Preparing for the Pope

When Pope Benedict XVI visited Washington, DC, in 2008, I was working near the National Mall and had virtually no interest in religion. But I learned he was going to be cruising down Pennsylvania Avenue in his Popemobile, and really, how often do you see that?

So I took a long lunch and ran through thick, sweaty throngs of devoted Catholics, Protestant protesters, official PopeGear© hawkers, and looky-loos like me to watch a little foreign man sitting behind Plexiglass. He rode by at 10 miles an hour, waving to the crowd in a halty, mechanical motion, and then he was off to his next papal adventure.

Pope Francis’ US visit later this month will draw enormous crowds. If you can go, by all means see him! Go for the history, go for the amusing anecdote. Just don’t go for spiritual fulfillment, because, when you’re shoved into a space with thousands of other bodies and you’re hot and tired and hungry, a two-second glimpse of a man in a car is not going to cut it.

If you want spiritual fulfillment, try these places instead:

1. The Baltimore Basilica

DSC_7007

America’s first cathedral was built in the early 19th century in Baltimore, Maryland. Today it is a hodgepodge of neoclassical design, modern renovations, and a spectacularly spooky underbelly. Though open to the public 7 days a week, John Paul II was the last papal visitor.

2. Cathedral of St. Matthew

Picture of the Inside of the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington, DC

Located in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC, many Washingtonians walk by this historic landmark every day without ever giving it more than a glance. Its plain exterior is deceptive, though, for inside boasts soaring ceilings, intricate, shimmering mosaics, and the largest pipe organ you’re likely to ever see. The Cathedral of St. Matthew is where part of JFK’s state funeral was held, and it is also a favorite for visiting popes–Pope Francis is meeting with bishops for a midday prayer here.

3. The National Gallery of Art

Picture of the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC

Though DC’s National Gallery of Art isn’t bursting with papal visits, it is bursting with Catholic imagery. With everything from coinage to Monet’s Rouen Cathedral, the galleries are the ideal place for quiet, spiritual reflection.

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Mondays in Maryland: Taking a Peek at the NSA

“RESTRICTED ENTRANCE.”

The National Security Agency’s DC-area headquarters is an open secret. Motorists pass its clearly delineated exit on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway every day, the exit ramp limply barricaded with orange traffic cones and a sign admonishing visitors. You get the sense you’re on camera for those few seconds as you speed past, your license plate scanned, tallied, analyzed.

In this area, you’re bound to run into the NSA eventually. I once went looking for an abandoned asylum, only to be rebuffed by a security guard who gleefully told me the NSA was buying up land around the area. “At night, they fly weird-looking aircraft overhead.” Then, an afterthought–“I probably shouldn’t talk about this.”

You hear whispers of the organization when out for a walk, at a party, meandering around town. We don’t tell ghost stories around the campfire, we gossip about the NSA. It’s our dreaded boogeyman, lurking in the shadows to tape our phone calls and read our email.

So it’s a bit odd to willingly go to the NSA on a snowy Saturday morning, but that’s just what I did this past weekend.

Picture the National Cryptologic Museum in Maryland, USA

The National Cryptologic Museum is as close as most of us will get to the NSA. Open to the public since 1993, the museum is dedicated to the history of cryptology.

And there’s so much to see. Code-breaking machines from WWI and WWII, rare 16th-century cryptography books, a hallway dedicated to African Americans and women who contributed to American cryptology.

Picture of an exhibit at the National Cryptologic Museum in Maryland, USA

Picture of an exhibit at the National Cryptologic Museum in Maryland, USA

Picture of an exhibit at the National Cryptologic Museum in Maryland, USA

The exhibits are enthralling and full of interesting information. There are ingenious spy tactics, like invisible ink used during the US Revolutionary War. And there are occasions the US got burned, like how it took seven years to discover a gift given to the US Ambassador to the Soviet Union was fitted with a hidden microphone.

Picture of an exhibit at the National Cryptologic Museum in Maryland, USA

The museum is also great for families. Most of the exhibits are interactive, and free activity books teach kids about simple codes and ciphers.

I was expecting something a little unwelcoming, and I instead found an engaging museum loaded with fascinating tidbits. The docents were friendly and knowledgable, the exhibits modern and fun. And I didn’t once feel like I was being secretly recorded!

If You Go
The National Cryptologic Museum is -not- at the restricted entrance exit off of 295. Please don’t take that exit unless you work at the NSA. Everyone else should follow the directions here. The museum is about 20 miles from either Baltimore or DC and is not easily reached by public transportation. Hours are 9AM-4PM Monday-Friday and 10AM-2PM on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Admission is free.

