We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—Charm City could not be a more fitting moniker for our treasured hometown of Baltimore. Natives and newbies alike are constantly discovering new things to do, places to explore, and eccentricities that make our city special. While you won’t want to miss the most popular attractions, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite hidden gems that are all easily accessible via the free Blue Jay Shuttle or Charm City Circulator.
Tucked away in an alley in the Station North Arts District, this site of artistic expression truly embodies the term “hidden gem.” Graffiti Alley is the only place in Maryland where spraying graffiti is legal, attracting artists looking to add their own creations and those seeking a unique background for photography and videography. It’s located behind two nonprofit art spaces, Graffiti Warehouse and Motor House, that both provide support for local artists.
Calling all environmentalists! Head down to the Inner Harbor to meet Mr. Trash Wheel, a semi-autonomous trash interceptor that uses a blend of solar and hydro power to pull hundreds of tons of trash out of the water each year. Owned and maintained by the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, this unique technology has proven successful at limiting the amount of harmful plastic litter that reaches the ocean.
Mr. Trash Wheel has become a bit of a local celebrity, amassing over 28,000 Instagram followers. Since Mr. Trash Wheel’s installation in 2014, the Trash Wheel family has grown to include Professor Trash Wheel, Captain Trash Wheel, and Gwynnda the Good Wheel of the West to clean up waterways all across the city.
A collector’s paradise, this casual eatery is a mecca of tchotchkes. Papermoon serves classic diner food against a backdrop of colorful toys, trinkets, and other oddities. Not only can you order breakfast all day, but we always wash it down with a Captain Krunch, bacon, or peanut butter madness milkshake. Luckily, it’s just a short walk from campus!
While there are many ways to spend our free time on campus and around the city, we love Baltimore Improv Group for its affordable (and hilarious) entertainment! This non
–profit organization performs over 800 live shows each year for as little as $5 per ticket (and sometimes free!). They also offer workshops and classes in improv, stand-up comedy, and writing.
This gem happens to be part of the Hopkins network, located inside the university’s music conservatory, the Peabody Institute. The George Peabody Library is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, containing 300,000 volumes on topics like religion, art, history, and more. It’s a stunning place to study, get lost in your thoughts, or snap a make-your-friends-at-other-schools-jealous selfie.