Things to do

10 Unforgettable Things to Do in Baltimore

Are you searching for things to do in Baltimore? Look no further! This vibrant city is a top destination choice for tourists of all ages, thanks to its thriving culture, rich history, and bustling waterfront. With so many opportunities to explore and learn about the beauty of Charm City – from iconic attractions like Inner Harbor to countless museums, parks, and sites scattered throughout the area – there’s truly something here for everyone.

Whether you’re a history buff eager to delve into local lore, an art enthusiast seeking inspiration at every turn, or simply on the hunt for some family fun day-out options, Baltimore has it all!

Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash Copyright 2021

This article comprehensively compiles the top 10 things to do in Baltimore, ranging from world-renowned attractions like the National Aquarium and Fort McHenry to hidden gems such as Sherwood Gardens and Druid Hill Park. These experiences provide an unparalleled insight into Baltimore’s rich history, diverse culture, stunning architecture, vibrant music scene, and captivating scenery guaranteed to leave lasting impressions on visitors – locals or first-timers.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that tourists and residents seize these unforgettable opportunities and fully indulge themselves while exploring what this charming city has to offer!

1. Introduction

There are plenty of things to do in Baltimore. This city offers much to people with different interests, such as those who love history, art, or food. Its history goes back to the 1700s when it played a key role in trade and impacted the American Revolution.

Walking around Baltimore, you will see different types of architecture representing its cultural heritage, like Georgian and Federalist styles, along with Art Deco and Beaux-Arts buildings.

Baltimore boasts a lively cultural scene with various museums and art galleries that offer something for everyone, regardless of age or interests. Among the country’s most renowned establishments are the Baltimore Museum of Art, American Visionary Art Museum, and Walters Art Museum, which boast collections from ancient Egyptian relics to modern street artwork – presenting distinctive viewpoints on these subjects.

Besides its art and culture, Baltimore is renowned for its delectable cuisine. From crab cakes to Old Bay seasoning, numerous iconic dishes are worth tasting. The city boasts a variety of eateries and food kiosks serving traditional Maryland seafood as well as global fusion fare.

Moreover, enjoying your meal with an incredible view of the charming waterfront in Baltimore would be exceptional! Situated on the Chesapeake Bay, it attracts visitors interested in boating, fishing, or sightseeing. Baltimore offers more than its historical significance, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine.

It is recognized for an abundance of parks and verdant open spaces which provide a respite from city life, offering a chance to connect with nature. With various options, such as Druid Hill Park, Federal Hill Park, and Patterson Park, outdoor activities and picnics are conveniently accessible.

Whether you’re a newcomer or an experienced resident, Baltimore provides various options to explore. Being frequently known as “Charm City,” it’s not difficult to understand why with the abundance of things to do in Baltimore.

2. History of Baltimore – How It Got Famous

In the late 1700s, Baltimore became a significant seaport for the burgeoning United States. Its advantageous position on the Chesapeake Bay facilitated trade and commerce, linking the Midwest to the Atlantic Ocean. With its expansion came recognition for its prosperous shipbuilding industry, culminating in the hosting of World War II’s largest shipbuilding center worldwide.

Photo by Joshua Woods on Unsplash Copyright 2022

Baltimore’s influence on American history and culture extends beyond its maritime heritage. It is renowned as the origin of the Star Spangled Banner, which serves as the United States national anthem. Francis Scott Key composed the verse that ultimately evolved into our country’s anthem after observing British forces bombard Fort McHenry from a vessel in Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812.

Furthermore, Babe Ruth, one of the most remarkable baseball players in America’s history, was born and raised in Baltimore. The renowned player, fondly known as “The Bambino,” began his career playing for the minor league team of the Baltimore Orioles before being scouted by Boston Red Sox.

Today, his contribution to baseball is honored at the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore, which displays artifacts from his life and professional journey.

The culture of Baltimore has been influenced by significant past occurrences, contributing to its distinctiveness and attractiveness for exploration. There are plenty of things to do in Baltimore that allow visitors to encounter both its prosperous history and contemporary amenities during a single visit.

