5 Reasons Why Baltimore Is a Hotspot for Sci-Fi Fans
Science fiction fans will descend on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor this weekend, when (Re)Generation WHO, a convention celebrating all things Dr. Who, kicks off in Charm City for the third year in a row. The convention begins at noon on Friday, March 24 and lasts until Sunday at 5 p.m. and takes place at the Renaissance Hotel, located smack in the middle of downtown.
(Re)Generation WHO is just the most recent in a long string of science fiction events taking place in Maryland’s largest city. Baltimore is a popular and fun spot for all things science fiction – and here’s why:
Charm City is a convention wonderland.
(Re)Generation WHO, which features about 80 different sessions and events and will include a diverse mix of Classic and New Doctor actors and creators, has a lot of strong sci-fi company in Baltimore. The organization behind (Re)Generation WHO also puts on PotterVerse, a Harry Potter convention.
Another upcoming sci-fi con is Balticon, a four-day convention which will make its 51st appearance in Baltimore this Memorial Day weekend. Run by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, the weekend features all sorts of people within the sci-fi community, from podcasters and publishers to artists and scientists. The convention is headlined by 1632 author Eric Flint and artist Donato Giancola.
There’s great food around every corner.
The downtown area includes some excellent spots for a casual lunch or dinner in between convention events. Try Miss Shirley’s for southern-influenced breakfast, lunch and dinner (don’t skip the great drinks!) or Chicken Rico for some of the city’s most-loved Peruvian dishes.
Sci-fi fans with a little more time and desire to seek new culinary frontiers can check out Aggio, the Italian spot from Top Chef alum Bryan Voltaggio, or stroll over to Little Italy or Harbor East to check out some of the city’s best restaurants.
Real-life activities give fiction fans something to chew on.
Convention goers can use their breaks to visit the grave of Edgar Allan Poe and debate the curious circumstances surrounding his grave and his death (and have a drink at The Horse You Came in On, the Fells Point tavern that is the last place he was seen fully conscious).
Or they can dig into the “science” part of their passion at one of the city’s science-oriented museums, which include the Maryland Science Center, the National Aquarium and the National Museum of Dentistry (don’t miss catching a glimpse of George Washington’s dentures).
Located on the 95 corridor, not far from Washington D.C. or Philadelphia, Baltimore is an easy jaunt for people throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Plus, unlike some other cities, it’s easy to navigate once you arrive.
The downtown area offers plenty of options for overnight stays, including The Renaissance Hotel, where (Re)Generation WHO takes place, the Brookshire Suites and the Pier 5 Hotel.
In nearby Fells Point, the just-opened Sagamore Pendry Hotel, is a swanky option. Thought the hotel just opened at the end of March, it has a long history as a Baltimore landmark. Located on the site of the Recreation Pier, which welcomed immigrants to Baltimore, it was also, in more recent times, a key filming location for the show Homicide: Life on the Streets.
If you’re staying downtown, parking is easy, too! Harbor Park Garage, located at 55 Market Place, is convenient to the local convention sites, hotels and other attractions. Reasonably priced, with a knowledgeable, friendly staff, Harbor Park is a convenient and easy starting point for any visit to downtown Baltimore.
They’ll find their community.
With star attractions including the American Visionary Arts Museum, which celebrates outsider art, to the very enthusiastic following that has grown around Mr. Trash Wheel, the Inner Harbor’s trash-cleaning water wheel outfitted with big eyes and a strong social media presence, Baltimore and its residents have never shied away from ideas that exist outside the mainstream. This is, after all, the home of John Waters.
For science fiction fans, that means a readymade community that truly gets what’s cool about pastimes that are a little outside the mainstream.
Sci-fi fans can easily find their Charm City tribe via the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, a sci-fi fan group that hosts an annual amateur writing contest for Maryland residents and organizes the annual Balticon event, has been in existence since 1963 and shows no signs of slowing down.
For convention attendees and vendors, we offer a flat$15 rate here at Harbor Park Garage! To save your space, follow this link to prepay and skip the wait at the garage.