The biggest city in Maryland is Baltimore, which also serves as a significant seaport on the Patapsco River’s broad estuary. In 1814, British armies bombarded Fort McHenry for 25 hours without surrendering, cementing its place in American history.
The American flag was still waving the morning after the attack, which inspired the poem The Star-Spangled Banner, which provided the words to the country’s song.
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is the city’s hub, surrounded by several well-liked tourist destinations and activities.
These are some excellent museums and the bustling Harbour Place with its pavilions, stores, restaurants, and promenades. Several old ships that are open to visitors are moored here.
Visitors are drawn to Baltimore partly because of the city’s distinctive districts, like Little Italy, Fell’s Point, Mount Vernon, and hip Hamden.
Between the numerous museums, historic buildings, and cultural events, including a renowned symphony orchestra, Baltimore offers travelers much to see and do.
Charm City teaches American history along with boutique hotels, hip restaurants, offbeat festivals, and street markets. Despite this, the city is modest and offers a more genuine metro feel than some of its northern and southern neighbors.
Continue reading to discover the fun and unique things to do in Baltimore.
1. 15 Things to Do in Baltimore
Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the nation’s most picturesque cities and is vastly underrated.
This port city is renowned for its mouthwatering eateries, distinctive culture, and tourist attractions.
It is also well-known for being the birthplace of the American national anthem and a city rich in history.
In Baltimore, there is never a shortage of things to see and do.
From warships to museums of various kinds to the National Aquarium, there is never a chance you will become bored while there.
Baltimore, the most significant autonomous city in the US, has attractions for all types of tourists.
Spend your days learning about history in the city that gave birth to America’s first railroad. It is rich in culture and traditions.
By nightfall, visit a neighborhood restaurant for the best crab dishes and a taste of Baltimore’s legendary nightlife.
Do you need more justifications to go there? Read the entire list and make a note of the top Baltimore attractions.
1.1. American Visionary Art Museum
The American Visionary Art Museum, which showcases the work of self-taught artists worldwide, is by far Baltimore’s most eccentric art gallery.
This is a vibrant, constantly changing celebration of the creative spirit rather than merely a gallery of paintings and drawings.
Exhibits could feature intricate stitching, toothpick sculptures, fabric collages, costumes prepared for local festivals, folk art from throughout the globe, or works created by prisoners.
There is always something to ponder, and the displays all have incredible enthusiasm.
The central building’s structure is a work of art in and of itself, and it has won countless awards for its design and beauty on the national and international levels.
Among the soaring displays in the sculpture barn, formerly the Four Roses warehouse, is a whole dragon from a Chinese New Year procession.
If you’re looking for unique gifts or souvenirs, set aside some time for the American Visionary Art Museum’s charmingly bizarre shop.
1.2. Baltimore Museum of Art
The Baltimore Museum of Art is the biggest museum of art in Maryland, housing works of art from all over the world that span a variety of cultures, eras, and styles.
The most extensive collection of Matisse artworks worldwide is part of the permanent collection.
Additionally represented are Andy Warhol, Picasso, Cezanne, and van Gogh.
Along with remarkable collections of American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts, one of the country’s most significant African and modern art collections, the Baltimore Museum also boasts a sculpture garden with a century’s worth of modern and contemporary art.
The Baltimore Museum of Art, established roughly 100 years ago, attempts to highlight the value of modern art while also showcasing and safeguarding pertinent past holdings.
One of the country’s most prominent art collections from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries may be found in the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Ninety-five thousand pieces dating back to ancient Egypt. There is no charge to enter the Baltimore Museum.
1.3. Inner Harbor
Because the Inner Harbor is encircled by many of Baltimore’s top attractions and must-do activities, you could easily spend several days in this region alone.
A feature is the assortment of old ships anchored here accessible to guests.
The oldest is the three-masted warship USS Constellation, which saw action during the American Civil War.
Tours are also offered on the USS Torsk submarine, the Lightship Chesapeake, and a US Coast Guard cutter.
A market and shopping complex called Harbour Place has a lot of shops, restaurants, and open spaces.
Two historical pavilions with glass enclosures make up this lovely modern compound.
The Promenade’s Amphitheater serves as the stage for street entertainers.