There is also an adjacent Vigilance Park that houses real spy planes. I didn’t make it to the park as I had inadvertently stumbled into a blizzard. The planes looked pretty impressive as I drove past, but to be honest I was mostly just trying to keep my car on the road.

Mondays in Maryland: Civil War Roundup

From the Underground Railroad to the battle that saved Washington, Maryland is awash with Civil War history.

There are an astounding number of sites waiting to be explored, and I’ve covered many of them in previous posts. These are my favorites:

1. Antietam
Sharpsburg, MD

Picture of Burnsides Bridge at Antietam Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland, USA

On September 17, 1862, this peaceful-looking bridge was at the epicenter of the bloodiest day of fighting in American military history. The US Civil War had been raging for nearly 18 months, and the Confederate Army was moving north through Maryland. Union forces met the invaders at Sharpsburg. After 12 hours of fighting, more than 17,000 soldiers were dead, the above creek running red with their blood.

It is difficult to picture such horror when visiting Antietam today. Instead, it is a peaceful place that begs for quiet contemplation of the nature of war and solemn recognition of lives lost too soon.

If You Go
The Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center is at 5831 Dunker Church Road in Sharpsburg, Maryland, and is open daily, 9AM-5PM. Antietam must be driven to and is about 70 miles from either Baltimore or Washington, DC. Single adult admission is $4; families are $6. The visitor center’s introductory film is fairly long but does a good job of explaining the battle. It is shown every 30 minutes.

2. Monocacy
Frederick, MD

Picture of the Best Farm at Monocacy battlefield in Maryland

Though few people have heard of it, Monocacy was the battle that saved Washington, DC. And it’s likely that even those few wouldn’t have heard of Monocacy at all, if not for the battle’s impression on a young boy who watched the fighting unfold from his basement.

When I first blogged about Monocacy, I was a bit dismissive, writing that it had been difficult to connect with a site about which I had previously known nothing. But, in the months since, I find myself thinking of that little boy from time to time. It’s far easier to comprehend the horrors seen by one child than it is to comprehend Antietam’s staggering casualties.

If You Go
The Monocacy National Battlefield Visitor Center is at 5201 Urbana Pike in Frederick, Maryland, and is open daily from 8:30AM-5PM. It is about 50 miles from either Baltimore or DC. Monocacy is a bit more public-transporation-friendly than is nearby Antietam, but the battlefield is very spread out and works best for tours by car. Admission is free.

I recommend reading up on Monocacy before you go and also swinging by Glory Doughnuts (storefront opening in April) on your way home.

3. Fell’s Point
Baltimore, MD

Picture of Fell's Point in Baltimore, Maryland

The Baltimore neighborhood of Fell’s Point has seen numerous historical events since its establishment in 1763, from the death of Edgar Allan Poe to shipbuilding during the War of 1812. It also played a pivotal role in one of the Civil War’s most-famous institutions, the Underground Railroad.

For 12 years, Frederick Douglass worked as a slave on the Fell’s Point docks. Harriet Tubman, too, passed through this neighborhood, and she met her first passengers on the Fell’s Point waterfront. The neighborhood’s 18th-century buildings and cobblestone streets quickly transport visitors to the Civil War era, and it is impactful to just walk around the area imagining Douglass’ and Tubman’s daily life. But for a more robust approach, stop at Fell’s Point’s Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park.

If You Go
Fell’s Point is easy to reach either by car or by public transportation. The Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park is located at 1417 Thames Street and is open from 10AM-4PM Monday-Friday and 12PM-4PM Saturday-Sunday. Adult admission is $5.

There are endless food and drink options around Fell’s Point; I recommend V-NO for a casual glass of wine.

Mondays in Maryland: Farmhouse Cidery

With the vast number of wineries and breweries dotting the Eastern Seaboard, it is no wonder that purveyors of alcohol are looking to branch out into other markets. Enter hard cider (or just “cider,” if you live outside the US). This fermented drink–most commonly made from apples–is gaining popularity stateside, and one of the best places to sample it is a small cidery in Monkton, Maryland.

MillStone Cellars has been producing the drink since 2011. Using Old World techniques, heirloom apples are fermented in used barrels–repurposed from the wine and spirit industries–and then blended to create unique combinations of aromas and flavors.

Picture of MillStone Cellars in Monkton, Maryland, USA

Like wine, this cider changes as it ages and also varies from year to year. But, like craftbrewers, the folks at MillStone are constantly experimenting with their product. They make both cider and mead of all possible combinations–when I visit, they are attempting to blend kombucha with fermented honey.