3. Things to Do in Baltimore

Baltimore is an energetic metropolis that offers numerous captivating experiences for both residents and visitors. Regardless of your preferences, whether historical sites, art galleries, natural attractions, or culinary delights, there are plenty of things to do in Baltimore

3.1. Visit the American Visionary Art Museum

Are you a fan of art or looking for one-of-a-kind and delightful activities in Baltimore? Then, be sure not to overlook the American Visionary Art Museum. With its varied range of exhibits, interactive installations, and breathtaking setting bordering the Inner Harbor, this destination is a must-visit for anyone touring the city.

Visiting the American Visionary Art Museum is among Baltimore’s best things to do. This distinctive museum honors self-taught artists by exhibiting their works, created without formal instruction or education in art. The museum collection encompasses various pieces, ranging from sculptures that use found materials to paintings and textiles.

A favorite display at this museum is a massive whirligig sculpture composed of many rotating parts located outside it.

The American Visionary Art Museum boasts a remarkable assemblage of artwork and is renowned for its engaging displays. Patrons can engage in interactive workshops and produce their creations or explore the museum’s sensory garden, an abundant outdoor area intended to arouse sensations through aromatic plants, flowing water features, and fanciful sculptures.

3.2. Take a Stroll Through the Inner Harbor

If you’re looking for a delightful place to stay in Baltimore, the Inner Harbor is an excellent choice. Meander along the promenade and enjoy breathtaking vistas of the waterfront, encompassed by both contemporary structures and heritage edifices.

The Inner Harbor provides an optimal atmosphere for taking a relaxed walk while observing various boats and yachts glide past or participating in a scenic cruise. Additionally, numerous shops and boutiques are situated alongside the promenade to satisfy any retail desires.

Photo by Robert Zunikoff on Unsplash Copyright 2019

Not only that, the Inner Harbor is a center of amusement, with various events taking place all year round, including street performers and live music. Seafood enthusiasts will relish in the abundance of dining options such as restaurants and cafes offering an array of dishes ranging from crab cakes to oysters.

It’s an ideal destination for spending either a day or evening as there are numerous activities and attractions suitable for individuals of all ages and preferences. Additionally, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor boasts numerous noteworthy landmarks such as the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, and Top of the World Observation Level.

For nature lovers and families alike, a visit to the National Aquarium is highly recommended – housing an extensive collection of over 20,000 marine creatures from various parts of the world, including sharks, dolphins, and sea turtles. The Maryland Science Center offers visitors a thrilling experience with its interactive displays that allow exploration into different aspects of science and technology through hands-on activities.

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a lively and constantly evolving area that offers various activities and sights. Whether you seek a leisurely stroll, fresh seafood delicacies, or educational opportunities, the Inner Harbor caters to all preferences. Its breathtaking views along the waterfront, coupled with its energetic ambiance and a broad range of things to do in Baltimore, explain why it remains one of Baltimore’s most frequented destinations.

3.3. Discover Science at the Maryland Science Center

The Maryland Science Center is one of the popular things to do in Baltimore that provides an opportunity for individuals of all ages to discover the intriguing realm of science through engaging exhibits and exciting IMAX cinema encounters. The center’s displays span various scientific fields, from human physiology to astronomy, with the intention of captivating, instructing, and entertaining visitors.

Children will relish exploring colossal heart models and authentic meteorites while grown-ups can marvel at panoramic city vistas atop the observation deck.

The Maryland Science Center’s IMAX theater is a remarkable attraction that boasts advanced technology and an extensive collection of informative and enjoyable movies. Whether you prefer nature documentaries or blockbuster hits, the IMAX theater has it all covered.

Also, for a more immersive experience, visitors can immerse themselves in 3D movies. Additionally, the Maryland Science Center offers a variety of special events, including lectures, courses, and retreats throughout the year if you want to go further into particular scientific issues.

Be sure to visit the Maryland Science Center if you are interested in science, technology, or the environment. Anybody looking for amusement or educational possibilities should definitely check out this attraction because its displays and interactive activities are sure to stimulate your intellect while still entertaining. For an unmatched adventure, put it at the top of your list of things to do in Baltimore

3.4. Enjoy Nature

If you’re looking for things to do in Baltimore that allow you to expand your options for a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, then Druid Hill Park and Sherwood Gardens are two stunning parks that offer just that.

With their sprawling landscapes, lush greenery, and serene atmosphere, these gorgeous parks provide ample opportunity to enjoy an array of outdoor activities, such as hiking trails or picnicking with family making them the perfect escape for anyone seeking some much-needed relaxation.