An excellent starting point for a sightseeing tour of Baltimore is the Inner Harbor.
Some of the city’s top museums, including the Maryland Science Center and Port Discovery Children’s Museum, are in this former shipbuilding district.
1.4. Baltimore Basilica
One of the earliest Roman Catholic cathedrals to be constructed in the US following the Declaration of Independence was the Baltimore Basilica.
It was built by renowned architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who designed Washington, DC’s White House and Capitol Building.
The Basilica was dedicated in 1821 and served as a national shrine and a parish church. It is constructed using a conventional cross-plan and has a sizable dome in the middle.
Several saints, Mother Theresa and Pope John Paul II have visited it.
One of the basilica’s most remarkable features is the complex network of interconnecting vaults that comprise its central design concept: the massive rotunda and enormous Delorme dome at the center of its cruciform plan.
Other significant elements include the interior Ionic columns surrounding the apse and supporting the galleries and the plastered coffered ceiling embellished with rosettes.
The geometries of the outside form also express the inner areas.
These features include the dome’s placement on an octagonal base at the building’s center and the modest outward tilt of the lateral walls, which also act as the foundation for the flanking towers, which are capped with onion domes and belfries.
1.5. National Cryptologic Museum
The National Cryptologic Museum, which is open to the public and is 20 minutes from the city center, exhibits the work of spies, counterspies, and techniques for encrypting strategic communications.
The Enigma machine used to decode German transmissions during World War II is on display here.
Historical artifacts come from every era, from the earliest encryption disks, code manuals, and encrypting typewriters to supercomputers.
As they explore the museum, kids are encouraged by a scavenger hunt to decipher messages and respond to questions.
The 90-minute guided tours are packed with fascinating information about the world of spies and codes, from the World War II code talkers to the importance of communications in the Cold War and later.
Two reconnaissance aircraft are located near National Vigilance Park and are used for covert missions.
1.6. Maryland Zoo
A visit to the zoo is among the top family-friendly activities in Baltimore. More than 2,000 animals call this ancient Maryland Zoo, which has been open since 1873, home.
The Maryland Zoo recently improved the park grounds and animal habitats.
Have you ever wished you could throw a fish at a penguin? You can now enter the pavilion and feed the critically endangered African penguins.
Or perhaps walking a goat aligns more with your sense of adventure?
If so, you can guide your group around the farmyard lanes. Maryland Zoo recently made some sizable improvements to the park grounds and animal habitats.
Have you ever wished you could throw a fish at a penguin? You can now enter the pavilion and feed the critically endangered African Penguins.
Or perhaps walking a goat aligns more with your sense of adventure? If so, you can guide your group around the farmyard lanes.
Giraffe feeding is the kindest and most calm animal engagement for families with young children.
Hold an acacia branch to the enormous creatures as you stand on the deck and watch them gently grasp it with their vast, grizzled tongues.
Visit the petting area for additional animal contact and experience what it’s like to pet a farm animal.
The carousel and the small Jones Zephyr Train are two more activities at the zoo. It is one of the fun things to do in Baltimore.
1.7. Washington Monument
The Washington Monument, a landmark of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon area, is topped by a statue of the country’s first president.
A 228-foot spiral staircase leads up to the monument’s pinnacle, where there are observation windows.
A museum with exhibits about George Washington and the monument itself is located on the monument’s first floor.
The neighborhood is dotted with the historic mansions of Baltimore’s industrialists from the nineteenth century.
The monument is the focal point of the Mount Vernon Cultural District, which houses museums, stores, and galleries.
Hamilton Street, a section of Baltimore where most free African Americans lived and worked during the antebellum era, is also located here.
1.8. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum
In 1830, the first passenger train in the country made its way from Pratt Street west to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Mount Clare Railroad Station, from where it continued west to Ellicott’s Mills.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum includes:
- The Mount Clare Station (1851).
- The Print Shop (1884).
- A roundhouse displays an outstanding collection of antique locomotives.
The turntable, which links 22 lines with locomotives and coaches, is the focal point.
All exhibits are authentic and in good condition, with rare exceptions.
A sizable open space in front of the structure is home to additional locomotives. Additionally, there is a model railroad network.
