As the creator of the Instagram account @charmcitytable, I highlight Baltimore’s food scene, creating content that sparks delight, beauty and an appetite for the city’s food spots.
Through The Baltimore Banner’s Creatives in Residence program, I will expand this work by contributing curated lists on where to dine and social videos that tell the stories of Baltimore’s food spaces and the people behind them.
Doing this work as a food chronicler also puts me in front of some of the city’s most stunning geographical and artistic locations, many of which make for great photo-ops.
These spots reflect Baltimore’s history, culture and creativity — both the contemporary and classic. As someone born and raised in the area, I want my work to reflect the traditions of the past and the “trendiness” of now.
Here are 10 of my favorite spots that also make for the most Instagrammable moments in Baltimore. The places showcase some of the city’s beauty and history through its most striking locations.
The George Peabody Library, which opened in 1878, is typically described as “breathtaking.” The stack room is five tiers of cast-iron balconies, complete with a dramatic skylight from over 60 feet above. It is known as one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. I always bring my friends from out of town here for a look at Baltimore’s beauty and, of course, for a photo-op.
Another eye-catching stop, this L-shaped alley in the Station North neighborhood brings vibrance and ever-changing art to the area. Graffiti alley is a safe space for artists to create freely. The walls and alley floor are covered in paint, making it an excellent place to capture an Instagrammable moment.
My love for theater and film is kept alive and well in the city of Baltimore. The Senator Theatre is an art deco movie theater that shows classic and contemporary films. The sidewalk in front of the theater has a walk of fame highlighting local names in the film industry. The front of the building, lobby and main theater are the best places for pictures. The art deco style remains preserved at this 1939 venue.
When you talk about Baltimore music, you have to talk about the “Club Queen.” This mural can be found on the side of Hammerjacks — formerly Paradox — a Baltimore club destination turned performance and event space on Russell Street. The mural pays homage to the late Baltimore music legend and deejay who played her sets in this very building.
Five greenhouse rooms, a half-acre garden, and lots of greenery in the heart of Baltimore makes The Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, part of Druid Hill Park, a “must see” attraction to me. Capture your inner plant lover through the serene setting this 1888 venue offers.
You’ve probably seen tons of lifestyle bloggers’ photos here at the Patterson Park Observatory (previously known as the Pagoda), one of Baltimore’s most recognizable sites. Take a few stills posing in front of this 100-plus-year-old Victorian structure that reflects Asian architectural influences of its time.
This Highlandtown neighborhood spot on the side of the Creative Alliance building is an Instagram gem. The BUS sculpture is an actual bus stop, but also a nationally recognized art installation.
The historic ships keep Baltimore’s Inner Harbor photo-ready with its collection of old military vessels. Photo opportunities can be taken onboard or in front of the four ships — the USCG Cutter 37, USS Torsk, Lightship 116 (LV116) Chesapeake, and USS Constellation. You can also learn the role the vessels played in different wars.
If you are unfamiliar with Divine, I highly recommend the 2013 documentary “I am Divine” (which I’ve seen twice) to learn more about this Baltimore legend. John Waters’ muse standing two stories high on the outside of a rowhouse on East Preston Street in Mount Vernon evokes feelings of beauty, charm and defiance.
Still part of Baltimore’s skyline, the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower at 21 S. Eutaw St. at Lombard Street was the city’s tallest building until 1923. Today, it is a creative space for a variety of artists and a photography destination in downtown Baltimore. Visitors can tour inside the functional clock and get some impressive shots of the landmark.
Simone Phillips is the founder of the food blog Charm City Table and a Creative in Residence for The Baltimore Banner.