Romance is dead in Baltimore? No way – and we’ll prove it

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A reader recently sent me an article he found on It lists the top ten least romantic cities in the country or what they say, “Where romance might be dead.”

They ranked the country’s 30 most populous cities by available park space, florists, specialty chocolate stores, romantic restaurants and average temperature. The author based this determination on what he considered to be a “successful” Valentine’s Day date: a walk through the park, a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates and a romantic dinner.

Oh that ranking: Here’s a look at their 30 cities where romance is on life support.

How Did Your City Rank?

  1. Indianapolis, IN
  2. Memphis, TN
  3. Louisville, KY
  4. Detroit, Mi
  5. El Paso, TX
  6. Baltimore, MD
  7. Chicago, IL
  8. Columbus, OH
  9. New York City, NY
  10. Houston, TX
  11. Fort Worth, TX
  12. San Antonio, TX
  13. Oklahoma City, OK
  14. Jacksonville, FL
  15. Nashville, TN
  16. Milwaukee, WI
  17. Charlotte, NC
  18. Philadelphia, PA
  19. Dallas, TX
  20. Denver, CO
  21. Austin, TX
  22. Boston, MA
  23. Washington, DC
  24. Los Angeles, CA
  25. Phoenix, AZ
  26. Seattle, WA
  27. San Jose, CA
  28. San Francisco, CA
  29. San Diego, CA
  30. Portland, OR

Well I can already start my judgment of the author and say, what a devastatingly boring man! His ideal date sounds suspiciously like something his mother told him when he was seven. What about music venues, stage theatres, art galleries, outdoor concert spaces? I’m already heated!

Why do I bring this up? Because Baltimore was Number 6 on the list!

Let’s put this in perspective: this means there are only five other places in the United States less romantic than our fair city. I vehemently disagree with this rating and want to throw something at the author of this so-called expert list. But that would probably result in a lawsuit. So instead of throwing my laptop at him, I choose instead to hurl words in the form of my own top ten list of the coolest and most romantic date spots you can find in Baltimore.

10. Harborplace: Not only are there like 4,000 things to do while visiting the Inner Harbor (Port Discovery, the Science Center, the National Aquarium, paddle boats, shopping, taxi tours, etc), but even just walking along the water and checking out the boats and city lights can be the start or end to a great date night.

9. Tio Pepe: This charmingly intimate restaurant boasts some of the city’s best authentic Spanish cuisine. Sip on some of their housemade sangria with your sweetie while admiring the crisp white tablecloths and sparkly hanging chandeliers.

8. Charles Theatre: Yes, I have a movie theatre on the list. But only because The Charles is such a unique icon of Baltimore. It’s over 100 years old and while it does show newly released films, it also shows foriegn and classic films that aren’t usually shown in more modern theatres.

7. Brewer’s Art in Mount Vernon: This charming brewery located in Mount Vernon boasts stunning classical decor upstairs and a cozily-lit, cavelike downstairs pub area. Not only can you get delicious, locally-brewed libations, you can choose to enjoy either a romantic dinner in their fine dining room, or grab drinks over candlelight downstairs.

6. American Visionary Arts Museum:  Sure, the Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art are awesome for classic art, but AVAM showcases one-of-a-kind visionary art – pieces that might not be defined as “traditional art” by the experts but are still extremely inspiring, spirited, unique, and stunning.

5. The Hippodrome:  OK so live shows aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there is something to be said about walking into the sweeping grandness of this historic vaudevillian theatre. The rich carpeting, the golden lighting, the brightly lit marquee – it screams Broadway but luckily the Hippodrome showcases all types of events, including comedians and charity events. Even the most sour critics have to be impressed.

4. The Owl Bar at The Belvedere:  How cool would it be to take your date to a bar that was shut down during Prohibition, then reopened as one of the hottest illegal speakeasys in town with a blinking owl that signaled to patrons if it was safe to imbibe or if the feds were hanging around? Um, super cool.
3. Federal Hill:  No I’m not talking about the awesome bars and restaurants that this little pocket of Baltimore boasts – I’m talking about the actual top of Federal Hill. It’s been a popular spot for engagement and wedding photos solely for the fact that it’s one of the best views of the city, but you don’t have to be engaged to enjoy the romance of the lights and the water.

But hey, I’m not claiming to be an expert. Please feel free to disagree with me or send me hot spots you love that I missed. A girl can’t remember everything!

2. The Patterson Park Pagoda: One of my former editors actually got married here so I have first hand knowledge of how romantic it actually can be. Not only is it stunning from afar, up close, you can climb into the pagoda and look out over Patterson Park. A perfect spot for a date…or a proposal.

1. The George Peabody Library – Just seeing a photo of the library is enough to get me into the mood for romance – the latticed skylights, rows upon rows of literature, the marble floor, the rich gold columns  transports you into another world. Find a book of poetry, artwork, even short stories, crack it open, and cozy up with your date – quietly.


One thought on “Romance is dead in Baltimore? No way – and we’ll prove it

  • February 23, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    IDK, Maybe it’s the DC in my talking, but there’s nothing “romantic” about the Harbor water. In fact, it’s rather repulsive. Museums and Theaters, yea you have a great point.


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