Baltimore is one of America's greatest cities, and if you are taking a vacation in this Charm City, there are many tourist attractions and lesser known places you have to visit. Most of its recognizable attractions are located around the Inner Harbor, but the cozy residential neighborhoods also offer a charming place to enjoy. Here are some of the things to do in Baltimore and the best places you should not miss during your trip.
Things to Do in Baltimore
Explore the National Aquarium
The National Aquarium of Baltimore is the best in America, as it stands 7 storeys high capped with a glass pyramid. You just have to see all 660 species housed in various man-made habitats, including a huge shark tank, a rainforest at the rooftop and a central pool. You need not go to the Northern Territory in Australia to see the Umbrawarra Gorge, which has been reconstructed in this place, complete with rocky cliffs, waterfalls and free-roaming animals. Your kids will surely love watching the dolphin show and experiencing the 4-D Immersion Theater for an additional fee ($5).
Bring the Kids to the Maryland Science Center
The Maryland Science Center is another kid-friendly place in Baltimore. It is a popular venue for field trips, where groups of children enjoy learning more about dinosaurs, cells, gravity, space and more. Because it provides an interactive environment for learning, kids cannot help but play and make noise as they learn. The science center has its own IMAX Theater and planetarium, which also provides a place to relax if you want to sit down for a while.
Visit Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum is the cornerstone of Baltimore arts and is located in Mount Vernon. The museum’s interior brings you back to the ancient past, as it resembles a classical Greek temple. The spacious building allows for freedom of movement and ideas. The exhibitions include an impressive collection of art that is so extensive that you might think it was an archaeology museum. If you have hours to spend learning about European art during the Renaissance, Baroque, 18th and 19th century periods as well as works of Asian, Islamic and pre-Colombian American origin, visit Walters – admission is free!
Catch a Game at the Sports Legends at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards is home to the Baltimore Orioles and is one of America's greatest ballparks. Camden Yards was the first of the big league ballparks to emulate the great stadiums of past eras. Baltimore being a “retro” town, it is not difficult to love the way the B&O Warehouse takes your attention past right field. If you happen to be in Baltimore during a baseball season, catch a game and see how it feels to enjoy the sport made famous by Babe Ruth, the city's most famous ballplayer.
Browse Enoch Pratt Free Library
One of the many things to do in Baltimore is to explore the Enoch Pratt Library. Its mission – the Pratt "shall be for all, rich and poor without distinction of race or color " – speaks deeply of what it stands for. It has a street-level entrance and massive windows that are more welcoming than the grand entry staircases we usually see in traditional libraries. It is embellished with decorative arts from the 19th and 20th centuries. The library has a massive collection of works, which include those of African Americans and author H.L. Mencken, who wrote “The American Language.”
Board the Historic Ships in Baltimore's Inner Harbor
If you have never boarded a ship, you will have a grand time at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, where some historic ships are docked permanently. Instead of a traditional museum, visitors climb aboard any of the four historical ships – an 1854 U.S. Navy ship, a 1930s U.S. Coast Guard lightship, a World War II submarine and the only ship floating after the attack on Pearl Harbor. You can purchase tickets to see more than one ship from the Historic Ships in Baltimore at a discount. As a bonus, you can visit the lighthouse for free.
View the City from Federal Hill Park
Federal Hill Park is a landmark located on the south side of the Inner Harbor. It served as a lookout during the Civil War and the War of 1812, and you will see why – from there you can see the spectacular cityscape of Baltimore, a dramatic and fantastic view indeed. The neighboring area is named after it after the city-wide celebration that took place after the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It has been a public park since 1879.
Experience Baltimore Inner Harbor Cruises and Boat Tours
The Inner Harbor is Baltimore's premier tourist attraction and is one of the crown jewels of the city. Although there are many activities you can do in the tourist attractions within the place, you will find it fascinating to explore the waterfront of the Inner Harbor by getting on a boat cruise. There are many vessels owned by various boat companies traversing the bay, and you can choose from an array of dinner cruises, cocktail cruises, sightseeing cruises and pirate ship excursions.
Bring the Kids to Pierce's Park
Pierce's Park is on Pier 5 of Baltimore's Inner Harbors, across Pier 5 Hotel. If you are familiar with Dr. Seuss, the park will remind you of your childhood as you become enthralled with the whimsical sculptures and the musical fence. It is an ideal place to bring the kids, which is just a short distance away from the National Aquarium. Take a breather from other attractions at the Inner Harbor in this park, which is maintained by the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore Inc. Dedicated to developing a "Healthy Harbor," the Waterfront Partnership designed the park to include indigenous trees, native plants and rain gardens, which are meant to educate people about the benefits of utilizing water runoff.
Dine at Power Plant Live
Among the many things to do in Baltimore, you can try a dinner at Power Plant Live. There is never a dull moment at the Power Plant Live, which is located a few blocks from Baltimore's Inner Harbor. It has a large collection of bars, clubs and restaurants, including the Baltimore Comedy Factory, Leinenkugel's Beer Garden, Howl at the Moon and the PBR Baltimore which houses a mechanical bull. One of the city's best music lounges, Ram's Head Live! plays host to many local and national recording artists. Several restaurants, like Tatu, Joe Squared, Ruth's Chris and MEX are found here, if you want to grab a bite.