|Median Rent||Median Sqft|
|1 Bed||$1,294||675 sqft|
|2 Beds||$1,597||1,000 sqft|
|3+ Beds||$1,700||1,300 sqft|
Baltimore is Maryland's largest city, the second-largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic, and just an hour-and-a-half drive from Washington, DC. While more than 2.8 million people live in metropolitan Baltimore, it's often jokingly refer to as "Smalltimore" by locals thanks to its small-town feel. Baltimore has a fiercely independent spirit that residents can proudly trace back to the late 1700s — in fact, the Star-Spangled Banner was written here. Much of the city's charm comes from its distinctive neighborhood personalities, from the artsy spirit of Hampden to the old-world ambiance of Fell's Point. 225 knit-together communities offer everything from European traditions of Little Italy and Greektown to the trendy and vibrant pockets of nightlife around Canton, Federal Hill, and Mount Vernon. Leafy tree-lined streets and Harbor views add to the appeal.
Homes and rental apartments in Baltimore can be found in a range of styles, from high-rise apartments and condos to 19th-century row houses once built for immigrant workers. Housing in Baltimore tends to be more affordable than in other northeastern cities. Baltimore is home to a large population of college students and young professionals, many of whom live, study, and work here thanks to the city's largest employers, Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System. Thriving local industries also include shipping, auto manufacturing, transportation, and steel processing. Baltimore has also been recognized as one of the top cities for tech start-ups in the nation.
Drivers can manage in Baltimore, but there are also enough alternatives to dial down traffic nightmares. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) operates the Metro subway system connecting the northwestern suburbs to Downtown Baltimore. Then, there's the Light Rail, a 27-mile system of aboveground rail lines. And lastly, the city's bus system offers more than 60 routes, including high-frequency CityLink, LocalLink, and Express BusLink that run from various suburbs to Downtown Baltimore. For urban travelers, the Charm City Circulator is a free shuttle that operates four routes in the central business district.
Commuters can set their own schedules by using electric scooters planted throughout the city from companies such as Lime, Bolt, Jump, and Spin. For a small fee, you can pick up a scooter wherever you find one and drop it at your destination. For those who prefer biking, Baltimore has been aiming to become a better town for cyclists with a goal to connect 85% of neighborhoods with separated bike infrastructure.
For out-of-town trips, riders can take the MARC Train, a commuter rail system that services Harford County, Brunswick, Washington, DC, and other nearby areas. Baltimore also has the eighth-busiest Amtrak station in the country.
Baltimoreans can't get enough of its fresh catches from the Chesapeake Bay. From steamed crabs to oysters on the half shell to fried shrimp and seafood salads, Charm City brings the bounty of the ocean to the fore. But there's more to the food scene than a fisherman's haul. The city boasts nationally recognized, award-winning restaurants and chefs, a growing craft beer and cocktail culture, and eclectic ethnic options.
For example, locals have savored the eateries in Little Italy for decades, including La Scala's handmade pastas and Vaccaro's colorful display of Italian cookies. Latin flavors abound in Upper Fells Point, where immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Colombia, and even Cuba are transforming the quiet neighborhood into a foodie destination. Tortilleria Sinaloa consistently tops Baltimore's best restaurants lists drawing diners with homemade tortillas and guac, carne asada, chorizo, and butter-poached fish tacos. Food critics also rave about Cocina Luchadores for its Yucatan specialties like handmade tortas stuffed with chicken, beef, and Oaxaca cheese. An increasing Ethiopian population has led to an area referred to as Little Ethiopia, where multiple restaurants, a café, and a market have taken root.
When it comes to watering holes, there's none other than that of filmmaker John Waters. The creator of the movie-turned-Broadway-hit Hairspray has been known to frequent Club Charles in Station North. You might be tickled by the quirky handwritten cocktail menu, but most people don't come for the drinks. It's all about the retro atmosphere where you can crank a tune on the Jukebox while lounging on art deco furnishings.
