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Best Record Store in Baltimore's Historic Fells Point - Sound Garden

Updated on April 18, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has spent 30 years working in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, and aerospace education for Active USAF Civil Air Patrol.

View in the Inner Harbor, Baltimore
View in the Inner Harbor, Baltimore | Source

A Historic Garden of Shops and Services

So many unimagined places have emerged as top spots in Hubpages Travel Challenges that have included HubMob, HubTrail, and the HubPages Marks The Spot Contest, that I fully understand now when a friend's dad bought a small RV, equipped it with satellite TV and Internet, and traveled America.

He stayed perhaps 30 days in each place and through he'd never have enough time to see it all. He's probably still steering that RV along the National Road or Highway 1 in California, or th eopen and reconstructed parts of Route 66. I thnk that's what I want to do when I grow up.

Here we be havin' a dandy few streets in Baltimore, where there be real pirates t' fit the HMTS treasure maps. Avast! Here be inns, dandy fine saloons, scurvy Red Coats, buried treasure shops, and ghosts afoot. Don't be leavin' yer cutlass on t' ship... Thar be a Pyrate Invasion at least once a year -

National History


Fells Point National Historic District

Inner Harbor, Baltimore MD:
Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD, USA

get directions

The Horse You Came In On:
1626 Thames St, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

Did Edgar Allan Poe have his last drink here? Mystery writer and pub visitor Martha Grimes named one of her entertaining novels after this place.

The Sound Garden,:
1616 Thames St, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

Guided Walking Tours and Festivals

Annually from April through early November, the Baltimore National Heritage Area offers guided tours to visitors.

The Heritage Walk

This tour uses Baltimore's historic urban trail through three distincts: the Inner Harbor, Little Italy, and Jonestown. You will enjoy going past the ship USS Constellation, the Flag House, and the Star-Spangled Banner Museum. Also included are the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, the Carroll Mansion, and the Jewish Museum of Maryland.

The tour schedule for the day begins at 10:00 am daily.

Historic Fell's Point Trail
This tour happens only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 11:00 AM and begin at the ticket center at the Fell's Point Visitor Center, 1724-26 Thames Street, a block from The Horse You Came In On and the Sound Garden.

Other tours include Ghost Walks, African American Entertainment tours, and cultural walks.

Pirate Festival!

The local Privateer Festival is held during the middle weekend of April every year.

Home Of Fell's Point Festivals And Events

Fell's Point Main Street, Inc.:
1632 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

Annual Fun Fest, late October:
S Broadway & Thames St, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

The Sound Garden - Baltimore location 1616 Thames Street Baltimore, MD 21231:
1616 Thames St, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

Oyster Slurpfest, held in late October:
501 Light St, Baltimore, MD 21230, USA

get directions

Annual Folk Festival, late October:
2549 N Howard St, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

get directions

Baltimore's Inner Harbor as see from Federal Hill in summer of 2005.
Baltimore's Inner Harbor as see from Federal Hill in summer of 2005. | Source

Historic Pub and Friends

The Horse You Came In On 1626 Thames St, Baltimore, MD:
1626 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

The Sound Garden; 1616 Thames St., Baltimore, MD:
1616 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

Saints and Sinners - #1 Tattoo Shop in Baltimore.:
1610 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

The Horse You Came In On

1626 Thames Street

PH: (410) 327-8111

Ask about the local Ghost Tours.

What Is Fell's Point?

Fells Point

Many of the first US Navy ships were built in Fells Point shipyards, famous for topsail schooners with unmatched speed and handling. They participated in many battles at sea.

Always a lively harbor town to this day, many internationals immigrated here and found work. After the American Civil War, on to 1900, shipping and shipbuilding expanded and preservation societies arose to save the rest of Fells Point.  Enjoying festivals and parties all year, the neighborhood was founded in 1726 by William Fell. After 1763, when son Edward laid out a street system, the town grew into Baltimore. The area enjoyed a the wealth of tobacco, flour, and coffee into the 19th century.Today, the average household income is increasing and Fells Point has the largest concentration of bars in Baltimore.

SOURCE: Fells Point Historic District National Register #69000319 and

Good Sounds, Good Prices, Good People

The Fells Point Sound Garden

1616 Thames St.

Historic Fells Point MD 21231

PH: (410) 563-9011

Sunday - Thurs.: 10 AM - 10 PM

Friday/Saturday: 10 AM - 12 AM

80,000+ CD titles

20,000+ DVD titles

Rare and obscure treasures.

Buried Treasures

An old friend and a new friend have been telling me about their experiences while living in Baltimore, Maryland. They agree that the people of Baltimore are fun loving, loyal to their city, and are proud of their local landmarks, shopping, and services. Home of the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens sports teams and the Sound Garden record shop, it’s a great place.

The Sound Garden is full of variety in music, films, and other media in 10,000 square feet of beauty. It’s in the Fells Point National Historic District by the Inner Harbor at 1616 Thames St. At 1626 Thames is America’s oldest tavern, now called The Horse You Came in On Saloon. It opened, according to different sources, in 1763 or 1771 - even 1775. One friend lived in Baltimore for many years and described the four-storey saloon where the British Redcoats drank before the American Revolution. “The Horse” is a lively place that been open ever since, even during Prohibition.

A bigger enticement to Thames St. may be the legend that Edgar Allan Poe (d. Oct, 1849) had his last drink in The Horse and haunts it still - a local Ghost Tour can tell you all about it. A memorable vacation might include the Inner Harbor, Poe historical sites, and Thames Street businesses.

