A Hidden Gem in Baltimore: Rawlings Conservatory
On our recent trip to Washington DC and New York, Mike and I flew into Baltimore to see some of the less traveled territory of the east coast before driving into DC. Amongst its historic neighborhoods (all 200 of them) with tree lined streets, century-old buildings and brick sidewalks, Baltimore has a rich heritage that's craving to be uncovered. Fort McHenry was the inspiration for the lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner (Francis Scott Key wrote it after witnessing the battle there during the War of 1812). Mount Vernon, Baltimore's cultural center, is home to America's first Catholic Cathedral. But one of my favorite parts of this trip down heritage lane was stumbling upon Rawlings Conservatory.
Tucked away in Baltimore's Druid Hill Park area, this charming 18th century greenhouse is one of the oldest glass conservatories in the country. The building itself is spectacular, but the inside transports you through an ivy-ridden archway into a peaceful little oasis. Each area of the conservatory has a different type of plant-life - tropical house, orchid room, dessert house, etc. - with controlled environments set at different temperatures and humidity levels. For two people who can't manage to keep a potted plan alive, we were pretty impressed. I could have spent an entire afternoon here just feeding the koi fish and breathing in the orchids. It's a great place to stop in if you're ever in the area!