Walking through Mount Vernon down Charles Street always makes me feel kinda fancy, even if I don’t feel like I fit into this decidedly metropolitan stretch of the road. The intricate, towering steeples, the huge historic mansions, the Peabody and its classic library, and the nicely manicured green spaces around the Washington Monument are, at times, overwhelmingly beautiful. (The historian John W. McGrain Jr. even viscerally dubbed Charles Street “Baltimore’s Artery of Elegance” in his book about it.) And best of all, it seems like everyone’s always walking their dogs around here: Borzois, dachshunds, and Italian greyhounds abound.
Before you start your shopping on this street, drop by Koffee Therapy (6 E. Franklin St.,  764-5241, koffeetherapy.com) for a quick coffee and croissant, and later, warm up with some ramen from Ten Ten (413 N. Charles St.,  244-6988, tentenramen.com).
For an easy first stop, A People United (516 N. Charles St.,  727-4471, apeopleunited.com) offers a variety of solid gift items; this place is full of scarves, socks, candles, crystals, incense, teas, and jewelry. Next, head into the Doll House Boutique (525 N. Charles St.,  874-7900, shopdollhouseboutique.com) for dresses, tops, and other apparel, all designed and/or embellished in house. Nearby there’s Gian Marco Menswear (517 N. Charles St.,  347-7974, gianmarco.org) to suit up any dudes or dads in your life.
Head down to the Walters Art Museum’s gift shop (600 N. Charles St.,  547-9000, thewalters.org) and pick up some books for the artistically minded kids in your life, or a set of Faberge egg earrings, because those just might make sense for someone on your list. Near here, too, you can buy some fine art at the C. Grimaldis Gallery (523 N. Charles St.,  539-1080, cgrimaldisgallery.com), which is not far from a growing roster of galleries in/around the Bromo Arts District (bromodistrict.org) a few blocks west where yes, you can also often buy art there, too.
This road runs through the city’s center, so it’s well served by several bus lines, but it’s also certainly a pleasant stroll. (Rebekah Kirkman)
“Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: A Century of Sound” by Michael Lisicky ($24.95), Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., (410) 547-9000, thewalters.org
Handprinted Islamic scarf by Sara Shahabi ($139.95), Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., (410) 547-9000, thewalters.org
Tin Can Robot ($24.95), Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., (410) 547-9000, thewalters.org
Gemstone headband ($64), Doll House Boutique, 525 N. Charles St., (443) 874-7900, shopdollhouseboutique.com
Beaded scarf ($78), Doll House Boutique, 525 N. Charles St., (443) 874-7900, shopdollhouseboutique.com
Singing Bowl Set ($88), A People United, 516 N. Charles St., (410) 727-4471, apeopleunited.com
Equal Exchange Columbian coffee ($11), A People United, 516 N. Charles St., (410) 727-4471, apeopleunited.com
Equal Exchange chocolate mint bar ($4.50), A People United, 516 N. Charles St., (410) 727-4471, apeopleunited.com
Japa Mala prayer bead necklace ($24), A People United, 516 N. Charles St., (410) 727-4471, apeopleunited.com