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We are Roger and Cecelia, inkeepers of The Blue Door on Baltimore Bed & Breakfast in Butcher's Hill. We love our life as inkeepers and feel our Bed and Breakfast is a natural extension to who we are. We will use the Blue Door on Baltimore Blog to share some of our favorite recipes, tips and experiences.

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Travel Tip: Southwest and West Baltimore

In our past neighborhood tour posts, we introduced you to many quirky and unique museums around Baltimore. This week, we're touring Southwest and West Baltimore, and it doesn't disappoint, starting with the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

Located in a beautiful old cannery right on the water, the Baltimore Museum of Industry has historical exhibits of manufacturing and industry from the early 20th century. Check out their guided tours with hands on activities for children. Kids get to try out working in a garment loft and in the Kids Cannery, learning what life was like at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century.

The B&O Railroad Museum is considered to be the birthplace of American railroading. From this historic site sprang so many innovations that it was often called "Railroad University!" It is one of the most significant collections of railroad artifacts in the world and has the largest collection of 19th-century locomotives in the U.S. The museum features indoor and outdoor model trains, as well as a wooden model train that kids love climbing on. Oh yeah, and train rides are offered Wednesday through Saturday!

Are you a sports fan? The Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards is a must! The Museum occupies the basement and first floor of Camden Station with a seemingly endless collection of artifacts and interactive exhibits, truly one of the most spectacular sports museums in America.

Did we mention that Orioles Stadium at Camden Yards is just a hop, skip and a jump away?! Well, it is!

While you're in the area, don't forget to hit the National Museum of Dentistry, Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum and Geppi’s Entertainment Museum!


Travel Tip: Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins University has ranked among the world's top research universities in the nation throughout its history. The National Science Foundation has even ranked Johns Hopkins #1 among U.S. academic institutions in total science, medical and engineering research and development spending for 31 consecutive years! As of 2009, thirty-three Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with Johns Hopkins, and the university's research is among the most cited in the world. Baltimore is quite proud to be home to such a place!

There are several Museumsboth a part of Johns Hopkins and not—in the area. The largest and best-known being The Baltimore Museum of Art (pictured at the top left of this post). This is the must-see museum if art museums are your "thing" (and we know there are a lot of you out there!). In the BMA's words:

"The Baltimore Museum of Art is home to an internationally renowned collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. Founded in 1914 with a single painting, the BMA today has 90,000 works of art—including the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world. Throughout the Museum, visitors will find an outstanding selection of European and American fine and decorative arts, 15th- through 19th-century prints and drawings, contemporary art by established and emerging contemporary artists, and objects from Africa, Asia, the Ancient Americas, and Pacific Islands. Two beautifully landscaped gardens display an array of 20th-century sculpture that is an oasis in the city."

John's Hopkins is also home to the Johns Hopkins University Museums, including Homewood, Evergreen and the Archaeological Museum. Homewood Museum (pictured at the top right of this post) offers an intimate look at life in early-19th-century Baltimore. Evergreen Museum and Library (pictured above) is housed in a former Gilded Age mansion full of of fine arts, decorative arts, rare books and manuscripts assembled by two generations of the philanthropic Garrett family as well as being a venue for contemporary artists. The Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum contains approximately 9000 artifacts from ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Near East, and the ancient Americas. All must see for history lovers of all stripes!

Thanks for sticking with us the past couple months for our tour through Baltimore neighborhoods including the Inner Harbor and Mount Vernon. Next time, we'll be showing you around the West side for their eclectic array of museums. Stay tuned!


Travel Tip: Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon is one of the city's oldest Baltimore neighborhoods with a character all it's own. Located just north of downtown, Mount Vernon is designated as a National Landmark Historic District and a Cultural District. The Washington Monument (above), which pre-dates the monument in Washington DC by more than 50 years, is a large pillar commenced in 1815 to commemorate the first president of the United States.

The Walters Art Museum is a public art museum founded in 1934. The museum's collection was amassed by a father and son duo. Upon the son's death, he bequeathed the collection of over 22,000 works and the museum building to the city of Baltimore, “for the benefit of the public.” The collection includes works from ancient Egypt to Renaissance bronzes, Old Master and 19th-century paintings to Art Deco jewelry.

The best part? The Walters Art Museum has free admission!

Maryland Institute, College of Art was founded in 1826 and is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art in the nation. It is definitely worth a visit if you are intersted in the arts (and if you're visiting Mount Vernon, you probably are!). The campus is always buzzing with young creatives and the walls are adorned with student and faculty art. Visit their website for events.

Is theater your thing? If so, you must hit CENTERSTAGE. In their words, "For over 45 years, CENTERSTAGE has been Baltimore's leading professional producing theater company and a pioneer in America's regional theater movement. Our smart, bold interpretations of both classic and contemporary plays and our exceptional production values have earned the theater a reputation for innovation and excellence—as well as a loyal audience—and have helped to keep professional theater alive and thriving in Maryland."

While you're in Mount Vernon, also check out the Enoch Pratt Free Library, The Peabody Institute and the Maryland Historical Society!

Next time, we'll take you through Johns Hopkins, which is home to some great museums!


Travel Tip: Inner Harbor

Everything about Baltimore is unique. From the American Visionary Art Museum (pictured above) to the National Aquarium (pictured below), Baltimore lives up to it's moniker of Charm City.

Each neighborhood has a distinct personality with fitting museums and attractions. Join us over the next couple weeks as we travel through each area and hit our favorite spots for locals and tourists alike. Today, we're hanging out in the Inner Harbor.

American Visionary Art Museum is designated by Congress as America's national museum for self-taught art. AVAM is not your typical museum. In their words, "Visionary art as defined for the purposes of the American Visionary Art Museum refers to art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself. In short, visionary art begins by listening to the inner voices of the soul, and often may not even be thought of as 'art' by its creator." If you're an art fan, this is a museum like no other.

National Aquarium in Baltimore has an annual attendance of 1.5 million (2009) to see its collection of 16,500 specimens representing 660 species. In 2005, the Baltimore Aquarium was the largest tourist attraction in the state of Maryland. Don't miss it!

Maryland Science Center is a fun destination for all ages to learn about subjects from lasers to the human body. Featuring a five-story 3D IMAX Movie Theater and a Planetarium, you can count on a larger than life experience. Head over to the Maryland Science Center's website to plan your visit.

While you're in the Inner Harbor, also check out the Maritime Museum and the USS Constellation, Fort McHenry, Reginald F Lewis Museum, and Port Discovery.

And don't forget, the Inner Harbor is accesible by Water Taxi (check out our Water Taxi guide here).

Next time, join us for a tour of Mt. Vernon!


New Little Innkeeper in Training at Blue Door

Leopold has arrived!

We will be re-installing our policy of NO PETS with the arrival of Leopold—These lion/leopard like creatures do not really care for other pets being around—if the Innkeeper would like to get some sleep to be ready for breakfast time!

Like Megan, Leopold is a pure bread Bengal, and in the little over a week he has been with us, he does not seem to be short on his Bengal traits. In fact, he has one added trait. Leopold is a Cashmere Bengal with medium long hair, the same hypoallergenic pelt-like coat but a fuzzy version.

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