There’s Something Wrong with This Baltimore Travel Guide…

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Photo via Wikipedia
Photo via Wikipedia

So the Huffington Post has written yet another travel guide to Baltimore. This happens periodically, and usually the stories are kind of meh-but-whatever. This one, though, had promise. It was allegedly A Baltimore Travel Guide for Book-Lovers. And since we love books, we thought: Great! 

The HuffPo travel writer starts off strong, recommending that book-loving tourists spend the morning in Federal Hill, drinking coffee and visiting various landmarks from Laura Lippman novels. Fair enough. Then the guide sends readers to the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the B&O Brasserie (which has… nothing to do with books, as far as I can tell), the City Cafe (ditto), and the Owl Bar. That’s it! Not a single bookstore. Sorry, but that just doesn’t fly.

Here’s what a real book-lovers guide to Baltimore should include:

And that’s just off the top of my head! Readers, what would you add to the list?

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  1. For kid’s books, it’s definitely The Children’s Bookstore in Roland Park.

    There’s a younger sales person there who has read everything and helps me pick out books for my boys who will only read books they love.

  2. What about visits to other sites where famous writers lived: Menken, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Anne Tyler, to name a few…

    • Where does Anne Tyler live?? I have heard conflicting reports of Roland Park and Homeland.

      Would it be wrong to do a drive by? I wouldn’t stop and take pictures (for long).

      I am kidding. I do not want you to publish her address in the comments, but I am curious. I have never spotted her or seen any evidence that she lives in Baltimore (I’m sure she likes it that way, understandably), and I live in North Baltimore!

  3. Mencken house, places where Stein and Fitzgerald lived and Hopkins hospital, where Zelda was a patient. House on Mulberry Street where Poe won a literary prize. Roland Park for Anne Tyler ambiance. And did you know that Pratt Central will soon have a lot less public shelf space? The entire second floor of the original main building is being gutted of shelves. Sigh.

  4. And don’t forget, Baltimore is also home to the nation’s oldest continually operating university press, Johns Hopkins University Press. We’re in Charles Village on Charles Street, just south of the Hopkins Homewood campus.

  5. The Maryland Book Bank! They give thousands of children’s books out each year for free to anyone who needs them.

  6. -The Book Festival (although it should still be in Mount Vernon).
    -READ Street & Tyson Streets: Where the Beats lived and founded a small colony of book shops and coffee houses. Unfortunately Read Street Books and Coffee is closed for remodeling, but the Bun Shop and Beatnik Barbershop are great places to go.
    -Fort McHenry: The great American example of how an event can inspire a poem that becomes a national anthem. Does any other country have such an anthem?

    *We all know these travel articles are informed by marketing firms that get paid to promote businesses (generally corporate chains). A recent Baltimore travel article listed the Shake Shop as a best place to go to experience authentic Baltimore.

  7. The Stafford, where F. Scott Fitzgerald stayed when Zelda was at Shepherd Pratt. HL Mencken’s house. The apartment building on Cathedral where he lived with his wife. And that’s just off the top of my head!

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