Introduction To Baltimore, MD
Table of Contents
The City History Of Baltimore
Baltimore, MD was founded in the year 1729, and has become the biggest and most important ocean port in the Mid Atlantic region. The port was actually created in 1706, and was used for the tobacco trade in the area. The Inner Harbor was previously used as an immigration entry port, and was the second biggest route into the country for immigrants from other lands. This area was also a manufacturing base, and a major center for manufacturing in the country. For two months in the beginning of 1777 Baltimore, MD was the capital city of the country, because it was the meeting place for the Second Continental Congress.
During the War of 1812 the city was also the site of the Battle of Baltimore, resulting in the anthem the star spangled banner, and this location was very important during the American Revolution in the 1700s as well. The city was actually named for Lord Baltimore, a British Lord who created the original Maryland colony. In 1904 the Great Baltimore Fire burned for more than thirty hours, and destroyed more than seventy blocks and fifteen thousand buildings located in the downtown area of the city. Today Baltimore, MD is a modern city with many attractions, a rich history, and millions of visitors a year.
Living in Baltimore, MD
There are many neighborhoods or areas within the city of Baltimore, Maryland, and numerous suburbs in the metropolitan area. Life in this city is vibrant and exciting, with a beautiful skyline, lots to see and do, and many fabulous eateries, shops, hotels, and other amenities. Baltimore, MD offers culture, a fascinating history, architectural attractions, the port and harbor, and many things to see and do. Residents in Baltimore usually have a shorter commute to work, and rush hour traffic can be avoided in most cases. A majority of the attractions and places of interest are situated right inside the city, making it much more convenient for visitors and residents.
There is a wide range of home and housing types in the city, with everything from apartments to large private homes in historic districts, as well as water front condos, row houses, and other living options. Some areas of the city do have a problem with on street parking, and in these areas it may be difficult to find a parking place close to your destination. There is public transportation available though, and many neighborhoods have a wide range of shops, bars, clubs, and dining options available close to the residence. Fast food restaurant chains are not as common in the actual city of Baltimore as they are in most cities, but there are numerous eateries to choose from in spite of this.
Baltimore, MD Job Opportunities
The John Hopkins University and John Hopkins Hospital, as well as the University of Maryland Baltimore Campus, are all big employers in the area. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate for the entire county of Baltimore, MD is seven point nine percent as of February 2011, well below the national average. Management and professional occupations make up almost thirty percent of the workforce in Baltimore, MD, with sales and office positions creating around twenty three percent of employment opportunities here. Two thirds of all the workers in the area work for private companies, while eighteen percent work for the government in some way. Four percent of the employed population are self employed, and own their own business.
The city of Baltimore, MD, has many job openings each week listed online and in the local papers. Professionals in the medical and educational fields are in high demand, and so are those in the service and financial sectors. Twenty five percent of the employment sector is dominated by the social assistance, health, and medical fields, while the retail trade makes up nine percent of the employment sector. The average salary for the city is slightly more than thirty six thousand dollars.
The Real Estate Market In Baltimore, MD
The real estate market in Baltimore, MD is similar to what is currently seen in other larger cities. The housing market slump has affected the market some, but it is starting to rebound and pick back up. Baltimore offers a wide range of diverse housing types, making the market more flexible and able to withstand the housing crash better than some other cities. The city has seen a rising number of foreclosures in the last few years, but that is also to be expected and is being seen across the country as well. Baltimore, MD is close enough to the Washington DC area to be called home for many who work in the nation's capital.
Home values in Baltimore, MD have lost value over the last year or two, with the median home price currently at a little more than fifty seven thousand dollars. Compare this with the median home price of a year or two ago and you will notice that the median price has dropped by more than fifty percent in this time. For many hoem owners who plan on staying in their homes for years this is not a big problem, because the housing market is likely to pick back up in the near future and then home values will rise again. That makes now the perfect opportunity to get a great home at a discounted price.
Baltimore, MD Restaurants & Food
Baltimore, MD is known as a seafood town, little wonder with the harbor and coastal location, and blue crabs are a specialty here. Either served simple or turned into crab cakes, the city is known for excellence when this food is served. Some of the best restaurants to visit if you want to try the famous Baltimore blue crab include Canton Dockside and Nick's Fish House. For great food at a great price Al's Seafood will fit the bill, and if you want to eat at a Baltimore historic restaurant then try Obrycki's. This seafood eatery has been in business serving seafood in Baltimore, MD since the 1940's, and they even have their own blend of special seasonings based on garlic which are used on the crab and are very tasty.
