10 Best Things to Do in Baltimore

10 Best Things to Do in Baltimore: Baltimore offers a plethora of activities, thanks to its flourishing arts scene, top-notch sports teams, and unparalleled museums. While not always considered a prime destination by many Americans, this city, often referred to as Charm City, proves itself a must-explore locale with its stunning waterfront vistas and rich historical tapestry.

Immerse yourself in the lively heart of Baltimore at Inner Harbor, where you can discover the National Aquarium, an urban beach, and an array of shops and seafood restaurants. Art enthusiasts will find delight in the captivating collection housed at the Baltimore Museum of Art, while sports fanatics shouldn’t miss the opportunity to catch a ballgame at the iconic Oriole Park. For those passionate about American and Civil Rights history, a visit to Fort McHenry is indispensable to truly grasp the significance of the past.

What are the 10 best things to do in Baltimore?

1. Baltimore Museum of Art

Baltimore Museum of Art
Baltimore Museum of Art

Situated adjacent to Johns Hopkins University, the Baltimore Museum of Art stands as a renowned institution that attracts art enthusiasts from across the globe. Originating with the display of a single art piece, the museum has evolved to encompass an extensive collection of over 95,000 works by distinguished masters, including Andy Warhol, Picasso, and Cézanne.

A standout feature of the museum is the remarkable 1,000-piece Matisse collection housed in the Cone Wing, a generous donation from a pair of Baltimorean sisters several decades ago. The Contemporary Wing is dedicated to showcasing works by women and artists of color, boasting a sculpture garden and hosting regular summer jazz sessions.

Admission to the museum is complimentary, allowing visitors to explore its treasures freely. Conclude your day with a delightful fine-dining experience at Gertrude’s, renowned for serving signature Chesapeake Bay cuisine.


2. Inner Harbor

2. Inner Harbor
Inner Harbor

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has been an important seaport since the 18th century, and continues to be the activity centre of the city. Located just south of downtown, the harbour is home to some of Baltimore’s biggest attractions and is connected by an expansive 7-mile brick waterfront promenade.

Spend the day walking and shopping at the numerous boutique malls, or stop and take in exhilarating street performances. The National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Centre, and the USS Constellation Museum are the big draws, all within a 10-minute walk of each other. Jump aboard a water taxi or head to Federal Hill Park for the best views of the harbour.

3. Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum

Delve into the early 19th century America with a visit to the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum. Renowned for his imaginative and, at times, chilling poems and short stories, Poe called Baltimore home for several years, reportedly crafting many of his masterpieces within the confines of this historic row house.

Upon entering the museum, you’ll encounter a wealth of Poe artifacts, ranging from a telescope to a portable writing table. While the house remains unfurnished, you have the opportunity to traverse the same hallways and stairs that Poe once tread some two centuries ago. The self-guided audio tour, lasting approximately one hour, provides a captivating journey into the life and creative space of this literary icon.

4. Go to a game at Oriole Park

4. Go to a game at Oriole Park
Go to a game at Oriole Park

There is no truer Baltimorean experience than joining the sea of orange-shirted fans heading to Oriole Park on game day. Located a couple of blocks east of Inner Harbor, the park was built in a retro style in the 1990s and is still a festive and comfortable sports venue today.

Oriole Park – locally referred to as Camden Yards – is home to the multiple World Series-winning Baltimore Orioles. Visitors to the park commonly describe it as an authentic baseball experience, with hot dogs, peanuts, and cold beers flowing, and Take me out to the ballgame blasting from the speakers. Visit on an off-day to take a neat stadium tour through the press box, dugouts, and even onto the field.

5. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

10 Best Things to Do in Baltimore
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine commemorates one of America’s notable military triumphs – the Battle of Baltimore in 1814. The British invasion was thwarted by the resilient defenders at Fort McHenry, an event that stirred Francis Scott Key to compose The Star-Spangled Banner in the subsequent months.

Visitors today have the opportunity to freely explore or opt for guided tours of the fort, engaging in various activities such as flag talks and drill demonstrations. A particularly beloved experience is participating in the changing of the 42-ft flag. Following a tour, relish a picnic while taking in the picturesque views of Chesapeake Bay. While entry to the general park area is complimentary, there is a nominal fee to access the interior of the fort.

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6. Learn about Baltimore’s deep African American roots

The history and culture of African Americans have been deeply interwoven with Maryland for centuries, with influential figures like Thurgood Marshall and Frederick Douglass leaving an indelible mark on America’s narrative. For a comprehensive exploration of local black history, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture boasts an exceptional collection of artworks and documents dating back to 1784.

To delve into the lives of Maryland’s prominent black leaders, a visit to the National Great Blacks Wax Museum offers an immersive experience with life-like figures on display. Alternatively, the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park provides insights into the contributions of African Americans to the maritime industry. For a seamless exploration of this rich heritage, consider the Baltimore Legends & Legacies Heritage Pass, conveniently available for online purchase, granting access to all three museums.

7. National Aquarium

10 Best Things to Do in Baltimore
10 Best Things to Do in Baltimore

Situated right on Inner Harbor, the National Aquarium is an architectural marvel that’s home to over 17,000 animals and 750 species of fish, marine mammals and sharks. If you have children, this is one of the best things to do in Baltimore, as the interactive exhibits immerse and transport kids into natural marine habitats around the world.

Accompanying the normal aquarium viewing areas are numerous behinds-the-scenes opportunities such as teaching dolphins tricks. The National Aquarium is also home to exotic animals like crocodiles, sloths, and flying foxes. Plan to spend a full day entranced by the aquarium.

8. Fells Point Historic District

Discover the colonial-era charm of Fells Point, situated just east of the harbor, offering a picturesque setting for strolling, dining, shopping, and enjoying outdoor live music. Established in 1730 as a maritime community, this impeccably preserved 14-block district has evolved into the vibrant cultural hub of Baltimore.

Commence your day at the Visitor’s Center, where knowledgeable staff share insights into the city’s history. Treat your children to a pirate cruise of the harbor, engaging in a treasure-filled adventure, then savor delectable Chesapeake oysters at the Thames St. Oyster House. Conclude the evening with a pint at The Horse You Came In On Saloon, a favored watering hole of Edgar Allan Poe, before embarking on a night of bar-hopping.

9. Faidley’s Seafood

10 Best Things to Do in Baltimore
Faidley’s Seafood

The crab cakes at Faidley’s Seafood, fried to a golden perfection and about the size of a softball, have achieved legendary status. Maryland crab is renowned worldwide, and when expertly crafted into a moist cake and fried, it epitomizes quintessential Baltimore cuisine.

What sets Faidley’s apart is its use of exceptionally fresh crab meat, coupled with its prime location within the historic Lexington Market. The seating arrangement is standing room only, with a few communal high tables providing excellent opportunities for mingling amidst the eccentric yet charming décor. Beyond the fried fish station, Faidley’s also features a fresh fish and raw bar area that regularly showcases unique offerings such as frog legs and raccoon.

10. B&O Railroad Museum

10. B&O Railroad Museum
B&O Railroad Museum

The B&O Railroad Museum is a fascinating place for train-lovers, home to the largest collection of locomotives, and the site of the first railroad services in the country. You can revel in this heritage by riding the Mile One Express – a 20-minute train ride along the first commercial miles of railroad track in America.

Walking into the foyer of the Mount Clare Roundhouse entry point is a sight to behold, with its towering 125-ft ceiling and the cascading influx of natural light from the hundreds of windows. Because of the plethora of trains from all periods, and a slew of historic railroad equipment on display, the museum is best explored with a tour guide

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