West Forest Park – Baltimore, MD

Situated near the city limits of Baltimore, about 20 minutes northwest of downtown by car, West Forest Park maintains a laid-back residential feel in the midst of an urban environment. Bordering the southern edge of Hillsdale Park, West Forest Park lies north of Wakefield and west of Windsor Hills. No single demographic typifies the neighborhood, with a mix of singles, married couples, families and professionals of all ages shaping the population. In addition to having a slower pace of life, West Forest Park features mature trees, eclectic housing styles and relatively affordable rents.

Restaurants & Nightlife

West Forest Park residents looking for a sit-down meal usually travel toward the city center or out to the suburbs, but several take-out options serve up quality grub a bit closer to the neighborhood. Many of the restaurants, plus fast food options such as KFC, lie along Liberty Heights Avenue to the north. Similarly, nightlife options in West Forest Park remain sparse, and night owls looking to party should head downtown. Although Caribbean Heat appears unremarkable from the outside, the Jamaican food served here attracts diners from near and far. Situated on Liberty Heights Avenue near Gwynn Oak Avenue, Caribbean Heat specializes in traditional island fare, including sweet and spicy jerk chicken, that keeps customers coming back. Make sure to save room for dessert. The homemade carrot cake ends a savory meal here on just the right note. Another take-out star in the area, Fred’s Carryout, lies just around the corner from Caribbean Heat, on Gwynn Oak Avenue. Fred’s menu features familiar items with a twist, from chicken wings to submarine sandwiches. The hamburger sub, topped with all the fixings of your favorite patty, draws raves. For a more traditional sandwich, you cannot go wrong with a Philly cheesesteak. When in need of a more formal dinner, drive to Woodberry Kitchen on Clipper Park Road just north of Druid Hill Park. Reserve a table ahead of time to ensure a seat at this popular farm-to-table restaurant. Try the deviled eggs with chipped ham and fish pepper, and finish the meal with the CMP sundae, a generous serving of fresh cream ice cream topped with toasted marshmallow and peanuts. The most popular nightspot in West Forest Park, ChileSwing on Wetheredsville Road, may not appeal to party animals with extreme tastes. At this dance studio, students of all skill levels can learn the classic Lindy Hop, which originated in Harlem, New York in the 1930s and 40s. Occasional live band performances and dances with live deejays round out the experience.

History & Culture

Colonists first settled the area comprising Baltimore in the 1600s, and the city came into existence in 1729. Most of the land remained sparsely populated for centuries, though economic prosperity came to the area during the Revolutionary War, when resource trade gained importance. As the 18th century led into the 19th century, Baltimore struggled to remain economically relevant in the face of competition from neighboring cities. A construction boom in the 1890s and subsequent population growth helped revive the city. Also at the turn of the 20th century, city planners set aside land to the south of West Forest Park to serve as a city green space, today known as Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park. Area residents also enjoy easy access to Baltimore’s best cultural institutions, as well as to smaller museums, such as the Heritage Museum of Art on Prospect Circle.

Transportation

Well positioned for travel into and away from the downtown area, West Forest Park features solid transportation options. The Maryland Transit Administration operates a bus system, and Route 15 runs to and from the city center until 1 a.m. daily. During peak hours, a bus arrives every 30 minutes. Bicycles have also gained popularity as a green alternative to private vehicles, and the sprawling green space of Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park provides ample opportunity to escape the crowded city streets. For West Forest Park community members who drive, the journey to downtown can take less than 20 minutes in ideal traffic conditions. Heading to the southwest, drivers hit Interstate 70, which connects with the Baltimore Beltway and the rest of the western suburbs. Drivers typically find street parking without trouble. When crunched for time but not for money, hire a car service, or use your smartphone to reserve a ride via Uber.

Cost

As in the rest of the outlying neighborhoods of Baltimore, the cost of living in West Forest Park sits slightly below the national average and slightly above the Baltimore average. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment falls just below $825, with even better deals for apartments in older buildings. When it comes to essential goods and services, prices in the neighborhood hover slightly above the national average. A beer at a bar near the area sets you back around $3, and a one-way city bus ticket costs $1.60. Gas prices sit about 7 percent above the national average.

Shopping

As a residential neighborhood, West Forest Park has little in the way of shopping, but numerous stores lie within driving distance in all directions. Large chain stores, such as Walgreens and Rite Aid, dominate the market here. The Mondawmin Mall, a few miles east of West Forest Park, has a mix of chains and independent options. A long-time community favorite, The Calico Cat on Gwynn Oak Avenue near Gwynn Lake Drive features handcrafted art and home decor from all corners of the globe. The owners have a keen eye for design, selling everything from locally fired ceramics to hand-carved Austrian figurines. Keep an eye out for the store’s regular events, such as demonstrations on traditional Ukrainian egg decoration. Head southeast on Liberty Heights Avenue to reach the Mondawmin Mall, where Downtown Locker Room fulfills the footwear needs of even the most shoe-addicted shoppers. Displayed attractively in long rows and lit by large industrial fixtures, the store’s shoes run the gamut from casual to formal. Downtown Locker Room also features limited-edition collections and a clothing section. For groceries and other daily errands, West Forest Park provides two basic options: the independent Forest Park Market and the larger ShopRite, just to the north in Howard Park. If your shopping list includes farm-fresh fare, head east to Druid Hill Park, where a Wednesday farmers market featuring local vendors runs from June through September.

Parks

West Forest Park borders the northern tip of Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park, a 1,200-acre green space covered in mature trees. The park, which the city does not charge to enter, features 14 miles of hiking trails and ample opportunities for soaking in the sun, resting in the shade or walking your dog. Numerous picnic areas encourage family outings in the warmer months, and a nature center hosts a summer camp for children. Many of the community traditions near West Forest Park call Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park their home. Every May, the Baltimore Herb Fest highlights local herb and plant vendors, along with local food and music. Attendees also hear lectures from herbologists and other plant experts.
3 days
Greens At Forest Park
4401-4515 Fairview Ave, Baltimore, MD 21216
$890 - 946 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-851-3200