3.4.1. Druid Hill Park

An impressive 700-acre park located in close proximity to downtown Baltimore, Druid Hill Park is a remarkable urban retreat with breathtaking scenery and numerous options for recreational pursuits. Its historical significance as the US’s third oldest landscaped public park only adds to its allure.

Photo by Bruce Emmerling from Pixabay Copyright 2018

As you venture through the park, abundant plants and animals will encompass your surroundings. The trails meander past breathtaking ancient trees, blossoming blooms, and picturesque scenery. Visitors favor the idyllic lake situated in the heart of the park for its striking vistas and opportunities to rent paddle boats or kayaks for a relaxing aquatic experience.

Druid Hill Park offers an abundance of options for leisure, ranging from having a picnic on the verdant meadows to engaging in sports with companions at the various courts and fields. Additionally, numerous hiking trails vary in difficulty level and provide picturesque vistas of the cityscape nearby.

Make sure not to overlook exploring some lesser-known attractions within the park, such as a splendid conservatory, a zoo, and even a disc golf course! During springtime, the park becomes vibrant with blossoming plants and greenery. So, why not consider adding this to your list of things to do in Baltimore?

3.4.2. Sherwood Gardens

Image by Jody McKinley from Pixabay Copyright 2017

Located in the lovely Guilford district of Baltimore, Sherwood Gardens is a picturesque sanctuary featuring an extensive collection of plants and animals. This captivating green space has been adored by visitors since it was made available to the public almost a century ago.

Throughout every season, guests are met with a breathtaking array of colors; however, during springtime specifically, when over 80k tulips and various other blossoming flowers grace its grounds, the garden truly sparkles.

A stroll in Sherwood Gardens is a sensory delight. Its layout imitates an English manor garden, giving visitors the illusion of being in rural England. The atmosphere is fragrant with blooming flowers and accompanied by soothing bird songs and bee hums.

The garden offers visitors a chance to enjoy a relaxed walk through its meandering trails that guide them through different sections. Among the highlights are the tulip beds, which boast vivid hues arranged in captivating designs. Additionally, shrubs like Japanese maples and hollies add greenery and create an aesthetically pleasing contrast with the blooming flowers.

Sherwood Gardens is a haven for photography aficionados with its charming landscapes and vivid hues. It offers an idyllic retreat from the fast-paced city life to those seeking peace and calmness. Whether you have an affinity towards nature, are passionate about capturing stunning pictures, or just want to unwind, visiting Sherwood Gardens should be on your list of top things to do in Baltimore.

3.5. Experience History at Fort Mchenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

The Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is a prominent tourist destination in Baltimore, providing insight into the city’s and country’s prosperous past. Positioned on the waterfront, this renowned fortress played an essential part during the War of 1812 by successfully protecting Baltimore against a British naval attack

The narrative recounting the fort’s heroic defense that influenced Francis Scott Key to compose “The Star-Spangled Banner,” America’s national anthem, can be found at this historic site with extensive detail.

Photo by Jax on Unsplash Copyright 2018

The fort is an intriguing edifice that has been conserved and refurbished to maintain its authentic appearance, including ramparts, bastions, and casemates. Tourists can delve into numerous displays at the fort, observe historical recreations of events, and acquire knowledge about the routine life of military personnel assigned there.

Moreover, the location provides a visitor hub where one can obtain brochures and maps while also purchasing keepsakes from the gift store. A must-see attraction at Fort McHenry is the breathtaking sight of Baltimore’s harbor. From atop the walls, one can take in a panoramic view of Chesapeake Bay and observe ships entering and exiting the bustling port.

The fort welcomes guests throughout the year for self-guided tours or ranger-led activities, making it an ideal destination for history enthusiasts or those seeking a distinctive educational encounter. Undoubtedly, visiting Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is among the best things to do in Baltimore.

3.6. Get Up Close with Wildlife at the Maryland Zoo

A visit to the Maryland Zoo is highly recommended if you want an enjoyable and informative experience in which the entire family can partake. Situated at Baltimore’s center, this zoo houses more than 2,000 creatures originating from various parts of the planet, including rare and endangered species.

You’ll have a chance to interact with wildlife such as African elephants, giraffes, polar bears, and penguins, among others – making it an unparalleled encounter with nature worldwide.

