Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States, so it has something for everyone who comes to see it. There is a lot to do for history lovers in this city that made the first railroad in the United States.
Enjoy Baltimore’s museums and gardens, then take a water taxi from the Inner Harbor to Fort McHenry to see where the national anthem was written. Make sure you visit the Edgar Allan Poe memorial grave and the place where the greatest baseball player, Babe Ruth, was born.
You can enjoy the best crab dishes and the best nightlife in Baltimore at the end of the day at a local restaurant, so don’t forget to do this. No, I don’t think so. It’s important to read the whole list to find out what the best things to do in Baltimore are.
- 1. Visit & Picnic Federal Hill Park
- 2. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
- 3. National Aquarium
- 4. Baltimore Museum of Art
- 5. Inner Harbor and Historic Ships
- 6. Explore the USS Torsk, a WWII submarine.
- 7. Watch a Game: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
- 8. Fell’s Point
- 9. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum
- 10. Best views at Top of the World Observation Level
- 11. Maryland Science Center
- 12. Mount Vernon Place
- 13. The Brewer’s Art
- 14. Baltimore Museum of Industry
- 15. The Avenue in Hampden
- 16. Taste the food of the Little Italy
- 17. National Cryptologic Museum
- 18. Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
- 19. George Peabody Library
- 20. Baltimore Basilica
- 21. Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower
- 22. Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse
- 23. Visit the Palm House at Rawlings Conservatory
1. Visit & Picnic Federal Hill Park
Many visitors to Baltimore begin their journey at the Inner Harbor. To get a bird’s eye view of the waterfront attractions before visiting the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, Power Plant, and Historic Ships, head to Federal Hill Park, a 10-acre elevated park that the city once defended during the War of 1812. Comfortable shoes are necessary for the 99-step ascent.
2. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
One of the most important historical sites in the United States is located just three miles southeast of the city center. Fort McHenry, which was constructed between 1798 and 1803 to command the harbor entrance, is widely regarded as the location that served as the inspiration for the United States national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.
The city of Baltimore was saved from capture and occupation in 1814 when it withstood a 24-hour bombardment by a British fleet of ten warships, five bomb ketches, and a rocket vessel during the Battle of Baltimore.
Visitors can learn about the fort and its history by touring the casemates and grounds, where they can listen to ranger talks and see living history demonstrations. The fort’s visitor center contains displays and a film about the fort’s historical significance. The original of the famous flag is now housed in the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History in Washington.
3. National Aquarium
One of Baltimore’s most popular tourist attractions is the National Aquarium, which is housed in a striking building with a stunning view of the Inner Harbor. Among the exhibits in this sprawling complex display on coral reefs from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, open water environments, a kelp forest, Amazonian river forests, hidden sea life, seashore life, and aquatic life from Australia, among other topics.
The Tropical Rain Forest is a five-story high environment where visitors can see birds, frogs, and larger mammals like sloths and monkeys. Visitors can also get up close and personal with sharks and dolphins, as well as the hundreds of exotic species found in the Atlantic Coral Reef Exhibit.
4. Baltimore Museum of Art
In addition to being the largest art museum in Maryland, the Baltimore Museum of Art houses works of art from all over the world, representing a diverse range of periods and styles. The permanent collection contains the world’s largest collection of works by Henri Matisse, which is housed in the museum. Picasso, Cezanne, van Gogh, and Andy Warhol are among the other well-known artists who are represented.
Additionally, the museum houses a sculpture garden that features works from the 20th century as well as contemporary and modern art. The museum also houses one of the nation’s most important African collections as well as impressive collections of American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts. The museum is completely free to enter.
5. Inner Harbor and Historic Ships
The Inner Harbor is surrounded by so many of Baltimore’s most popular attractions and things to do that you could easily spend several days just exploring this area. The collection of historic vessels moored here, all of which are open for tours, is a particular highlight. The USS Constellation, a three-masted sailing ship that saw action during the American Civil War, is the oldest ship on the list. The submarine USS Torsk, as well as a US Coast Guard Cutter and the Lightship Chesapeake, are all available for tours as well.
Market and shopping center, Harborplace is an attractive modern complex with two glass-enclosed pavilions in historical style that includes a large number of shops, restaurants, and open spaces. Harborplace is located in the heart of downtown Boston. The Amphitheater on the Promenade is a great place to see street performers demonstrate their talents.
6. Explore the USS Torsk, a WWII submarine.
A historic submarine, the USS Torsk was built in 1944 and saw action in World War II before being decommissioned in 1946. The ship is now on display at the Historic Ships in Baltimore Museum, and visitors are welcome to take a look around. Visit the ship to see how the crew lives, as well as where they eat and sleep.
