Missing the hustle of a big city? As spring semester comes to a close, there’s no better time to escape the stress of finals season than taking advantage of College Park’s proximity to Maryland’s most populous city. Baltimore offers historic charm, nautical attractions, shopping opportunities and seafood extraordinaire. 

As someone who frequently visits the city during breaks, I compiled a travel guide for anyone interested in a day trip. Trust me, your visit will be time well spent — there’s a reason why they call BaltimoreCharm City.” 

What to do

Explore Hampden 

Hampden is one of my favorite spots in the city. With a main strip of shops and restaurants along West 36th Street — dubbed “The Avenue” — this neighborhood offers the quintessential Baltimore experience. Filled with green spaces, homey cafes, galleries and even a skate park, there’s plenty of spots to check out. 

American Visionary Art Museum 

Nestled in the Federal Hill neighborhood and right by the harbor, this museum specializes in artistic preservation and the expression of works created by self-taught artists. With exhibits highlighting a range of topics through social commentary and satire, this is certainly not your traditional art museum. 

Make sure to check out the gift shop on your way out, which is filled with practical jokes and eclectic souvenirs that serve as perfect mementos to commemorate your visit.

[girl in red is ‘doing it again baby’ with new album]

Water taxi at the Inner Harbor

There’s no better way to explore the harbor than a taxi ride along the waterfront. With the purchase of an all-day ticket, you’re free to hop on and off the harbor trolley at any of its numerous stops while enjoying onboard entertainment and stories about Baltimore’s history. Take advantage of the downtown loop on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to enjoy the city without worrying about transportation from one pier to the next. 

Walk around Fort McHenry

The sea wall trail at Fort McHenry provides a scenic route along the Patapsco River with full views of the historic Fort McHenry monuments and preserved structures. Learn about the rich history behind Baltimore’s significance in the Revolutionary War while getting a scenic view.

Where to eat

Gertrude’s Chesapeake Kitchen

Located inside the Baltimore Museum of Art, Gertrude’s is a traditional farm-to-table restaurant boasting some of the best crab cakes Baltimore has to offer. As the weather gets nicer, take a post-meal stroll in the museum’s outdoor sculpture garden that the restaurant overlooks.

La Scala Ristorante Italiano
This restaurant is nestled in the heart of Little Italy, balancing a casual environment with specialized Italian cuisine for an unforgettable dining experience. It also features an indoor bocce ball court — what more could you ask for?

[How distractions impact Gen Z’s ability to sit through movies]


This food hall includes food stations in roll-up garage doors and an open space for seating. Vendors offer options ranging from tacos and empanadas to sushi, poke bowls and Korean barbecue. For a sweet treat after your meal, check out the Taharka Brothers ice cream stand. The Baltimore-made dessert is the perfect way to finish your visit.

The Corner Pantry

If you’re looking for a good brunch spot, there’s no better option than The Corner Pantry. This contemporary cafe uses local ingredients to curate specialty menu items and has been flourishing since its establishment in 2014. From pancake platters to fresh summer salads to quinoa bowls, The Corner Pantry gets my vote for the perfect spot for a midday meal.