While exploring the various displays, visitors can gain knowledge about animal habitats and behaviors. They can also discover ongoing conservation initiatives aimed at safeguarding these creatures in their natural environments. To cater to individuals of all ages, interactive activities such as behind-the-scenes excursions, encounters with animals, and feeding opportunities are available.

The zoo boasts an impressive attraction known as the African Journey exhibit. This section houses a roomy savannah environment for some of the earth’s biggest land animals, including lions, rhinoceroses, and zebras. Also, visitors can observe cute penguins frolic in their custom-built swimming pool at the Penguin Coast exhibit.

If you are fond of animals or are searching for enjoyable things to do in Baltimore, visiting the Maryland Zoo is undoubtedly one of Baltimore’s top recommendations. This presents an excellent chance to appreciate nature, broaden your knowledge about various species, and endorse crucial conservation initiatives.

3.7. Dive into Culture at the Walters Art Museum

Look no further than the Walters Art Museum for delightful cultural things to do in Baltimore. Nestled within the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood, this museum offers an excellent chance to explore artwork and artifacts from various corners of the world.

Photo by Hester Qiang on Unsplash Copyright 2021

With its vast assortment ranging from ancient Egyptian sculptures to Renaissance paintings, there is something for everyone here! Plus, admission doesn’t cost anything, making it an excellent alternative for budget-conscious individuals or families.

The museum houses various galleries that showcase artworks from Europe and America alongside an assortment of Asian art pieces and artifacts. Notable exhibits include a selection of illuminated manuscripts from the medieval era and an ample compilation of American art from the 19th century, with notable works by artists such as John Singer Sargent and Thomas Eakins.

The Walters Art Museum is not just a mere assortment of aesthetically pleasing objects. It presents various educational activities such as tours, talks, and hands-on sessions to help visitors gain better insight into the art and artifacts showcased in the museum. Additionally, interactive exhibits are available for an immersive learning experience on diverse facets of culture and art.

If you seek enjoyable and informative things to do in Baltimore, the Walters Art Museum is worth exploring. Its varied exhibits and activities provide a valuable opportunity for all to appreciate and gain knowledge.

3.8. Explore the City’s Past at the B&O Railroad Museum

For those intrigued by the extensive history of Baltimore and its involvement in shaping the railroad industry, a trip to The B&O Railroad Museum is essential. A treasure trove of antique locomotives and other artifacts related to rail travel can be found here, providing an intriguing glimpse into days gone by.

While exploring the museum’s collections, visitors may take part in train rides or observe live demonstrations such as that featuring the Tom Thumb – an operational model representing B&O Railroad’s inaugural commercial engine.

By visiting the museum, you’ll be taken on a journey through time to when train travel was at its pinnacle. You can enter genuine train carriages and envision what it would have been like to traverse America by rail.

The B&O Railroad Museum provides an engaging and informative experience for people of all ages with interactive displays, historical relics, and staff who are well-versed in their knowledge.

The museum’s site has a rich history as it is situated on the original endpoint of B&O Railroad, Mount Clare Station, dating back to 1827. Besides the displays showcased at the museum, tourists can also tour the splendidly restored historical buildings and premises.

In general, the B&O Railroad Museum captivates and thrills visitors of all kinds – whether they are natives or travelers. It provides an unparalleled opportunity to observe Baltimore’s history and its significant contribution to America’s progress. Whether you have a passion for trains or simply desire a stimulating and informative experience, this museum is definitely one of the top things to do in Baltimore.

3.9. Catch a Game or Concert at Oriole Park

Situated at the center of Baltimore, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is an important place to explore for those fond of sports and music. As the residence of the Baltimore Orioles, this stadium has a notable past and is famous for its magnificent design and scenic vistas overlooking the cityscape.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash Copyright 2018

Watching a baseball match at Oriole Park is an essential and one of the typical things to do in Baltimore. The audience’s enthusiasm and liveliness, the scent of hot dogs and popcorn, and the sound produced by the bat hitting the ball all contribute to its thrill.

Whether you are a devoted supporter or simply searching for entertainment in your evening out plan, going to Camden Yards for watching a game should be included on your list if visiting Baltimore.

The stadium hosts live performances throughout the year in addition to baseball. Camden Yards often hosts events, including well-known musicians and other noteworthy personalities. The stadium’s advanced sound technology and spacious seating make it an ideal place for spending time with friends or family-friendly outings.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a must-see attraction, even for those not interested in sports or music.  The outstanding modern sports stadium separates out from the competition because of its spectacular architecture and lovely surroundings.