Look around at the torpedoes, the engine rooms, and the radio and communications rooms. Examine the dining areas for the captain and his officers, as well as the ship’s conning tower, from which the captain would direct the ship during an attack. The Maryland Science Center is a really interesting place to visit in Baltimore.
7. Watch a Game: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Consider taking a trip to Baltimore to see a game over the weekend. For the Baltimore Orioles, Oriole Park at Camden Yards serves as their official stadium.
Nearby the birthplace of baseball legend George Herman “Babe” Ruth is a one-time railroad hub. The modest house has been transformed into a museum, and a statue of Babe Ruth outside the park is a popular spot for photos. You can take a behind-the-scenes tour of Oriole Park, including the press box, club levels, and dugout.
8. Fell’s Point
Fell’s Point is a historic neighborhood along the waterfront that has been meticulously restored in recent years. This historic harbor quarter was formerly known as the shipbuilding district of Baltimore, and it was home to a variety of entertainment venues for sailors. Restaurants, cafes, and shops can be found behind the many restored brick buildings, making it a popular meeting place for people today. The bustling market building is home to stalls selling fresh, locally sourced foods. From Fell’s Point to the Inner Harbor, water taxis are available.
9. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum
A portion of Pratt Street runs west to the Mount Clare Railroad Station of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, where the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s first passenger train, which ran west to Ellicott’s Mills in 1830, began its journey. There are three buildings on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum’s grounds: Mount Clare Station (1851), the Print Shop (1884), and a roundhouse, which now houses an excellent collection of historic locomotives.
The turntable is the focal point, and it connects 22 lines of locomotives and coaches to form the layout. With the exception of a few items, all of the exhibits are originals and in good working order. There is a large open area in front of the building where there are more locomotives. In addition, there is a miniature railway system.
10. Best views at Top of the World Observation Level
With a height of 405 feet, Baltimore’s World Trade Center is one of the city’s tallest structures and offers some of the best views in the area. Aside from that, it is also the world’s tallest regular pentagonal structure.
Its observation level, known as Top of the World, is located on the 27th floor of the building and provides 360-degree views of the city and the surrounding area. Views of Federal Hill Park and the Inner Harbor, as well as the downtown area, are available from the observation deck.
11. Maryland Science Center
The Maryland Science Center, which includes a planetarium, is located on the southwest corner of the Inner Harbor.. Children will enjoy the scientific displays that adorn the museum’s three floors, but adults will enjoy learning about physics, space travel, and other topics as well.
Children can play paleontologists in the dig pits, field lab, and excavation sites of the Dinosaur Mysteries exhibit, which features full-sized dinosaurs roaming through the space. For example, one of the most innovative exhibits is a brick row-house “street” of brick storefronts that is inspired by Baltimore, with each store offering a different challenge or activity, such as learning how gears work at the Bike Shop, conducting sound experiments at the Music Store, or designing and flying paper airplanes at the airport.
12. Mount Vernon Place
The Washington Monument, located in Mount Vernon Place, the heart of Baltimore’s cultural district, is a landmark of the city. Once you’ve ascended the 227 marble steps, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the neighborhood’s elegant 19th and 20th-century rowhomes, which were built in the Beaux-Arts, Greek Revival, and Italianate styles, respectively. The square also serves as an excellent starting point for exploring the Mount Vernon neighborhood, which is home to numerous architectural wonders, including a Norman-Gothic church, the Walters Art Museum in the Palazzo style, and the George Peabody Library, among others. Throughout the summer, the surrounding parks host outdoor activities that the entire family can enjoy.
13. The Brewer’s Art
The city of Baltimore is home to many excellent breweries and brewpubs, but this one should be your first stop when exploring the city. Locally owned and operated in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, The Brewer’s Art creates its Belgian-style beers in-house and houses several destinations under one roof: an 1890s mansion, a cavernous basement with low lighting, and an elegant formal dining room with wooden paneling. As a bonus, it’s a prime example of how developers have transformed elegant rowhomes into unique dining and drinking establishments that are worth visiting.
14. Baltimore Museum of Industry
Even though it’s tucked away in a quiet corner of Baltimore, the Baltimore Museum of Industry offers a fascinating insight into the city’s history of industry and commerce. The focus is on the city’s workers and small business owners, who were the driving force behind its growth.
Workshops of a wide range of activities and skills are preserved or replicated. Baltimore is known for its unique customs like whitewashed doorways and painted window screens, which were used to feed Union troops during the Civil War. You’ll also see a print shop and a cannery. The tug Baltimore is secured to the quay.
