on the second floor of a historic townhouse in Mt. Vernon, so unfortunately it is not handicapped accessible. Join them this weekend for live performances from the Keith Brown Trio and the Carl Cornwell Quartet.


5. Tour America’s First Cathedral — The Baltimore Basilica

You don’t have to be religious to appreciate this architectural and historic landmark in Downtown Baltimore. The Baltimore Basilica is America’s First Cathedral, and is also a National Shrine, Marian Shrine, and National Historic Landmark. The Basilica, referred to by Pope John Paul II as “the worldwide symbol of religious freedom,” welcomes all who are interested in visiting or worshiping.

The Basilica hours are as follows: Monday — Friday, 7 AM – 7 PM, Saturday,  7:30 AM – 6:30 PM and Sunday, 7AM —5PM


6. Explore Over 36,000 Pieces of Art for Free at The Walters Art Museum

From 19th-century paintings of French country and city life, to Ethiopian icons, richly illuminated Qur’ans and Gospel books, ancient Roman sarcophagi, and images of the Buddha… the Walters will have everyone’s inner art-nerd squealing in excitement. We love that The Walters offers free admission for all, making art accessible to anyone who is interested in appreciating it. Paired with one of the nearby dinner options listed below, we also think it rounds out a memorable date night. Casual, hand-held sauntering through galleries highly encouraged.

The Walters hours are as follows: Wednesday & Friday – Sunday, 10 AM – 5PM, Thursday, 1 – 8 PM. Admission is free.


What to Eat

Marie Louise will have you feeling like you are dining on the streets of Paris for the afternoon. Images owned by Marie Louise Bistro.


1. Mt. Vernon Marketplace – $-$$

Here in Baltimore, we love our food halls. We’re known for the historic Lexington Market, but our modern markets have so much to offer as well. Take Mt. Vernon Marketplace, home to amazing vendors like Fishnet, The Local Oyster, Pinch Dumplings, Cholitas Tacos and a handful more. MVM is perfect for lunches, or casual dinners. There’s something even the fussiest of palates can find to love here.


2. Marie Louise Bistro – $$ 

This elegant bistro features French, Italian, and Mediterranean cuisine. Marie Louise will have you feeling like you are dining on the streets of Paris for the afternoon.


3. Restaurante Tio Pepe – $$$$

Enjoy the finer things in life? Looking to celebrate a special occasion? Family-owned Restaurante Tio Pepe is a delicious option. Tio Pepe prides itself in being the only restaurant in Baltimore that offers authentic, homemade Spanish cuisine.


4. Dooby’s – $$

Baltimore Magazine Best Lunch award winner. Dooby’s is a Korean-inspired cafe that serves breakfast fare until 11AM, pork buns, rice bowls, ramen, and more.


5. The Helmand – $$

This Afghani restaurant is owned by the former president of Afghanistan’s brother. No, really! Qayum Karzai owns three restaurants in central Baltimore: the Helmand, Tapas Teatro, and Helmand Kabobi. The Helmand has been serving authentic Afghani cuisine in Baltimore for over 30 years, and they do it well.


6. Café Fili – $$

Café Fili offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with a Mediterranean flair. They also have an amazing pastry selection and organic coffee. We recommend the pistachio baklava as a must try!


7. Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant – $$

If you are a regular visitor of Downtown D.C. where the options are plentiful, you may be disappointed in Downtown Baltimore’s lack of Ethiopian restaurants. However, the handful of restaurants we do have, do it very well. If you’re looking for inexpensive, large portions of flavorful food. Look no further than Dukem. The options are plentiful for vegetarians as well.

For Coffee

1. Ceremony Coffee – $$

This chic, Baltimore-based coffee institution is a favorite amongst millennials and remote workers. Ceremony prides itself in making coffee something special, and takes extra care in sourcing and roasting their beans. Their Mt. Vernon location features a wide selection of creative coffee drinks, breakfast bites and toasts.


2. Red Emma’s – $

Red Emma’s is a worker-run bookshop, coffeehouse/cafe, and community events space that prides itself in infusing the principles of solidarity and sustainability into their business practices. Come for the coffee, stay for their beyond burger (it’s delicious!). This is a haven for local vegans, vegetarians, and plant-based enthusiasts.


