City Guide of Baltimore, Maryland

Overview Tab

History: Baltimore, Maryland, was established in 1729 and was named after the Irish Barony of Baltimore. Originally, the city was a hub for shipping out items like tobacco and grain. Eventually, waterways were utilized for flour milling. Following the American Revolution, the city transformed into a busy seaport and shipbuilding center. In the war of 1812, the British tried to conquer Baltimore, but the U.S. troops were successful in defending the land. This situation sparked the inspiration for both the Fort McHenry shrine and Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner.” With the onset of the American Civil War, the city was not as lucky. Maryland did not secede from the union, union troops thus occupied the land, and later on ravaging fires completely destroyed the business district. Over time Baltimore began to rebuild industrially. Today, the city’s economy had strengthened tenfold. Baltimore is a major seaport, not to mention the home of places like John Hopkins University and the Underground Railroad.

Location: The city of Baltimore is located right in north-central Maryland. Baltimore is the largest city in all of the state and serves as the economic center. It is also a part of the northeastern Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan area. Unlike other cities located within Maryland, Baltimore is the only one that is not inside a county. It stretches over a whopping 92 square miles and directly to the northeast, approximately 40 miles away, is Washington, D.C.

Commutes: Although there is a wide variety of options for commuters to take in the city, Baltimore is known for having some of the longest commutes in Maryland. Not to mention the commutes here are well-above the national average. A large majority of the residents drive, however some also bike, walk, or take some form of public transportation. The city boasts a free bus downtown, namely the Charm City Circulator. Additionally, they have a subway, light rail service, and cheap commuter trains operated by the Maryland Transit Administration for travel to Washington, D.C.

Culture: Although Baltimore has over 2.8 million residents, the city somehow manages to maintain a small-town feel. Locals nicknamed Baltimore “smalltimore” as they say you can’t go anywhere without running into someone you know. Primarily, the town has been home to that of the working-class. Its claim to fame lies within the fact it was the birthplace of America’s National Anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner.” In Maryland, Baltimore is the go-to place for nationally recognized dining and booming nightlife. They also have a thriving arts scene, historical sites and districts, and well-known theater productions.

Local Government:

City Council
All fifteen members of the Baltimore City Council work closely with the Mayor to adopt the annual budget and confirm the Mayor’s appointments. The City Council also plays a large role in selecting and enacting things like ordinances, issuing bonds, etc., which allows the city to run more efficiently.
Phone: (410) 396-4804
Address: 100 Holliday St #400, Baltimore, MD 21202
Email: CouncilPresident@BaltimoreCity.gov

Mayor’s Office
The Mayor’s Office of Baltimore is dedicated to enhancing the lives of all the city’s citizens. Besides the establishment of rules and ordinances that govern the city, the Mayor also pledges to ensure transparency of administration. Additionally, the Mayor’s Office promises to stay responsive to all questions or concerns residents may have.
Phone: (410) 396-4900
Address: 100 Holliday St # 250, Baltimore, MD 21202
Email: mayor@baltimorecity.gov

Chamber of Commerce
The Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce serves to be an engine for economic and business development in the town. To allow the city as a whole, and individual residents the ability to reach its full potential, the Chamber actively participates and organizes things such as events, networking, leadership, and mentorship programs.
Phone: (410) 837-7101
Address: 240 W Dickman St, Baltimore, MD 21230
Email: info@baltimorecitychamber.org

Schools Tab

Overview: Baltimore is known for its highly recognized institutions. The type of schooling the city provides is diverse as there are various public and private options. Public school accounts for all the free magnet, charter, and traditional institutions.Whereas private schools come at a cost, but can be chosen based upon religious affiliation or program of interest. For selecting the latter option: Gilman School, The Bryn Mawr School, McDonough School, and The Key School made the list of the “Best Private Schools in America.” Students flourish with a student-teacher ratio as little as 6:1. For public schooling, River Hill High School, Marriotts Ridge High School, and Centennial High, top the list when it comes to free institutions. Not only is Baltimore home to a wide array of elementary, middle, and high schools, but they also house world-renowned colleges and universities. For example, John Hopkins University, University of Maryland, Loyola University Maryland, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

School Districts: Although there are plenty of institutions to choose from in Baltimore, there is only one school district that accompanies everything in the city — Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS). BCPS is the 25th largest school district in the entire United States. The school system is managed by the Board of Education, which is headquartered in Towson. All in all, there are about 107 elementary schools, 30 middle schools and 25 high schools, with the addition of magnet and specialty institutions.

