If Baltimore's Inner Harbor embodies everything touristy and typical about the city, then Fells Point is almost the exact opposite.
Fells Point (or just Fells, if you please) is well-known to locals as a place to eat, drink, shop and generally relax. Just east of the flashy Harbor area, Fells exudes history and small-town charm. It shuns retail chains and the mainstream for independent bars and eateries, as well as eclectic specialty shops, that line the cobblestone streets.
The neighborhood is attractive to people from all generations and walks of life -- a seemingly endless array of bars and restaurants is found on Broadway and along the waterfront on Thames Street, drawing in young professionals, stalwart blue-collar types and the college crowd. Others are attracted to the area by several venues for live music, and history buffs as well as the older generation are drawn in by one of the best antique districts in Maryland.
Fells isn't just known for entertainment, though. It also has some of the best historical landmarks in the entire city. The Broadway Market (which is impossible to miss, standing in the middle of Broadway) is one of the city's oldest public markets, founded in 1784. The oldest standing residence in the city can be found just a couple of streets over on South Ann Street. The Robert Long House, as it is called, is now the headquarters of the Society for the Preservation of Federal Hill and Fells Point, and has been painstakingly restored to the state it was in during the time of the Revolutionary War. Fells is also well known for the annual Fells Point Fun Festival and one of the best haunted tours in the entire nation.
Purchased by William Fell in 1726, the land that would become Fells Point was developed into a town by his son in 1763. Fells Point served as a principal port during the Revolutionary War, and turned out the Baltimore clippers -- boats made famous during the American Revolution.
Fells was the first area of Baltimore city to be designated a National Historic District, and though the neighborhood is now known more for bars than boats, its strong history still resonates.
Location: Southeast Baltimore City
Boundaries: Pratt Street to the north, Central Avenue to the west, the waterfront to the south and Chester Street to the east.
Schools (includes surrounding areas): Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Lombard Middle School, City Springs Elementary School, Commodore J. Rodgers Elementary School, General Wolfe Elementary School, Baltimore Freedom Academy, The Crossroads School
Highlights/Landmarks: Broadway Market/Market Square, Fells Point Fun Festival, Fells Point Ghostwalk, Fells Point Maritime Museum, Robert Long House
Trivia: Fells Point is believed to have more bars per mile than anywhere else in the U.S.
Recreation Pier was the set for the television series Homicide, which also featured many other Fells Point sights and businesses.