Just an hour and a half outside of DC and Philly, the “Charm City” boasts plenty of job opportunities, scrumptious Chesapeake Bay cuisine, and renowned museums and attractions. If you’re thinking of becoming a Baltimorean, here are the best ‘hoods to call home in the historic seaport.
In the past 15 years, Canton’s rustbelt-era factories have been turned into condos, art studios, offices, restaurants, and stores. The area just east of downtown has seen unprecedented urban renewal as young professional urbanites, yuppies, retirees, and divorcees move into its converted industrial spaces, newly developed luxury harbourfront condos, and brick and formstone row houses. O'Donnell Square (aka Canton Square) serves as the heart of the neighborhood. Eclectic restaurants, watering holes, and shops populate O’Donnell Street.
Nearby, you’ll find Baltimore’s first park, Patterson Park. Once the country’s largest urban park, It features a pool and community garden, ice skating rink, boat lake, dog park, Audubon wildlife habitat meadow, and more. There’s also Canton Waterfront Park, with its eight acres of heavenly harbor views, boat ramp, and fishing pier, as well as Canton Dog Park.
Canton’s proximity to the I-95 corridor makes getting out and around fairly easy, and you’re still just a short drive from Downtown. Surrounding neighborhoods include Butcher’s Hill, Greektown, and “ha!” (we’re not laughing at you, that’s what the Highlandtown Arts and Entertainment District is called).
Singles and newlyweds of the young professional variety call renovated 19th-century brick row houses home in this lively, tightly knit urban community. This historic South Baltimore ‘hood is home to a multitude of bars and restaurants, as well as the newly overhauled Cross Street Market. But what Fed Hill really has going for it is location: The Inner Harbor and Downtown are both within walking distance.
This nationally registered historic district is attractive because of its elegantly architected (aka expensive/enormous) homes, beautiful parks, and exquisite gardens, like Sherwood Garden, where the tulips go crazy each spring. If you aren’t surfing on coin like Uncle Scrooge in DuckTales, might we suggest Guilford’s less swanky (but just as historic) sister, Homeland? One of the country’s first planned communities, Homeland has been home to Baltimoreans since the 1920s. An architectural committee oversees changes to its tastefully designed homes—from Tudor to Colonial. This residential area is popular with millennials and young families, possibly due to proximity to Notre Dame of Maryland University and Loyola University Maryland. Bottom line: For half a mill you can have a yard and still be close to the big city amenities.
The Inner Harbor is where you go; Harbor East is where you live. Blocks away from the world-famous Inner Harbor lies Baltimore’s newest and one of its finest neighborhoods. On the shore of the Patapsco River, the beautiful waterfront of Harbor East is in close proximity Baltimore Convention Center and the stadium complex. This trendy ‘hood has a little bit of everything, from offices and residences to hotels, restaurants, shops, and attractions. Harbor East's bustling population consists of high-income professionals and families, empty-nesters, and second-home buyers living in luxury condos (complete with rooftop pools), apartment buildings, and pricey real estate. Whole Foods is within walking distance, as is the Power Plant Live complex with its assorted nightclubs.
Welcome to Hampden, hon! Hipster kitsch meets blue-collar Bawlmer in this trendy ‘hood. Old mills have been converted into everything from living quarters and art studios, to galleries and restaurants. In addition to converted mills, residents reside in row houses and a modicum of Victorian abodes. The neighborhood is centered around a colorful stretch of shops, offbeat restaurants, bars, and cafés in converted row houses located on its main thoroughfare, West 36th Street (known as The Avenue). Access to the Light Rail makes transit downtown a breeze.
You may recognize the area from John Waters’ films like ‘Cry-Baby’ and ‘Hairspray’. Everyone calls each other “hon” here. They even host an annual street fair in spring called HONFest that celebrates the Baltimorese lifestyle and stereotype. Hampdenfest hits in fall, and winter brings Miracle on 34th Street, a holiday lights extravaganza that can be seen from space!
Mount Vernon is Baltimore’s historic and cultural center, home to the Washington Monument, as well as theaters, museums, and art galleries. This hip urban neighborhood is affordable for recent grads, singles, and young professionals. Its walkable streets are peppered with plenty to do—from eclectic dining to nightlife. Bar hop from cocktail lounge to hole-in-the-wall; gay bar to taproom. Most of the accommodations are (you guessed it!) rowhouses. Here, you can have a quick commute to downtown while enjoying the green space at nearby St. Mary’s Park.
Mt. Washington is peaceful and quiet, yet vivacious. Small bungalow homes, large Victorian houses, and garden apartments populate its leafy residential streets. This is a spot where individuals, couples, families, and empty-nesters settle down and are invested in their community. Mt. Washington Village
Serves as the neighborhood’s hub, featuring boutiques, antique stores, cozy eateries, and salons. Originally a streetcar suburb, the community is now centered around the Light Rail. As far as green space goes, Mt. Washington is close to Cylburn Arboretum’s park, mansion, and landscaped gardens and is home to the Mt. Washington Arboretum’s native flora. Plus, Lake Roland and its surrounding 500-acre park of woodland and wetlands are only about ten minutes north by car.