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Get out of the Inner Harbor and live like a (hip) local
First, go to Cross Street Market and pick up your picnic goodies. Then walk a few blocks up to Federal Hill Park (ask a local) for the best view of the inner harbor and skyline. Bonus, you are right next to the Visionary Art Museum!
The only one of its kind in the country - a truly fanastic (and fantastical) museum.
The Creative Alliance at the old Patterson theater has hands down the most interesting, innovative stuff going on in the whole city. Just a quick look on their calendar for this month shows a "SALSAPOLKALOOZA" bilingual community festival, a performance by the Baltimore Dance Company, two art exhibitions, a kid's country-music ho-down, an urban spoken word comedy show and the "16-bit Gen Gamer" video game culture extravanga. Something for everyone!
24 hour diner near Johns Hopkins University/Charles Village that will make you feel like you have stepped into a Dr. Seus story. The perfect place for a post-bar/show chow down or a lazy weekend brunch. From here, it's just a 10 minute walk to Hamden's shopping district.
The Hamden neighborhood is the heart of John Water's Baltimore (rent the movie "Pecker" before you go for a true introduction to Hampden). It houses the Cafe Hon and more than 100 cute stores, antique shops and art galleries along its main drag (36th St.)
Even though you will be the only tourists there, the staff will treat you like family, I promise. The inside decor leaves something to be desired, but head up to the tiny roof deck (worth waiting for) and enjoy the view of the B-more skyline and the really, absurdly good crabs. A good choice for sunset (as a bonus, you will get to watch the Domino Sugar sign light up!).
Great bar with an elegant sofa and cocktail scene upstairs and cavernous, dark downstairs with cozy nooks. The food is definitely above and beyond typical bar food as well.
One of the last in the country, this is an excellent way to spend an evening, particularly on Friday and Sat. triple feature nights! It's a bit of a drive, but it's worth it.
Have dinner at the Afghan restaurant owned by Afghan President Hamid Karzi's brother! You think you don't like pumpkin soup, but trust me, you just haven't tried the right kind yet.
Adorable and authentic Mexican place. Surprise them by asking for a chelada (Mexican beer drink with lime and salt) or a michelada (same thing, but with tabasco and pepper). Great courtyard seating in a lovely old building and more than 100 types of tequila! 129 S. Broadway (across from Obryckis crabhouse)
A worker-owned and collectively-managed bookstore and coffeehouse located in Baltimore's Mount Vernon neighborhood. Come for the political conversation, vegan baked goods and fair trade coffee - or the free wireless/Internet access.
For those about to (punk)rock, we salute you. Primarly punk/indie, but also a smattering of other things like "Metal Mondays" and the monthly "electropop dance party." Surrounding area a bit sketchy, so don't think you made a wrong turn - you didn't.