Its open-air architecture, steel trusses, and red-brick facade stand out. Set against the beautiful Baltimore skyline, visitors can capture incredible photos at this location.

Combining history, culture, and entertainment uniquely, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is one of the best things to experience in Baltimore. Whether you’re from the area or visiting as a tourist, it’s an opportunity worth taking advantage of.

3.10. Savor Local Flavors

To fully appreciate Baltimore’s cuisine, one must indulge in the famous Chesapeake Bay crab cake and explore the bustling coffee culture with Ceremony Coffee Roasters. These gastronomic delights embody the true essence of Baltimore’s food scene and are essential for any culinary enthusiast visiting this city.

Photo by Mary Oakey on Unsplash Copyright 2021

To start off, the topic of discussion is the crab cake found in Chesapeake Bay. This delectable seafood dish is prepared using fresh blue crab meat obtained from Chesapeake Bay – a regional delicacy that has been relished by Maryland residents for many years.

In various nearby eateries, you can come across appetizingly flavored and excellently cooked crab cakes served with Old Bay seasoning on the side. This indigenous spice mix imparts a distinctive taste to the food item. Some favored restaurants for this dish in Baltimore are Faidley’s Seafood, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, and G&M Restaurant.

Moving forward, we can explore Baltimore’s lively coffee culture, which boasts remarkable cafes such as Ceremony Coffee Roasters. With a commitment to sourcing sustainable and premium coffee beans from various parts of the globe, Ceremony expertly roasts them to highlight their distinct flavors and scents.

This cozy café has several branches all over town, providing an inviting ambiance ideal for sipping a cup of joe while observing passersby. The ceremony not only provides delightful coffee but also conducts courses and seminars for those who wish to gain knowledge about the craft of making coffee.

With various options ranging from latte art sessions to brewing workshops, Ceremony caters to all individuals that are passionate about coffee.

If you enjoy food or coffee (or both), indulging in the distinctive tastes of the Chesapeake Bay crab cakes and Ceremony Coffee Roasters are one of the excellent things to do in Baltimore. These gastronomic encounters effectively encapsulate the lively culinary culture of the city and are guaranteed to create enduring impressions.

4. Conclusion

Baltimore is a city that offers something for everyone. If you’re interested in American history, there are pivotal moments to discover; if nature is your thing, lush greenery, and picturesque scenery await you; or if you’re a foodie seeking out local flavors, Baltimore has everything to satisfy your cravings – making it the ideal destination.

If you are interested in history, there are many museums and historic sites to visit in the area. One of note is the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, which played a crucial role during the War of 1812 and inspired America’s national anthem.

Another popular spot is the B&O Railroad Museum, where visitors can immerse themselves in train rides, demonstrations, and exhibits that showcase Baltimore’s important place within the railroad industry.

Those who appreciate nature can enjoy the splendor of Baltimore’s parks and gardens, ranging from the renowned Druid Hill Park to Sherwood Gardens, which are breathtaking. These verdant zones provide a tranquil escape from the commotion of urban living while offering prospects for trekking, eating outside, or immersing oneself in the surrounding natural wonders.

Food enthusiasts have the opportunity to satisfy their taste buds in Baltimore’s culinary scene. The region is famous for its indigenous dishes, such as Chesapeake Bay crab cakes, and a dynamic coffee culture featuring Ceremony Coffee Roasters. These community restaurants provide an experience of Baltimore’s exceptional tastes and heritage, promising satisfaction even for those with refined palates.

In conclusion, Baltimore is a vibrant metropolis with a rich and diverse history dating back centuries. It offers many breathtaking landscapes, from picturesque parks to stunning waterfronts, perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Moreover, it boasts a lively gastronomy scene with numerous restaurants offering delicious cuisines that will tantalize your taste buds.

But what truly sets this city apart is its thriving cultural atmosphere which celebrates diversity and inclusivity like no other place in the world. There’s never a dull moment here, with various festivals, museums, theaters, music venues, and art galleries scattered throughout the city.

Whether you’re visiting Baltimore for the first time or have been living here for years – there’s always something new to discover! From hidden gems tucked away on quiet streets to popular attractions buzzing with things to do in Baltimore- it’s impossible not to be enthralled by everything this fantastic city offers.

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