Picture of kombucha mead at MillStone Cellars in Monkton, Maryland, USA

Those unfamiliar with hard cider should note that this is not like the sweet stuff you can buy by the jug at the grocery store. This cider is acidic, tart, and decidedly adult. It is also surprisingly complex–Spicebush, a mead made with blueberry honey and the titular bush’s berry, tastes strongly of black pepper and finishes with a soft, nutty flavor.

Picture of tasteroom at MillStone Cellars in Monkton, Maryland, USA

Perhaps just as interesting as the cider and mead is the location itself, an 18th-century mill that is available for tours.

Picture of MillStone Cellars in Monkton, Maryland, USA

Picture of MillStone Cellars in Monkton, Maryland, USA

The mill’s character is enchanting, and staff seem just as passionate about the old building as they are about the drinks it helps produce.

MillStone is an inventive place that feels at once both Old Word and New Age. It’s perfect for those looking to expand their palate, soak up some local history, or simply waste away a Saturday in the most delicious manner possible.

But, a quick word of caution–the only bathroom is in the dilapidated-looking farmhouse next door.

If You Go
MillStone Cellars’ old farmhouse and tasting room is at 2029 Monkton Road in Monkton, Maryland. They are open on weekends, Saturdays from 12-6 and Sundays 12-5. Shockingly, both tastings and tours are free–visit early on a Sunday to beat the crowd.

Vegans should note that, while the majority of MillStone’s offerings contain honey, a few are completely free of all animal products. There is also some tasty raw vegan chocolate available for sale–I can personally vouch for the orange-infused raspberry and brazilnut flavor!

Signs of Life at Goddard

On Monday I attended the “State of NASA” NASA Social event at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. These are some of the signs, people, and samples I saw.

Picture of sign in Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

In the Satellite Testing and Integration Facility

Picture of Jill McGuire, Robotic Refueling Mission Project Manager at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Jill McGuire, Robotic Refueling Mission Project Manager

Picture of amino acids found inside at comet at  Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Amino acids (the fuzzy strands inside the glass) found in a comet

Picture of sign in Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Inside the high-capacity centrifuge chambers (a storage room when not in use)

Picture of sign in the Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory

Picture of door sign at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Picture of Cynthia Simmons, ATLAS Instrument Project Manager at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Cynthia Simmons, Instrument Project Manager for ATLAS

Picture of sign at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Screens alerting scientists to dangerously high winds outside

Picture of tool case at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

In the Satellite Testing and Integration Facility

Picture of sign in Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Inside the high-capacity centrifuge chambers (a storage room when not in use)

Picture of Dr. Jamie Elsila Cook, astrochemistry research scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Dr. Jamie Elsila Cook, astrochemistry research scientist and the person who discovered the amino acids pictured above

Picture of a meteorite piece at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Meteorite piece–“the oldest thing you’ll ever touch”

Be sure to also visit yesterday’s post on Goddard’s Labs and Machines.

Labs and Machines

Yesterday I attended the “State of NASA” NASA Social event at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. These are some of the labs and machines I saw (click vertical images to make them larger).

Picture of inside of the Satellite Testing and Integrartion Facility at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Inside the Satellite Testing and Integration Facility

Picture of the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Test Bed lab at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Inside the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Test Bed lab

Picture of small cleanroom inside of the Satellite Testing and Integrartion Facility at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Small cleanroom inside the Satellite Testing and Integration Facility

Picture of inside of the Satellite Testing and Integrartion Facility at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Inside the Satellite Testing and Integration Facility

Picture of high-capacity centrifuge at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

High-capacity centrifuge in which equipment will be tested–can generate up to 30 G

Picture of Robotic arm being developed to service satellites at the Servicing Technology Center at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Robotic arm being developed to service satellites at the Servicing Technology Center

Picture of High Bay Cleanroom at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

The High Bay Cleanroom–the world’s largest “publicly known” cleanroom

Picture of High Bay Cleanroom at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Presenters inside the High Bay Cleanroom, where the James Webb Space Telescope is being developed

Picture of the Satellite Testing and Integration Facility at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Inside the Satellite Testing and Integration Facility

Picture of thermal vacuum chamber at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Thermal vacuum chamber to test satellite parts for the chill of space–it takes two weeks to get the inside cold enough

Picture of Robotic arm being developed to service satellites at the Servicing Technology Center at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Robotic arm being developed to service satellites at the Servicing Technology Center

Picture of the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Test Bed lab at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Inside the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Test Bed lab

Posting tomorrow: Signs of Life at Goddard

NASA Social

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the “State of NASA” NASA Social event at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

NASA Socials are events during which NASA opens its doors to members of social media. That’s anyone with a blog, an active Twitter feed, Instagram account, Facebook profile, and so on. NASA Social events range from watching rockets launch to touring test facilities.

