If you're not quite a city-dweller, but you hate to be too far from a lively nightlife scene, Govans is the spot to be. Situated between the city line and some of Baltimore's oldest suburbs, the neighborhood has plenty of dining, entertainment and shopping opportunities.
About five miles north of the city, and just south of Towson, Govans was once called Govanstown after William Govane, who developed the area in the 1700s. The main turnpike of what is now York Road was built to connect Baltimore to York, Pa., and the neighborhood (renamed Govans in 1953) became a busy area for travel and commerce between the two cities.
From wood bungalows to brick homes, the houses in Govans vary just as much as the points of interest surrounding the neighborhood. Residents of Govans live minutes away from the Senator Theatre, a historic, single-screen movie theater on York Road; their own neighborhood park, DeWees; and convenient shopping spots in nearby Belvedere Square.
If you're in a hurry to get downtown, or to get back to Towson, you might just miss Belvedere Square. But if you slow down long enough near the intersection of York Road and Northern Parkway, you'll discover that the Square offers one of the most unique shopping experiences in Baltimore. The heart of the Square is Belvedere Market, which provides everything you'll need for lunch-on-the-go or a ritzy dinner party. Breads, cheeses, baked goods and seafood help to create the atmosphere of a true market shopping experience.
Whether you're window shopping or searching for that perfect gift, you can find clothing, furniture, jewelry, books and more at Belvedere Square's boutiques. Summer Sounds at the Square, a free outdoor concert series, is a popular draw for those searching for a not-so-typical family night out, while young professionals flock to the Square for an inexpensive date night.
Govans doesn't quite fit the mold of a typical city neighborhood -- or a suburban one, for that matter. But that unique vibe is what gives the neighborhood its charm.
Location: North Baltimore City
Boundaries: Stevenson Lane to the north, 43rd Street to the south, Northwood Drive to the east, N. Charles Street to the west
Highlights/Landmarks: Belvedere Square (Belvedere Market), Chinquapin Park, DeWees Park, the Senator Theatre, Summer Sounds at the Square
Schools: Govans Elementary School, Guilford Elementary/Middle School, Chinquapin Middle School, Winston Middle School, Reginald F. Lewis High School, W.E.B. DuBois High School, St. Mary of the Assumption School
Trivia: Govans is considered a Baltimore Main Street neighborhood, along with Federal Hill, Fells Point and more.