Schools:

Elementary Schools
Though there are both public and private elementary schools, private institutions undoubtedly reign on the top of the list for being the best the city has to offer. Some schools are K-12, others are just K-5, and many even include Pre-K. The Gilman School, the Bryn Mawr School, Friends School of Baltimore, Roland Park Country School, The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, and International Connections Academy are top-rated choices.

Middle Schools
Middle schools in Baltimore stretch from the Belair-Edison area all the way to the upper corner of Central Park Heights. As in every situation, some schools are better than others. In the Baltimore County Public District, Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, Sudbrook Magnet Middle, Parkville Middle & Center of Technology, and Perry Hall Middle have high test scores and good reputations. If private school is more of interest, the all encompassing Gilman School, Bryn Mawr School, Key School, and McDonough School are again solid options.

High Schools
In recent years, residents of Baltimore have been given more options than ever when it comes to charter and magnet schools. The number of private high schools with religious affiliation has also increased. For specialized professional mentorship, the National Academy Foundation is a must-attend. They allow students to narrow-in and discover their program of interest. If creativity runs in the veins, Baltimore School for the Arts may be better suited. BSA has a high percentage of graduates who go on to establish impressive professional careers in the arts. Right-brain thinkers will be sure to enjoy all that Baltimore Polytechnic Institute has to offer. It is an extremely selective school, however if chosen, students can expect to be challenged academically while having complete access to some of the best and most advanced technology.

Private Schools
In total there are close to 100 private schools in the city of Baltimore, Maryland. Approximately 35 of these institutions are high schools, 80 are elementary schools, and the remaining 59 are preschools. More than half have some sort of religious affiliation whether that be catholic, christian, etc., and the rest are dedicated to higher learning and specialized programs. Tuition will differ based upon grade level, reputation of school, and so on. Luckily for Baltimore students, the acceptance rate after application to the school of choice is on average 75%.

Housing Tab

Overview: Baltimore houses some of the most creative, diverse, and remarkable construction. Pretty much any housing type the city has. Whether that be townhomes, stand alone homes, apartments, or mobile homes. Developers here use their wildest imagination to create housing out of warehouses, historic mills, chapels, carriage houses, and even grain elevators. When it comes to statistics, the city has more people looking to rent housing (55%) rather than purchase (32%). A bulk of these housing options are either 2 or 3 bedrooms. The rest are either 1 bedroom, 4 bedrooms, or 5+ bedrooms, listed in order of popularity. The highest appreciating Baltimore neighborhoods come from Falls Road/Chestnut Ave., Hampden, Woodberry, Falls Road/W. 40th Street, and Falls Road/W. 28th Street.

Housing:

Single Family Homes
There are thousands upon thousands of stand alone homes in Baltimore. The more north the area, the higher concentration of homes there is. There are present listings near Westport, East Brooklyn, and surrounding areas, however, they are much more sparse. Due to the close proximity of schools, population, and housing market there are five Baltimore neighborhoods that stand above the rest. (1) Wyndhurst, (2) Locust Point, (3) Locust Point Industrial Area, (4) Homeland, and (5) Kernewood.

Apartments
When it comes to apartments in Baltimore, this housing type is densely populated and easy to find. Apartments span over the entire geographical area of the city. There are both luxury and affordable options available. Price largely depends on area of choice, amenities, bedrooms, and so on. Near old downtown Baltimore is Mt. Vernon Flats. A highly-rated apartment community conveniently located near shops and dining. 1901 South Charles, Crescent at Fells Point at Windsor, Union Wharf Apartments, and The Gunther, are also great choices.

High Rises
Baltimore high rises are few and far between. What the city does have to offer when it comes to this housing type is largely condominiums. High rises can be hard to obtain as there are fewer listings, properties are more expensive, and the listings that are available tend to be highly sought after. One high rise in Baltimore, The Pinnacle, is the center of award-winning architecture, unparalleled waterfront views, and five star amenities. 414 Water Street, Ritz-Carlton Residences, Scarlett Place, Silo Point, and St. James Condominiums are other examples of luxury high rise living.

