Travel Bowl: Baltimore vs. San Francisco
You make the call! This year's travel showdown is between Baltimore or San Francisco. It's up to you to decide which city is the ultimate travel destination.
Military SiteBaltimore’s Fort McHenry is best known for successfully defending Baltimore Harbor against a British navy attack during the War of 1812. It was during the attack that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem that would eventually become the US national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 960 1280
baltimore-san-francisco_ss_004In 1776, the Presidio started out as a military base, but it would close its doors as an active base in 1989 as part of a military reduction program. Now a public park, the Presidio has wooded hills and the best panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bridge and the Pacific Ocean. 960 1280
WaterfrontBoth cities have great harbors. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is the site of the National Aquarium, Sports Legends at Camden Yards and, just a few blocks away, Port Discovery Children’s Museum. Shop until you drop at Harborplace and the Gallery, and end your shopping spree with a casual walk along the picturesque waterfront. 960 1280
baltimore-san-francisco_ss_008In San Francisco, Fisherman’s Wharf is home to dozens of restaurants, bars and shops sure to keep any tourist busy. A variety of boat charters and bay cruises begin at the wharf, including boat tours to Alcatraz Island. The Aquarium of the Bay, Ghirardelli Square, Pier 39 and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum are just a few tourist attractions located nearby, and we’d be remiss to not mention the crowds that stand around to watch the street performers and sunbathing sea lions. 960 1280
Art MuseumLocated in Baltimore’s Federal Hill neighborhood, the American Visionary Art Museum showcases original works of art created by self-taught artists. The museum comprises 3 renovated historic industrial buildings and sculpture gardens; all create the “un-museumy” atmosphere to display works by visionary artists, including Ho Baron, Nek Chand, Ted Gordon and Leo Sewell. 960 1280
baltimore-san-francisco_ss_010Founded in 1935, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art was the first museum on the West Coast devoted to modern and contemporary art. From modern masters to younger, less established artists, more than 27,000 works of art are on display. Visitors can take a self-guided tour, as well as watch video screenings, view interactive kiosks or participate in public programs to learn more about modern art. 960 1280
Most Popular AttractionThe National Aquarium is the most popular tourist destination in Baltimore. In 2003, aquariums in Baltimore and Washington DC, joined forces to become one National Aquarium; today, the facility showcases living collections of more than 16,000 animals, from more than 660 species of fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, all living in a makeshift natural habitat. 960 1280
baltimore-san-francisco_ss_012In San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge is the most popular tourist attraction in the City by the Bay. The famous bridge was named after the Golden Gate Strait -- the entrance to San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. As of May 2012, almost 2 million vehicles had crossed the Golden Gate Bridge since opening to traffic on May 28, 1937. 960 1280
Historic NeighborhoodWelcome to Fell’s Point, a Baltimore neighborhood and historic district once populated by a large number of Polish and Irish immigrants. The waterfront community is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, coffee bars, music stores and the highest concentration of pubs in the city -- more than 120. 960 1280
baltimore-san-francisco_ss_014The American Planning Association has named San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood one of 10 “Great Neighborhoods in America.” Also known as Little Italy, the area has historically been home to a large Italian-American population. It was also the historic center of the 1950s beatnik literary movement. Today the neighborhood is populated by young professionals, families and Chinese immigrants. 960 1280
Familiar SignIt really isn’t a competition, but we thought we’d throw in a couple famous signs that most people will be familiar with after visiting the 2 Super Bowl cities. Like this, for example: Take a quick glance at Baltimore’s skyline and you’ll notice the Domino Sugars sign atop the company’s plant. 960 1280
baltimore-san-francisco_ss_020We could compare Baltimore’s Little Italy to San Francisco’s Little Italy, but we decided to go in a different direction. We opted instead to highlight San Fran’s Chinatown, where authentic Chinese food is served at restaurants like Golden Gate Bakery, Hunan Home’s Restaurant and Wing Sing. 960 1280
JanuaryWild & Scenic Film Festival
Nevada City, CA
The largest film festival of its kind, Wild & Scenic presents films about nature, activism, adventure, conservation, environmental justice and indigenous cultures with the goal of inspiring possibilities to restore the Earth and its communities. Come away from this festival with a new sense of awe for our planet.
More Festivals in January:
Irvine International Film Festival -- Irvine, CA
Desperado LGBT Film Festival -- Phoenix
Frozen River Film Festival -- Winona, MN 960 1280
FebruaryBig Sky Documentary Film Festival
At the historic Wilma Theater in downtown Missoula, Montana’s largest cinema event showcases an average of 125 nonfiction films annually. Along with screenings of new and classic documentaries, the festival includes film discussions, pitch sessions and workshops for aspiring filmmakers.
More Festivals in February:
Magnolia Independent Film Festival -- Starkville, MS
Appalachian Film Festival -- Huntington, WV
Big Dam Film Festival -- Quincy, IL
Carolina Film and Video Festival -- Greensboro, NC
StarLite Film Festival -- Winter Garden, FL 960 1280
MarchDisposable Film Festival
Disposable video is considered any short film made on an inexpensive device, such as a cell phone. But while moments captured with low-cost video technology may be considered "disposable," that doesn't mean they're not worthy of attention. Kicking off each year in San Francisco before going on tour across the country, this festival gives the work of non-traditional filmmakers the chance to be taken seriously.
