The next stop on our tour is the beautiful and historic neighborhood of Mount Vernon (and in case you missed the first two, never fear – you can read up on the Inner Harbor here, and learn about the Station North Arts & Entertainment District here).
Now onto the main event! As the cultural hub of Charm City, Mount Vernon is home to museums, concert halls, and galleries. Not to mention one of the most iconic Baltimore landmarks, the Washington Monument! The monument has a rich history, so I went ahead and compiled a list of interesting “Quick Facts” for you so you can impress all your friends with your Baltimore trivia. And, who knows? Maybe there will be a “Bmore” category on Jeopardy one day:
- It is the first public monument erected in honor of George Washington.
- Construction began July 4, 1815 and was completed in 1829.
- It was designed by Robert Mills who is known as the first American-born architect.
- The statue at the top depicts Washington resigning from his position as Commander-in-Chief in 1783. Washington’s peaceful transfer of power symbolized democracy and freedom for our newly revolutionized nation.
- After being closed for five years and undergoing a major restoration the Washington Monument reopen to the public in 2015! You can climb the 227 steps to the top and enjoy the spectacular view of the city (and get your workout for the day).
- Days and Times: Thursday 5:00-9:00pm; Friday noon – 4pm; Saturday & Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm
- Price: $6 cash, $6.35 credit/debit card
Mark your calendars! The Holiday Monument Lighting is Thursday, December 3, 5-8pm. The evening will be filled with local vendors, live entertainment, and a spectacular laser lights display and firework show.
And now, onto some of Mount Vernon’s other attractions:
- The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra offers a sweet deal to local college students – for just $25 you can purchase a Student Select Pass and get unlimited access to BSO performances all season long including admission to special events like College Nights. Learn more about all the BSO has to offer here.
- They have a really cool new concert called Pulse – it combines Indie Rock and Classical for ultimate chill vibes.
- Peabody Institute
- George Peabody, renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist, founded the Peabody Institute in 1857. Peabody’s contribution inspired a spur of cultural development across the city. Like what you might ask? Well, good ol’ George influenced Johns Hopkins’ decision to fund the creation of the university and hospital, motivated William and Henry Walters to found their famous art museum, and encouraged Enoch Pratt to get behind the first public library in the nation just a couple blocks down the road. Since 1986 the institute has been a division of The Johns Hopkins University, and today offers musically gifted students the opportunity to study under some of the world’s most accomplished musicians.
The Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute hosts nearly 100 concerts annually, and showcases a selection that ranges from Latin Jazz to chamber music. Click here for the full concert schedule.
Another big-time Baltimore landmark we can thank Mr. Peabody for is his library, which he creatively named the George Peabody Library. This gorgeous facility is open Tuesday – Thursdays 9am-5pm, and Fridays 9am-3pm – check it out for yourself!
- Walter’s Art Museum
- Featuring the work of some of the world’s most talented artists, the Walter’s has FREE admission for all guests. The museum offers special events and traveling exhibits; check out the full calendar here.
- Center Stage
- Offering everything from Shakespearian classics to contemporary hits, Center Stage is dedicated to providing audience members with an extensive list of entertaining and thought-provoking theatrical performances. Check out the schedule and book your tickets today!
- The theater is excitedly preparing for a BIG renovation (think $32 million worth of renovation), which means that the 2015-2016 Center Stage productions will be held at Towson University’s Center for the Arts - so plan accordingly!
I bet you’ll be pretty hungry after all this cultural activity! Lucky for you, Mount Vernon is overflowing with delicious options, many of them uniquely ethnic:
- The Heldman - fine Afghan cuisine, the perfect place to visit if you’ve never had Middle Eastern food before! Or enjoy again and again if you’re an established Afghan foodie. People travel far and wide to have the Kaddo Borwani which is an appetizer that involves pumpkin and yogurt sauce and just overall deliciousness – trust me!
- Dooby’s - Korean goodies like pork buns and ramen bowls, and an experimental chef who’s always rolling out new creations. Plus it's a fab coffee spot to boot!
- Mount Vernon Marketplace - Baltimore’s newest foodie destination! With dozens of options in one spot - this is the place to go when you’re not sure exactly what you’re craving. Here are some of the places you’ll be able to try:
- Pinch Dumplings - traditional hand made Chinese dumplings.
- Delights by Mina - African and European delights with some specialty crepes as the focal point of the menu.
- The Big Bean Theory - Beans, beans they’re good for your heart (you know the rest)…. Well, that’s the motto at this little eatery where everything on the menu is made from beans!
And for my 21+ readers, Mount Vernon has a rockin’ bar scene too:
- The Brewer’s Art - offering a variety of home brewed specialties like Resurrection, Beazly and Birdhouse.
- Owl Bar - Located in the beautiful Belvedere Hotel, Owl Bar has been around before (and during!) the prohibition. The menu includes an extensive list of draft beers plus a selection of “Old School” and “New School” cocktails.
- Brew House No. 16 – Brand new to Mount Vernon, this old firehouse has been converted into a funky bar where you can enjoy locally crafted brews and seasonal cuisine.
The list of special concerts, events, shows, and exhibitions traveling through Mount Vernon is constantly changing; stay up to date with the Visit Baltimore site. Or, if you’re interested in more than just a visit, and want to become an official Mount Vernonean (did I just make that term up? Yes, yes I did.) you should use the awesomely helpful resources at Live Baltimore! Whether you’re looking for a place to rent or (dun, dun, dun) buy, Live Baltimore can help you get the most out of city life.
I’d love to hear from you about your Mount Vernon faves! Tweet @baltcollegetown and tell me about all things #MountVernon. Or, another option, for all you grammers out there – tag @baltimorecollegetown or #baltimorecollegtown in your next Mount Vernon Insta.
Well, that concludes this edition of Explorin’ & Tourin’- until next time, explorers!