3. Baby’s On Fire – $

Music enthusiasts rejoice! On the outside, Baby’s On Fire seems like a cool spot for coffee, pastries and paninis. Once you walk in, you’ll be delighted by the  carefully curated new and used vinyl record selection ranging from rock to punk, soul to jazz, and everything in between.

For Cocktails & Nightlife

1. Topside (located inside of Hotel Revival) – $$

Featuring one of our favorite views in Downtown Baltimore, this stylish rooftop bar and restaurant definitely knows how to set the vibe for the rest of the evening. Their creative cocktails are sure to delight. The Peacemaker, which features Vida mezcal, amaro, grapefruit, tequila, lime, agave, and house-made hot sauce is a DPOB favorite.


2. Brewer’s Art – $$

This elegant space, situated in a former Mt. Vernon rowhome, features housemade Belgian-style beers and new American eats. Whether you prefer a hidden corner in the cavernous basement, a seat in the window overlooking bustling Charles Street, or a table in the beautiful dining rooms, Brewer’s Art has a setting for your night out.


3. Sugarvale – $$

You may walk right pat this bar upon first glance. Situated below street level, Sugarvale is definitely unassuming. If you enjoy an, intimate, dimly-lit atmosphere to accompany your cocktails, look no further than Sugarvale.


4. The Owl Bar – $$

Located in the former Belvedere Hotel, The Owl Bar has history on its side. Built in the popular Beaux-Arts style, the hotel was quite the place to be in the early 20th century, with no place more cozy than the dark paneled Owl Bar tucked away off of the main lobby. Today, you’ll find upscale pub fare & quirky cocktails.


5. The Manor Restaurant & Ultralounge -$$-$$$

With it’s sleek decor and eclectic menu, not only does The Manor make a great spot for a fabulous night out,  it’s also home to Baltimore’s hottest drag brunch. Events happen every Saturday & Sunday morning.


Where to Shop

DifferentRegard provides custom clothing for men and women.


1. ADORN Vintage Furniture & Designs – Black-Owned

Only open on Saturdays, this beautifully curated space features vintage furniture and home goods. Founder and Baltimore-native Raina Smallwood has a flair for mixing vintage earthy pieces with modern furniture to create a comfortable and functional sanctuary.


2. Tigerlillyshop Jewelry – Woman-Owned

You won’t find pieces like those you’ll find at Tigerlillyshop anywhere else. Allison Fomich creates unique mixed metal jewelry from nature specimens collected from her surrounding environment. Using traditional metalsmithing techniques she imprints botanical specimens into copper, brass, and sterling silver creating fossil-like impressions. Visit her storefront located within the Mt.Vernon Marketplace.


3. Doll House Boutique – Black-Owned

This chic womenswear boutique provides one-of-a-kind designs from the creative mind of owner and designer Natalie Karyl. Natalie designs with sustainability in mind, utilizing vintage jeans, old wedding gowns, household curtains, and more in her casual and couture designs.


4. Gian Marco Menswear

No one styles Baltimore men quite like Gian Marco. Curating the most exquisite European designs from bespoke boutiques overseas, they have a real passion for helping men look and feel their best.


5. Spirits of Mt. Vernon

The go-to neighborhood shop for fine wine, beer, and liquor. Spirits of Mt. Vernon also has a wide selection of organic and kosher wines to choose from.


6. DifferentRegard – Black-Owned

Designers Stephen White and Dominick Davis have an opinion on how a gentleman dresses. As the owners of DifferentRegard, their brand provides custom,  clothing for men and women. Shop online or at their Charles St. storefront.


7. Ohh So Sweet Candy Boutique

This cute candy shop on Charles is a hit with kids and grown-ups alike. Just one requirement: must have sweet tooth. Ohh So Sweet sells candies of all types, gourmet popcorns, ice cream, cupcakes, and other sweet treats.


8. Lumière Candle Studio

This unique retail experience is perfect for those who love to DIY or are looking to kill a few hours. At Lumière Candle Studio, you can create your own unique scent made by you, for you. Pick you candle fragrance, color, wax type, and jar. Mix and pour, and their design your own custom label! Reservations for large parties are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome.

Thanks for exploring Mt. Vernon and Charles Center with us! You can always stay in the know on the latest dining, retail, and leisure news by signing up for our newsletter. Stay tuned for next weekend’s itinerary. We’ll be walking you through a weekend of activities in the Bromo Arts & Entertainment District.