Former Beat Street Attracts Tourist


Mt. Vernon is a neighborhood located in Baltimore, Maryland that is filled with art, culture, shopping, and dining. Tyson Street, located in Mt. Vernon, stands out in a neighborhood filled with sights and sounds. The street has a reputation dating back to the 1960's and is a well-known destination for people of all ages and interests.

The homes on Tyson Street are elegantly renovated and make for a lovely stroll while heading to your destination. Some enjoy walking around the area with no specific destination in mind. Originally inhabited by Irish immigrants in the 1880's, the owners of the homes today spend time painting, decorating, and caring for their homes in hope of recapturing the original charm of the area. Many of the traditional Baltimore-style brick rowhouses have brightly painted shutters, and their window boxes are overflowing with brightly colored flowers. As you walk along, you can peek down the breezeways to view the gardens behind the homes. It will be obvious to visitors and viewers that the home owners in this area take great pride in the history of their property and they seek to recreate the original feeling of the neighborhood.

The ideal part of Tyson Street to peruse is between Read Street and Park Avenue. It is located a few blocks from the Walters Art Gallery, the Peabody Conservatory, and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, where the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra plays. There are also a number of quirky shops, bars, clubs, restaurants, and art boutiques. Since Tyson Street has few specific attractions, it is nice to have so many fun things to do in the area. It is a great stroll to take while waiting for a restaurant reservation or a concert to begin.

Tyson Street has an intriguing history and stands out as one of Baltimore quirkiest areas during the 1960's. It was known as Baltimore's Beat Street, and was home to a popular coffee shop known as Checkmate. During all hours of the day and night, you could find a gathering of beatniks wearing black clothing, sipping espresso, and sharing poetry and art. The street was illuminated by three old gas lamps, and it was just a short stroll down the block to Baltimore's best known and oldest gay bar, Leon's.

Still there today, Leon's is joined by Martick's, another well-known bar and restaurant in the area. On weekends, they feature a three piece jazz combo that lures folks in with their smooth music and entertaining style. Tyson Place is another popular restaurant and bar, located just a few steps away on West Chase Street.

Tyson Street is easily accessed with public transportation. The Light Rail has a stop near Mt. Vernon and Penn Station is just a few blocks away. There are also bus lines that go through the neighborhood, and cab fare from Baltimore's Inner Harbor to Tyson Street and Mt. Vernon is fairly reasonable. The next time you have big plans in the Mt. Vernon area, take time for a stroll down colorful, entertaining Tyson Street.

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