For anyone looking for a city feel in Maryland with plenty of things to do, Baltimore is the city to turn to. This diverse city has recently been on the rise and is home to numerous attractions, businesses and more. From a new-found passion for crabs to seeing some of the best shows of your life, you’ll have no regrets about moving to Baltimore.
Baltimore Neighborhoods Every ‘Hon’ Knows
If Baltimore is known for anything, it’s diversity. This not only describes the inhabitants but the city as well. Baltimore is officially divided into nine geographical regions — North, West, Northwest, Southwest, East, Northeast, Southeast, South and Central. Each have numerous neighborhoods that make up the 250-plus diverse neighborhoods. But even with this wide array of regions, there are a few neighborhoods that every Baltimorean knows about.
Hampden: Apart from the delicious eateries and bars that Hampden offers, many of Baltimore’s finest festivals, including the Baltimore Wine Festival and the Chesapeake Crab and Beer Festival, find their homes in Hampden. This neighborhood is also home to the dazzling Miracle on 34th Street. That’s something the whole family can enjoy during the holiday season!
Canton: One of Canton’s characteristics it’s most famous for is being one of the best neighborhoods to feast on crab. You can do this at several restaurants, including Captain James Landing, a favorite of the uber-famous Baltimorean Oprah Winfrey. Some other attractions unique to Canton are the Maryland Science Center, the Port Discovery Children’s Museum and Power Plant Live!
Little Italy: Bring Italy a bit closer to home in Baltimore’s Little Italy! This charming neighborhood not only has numerous delicious Italian restaurants to enjoy. It also features Saint Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church, Columbus Piazza and the Little Italy Lodge.
Fell’s Point: Stepping into Fells Point is a bit like stepping into a time machine. The oldest standing residence in Baltimore lives here: The Robert Long House. In addition to this house, you can find daytime and nightlife venues and festivals throughout the year, such as the famous Fells Point Festival. What’s more, you can follow in the footsteps of Fredrick Douglass. He was last seen in Fells Point after his mysterious disappearance. Experience the full story at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum.
Federal Hill: Not only can you find exciting venues in Fed. Hill, but you can also enjoy some fabulous shopping excursions in the home of Baltimore’s best shopping. Federal Hill is also headlined by the American Visionary Art Museum and what many call “the best view in the city.”
Inner Harbor: The Baltimore Inner Harbor is the neighborhood that claims some of Baltimore’s best attractions, along with a beautiful view of the Inner Harbor itself. These include the Baltimore National Aquarium, Harborplace, and countless other places where you can stay, play and shop!
Mount Vernon: For the historian at heart, Mount Vernon is the place to be. In fact, Mount Vernon is home to America’s first-ever Washington Monument. Here you can take a tour and learn about the monument’s history. Furthermore, Mount Vernon is filled to the brim with different performance venues. It has theaters and museums, including the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore Center Stage and more.
Best Places to Live in Baltimore
The previous section described some of Baltimore’s best neighborhoods for culture, food, and things to do and see. For best neighborhoods to live in Baltimore, this is the list you want to read.
Fell’s Point is not only one of the most popular neighborhoods in Baltimore, but it is also a hub for young professionals. The neighborhood is one of the oldest in Baltimore. It has certainly become more ornate and contemporary over the years, though. There are many perks to living in Fell’s Point, but the main one is its centralization. For instance, many businesses, restaurants, bars and the waterfront are within a block or so, and the shops at Harbor East are just a short walk away. It is perfect for a family or young adult to both flourish in and enjoy.
One of the most prominent characteristics of the Guilford neighborhood is its exquisite nature, with elegant homes, gardens and parks. In fact, the neighborhood features Guilford’s Sherwood Gardens where passerbys can see flowers blooming each spring. The extravagance of Guilford can certainly be explained by the median income of the neighborhood, which is above $80,000, according to HomeSnacks (compared to $46,000+ for Baltimore).
The Canton neighborhood in Baltimore is one of the town’s most popular neighborhoods and one of Baltimore’s best places to live. The neighborhood is one of Baltimore’s most diverse with residents of all ages. Some of the things the residents enjoy in Canton is not only the art studios, offices, restaurants and stores, but also Canton Square, which is the heart of the neighborhood’s activity. Canton is no cookie-cutter neighborhood. You’ll meet all kinds of new and friendly Baltimoreans.
