Cooking Light Best Cities: Baltimore, Maryland

A list of must-sees, must-dos, and must-eats.

Cooking Light's 11th-ranked city.

Douglas Merriam

By 8:30 on a typical Saturday morning, the 32nd Street Farmers Market in Baltimore is packed with people, many hauling home bushels of corn or bags of ripe tomatoes from its 40 vendors. Baltimore, it turns out, has lots of people who eat five or more servings of fruits and veggies a day-27 percent.


For breakfast, lunch, or dinner, residents and tourists alike turn to Donna's (410-532-7611), a local chain started by former Baltimore Sun Food Stylist Donna Crivello. Five locations throughout the city serve veggie-filled sandwiches, salads, and entrées, as well as filling appetizers, such as the roasted vegetable torta with eggplant, caramelized onion, balsamic vinegar, and goat cheese.


Baltimore's history includes key roles in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. To learn more, follow the 3.2-mile Heritage Walk, which links 20 historic sites and museums. Go to the Visitor Center in the Inner Harbor to connect with a tour guide, or visit www.heritagewalk.orgfor tour schedules and a map. First stop: The U.S.S. Constellation, the last tall ship built by the U.S. Navy and launched in 1854.

To see more of Baltimore, follow the 14-mile-long Gwynns Falls Trail. From the Inner Harbor, it follows the Gwynns Falls stream valley west to leafy Leakin Park. Bikers, runners, and walkers all share the path, which connects 32 city neighborhoods and 2,000 acres of park land.


Baltimore's waterfront location makes it an ideal starting point for a firsthand exploration of the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding water areas. Harbor Cruises (410-727-3113 or 800-695-2628) offers hour-long narrated sightseeing cruises (April through October) aboard the Prince Charming docked at the Inner Harbor. For a longer adventure, consider the Clipper City (410-837-6700), a replica of a 19th-century tall ship, which offers two-hour sails daily April through October. Leaving from the Inner Harbor, you'll pass such landmarks as Fort McHenry, where a battle in the War of 1812 inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the National Anthem.

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