Explore the City
Baltimore Literary Tours
NCTE has partnered with a tour provider in Baltimore to offer several exclusive local experiences that range from half to full days. Space is limited and these events will require additional fees. You can register for these events at the same time you register for the Convention. If you have already registered and would like to add a Literary Tour, you can do so by visiting your registration zone (using the link sent to you when you first registered) and adding a Literary Tour (under Activities).
H.L. Mencken – The Sage of Baltimore
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Includes guide service, transportation, all arrangements and fees at Mencken House and Pratt Library
Henry Louis Mencken rose to fame during the early twentieth century as a newspaper columnist, social critic, and editor. He lived in Baltimore his entire life and his experiences in the city helped shape his worldview. This 4-hour tour showcases some of the locales and neighborhoods Mencken would’ve frequented during his lifetime.
9:00 a.m. – Group and guide board chartered coach and begin tour en route to H.L. Mencken House. Along the way your guide will share stories of Mencken’s life in Baltimore and point out landmarks that date from the same era.
9:30 a.m. – Group arrives at the H.L. Mencken House in Union Square for a docent led tour. The Mencken House is not generally open to the public, so this tour represents an exclusive experience for NCTE attendees!
10:30 a.m. – Group boards bus and tour continues, heading north through the neighborhoods of Mt. Vernon and Midtown-Belvedere.
11:15 a.m. – Group arrives at the Enoch Pratt Free Library – Central Branch for a special program in the library’s Mencken Room featuring items the writer owned and special collections of his works. The Mencken Room is not generally open to the public, so this tour represents an exclusive experience for NCTE attendees!
12:30 p.m. – Group boards bus and returns to point of origin.
1:00 p.m. – Tour concludes
Something to Write Home About!
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Includes guide service, transportation, all arrangements and fees at Pratt Library and Peabody Library, and lunch at Gertrude’s
Baltimore has been home to legendary literary figures like Edgar Allan Poe, H.L. Mencken, and many others as well as the setting for some well-known stories. This 6-hour tour explores some of the city’s literary connections.
9:00 a.m. – Group and guide board chartered coach and begin city tour.
9:20 a.m. – Group arrives at Ft. McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. The enormous American flag that flew over this fort following a British assault in 1814 inspired lawyer and writer Francis Scott Key to pen a poem that would eventually become our National Anthem. Group will see film and tour Visitor Center, but not the fort itself.
10:00 a.m. – Group boards bus and continues tour passing through the South Baltimore neighborhood of Federal Hill, home to novelist Laura Lippman and her husband David Simon, former reporter for the Baltimore Sun and creator of the television series The Wire. Additional tour sites include, but are not limited to: Inner Harbor, Carroll Mansion, Battle Monument
10:30 a.m. – Group arrives in Fells Point, one of the city’s oldest communities and visits the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Meyers Maritime Park and Museum. This museum and park honor the legacies of two African-Americans that lived in this part of Baltimore in the 19th Century. Frederick Douglass spent parts of his youth in Fells Point as a slave. It was here that he learned how to read and write before escaping his servitude and becoming one of the nation’s most passionate and elegant voices against slavery. Isaac Meyers was a freeman, but still faced substantial bigotry and discrimination from white shipyard owners. In response Meyers and some partners established their own shipyard in the neighborhood and soon became one of the most successful in the city. The Chesapeake Marine Railway and Dry Dock Co. was one of the first African-American owned businesses in the United States.
11:15 a.m. – Group boards bus and departs Fells Point for lunch
11:30 p.m. – Group enjoys plated lunch at Gertrude’s Restaurant located on the grounds of the Baltimore Museum of Art.
1:00 p.m. – Following lunch, tour continues en route to the Enoch Pratt Free Library – Central Branch. Upon arrival, group will be treated to a docent led tour and learn how philanthropist Enoch Pratt established and funded one of the nation’s very first public library systems.
2:30 p.m. – Group boards coach and returns to point of origin
3:00 p.m. – Tour concludes
Edgar Allan Poe in Baltimore – An Enduring Mystery
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Includes guide service, transportation, all arrangements and fees at Poe House and Pratt Library
Edgar Allan Poe was not born in Baltimore, but he spent several years of his life in the city and in fact died there under very suspicious circumstances in 1849. This 4.5-hour tour retraces the enigmatic author’s time in Baltimore including his final days.
9:00 a.m. – Group and guide board chartered coach and begin city tour en route to Edgar Allan Poe House.
9:30 a.m. – Group arrives at Poe House for a docent led tour.
10:30 a.m. – Group boards coach and tour continues to Fells Point, the historic maritime community where Poe is believed to have enjoyed his final drink before his death. The hospital where Poe eventually passed away is still standing and will also be seen from the bus.
11:15 a.m. – Group arrives at the Enoch Pratt Free Library – Central Branch for a special program in the library’s Poe Room. The Poe Room is not generally open to the public, so this tour represents an exclusive experience for NCTE attendees!
12:30 p.m. – Group boards coach and tour continues.
12:45 p.m. – Group stops at Westminster Burying Ground to visit Poe’s Grave. While at the grave group will enjoy a reading of Poe’s work followed by a toast with brandy.
1:15 p.m. – Group boards coach and returns to point of origin
1:30 p.m. – Tour concludes