NASA has centers throughout the United States, and NASA Socials happen pretty regularly–follow @NASASocial to learn about events in your area.

My NASA Social event was built around NASA Administrator Charles Bolden’s State of NASA address.

NASA might not seem like a natural topic for this travel blog. It’s easy to forget that so much of what makes our lives easier as travelers–airplanes, GPS, weather forecasting, emergency transmitters–use components developed by NASA for space exploration.

Picture of map of ocean currents and temperatures seen at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Ocean currents and temperatures as observed from space

And that word right there, “exploration”–isn’t that what travel is really all about?

Hopefully, one day people will be blogging about their trips to Europa and Mars rather than China and Egypt.

But the only way we get to those destinations is through the work being done at more-terrestrial places like Goddard Space Flight Center.

I’ll soon post two photo essays of my Goddard visit, one called Labs and Machines and the other called Signs of Life at Goddard. I hope you’ll check them out!

Mondays in Maryland: The Medical Museum

“All specimens of morbid anatomy.”

For more than 150 years, the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, has collected objects of a peculiar medical nature.

This collection began during the Civil War. Just like today’s medical personnel, nineteenth-century doctors were eager for any new knowledge that could improve how they cared for and treated patients. And so the US Army Surgeon General issued a directive to gather “all specimens of morbid anatomy” from the war’s battlegrounds so that they would be preserved for future study.

The National Museum of Health and Medicine–then called the Army Medical Museum–was established with the mission to acquire photographs, anatomical specimens, bullet fragments, and other objects related to wounded soldiers that might prove educational to medical professionals.

The NMHM has continued this mission for the last 150 years, with today’s collection containing more than 24 million objects that range from human remains to antique prosthetics. The vast majority of these holdings are open only to researchers, but regular folk still have the opportunity to view and learn about some of the museum’s most-important objects.

Picture of the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

I will warn you, visiting the museum is not for the faint of heart. There are dozens and dozens of jars with body parts floating inside. One case contains the skeletons of real children. There are diseased lungs, and brains, and limbs.

But these specimens are not there for shock value. Beyond appealing to a certain macabre fascination, such exhibits educate visitors on the body’s different structures and teach about what happens when those structures become abnormal. Before we can treat disease, we have to first understand what it is doing to the body.

And the museum is also not all human remains, which I’ll admit I personally shied away from. There are immense holdings of historical medical objects, from a seventeenth-century microscope to early prosthetic limbs.

Picture of exhibit at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

Picture of exhibit at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

The Civil War exhibit was particularly illuminating.

Picture of exhibit at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

A ship model taught me that watercraft were used as floating hospitals during the Civil War–obviously the wounded soldiers had to be moved off of the battlefields, but it never occurred to me that giant steamships floating down the Mississippi were the method of such removal.

Picture of exhibit at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

There are rows of what I at first thought were snail shells but turned out to be bullets, their sheer size giving me a greater appreciation for the trauma experienced by the soldiers they wounded.

Picture of exhibit at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

And another piece of ammunition literally dropped my jaw: the bullet that killed Abraham Lincoln.

Picture of exhibit at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

Although there are sections where you may need to advert your eyes, the NMHM is a fascinating place. It yields some surprising facts–like the sophisticated technique of eighteenth-century facial reconstruction–and offers hope that we will be able to combat diseases of the future.

It’s a bit morbid, yes. That said, anyone with even the slightest interest in health, medicine, or history should make the trek. Just maybe don’t bring the kids.

If You Go

The National Museum of Health and Medicine is located at 2500 Linden Lane in Silver Spring, Maryland, just north of Washington, DC. Parking is free, and it is also just one mile from the Forest Glen Metro Station (Red Line).

The NMHM is free and open every day but Christmas. Hours are 10AM-5:30PM. Flash photography is not permitted (hence the deplorable state of the above photographs).

Mondays in Maryland: The Shot Tower

Although the skyline is now dominated by contemporary buildings, this 215-foot tower was once the tallest building in the United States.

Picture of the Phoenix Shot Tower in Baltimore, Maryland

The Phoenix Shot Tower in downtown Baltimore soared beyond any other structure for almost two decades, its supreme height not due to an architect’s vanity but rather vital to its purpose.

