A trip to Baltimore would not be complete without a visit to Harborplace. Described as "Charm City's premiere shopping, dining, and entertainment destination,'' Harborplace offers a variety of activities, sights, sounds, and tastes that are representative of Baltimore culture. Harborplace was at the heart of Baltimore's renaissance when it officially opened in July of 1980. The goal of Mayor William Donald Schaeffer was to bring tourists and Maryland residents to the harbor area and make it the premiere destination downtown. Over the decades, additional shops, restaurants, and pavillions were added and nearly 30 years later, it is still quintessentially Baltimore.
Harborplace is a mix of indoor and outdoor areas that offer entertainment, shopping, and dining. Both Light Street and Pratt Street pavillions are designed like public markets, featuring stands of gourmet and local fair, kiosks selling hand-made good and chotzskies, and eat-in restaurants offering a variety of foods. Both pavillions are popular destinations for business men and women in the area during their lunch break, or great places to grab a bite to eat before heading to the Ravens or Orioles games. The stadiums are a fifteen minute walk from Harborplace.
Restaurants include Edo Sushi, California Pizza Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory, and Phillips Seafood. Phillip's is a Maryland establishment and is represented in three different forms at Harborplace. You can opt for a variety of Chesapeake Bay seafood at Phillip's Buffet, grab a delicious crabcake to go from Phillip's Express, or enjoy a full crab feast by on the bay at Phillip's Restaurant. Other restaurants include Tir Na Nog, an Irish pub featuring traditional Irish favorites, Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries, and Johnny Rockets, one of the original in a chain of throw-back malt shoppes. Finally, for a special treat, stop by The Fudgery. This unique candy stand offers handmade fudge that is created right before your very eyes... while the fudgemakers sing! The popular 1990's hiphop group Dru Hill got their start at The Fudgery. With any luck, you will see the next music sensation while you are in town!
Once you have satisfied your food cravings, get ready to do some heavy duty shopping. Harborplace features a variety of shops in its two pavillions and an additional mall-style shopping area called The Gallery across Pratt Street. Stores include Bath and Body Works, Aldo Shoes, Nine West, La Mesa, and The Body Shop. If you plan to take home some quality sourvenirs, head to one of the Baltimore specialty stores featured at Harborplace. You can pick up canisters of Old Bay, the popular seafood spice, canned crab meat, Baltimore sports memorabilia, or a book of poetry from the city's most macabre former resident, Edgar Allen Poe. Best of Baltimore, Destination Baltimore, The Sport Shop, and Christmas in Baltimore all offer a variety of products that uniqueley represent the city.
Nearby are plenty of hotels if you are planning a visit of more than one day. The Hilton Batimore, Hyatt Regency Baltimore, or Renaissance Harborplace are each close enough to walk to the sights and sounds of The Harbor. Plan on several days packed with excitement when visiting Harborplace in Baltimore, Maryland.