Brilliantly Bizarre Baltimore
Say “Good Morning Baltimore” to the wacky side of Charm City.
Home of the National Anthem and the National Aquarium, beautiful Baltimore is also the birthplace and muse to Charm City’s Sage of Strange, John Waters. Waters, the famous auteur of the odd, wrote his hit musical Hairspray as a love letter to his beloved Baltimore. The awesomely odd city is also the place that gave the world Mr. Trashwheel (and his good friend Professor Trashwheel), Edgar Allen Poe, Frank Zappa and the American Visionary Arts Museum.
Waterfront Weirdness (With a side of Piracy, please…)
Another nautical favorite, the legendary Sagamore Pendry Baltimore in Fells Point has a history unto itself. Built in 1914, the waterfront icon served as a dance hall, working pier, and as a TV police station in a hit cop-drama before its current evolution as the Sagamore Pendry hotel. When the site was being renovated, three ancient cannons were pulled from the bottom of the harbor. Once they surely bristled from the decks of a privateer like the Chasseur, the original Pride of Baltimore warship. Now, they stand silent sentry in the Pendry’s Cannon Room whiskey bar—a perfect place for a shot or two.
If you’re planning a stay at the Pendry, try a visit during the famous Fells Point Privateer Festival when this “Nest of Pirates” shows its swashbuckling roots and pirates and privateers descend on this waterfront neighborhood for food, fun, music, and of course to shake their booty. If you can’t make that weekend, set sail with the Urban Pirates of Baltimore on a pirate-themed boat ride. If we’ve got you pegged right, we’re sure you’ll be hooked!
Looking to experience the Inner Harbor and Baltimore maritime heritage in a different way? Board a Chessie Dragon paddle boat and hit the harbor for a less land-lubberly view.
For more maritime quirks, look no further than the hero of the Inner Harbor, Mr. Trash Wheel. A googly-eyed, sustainably powered trash interceptor, the beloved water wheel removes hundreds of tons of trash from the harbor while gaining thousands of loyal followers on social media, and has even inspired art, t-shirts, and even his own beer, “Mr. Trash Wheel’s Lost Python Ale” by Baltimore’s Peabody Heights brewery. Such a hit with the health of the harbor and tourists alike, Mr. Trash Wheel’s family has grown to include Professor Trashwheel and Captain Trashwheel, tripling the eco-friendly fun.
Whether you’re craving art, music or perhaps a little bit of everything, Baltimore has you covered. Papermoon Diner serves comfort food in a funky setting, while The Charles Theatre, a Beaux-Arts building and the city’s oldest movie theater, allows patrons to bring their own snacks.
A can’t-miss hotspot for street art admirers and social media influencers, Graffiti Alley is one of the few places in the country where you can legally spray graffiti—it’s owned by art gallery Graffiti Warehouse. Pay a visit to The Sound Garden in Fells Point too, a nationally-recognized record store located in a huge warehouse, offering an unparalleled selection of Vinyl and CDs along with wonderfully random music merchandise. It’s now got an attached bar that frequently features endearingly oddball performance art.
For more Charm City experiences, explore our Top 10 Things to Do in Baltimore list.