Dining in Baltimore, MD does not have to be about seafood though, and you will find many diverse cuisines available in the city. AIDA Bistro is one of the top Italian restaurants in the city and surrounding area, and if French cuisine in a fine dining setting is what you are looking for then Charleston is a great choice. Whether you are looking for a five star restaurant with a well known chef or just a quick and inexpensive meal while shopping you can find it here.
Baltimore, MD Tours and Attractions
Because Baltimore, MD is located right on the water a popular tour for visitors and residents both are the lunch or dinner cruises in the harbor. This is especially exciting at night, when the cityscape is lit up with lights and the many of the attractions can be viewed from the water. There are also inner city Segway tours, which last around two hours and visit many of the attractions in certain areas of the city. Many people who live in Baltimore or visit also book tours for the Washington DC area because it is so close, and it is possible to take a night tour of the capital city of the USA which is breathtaking.
The National Aquarium is one of the big attractions of Baltimore, MD, and visitors come from all over the country to marvel at the enormous collection of underwater creatures and exhibits. The Walters Art Museum is located in the city, and offers some stunning displays of artwork. The Hippodrome Theater draws crowds on a regular basis, and the Baltimore Museum of Art is world famous for the collection owned and displayed. Music also plays a role, and famous musicians and groups including Billy Holiday, Child's Play, and Mario have come from Baltimore, MD.
Sightseeing In Baltimore, MD
Sightseeing in Baltimore, MD can include a very diverse range of locations. The Edgar Allen Poe House And Museum is located in Baltimore, and so is the Babe Ruth Birthplace And Museum. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is another attraction included in many sightseeing tours. The Baltimore Civil War Museum has been a popular place for sightseeing ever since it first opened, and has special significance because this city is where the very first drop of blood was spilled during the Civil War. The 13th Floor of the Belvedere Hotel offers fabulous views and a little apprehension as well for those who are superstitious.
Fort McHenry is also a common attraction for anyone interested in sightseeing. This fort offers many historic facts and sights, and is popular with people of all ages. The Maryland Historical Society is a must visit for anyone who is curious about the history of the city and state, and the Star Spangled Banner Flag House And 1812 Museum will send you back in time, and is a testament to the American spirit. The Top of the World Observation Level offers exquisite panoramic views of Baltimore, MD, and the Baltimore And Ohio Railroad Museum displays exhibits about this great company from the past.
Baltimore, MD Shopping & Fashion
Shopping attracts millions of visitors to the Baltimore, Md area, and the city has been ranked number three for the best shopping experience. Stores and shops can range from small and exclusive to large discount stores which are inexpensive, and there are several malls in the city where numerous stores are in one location. The Harborplace Mall includes some top stores like Bath & Body Works, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Swarovski, Claire's, Coach, Nine West, and many others. There is also the Harborplace Gallery in this mall.
White Marsh Mall is another shopping mall in Baltimore, MD which is very popular with residents and out of town visitors. This mall features names like Macy's, Lane Bryant, The Limited, Christopher & Banks, The Disney Store, Fire And Ice, and numerous others. The malls are not the only shopping opportunities available in Baltimore either, there are many small strip malls and numerous individual stores, boutiques, and shops scattered through all of the city neighborhoods. Whether you are looking for an exclusive high end boutique or a dollar store you will find it in the city without any problem.
Hotels and Hospitality In Baltimore, MD
The hotels and inns found in Baltimore, MD range from small and inexpensive to large, luxurious, and very pricey, with accommodations for every budget and need. The Baltimore Marriott Waterfront features rooms with a waterfront view and luxury accommodations. This is not one of the budget hotel choices but is an exceptional place to stay if you can afford it. The Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel is another top favorite if your budget will allow, and it is in the same area and also offers beautifully furnished rooms, gorgeous views, and excellent customer service. InterContinental Harbor Court Baltimore is the only five star hotel in the city, and the high price is matched by the elegance and luxurious service you will receive here.