15. The Avenue in Hampden
The eccentric neighborhood that played a prominent role in John Waters’ films continues to be a popular hangout spot, particularly along The Avenue, where the films were filmed. It’s also known for its annual festivals, such as Honfest, which honors women who wear beehive hairstyles, and The Miracle of Lights on 34th St., which is an extravagant, kitschy holiday light display that takes up an entire city block every December and attracts thousands of visitors. It also contains some of the best restaurants and bars in the city, such as Dylan’s Oyster Cellar, The Food Market, Avenue Kitchen & Bar, and The Bluebird, just to name a few. After that, head over to the Charmery for some Old Bay caramel ice cream.
16. Taste the food of the Little Italy
Baltimore’s Little Italy serves up delicious Italian fare and a welcoming atmosphere. Located close to the Inner Harbor, the neighborhood is proud of the area’s Italian roots. In addition to sampling some of the best Italian restaurants, bakeries, and delis, you can also attend the outdoor film festival during the summer months.
During the months of May through September, the neighborhood hosts a number of bocce tournaments, as well as a variety of social events and festivals.
17. National Cryptologic Museum
The National Cryptologic Museum, a free attraction located about 20 minutes outside of the city center, exhibits the work of spies and counterspies, as well as encryption techniques used in strategic communications. During World War II, the allies were able to decipher German signals thanks in part to the actual Enigma machine on display here.
There are many types of historical artifacts, from simple cipher disks to complex supercomputers. While exploring the museum, children can participate in a scavenger hunt that challenges them to decode messages and find answers to puzzles.
From World War II’s Code Talkers to Cold War communications, the 90-minute guided tours offer fascinating insights into the world of spies and codes. Two secret reconnaissance planes are stationed nearby in the National Vigilance Park.
18. Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
A visit to the Baltimore Zoo is one of the most enjoyable family-friendly activities in the city. This historical zoo, which has been in operation since 1873, is home to more than 2,000 animals. The zoo has recently completed a number of significant renovations to the animal enclosures as well as the park grounds.
Have you ever wanted to throw a fish at a penguin and see what happens? You will now have the opportunity to actually walk into the African Penguin Pavilion and feed the critically endangered penguins. Alternatively, perhaps your sense of adventure is more suited to goat walking. It will be possible for you to direct your troops through the farmyard pathways in that case.
If you have small children, giraffe feeding is the most gentle and sedate animal interaction you can engage in with them. Bring an acacia branch to the deck and watch as the giant animals lower their heads to softly take your tasty treat with their massive grey tongues. For even more animal interaction, visit the petting zoo and experience what it’s like to pet a farmyard animal for yourself.
19. George Peabody Library
The George Peabody Library is unquestionably one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, if not the most beautiful. This library has six floors and is designed to look more like a palace than a place to keep books. The gilded Neo-Grec style pillars, railings, and marble floor are beautifully illuminated by the vaulted glass roof.
The library’s collection, which dates back to 1857, contains more than 300,000 volumes that are primarily devoted to religion, science and technology, British art, exploration and geography, and languages, among other topics.
20. Baltimore Basilica
Visit the Baltimore Basilica, which is considered a masterpiece of American architecture.
It was the first Roman Catholic cathedral to be built in the United States, and it was one of the first religious structures to be built in the country. It was constructed in the neoclassical style.
Designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the father of American architecture, it was built between 1806 and 1821 and restored in November 2006 by the same architect. Approximately 100,000 visitors come to the shrine each year, making it a popular tourist attraction.
In addition to hosting important events and high-profile guests, the Basilica is also a popular tourist destination. Each day, visitors are given a free tour of the facility.
21. Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower
The Emerson Drug Company built this iconic clock tower in 1907, and it has been converted into a museum that includes artist studios, a performance area, and gallery space. In addition to taking a guided tour of the galleries, visitors should consider visiting the artists’ studios in order to meet them and purchase their work directly from them.
The Emerson/Maryland Glass Museum and the tower’s mechanical clock, which is the largest of its kind in the world, are located on the top two floors of the building.
22. Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse
Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse was constructed in 1857 and is one of the oldest still-standing lighthouses in Chesapeake Bay. Although it used to be on a small island near the Patapsco River’s mouth, the distinctive lighthouse now resides on Pier 5 of the Inner Harbor.
The lighthouse has a large collection of lighthouse-related artifacts and information. Visitors can learn about the lives of the people who worked at the station until it was shut down in 1948.
23. Visit the Palm House at Rawlings Conservatory
Located in Baltimore, the Rawlings Conservatory is a small botanical garden. A replica of London’s Kew Gardens was built in 1888. The Druid Hill Conservatory was originally known as the Druid Hill Park Conservatory.
Over 30,000 varieties of orchids are displayed in the conservatory’s orchid house which features greenhouses with the simulated Mediterranean, desert, and tropical climates. One of the main attractions is the Victorian glass-and-steel palm house, which is like stepping back in time.