Famously called “the best backyard in Baltimore”, Patterson Park and its surrounding neighborhood is an oasis you can explore for days.
The Patterson Park neighborhood is within walking distance of Fells Point and Canton, which means that you can explore a designated historic district but still be minutes away from some of the best restaurants, attractions, and nightlife in the city.
The main feature is the 155-acre city park that sits amidst historic mid-19th century row houses. Patterson Park played important roles in our military history, having been a distinctive location in both the War of 1812 and the Civil War; presently, it’s a haven for Baltimoreans and visitors to enjoy.
There are playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, an ice rink, and even a boat lake within the park. It’s no wonder that it’s been recognized as one of the ‘Top 5 Best City Parks’ by USA Today, but don’t take my word for it – check it out for yourself!
Tips for Visiting Patterson Park
- Bring a blanket because there are tons of beautiful spots to just lie down, sunbathe, and relax.
- Several features of Patterson Park such as the pagoda have a rich history behind them. Take some time to Google the sights you come across and learn about its interesting history.
Parking in Patterson Park
Street parking is limited around Patterson Park but there are a few parking garages within walking distance.
Eastern Avenue Parking
- Address: 3232 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224
- Rates range from $5 upward.
Boston Street Parking
- Address: 2331 Boston St, Baltimore, MD 21224
Things to do in Patterson Park
Take a stroll or have a picnic
With lush foliage, expansive green lawns, and romantic ponds and lakes, taking a walk through Patterson Park is a memorable experience. The paved pathways take you through a lovely setting and can be used for jogging, biking, or even roller-skating.
You can also walk through the War of 1812 History Trail. There are two picnic pavilions at the park, or you can just spread a blanket at any picturesque setting that catches your eye.
Keep your eyes peeled for notable attractions such as the famed Patterson Park Pagoda, the Pulaski Monument, the marble fountain, and more.
Start at the Virginia S. Baker Recreation Center which has a rotating schedule of yoga, Zumba, and other fitness classes. There are several amenities spread across the park for visitors to use; note that reservations may be necessary.
- 9 athletic fields
- 9 ball fields
- 5 basketball courts
- 10 tennis courts
- Dominic “Mimi” DiPietro Ice Rink (winter only)
- 1 outdoor swimming pool (summer only)
- 1 outdoor wading/ kiddie pool (summer only)
Little ones can run wild at one of the park’s two playgrounds designated for children, and even your four-legged babes can have a good time at the fenced-in dog park.
The peculiar work of famed Baltimore architect, Charles H. Latrobe, The Pagoda was added to Patterson Park in 1891. It was initially designed to be an observatory that commemorates the thousands of people that came together at Hampstead Hill during the War of 1812’s Battle of Baltimore.
Though it is closed to the public, take an in-depth look at the striking outer structure with its cast-iron features, paint detail, and balconies. While almost everything about it is irreplaceable, it doesn’t stop Baltimoreans from investing in the repair and restoration of one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
The Pulaski Monument
The 70-year-old Pulaski Monument in Patterson Park honors a revolutionary hero, General Casimir Pulaski. Marylanders may recognize him from the famed Pulaski Highway, also named after him.
Pulaski came to the United States from Poland in 1777 and ended up creating the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and fighting for George Washington’s army. He is a hero among the Polish American community and the beautiful monument designed by Baltimore sculptor Hans Schuler honors him.
The Marble Fountain Garden
The Marble Fountain was the very first architectural element to be erected in Patterson Park. It was designed in 1865 by George A. Frederick (famed for his work on Baltimore’s City Hall).
The fountain continues to be a space for the community to gather and socialize. After several restorations, the fountain is still operational and is also the sight of the park’s famed annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser.
Fishing at Patterson Park Boat Lake
Spanning 2.5 acres, Patterson Park Boat Lake is one of the city’s biggest hidden gems. There is a boat dock for boating during the warmer months, and in the winter, the frozen lake is converted to an ice-skating rink.
Fishing is allowed during the spring, summer, and fall, though you do need a Maryland fishing license. The lake is a catch-and-release for all fish except rainbow trout, though there is a population of Bluegill and largemouth bass.
Annual Events in Patterson Park
Lantern Parade (October)
A cool, one-of-a-kind way to celebrate Halloween, there’s costumes, a parade, and of course, lanterns.
Barctober Fest (October)
A free event for animals and their humans, Bactober Fest has pet costume contests, activities for kids, food and drink vendors, and animals you can adopt!
Summer Concert Series (June – August)
With a different lineup every year, this free outdoor summer concert series is fun for everyone.
Grab a Bite to Eat: Patterson Park Restaurants
After a day of fun at Patterson Park, you’re going to want to re-energize, and what better way to do so than with some ice cream!
Be prepared to stand in line but also know that the wait is worth it. With a wide menu of soft serve and hard ice cream, you may be overwhelmed – you can’t go wrong with a scoop of the Cookie Monster on a waffle cone!
Tijuana Tacos & Deli
Traditional food with imported Mexican soda – could there be a better combination? Opt for the huevos rancheros and the platano licuado (fresh banana smoothie).
Salads, mac & cheese, burgers, sandwiches, and even beignets – when Charmed Kitchen says they have food for everyone, they mean it.