There are many nice mid and low priced hotels to choose from as well, some with names recognized for quality at an inexpensive price around the country. Quality Inn Baltimore Downtown is ideal for those on a budget who do not want to sacrifice quality or comfort. The Mount Vernon Hotel is another good choice for a hotel which is nice but does not empty your bank account. There are so many hotels to choose from it is not possible to list them all, but you can find comfortable and clean hotels to fit any budget you are working with.
Baltimore, MD Education And Schools
Baltimore, MD offers a terrific educational system, and there are many public and private schools to choose from. Some schools may operate with a bigger budget or receive recognition for excellence, but all of the schools in the Baltimore area offer a quality education to students. John Hopkins University is situated in the city and draws students from around the world. The University of Maryland Baltimore campus is also right in the city, and the Meadowood Education Center has received high praise from parents and educational experts. Whether the goal is primary or secondary education, Baltimore, MD, has many schools and institutions of higher learning to fit your needs.
The John Hopkins University School Of Medicine trains many future doctors and nurses every year, and attracts students from around the globe. There are also smaller schools, like the Baltimore School of Massage and other options for those who feel a four year college degree is not practical. The education system also includes a number of private and charter schools, so students in this city have a wide range of education choices.
Transportation In Baltimore, MD
There are several options when it comes to transportation in Baltimore, MD, and while this is not a city known for the best public transportation in the country it is fairly easy for residents and city visitors to get around. There is a subway, a light rail system, city bus, and MARC train. Baltimore is also home to many taxicabs and shuttles, so getting from point A to point B is just a matter of determining which method to take. The MARC train is used mainly by commuters, and these trains generally only go in one direction and do not make round trips constantly.
The city buses, subway trains, and light rail system run on a schedule, and the cost is very inexpensive to use this transportation method. Many areas of Baltimore may have limited parking spots, making it very difficult to park if you own or rent a car. If you are staying inside the city then the public transportation available is usually adequate, but if you want to visit any of the surrounding areas then you will need to rent a vehicle to drive. The harbor area is also not on many of the public transportation routes, so a taxi is normally used to go to this area of Baltimore if you do not have a rental car.
Baltimore, MD Volunteer Groups
Volunteering in the Baltimore, MD area is not difficult, and there are many groups and organizations that can help. The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore accepts volunteers, and so does the Walters Art Museum, and these are just two of the many places where you can volunteer and give something back. There are numerous organizations, like the Red Cross and Big Brothers Big Sisters which are more than happy to have qualified volunteers to help out, and there are even registries where you can look online to see what volunteer opportunities are available if you live in Baltimore, MD. Whether you want to work with animals, children, adults, or have a special cause that you want to volunteer for it is possible to arrange this in the Baltimore area.
Baltimore, MD News
Baltimore, MD has no fewer than eight newspapers, and many radio stations, blogs, and other news organizations. The Baltimore Business Journal features business news along with other types, and the Baltimore Sun is more of a general all purpose paper. There is also the Baltimore Chronicle, the Baltimore City Paper, the Baltimore Times, the Daily Record, the Examiner, and the East Baltimore Guide, all of which have dedicated followers. There are many radio stations in the area which carry news broadcasts, and most of the newspapers, television stations, and radio stations all feature a website.
Inside Charm City is one of the top blogs about Baltimore, MD, and this blog features stories about the happenings in town and around. The Baltimore Restaurant Examiner is another top blog, one which features fine dining experiences found here. The Baltimore Crime Blog contains all the crime news about incidents in the city, and there are hundreds of other blogs which can also be found which feature news from the Baltimore area.
Nearby Places To Baltimore, MD
The suburbs and surrounding areas of Baltimore, MD make an ideal place for those who want to work in the city but live away from all the hustle and bustle. Many of the surrounding towns and cities offer nice schools, beautiful homes, and family oriented neighborhoods. Columbia is one of these, and is actually a collection of several small villages and neighborhoods. This suburb gives a small town feel, yet is close enough to Baltimore for a daily commute. Catonsville is another good choice for anyone who wants to be close enough to Baltimore for work but wants to reside in a more close knit community. There is also Owings Mills, Ellicott City, Parkville, Dundalk, Arbutus, Rosedale, Woodlawn, and many others. Regardless of what you are looking for in a home community it is a sure bet that one of the surrounding towns and cities near Baltimore, MD can provide it. Overlea is small and friendly, while