New Construction
In the city of Baltimore new construction is prevalent. Most of these newly built properties consist of single family homes or small subdivisions rather than larger apartment complexes or high rise buildings. Occasionally, there are sizable developments. Take the recently established O’Donnell Square townhome development for example. Additionally, there are multiple large-scale projects in the works — Four Seasons Residences and 414 Light Street. With this being said, due to the influx of population and general demand for new properties, construction is not projected to lessen in the city any time soon.

Row Houses
Baltimore has more row houses than any other city in the entire United States. The look of the row home may be a good indicator of when the property was built and for what purpose. The five most basic types are: (1) Federal era, (2) Italianate, (3) Artistic, (4) Daylight, and finally, (5) Postwar. One row home may be long and skinny while another roomy and large. This type of housing can essentially be found all over Baltimore, but Remington, Wyman Park, Roland Park, Waverly Northwood, and Belair-Edison are known to have a high concentration.

Real Estate Tab

Overview:

Things to Do Tab

Overview: In a trip to Baltimore, Maryland, you’ll be able to taste delicious crabs, grab a beer at Guiness, dance the night away at popular hotspots, and take a cruise on the harbor all in one day. According to the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Things To Do in Baltimore” list, the top two are actually Art Museums. Namely the Baltimore Museum of Art and The Walters Art Museum. Another must-do in the city is a boat trip around the scenic and serene harbor. You can opt to take a Pirate Ship of Baltimore or take in the sights at a slower pace with the Baltimore Water Taxi. Before leaving the city make sure to visit the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine to learn about the deep historic undertones regarding the War of 1812 and the eventual inspiration for America’s National Anthem.

Retail & Entertainment

Parks & Recreation
To take in the beauty of nature and learn some history along the way be sure to visit the Fort McHenry National Monument, Federal Hill Park, and Washington Monument. Stare in awe at Sherwood Gardens’ annual tulip display or discover sea life at the National Aquarium.

Shopping
There is nothing better than walking along a farmer’s market on a cool spring day. Luckily, Baltimore Farmers Market & Bazaar and Fell’s Point Farmers Market has you covered. For larger shopping malls, The Village of Cross Keys, The Gallery at Harborplace, and Eastpoint Mall are all popular selections.

Art & Culture
There are plenty of artsy things to do in Baltimore. Walters Art Museum and Gallery 788 at Hampden are local treasures. For an instagrammable site, try visiting the colorful Graffiti Alley. Or opt for the Baltimore Museum of Industry, Everyman Theater, Metro Gallery, or the Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University.

Night Life
Whether you are located near Fell’s Point, Inner Harbor, Harbor East, or Pigtown you have no shortage of night life. Live it up at Angels Rock Bar, Baltimore Soundstage, and Bob’s Bar. If you just want a relaxing night out try Bluegrass Etc. or City Brew Tours of Baltimore.

Restaurants
Cuisine in Baltimore is truly the best of the best. From fancy to downhome southern, there is a little bit of everything. The 1157 Bar + Kitchen, Indian restaurant Ambassador Dining Room, and Alma Cocina Latina are just a taste of the award-winning spots the city has to offer.

Neighborhoods Tab

Overview: Baltimore, Maryland, is regarded as the “city of neighborhoods” as it has hundreds of identified districts. All of Baltimore’s neighborhoods are divided into nine different geographical locations. There are north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, northwest, and central. In southeast Baltimore you can find neighborhoods like Brewers Hill. Here lies the fantastic food, good sips, and lush retailers. In northeast Baltimore pop on over to the colorful neighborhood of Charles Village. Both students and families alike call this area a home. Towards the northwest region of the city is Bolton Hill. Here you can enjoy the historic monuments, beautiful fountains, and parks. It is also the destination of the Maryland Institute College of Art and the University of Baltimore. Some of the largest neighborhoods include: West Baltimore, Park Heights, Belair-Edison, Greater Rosemont, and the Hamilton Area.

Local Pros Tab