Another day, another positive tourism write-up for Baltimore.
That’s how it feels this year, at least, what with The New York Times publishing two separate columns within the same week this about Baltimore’s fun and/or affordable attractions and The Wall Street Journal running its own F. Scott Fitzgerald-themed exploration of the city in January. Now, add Condé Nast Traveler to the list.
This week, the luxury travel publication gave Baltimore a spot in its “6 U.S. Cities to Watch in 2017” list. In their blurb, the magazine’s editors pitch Baltimore as a fun place to visit, even telling readers to “venture beyond its overcrowded, often underwhelming Inner Harbor area.”
Of course, the majority of the entry actually focuses on Fells Point – specifically, Kevin Plank’s shiny new Sagamore Pendry hotel built atop the ruins of the old Rec Pier Building on the harbor.
“Here, you’ll find rooms lined with warm wooden millwork and the odd leather settee, plus water views,” they write glowingly. “Throw in the hotel’s Rec Pier Chop House, helmed by chef Andrew Carmellini, where you and a friend can tuck into a 28-day dry-aged Porterhouse, and you’ve got your evening cut out for you.”
The rest of the entry markets the city’s young Bike Share program as a way to pop over to Little Italy, “where a plate of pasta at Café Gia and a fresh cannoli from Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop are just within reach.”
Somewhat ambitiously, the editors also say the incoming Guinness Brewery for Relay in Baltimore County would make a good “day trip.” Politically aware Marylanders of course know the policy headaches that came after European beverage company Diageo announced it would open a U.S.-based Guinness brewery there in the town’s old Calvert Distillery. Luckily, lawmakers came up with a plan that wouldn’t entirely shaft smaller craft breweries by cutting their operating hours, and the brewery should be open by the fall.
The magazine’s newest endorsement of Baltimore marks its second in the last five months. In December, Condé Nast Traveler ranked The Ivy Hotel near Midtown-Belvedere and the Four Seasons in Harbor East among the top 172 hotels in the world.
The other cities that joined Baltimore’s on the “Cities to Watch” list were Milwaukee, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Fort Worth and Detroit. That group makes for some good post-industrial company for the 21st century.