For local literary lovers, Baltimore is the perfect city to visit for a daytrip. From gorgeous historical libraries to the homes of literary legends like Edgar Allan Poe and H.L. Mencken, there is much to see and do for book lovers in Baltimore! Read on to learn more about some of the city’s best spots for bibliophiles in our Book Lover’s Tour of Baltimore
Check out the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum
Poe is often the first person to come to mind when talking about famous Baltimore writers, and for good reason. Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum that was established in his former residence near Downtown Baltimore. His final resting place is located only a few blocks away, so be sure to make time to pay respects at his grave as well.
Take in spectacular Baltimore libraries
For avid book lovers, Baltimore has a number of libraries that are sure to delight. The Central Branch of the Enoch Pratt Library is one of the oldest free public libraries in the country and the building–originally constructed in the early 19th century–is home to a dizzying array of books. Be sure to spend some time in the Maryland Room, where you can browse the extensive historical collection of documents including maps, photographs, and ephemera that speaks to the state’s rich history.
When you’ve had your fill of Enoch Pratt, head a few blocks East to the George Peabody Library. Their historic research-oriented collection is housed in a stunning building that is infamous for being one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. The neo-Greco architecture creates a breathtaking background for their extensive collection.
Visit Baltimore’s best bookstores
For something a little more contemporary, Baltimore is home to many independent bookstores that offer a wide variety of unique reading material. Normal’s Bookstore is a popular spot in Charles Village that offers both new and used books as well as an extensive record collection. Atomic Books in the Hampden neighborhood is a great place to pick up small-press releases as well as hard-to-find local zines. And Red Emma’s, a worker-owned bookstore and coffee shop in Station North is the perfect place to find reading material on everything from social justice to urban agriculture. They also frequently host events such as readings and film screenings, so be sure to plan your visit to Baltimore in advance so you can take advantage of all the great book-related things the city has to offer.
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