Picture of the Phoenix Shot Tower in Baltimore, Maryland

The name implies a connection with ammunition, and indeed it was here where hunting shot was made. Molten lead was poured through a sieve at the top of the tower. As the lead pieces fell, they would spin, forming balls. A vat of water at the bottom of the tower caught these balls, where they would cool and solidify in shape.

Picture of the Phoenix Shot Tower in Baltimore, Maryland

Picture of the Phoenix Shot Tower in Baltimore, Maryland

The Shot Tower churned out more than 150 million pounds of shot over the nineteenth century. But, like all technologies, this way of making shot eventually became obsolete, and the factory shut down in 1892.

Today, it is one of three surviving shot towers in the US. Visiting in person, one imagines how impressive this structure must have been upon its completion in 1828. No other building in America would top its sheer size for another eighteen years.

Picture of the Phoenix Shot Tower in Baltimore, Maryland

But, inevitably, its height would be topped, and its relevancy would fade. Like the C&O Canal in western Maryland, the Phoenix Shot Tower now serves both as a historical relic and as a testament to the continuous forward push of technology.

If You Go

The Phoenix Shot Tower is located at 801 East Fayette Street in downtown Baltimore. It is open for tours on Saturdays and Sundays, with tours departing from the nearby Carroll Mansion at 4 PM. Adult admission is $5. There is street parking (free on Sundays); the closest subway stop is Shot Tower Station.

Mondays in Maryland: Babe Ruth’s Baltimore

The Great Bambino. The Sultan of Swat. The Colossus of Clout. You likely know Babe Ruth for his career with the New York Yankees or his “Curse of the Bambino” on the Boston Red Sox, but did you know Ruth started life in Baltimore, Maryland?

George Herman “Babe” Ruth was born in 1895 in his grandparents’ Baltimore rowhouse, just a few blocks from what is now Camden Yards.

Picture of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

Ruth was apparently a difficult child, and when he was seven he was shipped off to the Baltimore-based St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys to learn shirtmaking. It was at this boarding school where Ruth learned to play baseball and was ultimately signed to the Baltimore Orioles minor league. You probably know the rest of the story.

In 1974, the rowhouse where Ruth had been born was converted to a museum dedicated to his memory. For a time the house served double duty as both a shrine to Ruth and the official museum of the Baltimore Orioles. In 2005, the Orioles museum moved to its new home at Camden Yards; the house’s only focus now is the Bambino.

Picture of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

The Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum of today is more-or-less divided between the rowhouse’s rooms and its hallways: the rooms are decorated as Babe Ruth would have seen them as a young boy, and the hallways are dedicated to exhibits on Ruth’s time in baseball.

The historic furniture in the rooms is certainly aesthetically pleasing, but I imagine only truly die-hard Babe Ruth fans will really enjoy seeing chairs and beds once belonging to Ruth’s relatives.

Picture of exhibit at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

Picture of exhibit at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

The back hallway opens up into a larger space, adjoining properties having been used to expand the original rowhouse’s footprint. It’s auditorily amusing to step from the new to the old–the back hallways lack the front rooms’ time-appropriate creaks of well-worn floorboards.

The hallways hold exhibits much more engaging than staged furniture. There’s a short video explaining why the US National Anthem is played before baseball games (the tradition started during the 1918 World Series in which Babe Ruth was playing). There are rows of sports memorabilia, including rare Ruth trading cards and autographed baseballs.

Picture of an exhibit at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

Picture of exhibit at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

Picture of exhibit at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

There’s also a plastic case catering to my tactile nature–partially enclosed within are two baseball bats, one actually used by Ruth and the other by Cal Ripken, ready to be touched.

Picture of exhibit at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

The make-your-own-souvenir-penny machine has only the most tangential connection to Ruth, and yet it also succeeds in grabbing my attention (and my 50 cents).

Picture of exhibit at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

IMG_1184

Overall, the museum is far more captivating than I expected it to be. There are enough neat mementos and fascinating tales about Ruth to entertain both fervent baseball fans and casual spectators like me. But even though I run into a few families, I wouldn’t call the museum particularly child-friendly. Consider leaving the little ones at home for this one.

If You Go
The Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum is at 216 Emory Street, Baltimore. There are a few street parking spots, but the easiest option is to take the Light Rail to nearby Camden Station. If you’re coming from DC, take the MARC Camden Line from Union Station to Camden Station. Note that the Camden Line does not run on weekends.

Admittance to the Museum is $6 for adults; there is also a combined ticket offering admission to both the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum and the Sports Legends Museum for $12.

The Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10AM-5PM. Starting in April, it will be open on Mondays as well.