There are plenty of things to do in Baltimore to keep visitors occupied for any length of visit. Let’s start with a wee bit of background about the Mid Atlantic city before we get around to detailing all its top attractions. Baltimore is the most populous city in the state of Maryland. It sits on the east coast of the United States and is bordered by Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia. The city is only 40 miles away from Washington DC and is the second largest seaport in the mid-Atlantic region. Baltimore has more public statues per capita than any other city in the United States. If you like looking at monuments, then you’ll never run out of things to do in Baltimore. It also has more buildings on the National Historic Register than any other city, too. Suffice to say that there’s a whole lot to see on a visit.
So, let’s take you on a quick journey and explore all the great things to do in Baltimore when you’re in town.
Baltimore Aquarium is located in the Inner Harbor area and is one of the top things to do in Baltimore. The building design is conceptual, and it certainly makes an impression. There’s a huge glass pyramid on top of one building and some very funky design tiles on another outer wall. But it’s inside where the real magic happens. The aquarium is home to some real slimy creatures, including Blue Rubber Jellies (who have their own live webcam), the Green Waxy Tree Frog, and the rather odd Yellow Sea Cucumber. In the Terrifying Beasts category, you can have a look at a range of large-jawed sharks. Seriously, there’s like nine different kinds, and none of them look particularly friendly. Never fear, though, Baltimore Aquarium also has a whole lot of cute. It has some beautiful birds, Golden Tamarins, and everyone’s favorite, the Bottlenose Dolphin. Did I mention that Nemo also lives there? No? Well, he does. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate Dory.
Tickets required, available online or at the entrance, $29.95-$39.95
Spending the day exploring the Inner Harbor is one of the best things to do in Baltimore. The area runs along the waterfront and is home to many of the city’s main attractions. From here, you can climb to the top of the World Trade Center and enjoy the views from the 27th floor. If you’re looking for things to do in Baltimore with kids, then look no further than the Science Center, Port Discovery, or the Aquarium, as all are based in the area. Adults will enjoy the American Visionary Arts Museum and shopping at the Harborplace or the Gallery.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Fort McHenry is located in the coastal Locust Point neighborhood and is a pentagonal base, dating back to 1798. It is most famous for successfully assisting the American army to hold off the British in the War of 1812, and defeating them in the Battle of Baltimore. The large flag that was flown over the base after the battle inspired Francis Scott Key to write what would eventually become ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’ Due to the importance of the base, when a new flag is designed in the US, it’s a tradition that its first flown over Fort McHenry. The original flag has been restored and is now on display on the second floor. The museum has three floors, and displays exhibits from all facets of life, science, and industry. It also has a detailed timeline of the United States at war. It’s a great thing to do in Baltimore with kids.
Tickets required, available from the visitor center information desk, $15 for adults 16 and over
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park is the home of Baltimore’s ML baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles. The stadium was built fairly recently – in comparison to other stadia across the country – and was completed in 1992. It was the first retro ground to be built and was specifically designed to look like an old jewel box park from back in the day. The mouthful of a name came from a disagreement between the then Mayor of Baltimore and the owner of the team.
One preferred the name Oriole Park and the other, Camden Yards. In the end, the stadium was given both titles. In 2015, as a result of rioting in Baltimore, the Orioles game against the Chicago White Sox was held behind closed doors due to safety concerns. This was the first closed game in MLB history. Baseball season runs from April to September, but you can still visit the stadium if there’s no game on during your time in town. A visit to the Yards is a fun thing to do in Baltimore and is always popular with kids.
The Walters Art Museum
The Walters, as it’s known locally, was initially a private collection of 19th century art and sculptures owned by a local father and son of the same name. The collection was housed at their family mansion before they commissioned a purpose built museum. When the younger Walker died, he left the museum, 22,000 pieces, and his mansion, to the city of Baltimore. The collection includes pieces from Ancient Egypt, the Middle East, and Art Deco jewelry. An afternoon in The Walters is an excellent free thing to do in Baltimore for all the family.
Mount Vernon is Baltimore’s hipster paradise and the cultural mecca of the city. It has a great mix of dining options, with diverse cuisines ranging from American to Spanish to Afghani. Trendy bars and cocktail bars are plentiful, so an evening out here is a fantastic thing to do in Baltimore at night for couples. Mount Vernon is also a great way to explore Baltimore’s history as it’s home to many galleries, monuments, and historic buildings. One of the highlights of the neighborhood is the Baltimore Basilica, which is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the United States.
Visit the Edgar Allan Poe Grave and Memorial at West Fayette Street and pay your respects to the writer of ‘The Raven.’ Although the writer was born in Boston, he moved to Baltimore in 1831. He died in the city in 1839 after being found lying outside a bar. His grave is a far grander affair than it was at his first burial, when he lay in an unmarked grave for several years. If you’re still in the mood for grave-like things to do in Baltimore once you’re done with Poe, check-in with John Wilkes Booth. Yes, indeed. The assassin of President Abraham Lincoln lies in an unmarked grave in the city. The top of the grave is often strewn with pennies left by visitors. This is done because the face on the penny is none other than Lincoln himself.
FAQs About Baltimore
We’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the city and things to do in Baltimore. These will help your research, planning, and general education about all Maryland’s most populous city.
What can you do for free in Baltimore?
Take a hike to Gwynns Falls Park and enjoy the 15 miles of trails in the scenic beauty of this city park. Within the Park is one mainline and a number of smaller branches. It’s a great place to get some fresh air and enjoy the greenery.
What is Baltimore known for?
Baltimore is world-famous for the quality of its seafood and, in particular, its crab. It also produces a mean Berger cookie. Berger cookies are an icon of the city, and the cookie dough gets covered with a thick slab of fudge and chocolate. I think we can all agree it’s pretty hard to go wrong with that. Legendary baseball player, Babe Ruth, was born in the city, and Baltimore was also home to the world’s very first umbrella factory. Way to go, Baltimore!
Is Baltimore safe?
Yes and no. Although there are parts of the city that are very safe, the crime rate for Baltimore as a whole is much higher than the national average. However, this doesn’t mean you’re in danger if you visit. Take sensible precautions, like not parking in dark, unlit spots, keeping your valuables hidden when you’re out, and not going into unknown areas on your own at night.
Why do they call Baltimore Charm City?
Baltimore’s unofficial city slogan came from an executive meeting in 1975, where advertisers got together to discuss boosting the city’s reputation. It was known that parts of Baltimore were in disrepair, and the meeting was designed to come up with plans for regeneration.
Baltimore is a great city with a long and varied history and a beautiful position on the Chesapeake Bay. It’s a city of firsts, with the first dental school, telegraph pole, Catholic cathedral, and professional sports organization all being founded there. It’s clear that Baltimore is a free-thinking and progressive city, full of ideas and with the people to implement them. Baltimore is a culturally diverse city, where the Caucasian population is not the majority. This means that in terms of food and beverages, history, and cultural events, it has a brilliant mix. Baltimore Washington Thurgood International Airport serves the city, and there’s a good mix of budget and high-end accommodation throughout its many neighborhoods. We hope we’ve convinced you about all the amazing things to do in Baltimore and hope you make it there real soon.