Baltimore, MD holds a charm as distinctive as its rich history. Whether you’re a local looking for new adventures or a newcomer exploring homes for sale or apartments for rent in the area, Baltimore has an eclectic mix of experiences waiting to be discovered. Baltimore blends old and new, with a lively vibe from the historic streets to the waterfront. In this Redfin article, we’re diving into the heart of Baltimore, uncovering hidden gems suggested by locals who know the city’s secrets. From historic neighborhoods to cultural hubs, get ready for an insider’s tour of the best that Baltimore has to offer.

1. Get a bite at Baltimore’s only Laotian restaurant

“One of my favorite underrated Baltimore eateries nestled in Canton right on Boston St is Charming Elephant, a fantastic introduction to Laotian cuisine if you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting it before,” recommends Jamie Henry from Baltimore STR, a guide and platform for short-term rentals and experiences in Baltimore. 

“A true combination of flavors from Thailand and Vietnam, you’ll find that Laotian food is the ultimate melting pot. Charming Elephant offers exactly that, hitting the spot every time with their juicy, melt-in-your-mouth Lao Sausage, refreshing garden wraps dipped in peanut sauce, and crispy Moo Grob that you might relentlessly pop in your mouth. With ambiance perfect for a cute date night or family dinner, and simply awesome service from their kind and thoughtful staff, this Laotian delight can’t be beaten. And if that’s not enough to make you want to visit, Charming Elephant offers a generous happy hour practically every day from 4-7 pm. Charming Elephant is the only Laotian game in town, so don’t miss out on its delectability.”

baltimore str

Courtesy of Baltimore STR

2. Go on a outdoor adventure

Local wedding photographer, Brooke Tyson Photography suggests, “A gorgeous hidden gem just outside of the city is Patapsco Valley State Park. The park features miles of trails, making it great for a long day of hiking or a quick trip. Just steps from the parking lot is a beautiful waterfall, and within easy walking distance is a unique historic swinging suspension bridge. The park is dog-friendly and accessible to all; there are some flat paved paths, too, which are wonderful for wheelchair and bicycle use. The easy accessibility and beautiful sights set this park apart, making it a must-see spot just outside of Baltimore.”

brooke tyson photography

Courtesy of Brooke Tyson Photography

3. Visit a museum 

“Spend an evening exploring the Baltimore Museum of Art,” says Marissa Morris, a Portrait and Couples Photographer from Missallaneous Media. “This Museum has something for everybody, from ancient artifacts, to contemporary paintings and modern art created by Baltimore’s very own. It’s a great place to get inspired by a wide array of artists and learn the history behind the art. The museum continues to update their exhibitions ensuring there is always something new to keep guests immersed. General admission is free and all ages are welcomed.” 

4. Eat at a iconic diner

Marissa also recommends, “Grab a bite to eat at the iconic Lost in the 50’s Diner. This  restaurant is a staple for many locals and beloved by its community. You can expect to enjoy delicious American classics while dining in a retro booth that really makes it feel like you’ve turned back time and gone to the 50’s. The staff is friendly and makes all who come feel welcomed. If you’re looking for a savory bite and nostalgic atmosphere, this is the place to be.”

5. Go to the beach

“Go to North Point State Park. My family and I like to hike here often,” says Creative Director Willis Aybar from Studio 87, a Baltimore photo studio and event space. “They even have a beach. It’s beautiful in the fall, always well kept and it’s even better in the summertime, there are lots of trails and things to see.”

6. Spend the afternoon at the flea market

Willis says at, “North Point Plaza Flea Market you can find everything from great food to gently used household items on the weekends. Baltimore’s community visits often so it’s packed with people, it’s also been around for longer than I’ve been in Baltimore.”

7. Check out Joanna’s Cafe and Dundalk

Willis recommends “Joanna’s Cafe is a sweet and cozy coffee shop with breakfast and lunch, I take meetings here often. It’s in the Dundalk area of Baltimore County (just a few minutes outside of Baltimore City) there are many great places to visit and things to do here.”

8. Walk Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Baltimore based headshot photographer Richard Waine Photography says, “I enjoy heading down to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Walking around, visiting various shops and restaurants, and even sitting down to take in some of the fantastic street performer shows is usually a lot of fun. The food is fantastic, especially if you’re a seafood fan, the atmosphere is upbeat and jovial, and there is always something to see or do. I might save this activity for the spring and summer, however.

I also relish heading down to Inner Harbor and M&T Stadium when Championship weekend rolls around for NCAA Lacrosse. Since the Lacrosse Hall of Fame is in Baltimore, the area becomes a hotbed of Lacrosse-related activities. The expos and vendor tents, as well as the games, make for a really enjoyable time. The sport of lacrosse draws people from all over, fostering a strong sense of community.”

9. Have a relaxing get away

Baltimore city Photographer, Brian O’Doherty, of O’Doherty Photo says, “I’m committed to uncovering the most enchanting hiking spots in the vicinity, and Double Rock Park stands out as a gem. Double Rock Park boasts a beautiful tiered small waterfall with scenic, relaxing hikes surrounding it. Consider packing a picnic or sipping on a comforting cup of coffee against the backdrop of the scenic waterfalls before embarking on the trails that weave through the expansive 102-acre park. The park is conveniently located just outside the city boundaries, making it a great short trip if need be.”

10. Go Italian at Cafe Campli

Brian suggests, “Cafe Campli is a small, cozy Italian restaurant in the Lauraville neighborhood. The owners, a couple with roots in the Abruzzo area of Italy, were inspired by a recent ancestral pilgrimage, infusing their establishment with an authentic and heartfelt touch. You can grab a delicious Italian sandwich during the day for your adventure to Double Rock Park or arrive in the evening for the cozy ambiance and delicious plates of pasta. Don’t forget their amazing cocktail menu or espresso bar.”

11. Visit a greenhouse

Brain goes on to ask, “Want to see an oasis that’s even more convenient than Double Rock Park?  Check out the Rawlings Conservatory, a tropical oasis in the heart of Druid Hill Park. It’s a great place to walk through diverse exotic landscapes like the Mediterranean room or the desert room, but equally as great to just sit on a bench, read a book, and take in the warm sunshine beaming into the greenhouses. Admission is free, and they take donations of any amount.”

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