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“What do students like to do on the weekends?” As a proud Hopkins tour guide, this is definitely one of the most popular questions people ask, AND one of my favorite questions to answer. Whether you’re in the mood to stay on campus, venture into Charles Village, take a free shuttle to the harbor, or even hop on the $8 train to D.C., there’s never a shortage of things to do when you’re procrastinating on homework or craving a change of scenery. Over the past few days, I’ve thought about my own top weekends at Hopkins and asked my friends about their favorites, and compiled the following, definitive answer to the question:

On Campus:

Looking back at my time at Hopkins, some of the weekends I remember most fondly involve the pure freedom of staying on campus and not doing anything too exciting. My favorite memories include picnics on the quad, cheering on the Blue Jays at home games, brunch dates at Bird in Hand (the favorite café of Hopkins students), and movie nights in the dorm. The JHU Digital Media Center rents out projectors, speakers, and more to students completely free; my a cappella group has gotten speakers and microphones for karaoke parties, and some friends from my dorm regularly rent projectors to bring casual movie nights to a whole new level. More often than not, a student club is putting on a concert, hosting a speaker, or showcasing some event on campus that the rest of the student body can attend.

A cloudy sky didn’t stop the Blue Jays first home football game yesterday- complete with a tailgate and more Hopkins merch than anyone could ever need.

A Walk Away:

One of my favorite parts about the Hopkins campus is its proximity to so many unique places and neighborhoods in Baltimore. Directly next to campus is the Baltimore Museum of Art, which is completely free for students and houses an incredible collection of art from all over the world. Another Hopkins favorite is the 32nd St Farmers Market, which takes place every Saturday morning a fifteen minute walk away from campus. Fifteen minutes in the other direction lies Hampden (the neighborhood where “Hairspray” takes place), the perfect place to pick up some boba after classes, shop for antiques, or spend a Saturday night exploring. One of the coolest walkable restaurants from Hopkins is R House, a converted warehouse that serves as an upscale food court in the neighborhood of Remington. Even after a year of living on campus, I’m still discovering new destinations, and every month seems to bring new stores and restaurants to the area.

Some friends at the farmers market on a chilly day last year!

A Shuttle Ride Away:

Between the free shuttle systems of Baltimore and Hopkins, getting anywhere in the city at no cost is never too difficult. Whenever my friends and I need a change of scenery for the weekend, we take the Charm City Circulator down to the Inner Harbor or Federal Hill for some exploring and sightseeing. Even on weekends before midterms or finals when there isn’t as much time for adventures around the city, we’ll take the JHU shuttle down to the Peabody campus for an afternoon of studying in the gorgeous library or in a coffee shop nearby.

The George Peabody library is one of the most stunning, Hogwarts-esque buildings I’ve ever been inside- and it’s only a fifteen minute shuttle ride away from campus.

A Train Ride Away:

Baltimore is 45 minutes north of DC and several hours south of Philadelphia, so if a weekend trip ever calls for an entirely new city altogether, it’s easy and affordable to get there. My friends and I headed up to Philly for a music festival two weekends ago for just a $22 bus ride, and we regularly took day trips down to DC last year for the women’s march, cherry blossom festival, or just to explore. Best of all- the train ticket to DC is only $8 from Baltimore’s Penn station. While these excursions are definitely a bigger ordeal than just a trip to the farmers market down the street, having such easy access to so many different cities and destinations is definitely one of the highlights of the Hopkins experience.

We took a trip to the nation’s capital for the Cherry Blossom festival last April, and the sights definitely did not disappoint.

All in all, no matter what weekend you’re in the mood for, Baltimore can provide it. There’s never a lack of new and exciting places to visit, but even living at Hopkins for just a year, the passion with which the student body gets involved with the Charles Village community makes the neighborhood feel like home. I know I’ll spend the rest of my four years taking advantage of all I can in this city, whether it’s a train ride away or right in my backyard.