17 Best Things to do in Baltimore, Maryland

Best things to do in baltimore

Baltimore is a city in Maryland with a population of over 620,000 people. The city is located on the Patapsco River, just 40 miles northeast of Washington D.C. and about 100 miles southwest of Philadelphia.

Baltimore is a major hub for culture and education with options like the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, and the Walters Art Museum. The city is also home to many colleges and universities, including Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and Loyola University Maryland.

In addition to its options for arts and education, this city also offers a variety of options for food and nightlife. From upscale restaurants to hole-in-the-wall bars, there’s something for everyone in Baltimore. To help find the best options for you, here’s our list of the 17 best things to do in Baltimore.

baltimore inner harbor
Inner Harbor, Baltimore” by Kevin Labianco is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

1) Visit the Inner Harbor

The Inner Harbor of Baltimore is a beautiful and popular tourist destination. The harbor is lined with shops and restaurants (if you’re in Baltimore, you have to find a good place that serves crab cakes) and offers stunning views of the city skyline.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities in the harbor, including boat tours, kayaking, and windsurfing. The Inner Harbor is also home to historical attractions, such as the USS Constellation which is the last sail only battleship commissioned by the US navy. Whether you’re looking for a fun day out or a chance to learn about Baltimore’s history, the Inner Harbor is the perfect place to start your exploration of this vibrant city.

fells point
Baltimore – Fells Point: Broadway Market” by wallyg is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

2) Explore Fells Point

Fells Point is a historic neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland. Once a bustling maritime center, the area is now home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and businesses.

Notably, Fells Point is home to the Broadway Market, founded in 1786, which makes it almost as old as the United States itself! Visitors can enjoy views of the harbor, dine at waterfront restaurants, or explore the many historic buildings. Fells Point is also home to a lively nightlife scene, with a variety of bars and clubs. Whether you’re looking for a day of shopping and sightseeing or a night on the town, Fells Point has something to offer.

fells point privateer festival
Pride of Baltimore II” by Forsaken Fotos is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

3) Go to Fells Point Privateer Festival

The Fells Point Privateer Festival is an annual event held in Baltimore, Maryland. The festival celebrates the city’s maritime history, and features a number of reenactments, demonstrations, and performances.

Visitors can learn about the city’s role in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. They can also explore a replica of a 19th-century sailing ship and watch blacksmithing and woodworking demonstrations. In addition, there are a menagerie of food vendors selling traditional Baltimore dishes such as crabs and Chesapeake Bay oysters.

The Fells Point Privateer Festival is a great way to learn about Baltimore’s rich maritime history.

Halloween Pumpkins” by lobo235 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

4) Fells point Halloween festival

The Fells Point Halloween Festival is an annual event that takes place in Baltimore, Maryland. Every year, thousands of people come to the city to enjoy the festivities, which include live music, costumes, and food.

The festival began in 2001 as a small gathering of local businesses and has grown into one of the most popular events in the city. In addition to providing a fun-filled atmosphere for locals and visitors alike, the festival also helps to boost the economy of Baltimore. So if you’re looking for a great way to celebrate Halloween, be sure to check out the Fells Point Halloween Festival.

baltimore national aquarium
Baltimore Aquarium Complex – David Kramrisch” by SalePhotoSociety is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

5) Check out Baltimore’s National Aquarium

The National Aquarium in Baltimore is amazing and one of the best in the country. The facility itself is massive, and it houses a wide variety of aquatic life.

The tanks are well-designed and provide a great viewing experience for visitors. In addition, the staff is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the animals they care for. They are always happy to answer questions and provide fascinating insights into the lives of the creatures on display. The National Aquarium is a must-see for anyone interested in wildlife and conservation. It is an amazing facility that is sure to educate and inspire all who visit.

maryland science center
Maryland Science Center, Baltimore” by Uncommon Fritillary is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

6) Visit the Maryland Science Center

The Maryland Science Center is a fun and educational place for people of all ages. Located in downtown Baltimore, the Science Center offers a variety of exhibits and programs that teach about the natural world. Visitors can learn about dinosaurs, minerals, animals, and more.

The Science Center also has an IMAX theater, which shows educational and entertaining films. In addition, the Science Center offers special events throughout the year, such as astronomy nights and live animal shows. Whether you’re interested in learning about science or just want to have fun, the Maryland Science Center is the place for you.

fort mchenry
The Star Spangled Banner, Fort McHenry National Monument, Baltimore, Maryland” by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

7) Go to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is a historic place located in Baltimore, Maryland. The fort was built in the early 1800s to protect the city from invaders. It played a crucial role in the War of 1812, when it successfully defended Baltimore from a British attack.

