College kids, colorful row houses, and cuisine from all over the world can be found at Baltimore’s artsiest neighborhood, Charles Village.
Home to the world-renowned Johns Hopkins University, Charles Village is one of Baltimore’s liveliest neighborhoods thanks to the buzz of college goers.
The neighborhood is known for being a source of education and culture and people flock there to go to museums, watch the Blue Jays lacrosse team, or take in the lovely historic architecture that can only be found there.
Charles Village attracts educators, artists, historians – anyone who appreciates creativity, intellect, and inspiration – so go explore it with an open mind!
Tips for Visiting Charles Village
- You’ll be doing lots of walking, whether in the museum or the neighborhood, so wear comfortable shoes.
Parking in Charles Village
There are metered streetside parking spots throughout Charles Village, especially on St. Paul Street. These are sometimes limited on weekend nights to accommodate outdoor dining for the nearby restaurants. If that’s the case, park at one of the following lots:
- Address: 201 E University Pkwy, Baltimore, MD 21218
- Rates range from $5 to $20, with hourly and daily rates.
- Address: 3271 N Lovegrove St, Baltimore, MD 21218
- Rates range from $10 to $20, with hourly and daily rates.
Things to do in Charles Village
Baltimore Museum of Art
I go to the Baltimore Museum of Art at least once a month; one, they have over 90,000 pieces on display, two, their temporary exhibitions are constantly changing, and three, the museum is free to visit.
The Baltimore Museum of Art was founded in 1914 and is now the largest art museum in the entire state. Their collection draws a lot of people because it includes the works of van Gogh, Renoir, Matisse, Andy Warhol, and more. There are entire wings devoted to Picasso and Cezanne. You’ll also see art from all over the world like statues from Africa, books from the Middle East, and jewelry from Asia.
The temporary exhibits are a mix of classic and contemporary art; there are a lot of interactive pieces as well as a modern sculpture garden. The museum also hosts unique theater pieces and dance workshops in their performance space, The Meyerhoff Auditorium. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop and pick up some unique souvenirs for yourself or as gifts.
Lovingly called The Charles, this is the oldest theater in Baltimore and is now an arthouse multiplex. It underwent a major expansion in 1999 and currently houses five screens while still holding on to the original charm of the Beaux-Arts building.
They screen a lot of independent films and have special screenings several times a week. There are even live performances every once in a while. If you get a chance to catch a showing or performance, don’t miss out.
Take in Baltimore’s famed colorful row houses
The vividly painted row houses in Charles Village were built in the early 1900s and have unique architectural elements such as stained-glass windows, classical columns, pyramidal roofs, and large front porches.
Some of these such as Evergreen House and Homewood House are now part of the campus; take a walk and take in these stunning, diverse homes that are unique to Baltimore.
Wyman Park Dell
Wyman Park Dell is a Baltimore City landmark. Spanning over 16 acres, the public park is an urban sanctuary that people go to. Because of its lower lawn and enclosing slopes, it shelters you from the sights and sounds of the busy city that surrounds it. It’s a popular place for people to have a picnic lunch and you’ll see many furry residents running about and playing.
Unwind at the Charles Village Pub
There are a handful of pubs and bars across Charles Village, but the Charles Village Pub on St. Paul Street is a particular favorite because of its proximity to Johns Hopkins as well as its laid-back atmosphere. They have indoor and outdoor seating and the vibe is always welcoming, especially on days they have live music you can enjoy.
Tasty cocktails, cold beer, and delicious food await you after a day of exploration. It’s almost a rite of passage to stop by the Charles Village Pub when you’re in the area. If you’re unsure of what to order, I suggest the Big Daddy Burger and the Jamaican Me Crazy – you can’t go wrong!
Annual Events in Charles Village
Charles Village Festival (June)
Held the first weekend in June, the annual Charles Village Festival is a fun way for the community to get together. Hosted at Wyman Park Dell, you’ll find live music, local food vendors, a beer garden, wine stalls, and tons of arts and crafts workshops and vendors. There are activities the entire family will love, from a 5K race to face painting!
Halloween Fair (October)
Baltimoreans love Halloween and there are so many ways to celebrate the spooky season in Charles Village. Enjoy classic horror films at The Charles or go on a scavenger hunt the entire neighborhood gets involved in.
Johns Hopkins Spring Fair (April)
The Johns Hopkins Spring Fair has been a beloved annual event for fifty years. There are games and activities, arts and crafts tents, and food trucks and drink vendors. The entire family has a good time and it’s a great place to take kids of all ages.
Grab a Bite to Eat
With a community of people from all over the world, it’s no surprise that Charles Village has an array of cuisine from Chinese food at Paul Chen’s to Indian food at Sakoon Indian Fusion. Here are a couple of crowd favorites:
Busboys and Poets
One of the newest additions to Charles Village, their menu has everything from vegan quesadillas to fried catfish.
Get authentic doner kebab without ever going to Turkey. This food truck turned restaurant has delicious rice bowls filled with yellow rice, vegetables, and a protein and sauce of your choice.
BOZ’S Burger Bistro
With traditional burgers and thick milkshakes, a meal at BOZ’s Burger Bistro always hits the spot.