Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum#12 in Best Things To Do in Baltimore
Step inside the this brick house-turned-museum on 203 Amity St., and you'll stumble upon a cornucopia of Poe pieces – from a telescope to a portable traveling desk – preserved from when Poe and his family resided in Baltimore from 1833 to 1835. The writer's former residence – now a National Historic Landmark – is also the location where historians believe Poe composed many of his famous poems and stories, including "MS. Found in a Bottle" and "To Elizabeth." There are also permanent and rotating exhibits that catalogue Poe's life, work and ties to Baltimore.
Recent visitors said the house was well-preserved, and they appreciated the knowledgeable and friendly docents. However, some were disappointed that the rooms were mostly empty and not filled with period decor.
The Edgar Allan Poe House is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry to the museum costs $8 for adults; children ages 12 and younger may enter for free when joined by an adult. Tickets are available on-site, and you can check out the attraction's website for full details on exhibits and hours. Before you plan your visit, keep in mind there are no restroom facilities or handicapped-accessible features, and the building's steep, narrow staircases can be tricky to navigate. If your primary mode of transportation is public transit, many buses depart from the Inner Harbor (including the free Charm City Circulator); take the orange line to stop No. 210. Street parking is also available; there are limited nearby parking garages.
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#1 Baltimore Museum of Art
Situated in Charles Village, just north of the downtown area, the Baltimore Museum of Art claims the title of largest art museum in Maryland. Filled with more 95,000 art pieces, including an impressive Matisse collection, donated by Baltimore natives Claribel and Etta Cone, the museum draws art enthusiasts from across the globe. An entire Cone Wing of the museum is devoted to the sisters' spectacular repertoire of paintings from distinguished artists like Matisse, Picasso and Cézanne. Recent visitors praised the extensive collection, citing free admission to the world-class museum as a major perk.
The museum is also home to one of the largest Andy Warhol collections in the world and features European sculptures, African and Asian arts, and decorative arts. The Contemporary Wing, which showcases works by women and artists of color, among others, and the sculpture garden, which hosts jazz sessions during the summer, are two main museum highlights. If you're interested in discovering what else is on display, check out its official website.
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