Rather eat in? Scattered in various neighborhoods, you can find chain supermarkets like Safeway, Giant Foods, and Harris Teeter. Options for organic groceries in Baltimore include Sprouts Farmers Market and Whole Foods, but Baltimore also has some special spots for home-grown harvests. In Bolton Hill, the Avenue Market on Pennsylvania hosts a farmer’s market twice a week that sells fresh produce from Baltimore’s Whitelock Farm, among other purveyors. And near City Hall, the Baltimore Farmer’s Market offers one of the city’s best smorgasbords of fresh fruit, produce, baked goods, and artisanal items every Sunday afternoon from April-October.
Like any metropolitan city, Baltimore offers brand-name shops and retail outlets for any kind of lifestyle. The Shops at Canton Crossing offer one of the city's biggest retail developments packed with national retailers like Nordstrom Rack, Loft, Ulta Beauty, and DSW Shoe Warehouse. College crowds may flock to Towson Town Center Shopping Mall for its Apple Store, plus dozens of youth retailers like Express, Forever 21, and H&M. Rainy day or cold weather may call for a visit to Harborplace and the Gallery close to Inner Harbor hotels and attractions where shoppers can wander shop to shop completely indoors.
Want the shopping experience without the crunch on your credit card? The one shop where you'll never have to open your wallet is The Book Thing. Consider it the largest Little Free Library you will ever stumble upon. This bookstore's merchandise is completely free. If you feel the urge to pay for your pleasure, you can make donations on the weekends.
In keeping with the aforementioned independent spirit of the city, local businesses also thrive here, making shopping small easy for those who wish to do so. For thrifty finds and creative art supplies, there are plenty of interesting mom-and-pop stores and boutiques in Mount Vernon on Charles and Cathedral Streets.
Inner Harbor is Downtown Baltimore's centerpiece hugging a picture-perfect waterfront surrounded by hotels, restaurants, shops, and attractions. Here, you can visit the National Aquarium, the Fleet of Historic Ships (including Civil War-era USS Constellation), and the Maryland Science Center. The buzz of Downtown Baltimore is hard to miss, but you'll also find a wealth of art, history, and culture throughout the city.
It's easy to burn the daylight at the Baltimore Museum of Art, where exhibitions rotate often enough to make coming back often worthwhile. It's best known for its works by Matisse, displaying the world's largest collection by the French Master and featuring a center dedicated to the study of his paintings.
For more contemporary art, check out the Open Walls mural project that put Station North on the map. It was here in 2012 that artists from around the world were invited by the Arts & Entertainment District to create large-scale installations on the shells of empty buildings. The overwhelming display of creativity that followed drew national acclaim and sparked dialogue in an area of the city that many had never even seen before. Most of the artworks remain intact, and visitors can view the murals using a downloadable map from the Station North's Arts & Entertainment District's website.
For outdoor lovers, the 745-acre Druid Hill Park is Baltimore's largest greenspace. Once upon a time, its lawn was tended by sheep. But now, the Maryland Zoo has turned its natural habitats into homes for penguins, African elephants, giraffes, chimpanzees, polar bears, otters, and more. To retreat even further into nature, Druid Hill Park also offers a Zen garden for quiet walks and meditation.
Whether you're into America's favorite pastime or just the history of it, take a trip to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. This set the standard for stadium architecture to come, designed to harken ballparks of yore but with modern amenities. City and state officials built it to ensure that the Orioles stayed in Baltimore, a reaction to the Baltimore Colts' abrupt departure in 1984. The new stadium contributed significant success in Downtown Baltimore's post-industrial rebirth.
Baltimore boasts numerous public and private universities and colleges. The city hosts roughly 120,000 students within 13 colleges, including the University of Baltimore, Loyola University Maryland, the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and, of course, Johns Hopkins University, the city's top-ranked school and one of the most widely celebrated medical schools in the nation. Though not as well known, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, or UMBC is among the top 3 universities in the US in the production of IT degrees, according to the National Science Foundation.
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