A National Landmark Historic District/Cultural District, what were once the mansions of 19th-century industrialists are now museums, shops, restaurants and boutique hotels
Baltimore is home to the first monument dedicated to George Washington, called the Washington Monument and located at the heart of Mount Vernon. It’s surrounded by a park making it a perfect spot for events like the annual FlowerMart to celebrate spring in May and the annual Monument Lighting in December to celebrate the start of the holiday season. Visitors can also tour the inside of the monument and learn about its history with interactive touch screens at the base before climbing the 227 stairs to the top for a panoramic view of Baltimore.
Mount Vernon is filled with museums, performance venues and theaters. Surrounding the Washington Monument are The Walters Art Museum and Peabody Institute Of The Johns Hopkins University, the oldest conservatory in the United States where you can often catch free student performances, as well as the George Peabody Library, one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. Nearby is Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, where the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs, the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric, and Baltimore Center Stage, the state theater of Maryland. You’ll also find the Maryland Historical Society here, evident by the giant statue of Nipper the RCA dog on the roof, and the Baltimore School for the Arts, known for its famous alumni Jada Pinkett Smith, Edward Norton, and Tupac Shakur.
Mount Vernon is also known for its abundance of restaurants and bars, some newcomers and some that have stood the test of time. A staple for over 20 years, The Brewer’s Art has gotten national attention for its food and house-brewed beer. Tio Pepe is another stalwart restaurant serving fine Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine since 1968, and The Helmand has been specializing in Afghan cuisine since 1989. The Prime Rib opened in Baltimore in 1965 and was so successful the owners expanded to Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Relative newcomers making a splash include Dooby’s, The Land of Kush, Brew House No. 16, The Big Bean Theory, Magdalena, FLAVOR, Cookers Music Bistro, and Poets Modern Cocktails & Eats.
The Baltimore Basilica is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the United States, built from 1806- 1821. It is open to visitors for tours and mass, as well as guided tours on the weekends.