Expect the Unexpected in Baltimore
Baltimore's rich cultural heritage spans three centuries. On this tour, explore and experience the artistic energy and cultural exuberance of unexpected Baltimore. What you see and do is sure to surprise you!
Begin your tour in the Mount Vernon Cultural District, a rich tapestry of some of Baltimore's finest architecture. Begin with a guided tour of the Baltimore Basilica, America's first cathedral and an architectural masterpiece that draws visitors from around the globe. Envisioned by John Carroll, the country's first bishop, and designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, architect of the U.S. Capitol under Thomas Jefferson, the Basilica is now considered one of the world's greatest examples of 19thcentury architecture.
Next, experience philanthropy and extravagance at its height. Learn about the lives of the wealthy men and women who influenced the neighborhood that boasts its own Washington Monument, the first to America's first president. Enjoy a tour and private lunch inside the largest townhome in America, the Garret Jacobs Mansion, now known as the Engineers Club, or one of the culinary stars along Historic Charles Street, now a National Scenic Byway. Following lunch, explore The Walters Art Museum, whose collection presents an overview of world art from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th-century Europe, and counts among its many treasures Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi; medieval ivories and Old Master paintings; Art Deco jewelry and 19th-century European and American masterpieces, or take in the latest exhibition at the Contemporary Museum.
This evening enjoy an elegant dinner at one of Baltimore's exceptional restaurants and theater or concert performance.
Baltimore is home to more acclaimed art museums. Today, you will take a docent led tour of the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA). Hear the story of the Cone sisters, two of the BMA's most generous and interesting benefactors whose legacy forms the world's largest collection of works by Henri Matisse. Then enjoy delicious regional cuisine at Gertrude's restaurant, owned and operated by Chef John Shields, culinary ambassador of the Chesapeake Bay, award-winning cookbook author and star of two PBS cooking series. When you leave Gertrude's, you'll take an art walk on the Johns Hopkins University campus en route to touring Homewood. Homewood is the 19th-century home of Charles Carroll, Jr., son of a Marylander signer of the Declaration of Independence. It is one of the finest examples of Federal-style architecture in the country. It features elegant proportions, extravagant details and a superb collection of American decorative arts including the furniture of the Carroll family, one of the wealthiest families of early Maryland. A wine-tasting here after your tour completes your day.
This evening enjoy a dinner cruise aboard the Spirit of Baltimore.
Today, experience the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) on Baltimore's famed Inner Harbor. AVAM, as it's known, features works by "intuitive" or self-taught artists. Highlights include the giant pedal-powered poodle named Fifi and a colorful statue of Divine, star of many of Baltimorean John Waters' films.
Then, enjoy a driving tour of some of Baltimore's elegant communities on your way to Evergreen, home to the philanthropic Garrett family for two generations. This Gilded Age mansion is set on 26 landscaped acres and has 48 opulent rooms. Following your tour, enjoy afternoon tea at the mansion before traveling home. Or, visit the Carroll Mansion, the home of Charles Carroll who was the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Baltimore boasts a number of historic homes, showcasing architecture and decorative arts from the Colonial era through the time of the industrial barons of the 19th century. A tour could focus on a number of homes, combined with the Baltimore Museum of Art, The Walters Art Museum and the Maryland Historical Society.
Check ahead for an advanced calendar of special exhibitions at Baltimore's museums. There is always something new and exciting to share with your guests.
Plan your trip!
- Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy June 9, 2013 - June 9, 2014 | All Day
- Divided Voices: Maryland in the Civil War April 16, 2011 - December 31, 2015 | All Day
- Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause February 11, 2014 - September 1, 2014 | 10:00am - 5:00pm
- Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity! October 5, 2013 - August 31, 2014 | All Day
- Civil War Trains Exhibit August 16, 2012 - December 31, 2015 | All Day