Sound Garden is the Best Baltimore CD Store according to the City Paper each year since 1996.

Around Thames Street in Fells Point, Baltimore, MD

Fells Point Visitor Center and Maritime Museum:
1724 Thames St, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

Ed Kane's Water Taxi:
1615 Thames St, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

Sound Garden:
1616 Thames St, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

Fletcher's Bar and Grill - Live Entertainment Nightly:
701 S Bond St, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

Baltimore Tattoo Museum:
Baltimore Tattoo Museum, 1534 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

Fells Point Main Street; 1730 Bank St., Baltimore MD:
1730 Bank Street, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

get directions

Privateer Day. Be a pirate.

Rockin' with Round the Clock Treasures at the Sound Garden

The Sound Garden carries new and used entertainment media. Their vinyl LPs are all new and they have a line of new DJ equipment. If you were a fan of the former Sam the Record Man store in Toronto or didn’t have a chance to visit before it closed, then you must visit the Sound Garden.

This is probably North America's best, largest, most innovative store full of good music/films/games. And they enjoy their customers -- Staff provide good service and good answers to questions; and if you are looking for rare CDs or DVDs, give them a call at (410)-563-9011; they delight in Special Orders and tracking down rare gems of entertainment.

Any time you walk into Sound Garden, you see additional merchandise going up, because items are accepted and stocked nearly around the clock at both the Fells Point and the Syracuse NY shops. The décor is bright and colorful, with T-shirts and posters on the walls and for sale among other gift items.

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Often Plays the Sound Garden

Live Performances On Stage

Sound Garden pays "the highest rates in America" for used CDs in good condition, rates listed on their web site. Prices on some HOT new CDs has been lower than at other stores as well. Open late, the shop provides a list of local concerts and shows and is the hub of the music scene of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC.

Sound Garden is the Best Baltimore CD Store according to the City Paper each year since 1996 (the third year after opening). A part of the reason for that is the large number of in-store appearances on stage from top musical artists. In fact, you may see people lined up to see them. This has happened when performers like Ludacris and the Goo Goo Dolls played the shop. A long list of other appearances are found on the store's website.

The Sound Garden is a big part of the Downtown Waterfront revitalization of Baltimore, drawing over 20,000 customers weekly. It's more fun to go there than to download a song from iTunes at home. If you're unsure of a choice, you can listen on one of the audio stations around the store.

This is about as close to perfect as a record store can achieve. Suburbanites are flocking downtown to shop at Sound Garden in growing numbers, so the Waterfront music landscape is the big draw to Downtown Baltimore.


While the large chains like Media Play and Sam Goody fall by the side of the road, independent Sound Garden takes a firmer hold on the music scene - and not only customers. Sound Garden is in touch with recording artists, record labels, local clubs and concert venues, DJs, and everyone important in music. Owner is long time Fells Point resident Bryan Burkert, a Gen-X'r who also owns Fletcher's Bar just blocks away. More fun - the live music acts playing there often stop in at the Sound Garden. Icing on the cake is that Mr. Burkert has a good relationship with local Baltimore 98 Rock FM. On top of that, The Horse You Came In On provides live music 7 nights a week, so there is music everywhere in the neighborhood.

Speaking of cakes, Sound Garden recommends Charm City Cakes and the Ace of Cakes TV show on its list of community go-tos. Some other awesome places are listed below.

Best Shops On Fells Point

How about a Baltimore vacation? It could include the Inner Harbor, The Horse, Fletcher's, Sound Garden, Edgar Allen Poe's Grave, and big Ghost Tours. You might even like a tattoo from Saints and Sinners and a custom cake from Charm City Cakes as a send-off. October would be a good month, especially if you're seeking Edgar's ghost!

  • Atomic Books: Literary Finds for Mutated Minds

    Baltimore's legendary, alternative, independent bookstore specializing in zines, comix, self-published periodicals, fringe non-fiction, the beats, mayhem, sideshows, serial killers and other bizarre topics generally avoided in polite society conversa

  • Charm City Cakes

    Here at Charm City Cakes, we are motivated by constantly trying to outdo ourselves by making cakes that are beautiful, challenging, and as out-of-the-ordinary as possible!

The Inner Harbor In 1849, the Year Poe Died

A steamship at Federal Hill in 1849. The Basilica and Washington monument are in the background.
A steamship at Federal Hill in 1849. The Basilica and Washington monument are in the background. | Source

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS


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    • Dr Rockpile profile image

      Dr Rockpile 

      9 years ago from USA

      I will have to ask my record store loving friend if he's been to Sound Garden. :)

    • webstudio2ucom profile image


      9 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      thank, very useful for me

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      9 years ago from Central Oregon

      This is a well put together Hub, as always. I enjoy being informed by you. Thank you, Write on and happy new year.

    • galine profile image


      9 years ago from Chicago

      This is a very good article, has lots of information.

      Hope I can visit one day.

    • Wendy Krick profile image

      Wendy Henderson 

      10 years ago from Cape Coral

      There are lots of great places to visit in Baltimore and Fells Point is very popular. Great Hub.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      There's not enough time in one life to see all these good places. DC would be a fun place to go to school - It's the place I've visited more often than any other.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      10 years ago from San Francisco

      Privateer day?? THAT IS SO COOL!! Baltimore be a place of buried treasures indeed! Hahaa- having gone to school in DC, I feel ashamed that I did not take better advantage of it!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you, Patty, for showing another beautiful place.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      There are so many fabulous places around the world


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