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Shopping in Baltimore


The largest selection of things to buy in the downtown area can be found at two linked malls, Harborplace and the Gallery, along Pratt Street at the Inner Harbor. Both downtown and Fells Point offer lots of antiques shops, and Fells Point also has a dizzying array of funky secondhand shops catering to the twentysomething crowd. More offbeat boutiques and stores can be found in trendy Canton and Hampden. A number of galleries lie along the Charles Street corridor in the northern part of downtown.

One of Baltimore's unique charms is its public marketplaces that offer fresh produce, seafood, meats, and local and ethnic specialties. Baltimore's Lexington Market is one of the nation's oldest markets, and Cross Street Market, closer to the Inner Harbor in Federal Hill, has been in business since 1842. The Broadway Market in Fells Point, housed within two historic buildings, has good lunchtime fare and is surrounded by other restaurants and shops on the waterfront.

Places to Shop

Harborplace at the Inner Harbor is actually three separate locations: two stand-alone pavilions on Light and Pratt streets; and The Gallery, a mall in the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel. Between them, they sell everything from onion rings to diamond rings. The Light Street Pavilion has the most food stalls and restaurants, with some souvenir shops. The Pratt Street Pavilion offers specialty stores, clothing and jewellery shops, and more restaurants. The Gallery's shops fill three floors, with the fourth floor reserved as a food court. More than 160 shops are packed into the two levels of the Harborplace pavilions and the four floors of The Gallery. Most of the stores are open Monday through Saturday 10am to 9pm and Sunday 11am to 7pm.

Among the choices, most are franchises of national chains but a few offer some local colour. The Fudgery in the Light Street Pavilion once employed Baltimore native and rap singer Sisqo. Employees make amazing music while they make the fudge. Lee's Ice Cream, also in the Light Street Pavilion, is made in west Baltimore. The White House and Black Market clothing shops have stores all over the country, but the originals are in the Pratt Street Pavilion.

The Pratt Street Pavilion is connected via skywalk to The Gallery, a four-story atrium trimmed in brass and mahogany with more than 75 shops including Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Ann Taylor and the Disney Store. Santa's magical house is located between the Harborplace pavilions between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

Cross Keys, an upscale shopping centre, at 5100 Falls Road in Baltimore, has a few chain stores, such as Talbot's and Williams-Sonoma, but it has some terrific locally owned shops that shouldn't be missed.

Antique Row, the 800 block of Howard Street, lies an amazing string of antiques shops. It's fun and addictive to go from shop to shop, looking at both junk and treasures. There are a lot of treasures here.

Most of the shops are open from about 11am to 5pm, although Sunday hours may not begin until noon. Parking on the street is metered at $1 an hour, so bring lots of quarters. Or take the Light Rail; it runs up this street.

One of the oldest and most luxurious shopping districts in Baltimore is the Charles Street corridor, where shoppers can find numerous art galleries, jewellers, stationers, furriers and specialty boutiques; new stores are interspersed with enduring older ones. Many show the work of painters, sculptors and printmakers affiliated with the prestigious Maryland Institute College of Art.





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