For those families or individuals who want to not only enjoy their neighborhood, but reflect on Baltimore’s history and treasure its antiquity, Mount Washington is the best neighborhood. It has grown over the past 150 years to encompass seven residential areas full of eclectic residents. The community is family-friendly and, unlike downtown Baltimore, very green. When you live in Mount Washington, you can expect to get closer to your neighbors, enjoy watching your children grow and flourish, and feel relaxed with nature all around you.
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Baltimore Food, Sports and History
While state pride is something that every Marylander has, Baltimoreans have it in spades.
“I’m a Baltimore area native and love all things Baltimore! There is [an] overwhelming sense of pride and community in the 100 plus neighborhoods,” says RE/MAX Sails real estate agent Stephanie Geddings.
One of the ways you can see all of the pride Baltimoreans have is walking down the street in Baltimore on Fridays. When you do, you’ll be sure to see pedestrians decked out in purple. This, of course, is to show fanfare over the local NFL team, the Baltimore Ravens, who play at the M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore, just to the south of Camden Yards where the Baltimore Orioles call their home.
Baltimore Points of Pride
Another thing the Orioles and Ravens share? Their passion for Maryland blue crabs, which are featured on the menus at both stadiums. And because crabs in Baltimore are so popular, if you don’t know how to pick one, you may get a few side-eye stares from other patrons! But luckily for those who are just moving to Baltimore and haven’t mastered the skill yet, the Ravens and Orioles stadiums showcase their delectable crab meat on handhelds, such as the Pratt Street Hoagie with crab dip at the M&T Bank Stadium and the Crab Mac ‘n’ Cheese Dog at Camden Yards.
What are crabs without Old Bay to go with them? Old Bay, a staple seasoning to put on crab meat, was actually founded in Baltimore in 1937. Since then, it’s become a seasoning that no crab eatery in Maryland, especially Baltimore, would go without.
Just like the crab, something else Baltimoreans and Marylanders have no hesitation showing their pride for is the Maryland flag. The distinctive flag, adopted by the General Assembly in 1904, comes from the shield in the coat of arms of the Calvert family, who were Maryland colonial proprietors. In fact, the Calvert family lived in Baltimore Manor in Ireland and the city was named after Cecil Calvert, second Lord Baltimore. Hence when describing the flag, Marylanders will either characterize it as featuring either “Maryland colors” or “Baltimore colors.”
Baltimore Cost of Living
If you’re moving to Baltimore, you’ll be happy to hear the cost of living isn’t sky-high like in Beverly Hills or Miami. In fact, it is lower than in nearby major metro areas. Prices for consumer goods are about 10 to 50 percent lower in Baltimore than in New York City.
According to Zillow, the average cost of living in Baltimore is more than the national average. Its median home value is $118,800. Baltimore is still within one of Maryland’s counties with the lowest cost of living. This average home price indicates that the median list price per square foot in Baltimore is $140. That’s lower than the average of $187 in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson Metro area.
Housing Market Trends
There has been, however, a rise in Baltimore home values in the past year or two. For instance, Baltimore home values have increased by 1.5 percent since 2018. But Zillow predicts this won’t last for long and prices will fall 0.2 percent within the next year. Furthermore, even though the median price of Baltimore homes currently listed for sale is $160,000, the median price for homes that have been sold is $136,200.
If this is still too expensive for your family, there are ways to decrease your cost of living in Baltimore. For instance, some neighborhoods in Baltimore are cheaper than others. Downtown, for example, can get a bit pricey, while other neighborhoods are a bit more family-oriented and cheaper to buy.
Apartments are also an extremely popular option for Baltimore residents. Renting an apartment or home in Baltimore has an average rent list price of $1,350 or $1.21 per square foot. This is hundreds of dollars lower than the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson metro area at $1,810 and the United States as a whole at $1,573.
How Much Does it Cost to Live in Baltimore?
Naturally, there are more prices that must be incorporated into the cost of living than just housing costs. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), “it costs $6,417 per month ($76,998 per year) to secure a modest yet adequate standard of living” in Baltimore City. A number of aspects are factored into this cost. One of these aspects is, of course, housing, which EPI estimates to be $1,075 per month or $12,896 per year for a two-parent, two-child family to live in the city of Baltimore.
Baltimore’s city tax rate is the highest in Maryland at 3.2 percent while other towns or cities in Baltimore County have a 2.83 percent tax rate.
