When I first moved to Baltimore in December of 2009, I wrote a whole series of stories about places that were accessible via Metro Subway\Light Rail. I did a similar series after the Charm City Circulator opened over a year later, and today I’m one more to that list: Federal Hill.
I’ve been to Federal Hill before, but it was during one of their many festivals. I wanted to see what the street looked like when it wasn’t overtaken by food tents, giant stages and throngs of tourists (not that there is anything wrong with any of those things).
Unlike Baltimore’s other tourist neighborhoods, Federal Hill is beautiful and charming without being overly touristy like Inner Harbor and Fell’s Point or tacky and plastic like Hampden. This isn’t to say it doesn’t have its fair share of chain restaurants, vacant storefronts and foreclosed homes like the rest of the city, but they do a fairly good job of keeping those out of their so-called “Main Streets” (in their case: Charles, Light and Cross).
My first priority when I disembarked from the circulator was to find someplace to eat. However, most of the places were either bars and thus not open until 4pm or they were too expensive; I steadfastly refused to eat at one of those ubiquitous chain sandwich shops.
After lunch, I began walking around. Their main streets form a sort of “U” shape, and host a wide variety of shops. I considered stopping for coffee, but it was too hot for that. I considered getting ice cream, but I thought better of that as well. I also didn’t need any new clothes…so I returned to the circulator stop at Cross Street Market and began the trek back towards Midtown.