Patterson Park#8 in Best Things To Do in Baltimore
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A marble fountain, swimming pool, lake, pagoda and dog park can be found in this 300-year-old park, where locals and visitors congregate for seasonal events and concerts. The Pagoda atop Hampstead Hill – formerly called the Observatory – was built in 1890 and crowns the park, affording unobstructed city views. Recent visitors called this pagoda unique and worth a visit.
When you're not soaking up the scenery from the Pagoda, people-watching or joining other revelers for outdoor concerts, you can also take part of the activities held by the Friends of Patterson Park and volunteers, including bird-watching tours and gardening classes. On a clear day, rare bird types, such as the great blue heron and American goldfinch, have been spotted throughout the park.
Patterson Park stretches across 137 acres in Baltimore City and is flanked by East Baltimore Street and South Patterson Park Avenue to the North and West, respectively and South Linwood and Eastern avenues along its eastern and southern borders. If you're planning to drive from the north, you can reach the park by taking Exit 59 off of Interstate 95 South, and continuing along Eastern Avenue for 2.5 miles or by taking Interstate 83 South to Pratt Street. You can also reach the park from the South by taking the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (295) into Baltimore and making a right on to Pratt Street or by taking Interstate 95 to 395 into Baltimore and turning right onto Pratt Street. Street parking is available surrounding the park. Several bus lines service Patterson Park as well.
Access to the park is free, and visitors are welcome from dawn till dusk. If you do plan to visit in the evening, stay vigilant of your surroundings and avoid traveling alone as some Southeast Baltimore communities do have a history of crime. The Pagoda opens its doors from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays from mid-April to mid-October. Visit the official Friends of Patterson Park website for additional details on current events.
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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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