Baltimore is a quirky place, y'all. But if you aren't from here, you may not know about all the weird stuff that goes down here. So here's my list of 10 unique and quirky things to do in Baltimore!
Visit the grave of Edgar Allan Poe || Westminster Hall is the final resting place of the seriously creepy American poet and author. We love Edgar here in Baltimore and he is a huge part of our culture.
BONUS TIP: Make sure that you go around to back of the cemetery to see his real grave though. Most people think that the monument at the entrance is his grave but it isn't. His grave is all the way in the back!
Visit the American Visionary Art Museum || The AVAM is a true gem of Baltimore. It's full of quirks and weirdness and I promise it will make you smile. Deemed the museum of "self-taught art", this place features art that you can't see anywhere else in the world except here. Whenever anyone from out of town is looking for something to do, I always suggest the AVAM as my number 1 must-do in Baltimore because it truly gives you a sense of Baltimore's quirky culture.
Tip: The building makes for great Instagram pictures!
Eat at Paper Moon Diner || This place is the home of some serious quirks. Located in the Hampden neighborhood in the northern part of the city, this place serves up everything from crab quesadillas to meatloaf to shrimp and grits to vegan nachos. With an extensive gluten-free menu, Paper Moon has my stamp of approval! There's so much to look at that you can't help but feel happy!
Tip: There's a $10 minimum per person throughout the entire diner.
Eat at Cafe Hon || The Baltimore Hon is such a huge part of Baltimore culture. (A Hon is a Baltimore housewife from the 1950s-70s that wore cat eye glasses, beehive hairdos and brightly colored house dresses. Hon is short for "honey", which people with thick Baltimore accents say kinda funny!) The pink flamingo is the mascot of these Baltimore hons and Cafe Hon truly embraces that with plastic flamingo chandeliers and a vintage feel. Definitely a bit quirky.
Tip: It's a bit pricey so if you're on a budget, head to the Hon Bar to get the full experience but just get drinks!
Tour the Edgar Allan Poe House || After you've visited his grave, why not check out his house? Preserved since the 1800s, walk the same floors as Edgar did and learn about his life and then mysterious death here. It's crazy to see how well this house has been preserved. Keep in mind that the house is small, not accessible by wheelchair and has small winding staircases. The museum is on a seasonal schedule so make sure you check the website before you go!
Tip: Visit this museum during the day as it isn't in the greatest part of town, however it is definitely worth a visit!
Hampdenfest || Would you like to see people race toilets? Do I have your attention now?! Yep, Hampdenfest is one of the weirdest things I have ever experienced in Baltimore. This festival is just a celebration of Baltimore's quirkiest neighborhood, Hampden. The first year I went, I saw a man allowing people to staple money to him. It was very, very odd. However, this off-the-wallness perfectly describes Hampden as a neighborhood. There's food, music and yes, toilet races.
Tip: This event is normally held in the beginning of September!
HonFest || Held in the same neighborhood as Hampdenfest, HonFest is a celebration of those Baltimore Hons I was telling you about. I personally love this festival and think it is just SO MUCH FUN. Whole families get involved and dress their kids up and everyone just comes out for a good time of music, food and the Best Hon Contest. If you want to get a taste of Baltimore, you have to attend HonFest!
Tip: This event usually takes place in June!
Kinetic Sculpture Race || This race is the quirkiest race in all the land, I'm convinced. This race is sponsored by the AVAM and FiFi, the giant pink poodle, is an exhibit in the museum that ventures outdoors once a year for this race. This sculpture race is a 15 mile race all over Baltimore, covering the streets, the ports, the parks and everything in between. Oh, and the award goes the person who finished in the middle...not first. This race just makes makes you smile as you watch these giant sculptures zip around the city!
Tip: This event is usually in May! You can see FiFi at the AVAM year round though!
Mr. Trash Wheel || Here in Baltimore, it's no secret that our harbor is...kinda yucky. We definitely don't have the best reputation for taking care of what we have but in the last few years, we welcomed a friend to town. His name is Mr. Trash Wheel and he sits in our harbor and helps filter trash and other yuckiness out of our harbor. He also has his own Twitter account and definitely has added some quirkiness to our city!
Tip: He's located between Harbor East and the Inner Harbor!
Charm City Clue Room || This past weekend, 7 of my friends and I visited Charm City Clue Room for the first time. Located in Power Plant and close to tons of bars and restaurants, we entered the Edgar Allan Poe room where we had to tear apart the room for clues and try to escape this locked room. There was a screen with a count down-- we only had an hour!-- and clues would pop up when we were struggling. Quite honestly, I have very smart friends and still aren't quite sure how we made it out of the room. But it was a blast and I would totally go back again!
Tip: This works best if you have a group of up to 8!