1.9. Fell’s Point
Historic Fell’s Point is a waterfront neighborhood that has been exquisitely restored.
Over 300 historic National Register structures can be found in Baltimore’s old port section, historically the city’s shipbuilding area.
Among these is the Robert Long House, which is renowned for playing a crucial part in securing the neighborhood’s protected status and is the oldest surviving residential structure in the city.
The first shipyard owned by an African American was located in the neighborhood and is now commemorated by the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum.
Restaurants, cafes, and stores may now be found behind the several renovated brick buildings, making it a well-liked gathering area.
Fell’s Point and the Inner Harbor may be reached by water taxis, and the bustling market building houses kiosks selling regional foods. It is one of the fun things to do in Baltimore.
1.10. Oriole Park
Consider taking a weekend trip to Baltimore to attend a game.
The permanent home of the Baltimore Orioles, the town’s Major League Baseball team, is Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Earlier, it served as a train yard. Visitors to Oriole Park are welcome to take a tour and get an up-close look at the press box, club levels, and dugout.
Fans will discover various dining and retail options on Eutaw Street, which is exclusively open to pedestrians before and after the game.
While here, look for brass baseballs embedded in the concrete where home runs have been hit after hopping the park’s fences.
In addition, visitors can enjoy other murals painted by regional artists throughout the park.
The birthplace of George Herman “Babe” Ruth, baseball’s most illustrious hero, is just two blocks from the park.
The simple house has been transformed into a museum where guests can see the room where he was born, discover more about his life and career, and many relics, including jerseys, bats, and personal stuff.
In addition, there is a Babe Ruth statue outside Oriole Park, a popular selfie location.
1.11. The Walters Art Museum
This non-chargeable art gallery was established and opened in Mount Vernon-Belvedere in 1934.
Even though it is not as well-known as the Baltimore Museum of Art, this museum is nevertheless worthwhile a visit.
This museum’s broad collections of captivating artworks range from Renaissance paintings to Ethiopian art.
Take a free self-guided walk-in tour of the museum to understand the galleries better.
1.12. National Aquarium
The National Aquarium, housed in a stunning structure with views of the Inner Harbor, is the Baltimore attraction that receives the most visitors.
This enormous complex’s exhibits cover various topics, including Australian aquatic life, open ocean settings, kelp forests, Amazon River forests, hidden marine life, Atlantic and Pacific coral reefs, and more.
The Tropical Rain Forest, a comprehensive ecosystem that rises to five levels, deserves special mention.
From the jungle floor to the treetop canopy, visitors can wander here and see various birds, frogs, and other enormous animals, such as sloths and monkeys.
Visitors can also encounter dolphins, sharks, and other exotic species in the Atlantic Coral Reef Exhibit.
1.13. Federal Hill Park
This 10.3-acre park, tucked away on the southern bank of the Inner Harbor, is renowned for its breathtaking views of the city’s cityscape.
The city’s most recognizable landmark, Federal Hill, is among Baltimore’s top free things to do.
Additionally, the park is well-known for its role in Baltimore’s past. This vantage point served as a lookout station during the American Civil War.
Take this hill’s most incredible views of the Baltimore skyline and Inner Harbor.
Take the Warren Avenue walk to the hill for stunning views of the surrounding terrain. This hill is a great site to watch the fireworks in Baltimore for the Fourth of July.
1.14. Graffiti Alley
Visit Graffiti Alley, a hidden gem in Baltimore’s urban setting.
Local street artists find refuge in the L-shaped lane, which offers them a venue for artistic expression. Graffiti Alley, formerly a seedy backstreet, is now awash in vivid hues.
Even trash cans have some great patterns. Graffiti Warehouse, which owns the alley, decided to transform it into an artistic haven in 2005.
These days, breakdancing events and school excursions take place here.
1.15. Maryland Science Center
The contemporary Maryland Science Center, which has a planetarium, is located at the southwest corner of the Inner Harbor.
The museum’s three levels are filled with scientific exhibits mainly aimed at children, but adults will find the museum fascinating as they learn about physics, space exploration, and other topics.
Life-size dinosaurs roam around in the Dinosaur Mysteries exhibit with dig pits, a field lab, and excavation sites.