More Festivals in March:
Ann Arbor Film Festival -- Ann Arbor, MI
Charlotte Film Festival -- Charlotte, NC
DIY Film Festival -- Hollywood, CA 960 1280
Set among the mountains of Colorado, Aspen Shortsfest is an Oscar-qualifying international competition featuring a selection of drama, comedy, animation and documentary -- all at 40 minutes or less.
More Festivals in April:
Atlanta Film Festival – Atlanta
Independent Film Festival of Boston – Boston
Nashville Film Festival -- Nashville, TN 960 1280
MayMaryland Film Festival
An annual 4-day event, the Maryland Film Festival screens approximately 50 feature films and 75 short films of all varieties including documentary, animation, experimental and hybrid. The festival also includes a vintage silent film with live musical accompaniment, a classic 3-D film and a feature selected and hosted by legendary filmmaker (and Baltimore native) John Waters.
More Festivals in May:
3-Minute Film Fest -- Santa Fe, NM
Big Island Film Festival -- Kohala Coast, HI
Cheyenne International Film Festival -- Cheyenne, WY 960 1280
JuneWaterfront Film Festival
Looking to provide a "Middle Coast" venue for independent filmmakers, entertainment professionals from LA, NYC and Michigan created the Waterfront Film Festival, set in the tranquil resort village of Saugatuck.
More Festivals in June:
Little Rock Film Festival -- Little Rock, AK
Nantucket Film Festival -- Nantucket, MA
San Antonio Film Festival -- San Antonio
Staten Island Film Festival -- Staten Island, NY 960 1280
Julyda Vinci Film Festival
What began as a humble screening of animations in 1999 has evolved into a 3-day exhibition of indie film in the genres of documentary, animation, shorts, and experimental. The da Vinci Film Festival is held as part of "da Vinci Days" where the small town of Corvallis is taken over by artists, engineers and teachers in a sensory experience inspired by the ultimate Renaissance man.
More Festivals in July:
Sacramento Film and Music Festival -- Sacramento, CA
New Hope Film Festival -- New Hope, PA
Real to Reel International Film Festival -- Shelby, NC 960 1280
AugustSidewalk Moving Picture Festival
Located in several venues throughout Birmingham’s historic theatre district, Sidewalk promotes a sense of creativity as filmmakers and film-goers mingle between screenings. Enjoy the outdoors as well with the addition of Sidewalk Central, a live entertainment and vending venue.
More Festivals in August:
Fandana Film Festival -- Huntington, IN
Feel Good Film Festival -- San Clemente, CA
Minneapolis Underground Film Festival – Minneapolis
The Indie Gathering -- Hudson, OH 960 1280
St. George, UT
Organized by Dixie State College, DOCUTAH embraces Utah’s gorgeous scenery by screening its documentary submissions in outdoor venues among the red rocks of southern Utah. Master class seminars and filmmaker panels where student documentarians can learn the art of documentary filmmaking round out the experience.
More Festivals in September:
Jaxon Film Fest -- Jackson, MI
Phenom Film Fest -- Shreveport, LA
Latin American Film Festival -- Providence, RI
Great Lakes International Film Festival -- Erie, PA
Actors Film Festival -- Las Vegas 960 1280
OctoberTallgrass Film Festival
The largest independent film festival in Kansas, this 4-day event showcases more than 100 films from around the world, including foreign, documentary, short, GLBT, retrospective and premiering films. The festival prides itself on giving a voice to films that would otherwise not have a theatrical screening in the region.
More Festivals in October:
Austin Film Festival -- Austin, TX
Buffalo Screams Horror Film Festival -- Buffalo, NY
International Children's Film Festival – Chicago
Midwest Ski Film Festival – Milwaukee
Modern Film Fest -- Kannapolis, NC 960 1280
NovemberColumbus International Film & Video Festival -- Columbus, OH
The CIF+VF is the longest-running film festival in the United States, founded in 1950 by a group of progressive educators. This 6-day event in downtown Columbus, OH, carries on that legacy, screening films in a variety of categories including health, technology, spirituality and social issues.
More Festivals in November:
Denver Film Festival -- Denver
Margaret Mead Film Festival -- New York
Red Rock Film Festival -- St. George, UT
Virginia Film Festival -- Charlottesville, VA
The Boston Jewish Film Festival -- Boston 960 1280
DecemberSanta Fe Film Festival
Santa Fe, NM
Beginning in 1999 as a way to promote Santa Fe's identity as a cultural hub, the Santa Fe Film Festival quickly turned into a premier event for the area. The festival offers awards to films in the categories of best feature, best Native American film and best Latino film, among others.
More Festivals in December:
Reel Independent Film Festival -- Hollywood, CA
Moondance International Film Festival -- Boulder, CO
DocMiami International Film Festival -- Miami 960 1280