After exploring Baltimore’s hottest emerging neighborhoods, get hip to Inner Harbor. The waterfront district is better known for chain restaurants than cutting-edge cool, but new outdoor activities and massive artistic renovation projects are giving the area new life. Start your day with a one-hour session at newly launched Elite Fitness Tours ($30), which leads jogging and cross-training expeditions through historic Baltimore sites like the Walter Arts Museum and Washington Monument. Afterward, enjoy Cajun-spiced chicken and waffles ($14.99) at Miss Shirley’s Café, a beloved soul-food mini-chain with a leafy outdoor patio on East Pratt Street. Then learn new skills at the surprisingly engaging Maryland Science Center (admission $16.95), which offers hands-on classes like bicycle repair and introductory soldering, and is currently in the throes of a $3.15 million floor-to-ceiling overhaul. Next, awaken your inner futurist at the forebodingly named "Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity!," the new exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum (admission $15.95), a national institution dedicated to works by artists without formal training. Hop on a water taxi to Fell’s Point ($7 each way) for battered cod with Old Bay coleslaw ($17.50) and an order of clam cakes ($6.50 for a half-dozen) at Thames Street Oyster House, a waterfront bistro with a raw bar, second-story dining room and brick-lined rear patio. Cap off the day with blues and brews at Cat’s Eye Pub, an old-school dive and Fell’s Point institution with 40 beers on tap (draughts from $6), tattered vinyl bar seats, and cover-free live performances by local acts like the Drunken Uncles and Carl Filipiak Jazz Band.
The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan
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5. Oddball Day
Published on Oct 17, 2013 as a web exclusive.