Careers, Housing and Jobs in Baltimore
If you’re moving to Baltimore at the start of your career, you’ll have plenty of employers to choose from. At least 18 major companies are located in Baltimore with some in Baltimore City, including Marriott International, Lockheed Martin, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Perdue Farms, T. Rowe Price and GEICO. This accompanies the numerous smaller businesses that line the streets of downtown Baltimore.
According to US News, the average annual salary of a Baltimore resident is $56,400, which is higher than the national average of $50,620. The unemployment rate has decreased, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of September of 2019, it stands at 3.4 percent in the Baltimore area, 3.5 percent in Baltimore County and 4.8 percent in Baltimore City.
But for those who are employed, many work in one of Baltimore’s most popular industries. These include trade, transportation, and utilities, professional and business services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and government.
While the average salary for Baltimore employees is less than the national average, this isn’t true for all trades. For instance, as of May 2018, the average hourly wage for management analysts, accountants and auditors, and all occupations as a whole, is higher than the national wage.
Hence, when all is said and done, the jobs in Baltimore for students and young adults can be lucrative. Jobs may be more difficult to come by for established adults, though. This is dependent, however, on where you live and in what industry you work. Be sure to keep up to date with new open jobs in Baltimore and send your resume to multiple employers.
Getting Around Baltimore
Because Baltimore is a city, there are several modes of transportation to get around, including the light rail, buses, taxis, and the famous (and free) Charm City Circulator (CCC). The CCC is the backbone of Baltimore with 30 free shuttles that travel four routes around the central business district.
Even though Baltimore has all of these fantastic modes of travel, your first choice may still be via car. This is because traveling by car will likely take less time than any of the other public transports.
If you live, work or play along the Light RailLink, traveling may take longer but you’ll enjoy the scenery and focus time during your commute. A single one-way ticket for local buses and 90-minute light-rail rides are $1.80, one-way tickets for the Express Bus are $2.30, one-way and all-day adult tickets for the water taxi are $9 and $16 respectively, and a day pass for commuter buses or the MARC train service is $3.20. You can also purchase a weekly pass for $20 that allows for unlimited travel from midnight Sunday to 3 a.m. the next Sunday. And if you’re worried about having the exact change to get these tickets/passes, you have the option to purchase a $10 CharmCard that you can reuse for all of your trips.
Things to Do in Baltimore: Festival Fever
Although there’s plenty of fun and enlightening things to do in Baltimore, such as hitting the Inner Harbor or going to an Orioles game, a main attraction in Baltimore is the festivals. All throughout the year, there are numerous festivals around Baltimore, including food, cultural, music, neighborhood and seasonal festivals.
While there are plenty of festivals to choose from, there are some notable ones. These are the most popular for Baltimorians and Marylanders alike. These include the Chesapeake Crab and Beer Festival, LatinoFest, Baltimore Pride, ArtScape, Vegan Soulfest, and more. An enticing aspect of these festivals is not only the theme and activities that take place there. What’s appealing is the fact that they are annual events.
Baltimore is a large city. There are several schools to choose from, ranging from preschool to high school and public to private. Currently, 24 schools are open to children in Baltimore. There are numerous others a short distance away from Baltimore, too.
But while there are certainly good schools in Baltimore, the schools that aren’t technically in Baltimore may actually be your best bet for a great education. This is due to the educational statistics. According to the latest 2017 American Community Survey, 84 percent of Baltimore residents age 25 or older have at least a high school education. Only 30 percent, however, have moved on to higher education and have a Bachelor’s degree or better. Furthermore, Baltimore has a 17 percent school dropout rate. But this is still less than that of Baltimore Highlands which has a rate of 26 percent.
If you’re moving to Baltimore and want to scope out the education scene in more depth, these resources will be helpful:
- City Public Schools
- County Public Schools
- Private, parochial and charter schools in Baltimore
- Johns Hopkins University
- Notre Dame of Maryland University
- Loyola University Maryland
Ready to Move to Baltimore?
After reading about the diverse, exciting, and even family-friendly aspects, it isn’t hard to become interested in moving to Baltimore. Whether you’re a young adult or a parent, Baltimore is sure to have something for you.
If you are moving to Baltimore, downsizing, or moving from one neighborhood to another, Life Storage offers various storage units in and around Baltimore, along with moving truck rental for your convenience.