One of the most creative displays is a brick row-house “street” of storefronts inspired by Baltimore, with each one featuring activities and challenges related to that store’s theme, such as learning how gears work at the bike shop, building and releasing paper airplanes at the airport or doing sound experiments at the music store.
1.16. Children’s Museum
One of the best things for kids and their parents to do in Baltimore is to visit the Port Discovery Children’s Museum.
This museum is a must-visit if you’re seeking things to do to help everyone feel more enlightened and accepting of the world. People of all ages are respected in the design of the exhibitions and activities.
Undoubtedly, your kids will like the activities provided at this museum. Various exhibitions cater to visitors of different ages and interests.
Toddlers will love running around Chessie’s Grotto if you have any. At “Wonders of Water,” your children can witness how magnificent water is.
It’s one of the most enjoyable sights in Baltimore and is likely to pique visitors’ interest even more.
Stop by the Port Discovery Children’s Museum if you’re spending the weekend in Baltimore with your family.
1.17. Baltimore Museum of Industry
Baltimore has become one of the most significant cities in America thanks to its hard work and creativity.
The Baltimore Museum of Industry combines teaching and sightseeing equally.
To understand how Baltimore, Maryland, grew to be what it is today, you must visit this location.
You may experience firsthand what it was like to work in some of the most significant sectors in the world at this Maryland institution.
One of the best family activities in Baltimore is the interactive nature of many of the sites.
It covers more contemporary fields, such as game design, examined in the transient “Video Game Wizards” displays, and more traditional ones, such as clothing manufacturing.
The Baltimore Museum of Industry is another fun and educational site in Baltimore.
1.18. Jewish Museum of Maryland
There needs to be as much documentation of the Jewish experience in America as possible.
If you are interested in this topic, visit the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
Established in 1960, this museum serves as a testament to the great Jewish tradition and the extent to which its people have improved the world.
You can browse old photographs, clothes, and household items at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
There are also impactful temporary exhibits, including “Jews in Space,” a tribute to Jews who have advanced space exploration and study.
To express your support for the museum and all the education it offers, think about donating.
Even though visiting the Jewish Museum of Maryland could make you feel various emotions, it should be a top priority if you seek deeper meaning in your travels.
1.19. Fort McHenry National Monument
Fort McHenry, a participant in three historical conflicts, is one of Baltimore’s most intriguing tourist destinations.
It serves as a reminder of the tremendous work and cost that have gone into safeguarding the nation for future generations.
Baltimore, Maryland, has significantly benefited from Fort McHenry, now a National Monument.
One of the most important historical locations is Fort McHenry, which provided additional defense throughout the two World Wars and helped to defeat the British in the War of 1812.
It most certainly qualifies as one of the top ten historical places in the United States for any military fan.
You can learn more about history in the 90 minutes you spend perusing the Fort McHenry exhibitions.
Even though Fort McHenry is no longer used as a military installation, it remains one of Maryland’s most exciting tourist destinations.
1.20. Wet City Brewing
Wet City Brewing is another of the best locations in Maryland for beer and food.
Even if you want to ride a waterslide, you’ll be happy even though it may sound more like a waterpark than a gastropub.
You’ll want to relish each bite and drink at Wet City Baltimore.
The No Temps Deluxe Burger and the Kimchi Pork Bowl are among the food options at Wet City Brewing.
Try the Fall Mixed Greens Salad if you want something lighter but still excellent.
You can choose intricate and delicious beers on tap if you’re more thirsty than hungry.
This city is joyful and welcoming, thanks to places like Wet City Brewing.
2. Final Words
One of the most impressive cities in the Mid-Atlantic region is Baltimore, the largest city in Maryland.
Thanks to its unique districts, stunning harbors, and delectable cuisine, Baltimore offers visitors a city they’ll want to appreciate every second.
You’ll see why Baltimore was named “Charm City” after spending a day there and taking in the stunning waterfront vistas, people, and activities.
Visit the National Aquarium to discover the wonders of the underwater world.
Your mind will be stimulated by the fantastical paintings of the American Visionary Arts Museum and many more such things to do in Baltimore.
At the Four Seasons, indulge. Charm abounds in Baltimore, where adventures wait.