It’s only fitting that a half-dozen tall ships will be berthed in Fells Point during Sailabration. The neighborhood formed the center of the city’s shipbuilding industry, and those ships — most notably the Baltimore clipper — helped sink Britain’s hopes of regaining its former colonies during the War of 1812.
The Lynx is a replica of a Baltimore clipper of the same name that was built in Fells Point in 1812. It was the type of ship used by privateers — private citizens authorized to fight by the government — although the Lynx primarily was used for trading. These ships were able to slip by British blockades and capture British merchant ships.
The Lady Maryland also is a 19th-century replica, but it wasn’t designed for war. The speedy and nimble schooner, called a pungy, was used to transport perishable goods in the Chesapeake Bay and its surroundings. The Lady Maryland and the Lynx are used for educational programs, but both will offer free deck tours during Sailabration.
Visitors to Fells Point will find a wealth of dining and shopping options. If you arrive early, try the locally owned Daily Grind for a latte and muffin. Another breakfast option is Bonaparte Breads, which offers melt-in-your-mouth croissants and other pastries. If you wander in at lunchtime, sample the light and delicious quiches.
For dinner, try Mediterranean-inspired Kali’s Mezze, or its American cousin, Meli. Mezze’s tapas menu is extensive, and vegetarians can eat well. Its seafood choices — try the roasted salmon — are highlights. Meli, which means “honey” in Greek, infuses the flavor in entrees, condiments and its impressive dessert selection.
If boutique shopping appeals to you, Fells Point has some of Baltimore’s best. Poppy and Stella offers trendy shoes and accessories. Su Casa stocks useful and whimsical goods for the home. And the Corduroy Button sells clothes and accessories that will elicit “oohs” and “aahs” from other moms at toddler play date.
Stop by the Fell’s Point Visitor Center to get the back story on the many houses that date to the early 19th century. Sign up for a 90-minute guided tour or buy a booklet ($4) to discover the landmarks on your own. The visitor center also has a new tour Saturday at 10 a.m. that focuses on the War of 1812. It helps explain how the city’s residents — soldiers and civilians alike — held off the British and inspired a young nation to have faith in itself.
The Daily Grind, 1720 Thames St. Daily 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. 410-558-0399. www.fellsgrind.com. Bonaparte Breads, 903 S. Ann St. Daily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 410-342-4000. Kali’s Mezze, 1606 Thames St. Saturday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Monday-Friday, 4 to 11 p.m. 410-563-7600. www.kalismezze.com. Meli, 1636 Thames St. Friday-Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m.; Monday-Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. 410-534-6354. www.kalismeli.com. Poppy and Stella, 728 S. Broadway. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.; Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 410-522-1970. www.poppyandstella.com. Su Casa, 901 S. Bond St. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. www.sucasa-
furniture.com. 410-522-7010. The Corduroy Button, 1625 Thames St. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 410-276-5437. Fell’s Point Visitor Center, 1724 Thames St. Tour times vary. 410-675-6750. www.preservation
society.com. $12 adults, $11 seniors, $8 ages 6 to 11.