Thursday, June 3, 2010

RailsConf Baltimore Things To See and Do

I love Baltimore and I love Ruby, so like my fellow Bmoreonrails colleagues, I am super-psyched for RailsConf 2010 being held at the Baltimore Convention Center!

If you're new to our city, here's a short list of things to see and do, optimized for people staying near the convention center (e.g. this is not necessarily the list I would give you if you were staying with me, had ready access to a car, etc.)


Your best bet in this direction is the Federal Hill neighborhood which has a lot of activity, bars, and nice restaurants.  During the day you can climb to the top of Federal Hill itself, and then visit the incredibly awesome American Visionary Art Museum: this is the ideal art museum for hackers, because it celebrates self-taught artists.

On Wednesday or Thursday evening I recommend checking out Illusions Magic Bar & Lounge.  If you're around on Friday or Saturday night, there's an awesome magic show featuring an upside-down straitjacket escape. I guarantee there's nothing like this place back where you come from!

(not actually guaranteed)


Right next to the convention center you'll find Geppi's Entertainment Museum: all about pop culture, comic books, toys, etc.

Paul Barry has organized a RailsConf group attendance package for the Yankees vs. Orioles game on Wednesday night. Camden Yards is a very nice ballpark, so get out there and enjoy it before we get conned into building another one a few years from now! You'll get free beer and hotdogs!


On Monday, Bmoreonrails is having its monthly Pub Night at Pratt Street Ale House, right across from the convention center, a very fun place to hang out.

Walking farther north, Maryland's signature dish is the crab cake, and one of the best versions is made at the Faidley's stand in Lexington Market which is worth visiting to soak up all the vibrant activity of a city market.

If you have a car or can spring for a cab ride, definitely visit Mt. Vernon: a beautiful neighborhood with brownstone homes and great restaurants.  The Brewer's Art bar was named "Best Bar in America" by Esquire, and they brew an excellent ale called Resurrection.

If you have a car, you may also want to check out the Hampden neighborhood which tends to get a lot of attention by people writing articles like this one - John Waters recently described it as a mix of "hipster culture and redneck culture".


The Inner Harbor is our ubertouristy area, but it's very nice if you've never been there.  Besides our great National Aquarium, you can each catch a water taxi from there to the Fells Point neighborhood farther east, which has a ton of bars and restaurants and cool shops and coffee shops.

If you have access to a car or taxi, after stopping in Fells Point you might want to visit Canton, one of the city's technology hubs.  The Beehive coworking facility is well-worth a visit if you have time to kill before or after the conference.


There is a red brick path going all the way around the harbor that makes for a great running route.  If you're a runner also check out the Bmoreonrails recommended running route.


Did you hear about this gritty, realistic, little-known but super amazing cop show on HBO a few years back?  It was so much more than a cop show.  It was called The Wire and it was a tremendous work of art, but also very entertaining.  If you have heard of it you may want to visit some of the shooting locations which I have catalogued previously in "The Wire tour".


Check out the recent New York Times sightseeing guide and our alt-weekly's guide The Baltimanual.


Jason Dixon said...

Good list. The American Visionary Art Museum is truly awesome. Not your typical art museum.

Brian said...

Great list! As a lucky veteran of the Wire tour, I can vouch for its greatness! I Hope to hit up some of the rest of these sites later in the summer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Post. Will try to cover as much of it as possible during the conf.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Post. Will try to cover as much of it as possible during the conf.


Mike Subelsky said...

thanks guys! I had fun collating it, kind of like writing a love letter to the city.