It has only been a week and I am still thinking about the most amazing Labor Day weekend I have ever had. Besides spending a four-day weekend in a city I have never been to before, I shared these days with an incredible group of friends.
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Where I went: Baltimore, Maryland
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Where I stayed:
Fortunately, I have two friends who live in Baltimore so I was able to utilize both of their places during my stay. For first-time visitors looking to stay near ‘the action,’ I would recommend Fells Point or the hip neighborhood of Federal Hill–not just because my friends happen to live there.
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This trip was a little out of the ordinary as there wasn’t really a plan. I knew I would be visiting two friends so I didn’t do my usual research in terms of things to do and see, and instead let my friends lead the way. Two of my friends, Ilse and Manny, actually ended up spontaneously coming up for a day-trip on Monday which only made it that much more fun! But here is a synopsis of all that I got into through my weekend:

What I did:
1. Federal Hill
My friend Colleen, a native B’more babe, recently moved to Federal Hill which is a cute neighborhood very obviously designed for a younger crowd. It is layered with boutiques, vegan-inclusive restaurants, and rows of bars. Aside from having everything at your fingertips, the area still remained fairly quiet despite the holiday weekend which I always appreciate.
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2. Fells Point
My friend Jane recently moved to Baltimore for graduate school and landed in the heart of the nightlife scene: Fells Point. Besides the fact that there are numerous bars and restaurants in Fells Point, or Fells as the locals call it, it is near the Bond Street Wharf so you can find fun with a view. I spent most of my trip here which is where the bulk of this post’s pictures come from.
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We went to the Sagamore Pendry, a fantastic hotel by the wharf, on Sunday night and attempted to visit again on Monday. While our attempt on Monday was total failure, we were able to experience its luxury and calming ambiance on the previous night. We also visited a number of bars including The Horse You Rode In On, Woody’s, and The Rockwell.
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3. Nando’s
This deserves to be listed as an activity and my fellow study abroad classmates can identify. Nando’s is a restaurant originally based in the U.K. Why there is a chain in Maryland, I have no idea, but it was the one must-do on my list for the trip. The restaurant’s main item is chicken, but I love it because you can choose different flavors and how spicy you want it, and it is cheap. The food surprisingly tastes better in the U.K. (especially the garlic bread), but I still enjoyed every minute of it and it will hold me over until I return overseas. Unfortunately, the U.S. chain does not honor the rewards system so my free meal will also have to wait until I return overseas.

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Snapchat: @alexasdrawde

4. Reston, Virginia
On my final full day in the city, Jane and I drove over to Reston, Virginia to visit an old high school friend, Megan. Reston is about an hour and a half away from Baltimore, but the drive is very easy and scenic. It was the absolute best way to spend my last day: walking around Reston Town Center, petting dogs, and drinking wine while reminiscing on our high school days.
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Final thoughts: Baltimore is a beautiful place to visit in the summer; everyone is out and about and the city is incredibly dog-friendly. One thing to note is that if you plan to visit and opt to rent a car in Baltimore, you should be a master of parallel parking.
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This was the first trip I actually felt that tinge in my throat when I had to leave. It was the most perfect weekend filled with sunny weather, stunning views, and the best company to share it with. ❤

xx, AE

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