Treasure hunt in Fells Point

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Need a T? Natty Boh Gear‘s got you covered. It’s one of Fells Point’s great little shops.


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Gotta stop in to see Robert McClintock‘s portraits of pups and Baltimore cityscapes.

Sometimes you need a little retail therapy. Maybe with a snack, a drink, a whole meal. And definitely with some historic streets, water views and a lot of personality.

When I need all this, it’s time to skip the mall and head to Fells Point. I’m never disappointed.

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Cobblestones, friendly taverns and a view of Baltimore’s harbor make Thames (pronounced ThAYmz) Street great fun.

The quaint neighborhood just beyond Baltimore’s Inner Harbor began as a ship-building center back in the early 1700s. In the early 2000s, the historic neighborhood mixes charm and a great variety of little shops, drinking spots and restaurants. Fells has been one of my go-to spots for …  oh, don’t make me tell you how many years. It’s always a great place to meet friends, share a romantic evening or take a walk through history.

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One of Baltimore City’s oldest markets, the Broadway Market, has plenty of lunch options.

Recently, on a clear blue-sky day, I headed to Fells to browse the fun little shops that line Thames Street and Broadway. I found dresses at Party Dress, Orioles orange T-shirts at Natty Boh Gear, knickknacks for the house at Su Casa, new music at Sound Garden, a topper at Hats in the Belfry and a pound of chocolate-topped cookies at the Broadway Market.

There are no chain stores here. These are local shops run by the friendliest of people. They’re happy to answer your questions while you’re browsing wares you won’t find at Macy’s.

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The Fells Point Preservation Society played a huge part in saving this wonderful part of town. Learn all about local history here. (Fun souvenirs, too.)

The trouble with Fells Point is there are too many distractions from the shopping at hand. I wander down leafy streets lined with 200-year-old brick row houses. I walk beside the water to watch ships docking at Domino Sugar across the harbor. I think about ice cream at the Fell’s Point Creamery. (I stop for dark chocolate gelato at the Fell’s Point Creamery.) I consider a walking tour at the Fell’s Point Preservation Society (I recommend these; I’ve been before and they are quite informative.)

And if that isn’t enough to keep you busy for the rest of the day, there are all those great restaurants and friendly bars happy to turn your afternoon of shopping into an evening of socializing. Tempting. So many places to eat and drink — I haven’t been to them all yet. (Oh how I’ve tried.)

I know I’ll be back soon. Fell’s Point is always happy to welcome back a friend.

ⓒ Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman

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Fans of the old Baltimore-based TV show “Homicide: Life on the Streets” may still recognize the Recreation Pier as police headquarters. Soon it will be a waterfront hotel.

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