This attack is described vividly in Francis Scott Key’s “the Defense of Fort McHenry” which is better known as the American National Anthem. Today, the fort is open to the public and is a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore the historic buildings and grounds, all while learning about the fort’s important role in American history.

Federal hill park district
Federal Hill, Baltimore” by danxoneil is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

8) Federal Hill Park District

If you’re looking for skyline views, Federal Hill Park is the place to be. Situated atop a hill in Baltimore, the park offers stunning panoramas of the cityscape.

On a clear day, you can even see the skyline of nearby Washington, D.C. In addition to its scenic overlooks, the park also features walking trails, picnic areas, and a playground. Whether you’re looking to take in the sights or just get some fresh air, Federal Hill Park is a great option.

Hampden Baltimore
Cafe Hon, Kitschy local landmark for comfort food, Hampden – Baltimore” by ali eminov is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

9) Visit Hampden – “Baltimore’s Best Kept Secret”

Hampden is a neighborhood located in the northern section of Baltimore, Maryland. The area is known for its quaint small-town feel, and it is often referred to as “Baltimore’s best kept secret.”

Hampden is home to a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as a number of art galleries and museums. The neighborhood also hosts a number of festivals and events throughout the year. Visitors to Hampden can enjoy the unique atmosphere of the area, while also exploring the many cultural attractions that the neighborhood has to offer.

10) Make sure to Attend Hampdenfest this Fall

Hampdenfest is an annual festival that celebrates the unique culture of Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood. Held annually in October, the festival features live music, food trucks, local vendors, and family-friendly fun.

Hampdenfest was unfortunately cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, but hopes are that this wonderful event can resume in 2022.

The event is a great way to experience all that the neighborhood has to offer, and it’s a perfect opportunity to explore everything from its unique shops to its vibrant art scene. Whether you’re a longtime resident or a first-time visitor, Hampdenfest is sure to be a memorable experience.

Ravens stadium
Baltimore – Ravens’ Stadium” by mathplourde is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

11) Catch a Ravens or Orioles Game

There’s nothing like experiencing a professional sports in person. The sights, the sounds, the smells—it’s all part of the fun. And when it comes to professional sports, Baltimore is a great city to visit.

Home to the Orioles and the Ravens, Baltimore is a mecca for sports fans. Whether you’re looking to catch a baseball game at Oriole Park or cheering on the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore has something for everyone. And with so many great restaurants and bars in the city, you’re sure to find somewhere to enjoy a post-game meal or drink. So if you’re looking for a great city to experience professional sports, be sure to add Baltimore to your list.

american visionary art museum in baltimore” by underwhelmer is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

12) Check out the The American Visionary art museum

The American Visionary Art Museum is one of the most unique museums in the country. Founded in 1974, it is dedicated to celebrating artwork created by self-taught artists. These are artists who have not received formal training, but who have developed their own unique styles.

As a result, the museum is full of incredible and unexpected works of art. It is also a place where you can learn about the stories and experiences of the artists themselves. In addition, the museum frequently hosts special exhibitions and events, making it a great place to visit again and again. Whether you’re a casual art lover or a serious student of the form, the American Visionary Art Museum is definitely worth a visit.

13) Visit the Baltimore Museum of Art

The Baltimore Museum of Art is one of the largest and most comprehensive art museums in the United States. With a collection that spans five millennia of history, the museum offers something for everyone.

From Ancient Egyptian artifacts to paintings by European masters, the Baltimore Museum of Art has something to fascinate and inspire every visitor. In addition to its world-class collection, the museum also offers a variety of special exhibitions and events throughout the year. Whether you’re a lifelong art enthusiast or simply looking for a fun day out, the Baltimore Museum of Art is well worth a visit.

pheonix shot tower
Shot Tower, Baltimore” by garboden is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

14) Check out the Pheonix Shot Tower

The Phoenix Shot Tower is a historic landmark in Baltimore, Maryland. Built in 1828, it is the tallest structure in the United States that was constructed entirely of cast iron.

The tower was used to produce lead shot for firearms, and it operated until 1892. Today, the Phoenix Shot Tower is open to the public as a museum and observation deck. Visitors can learn about the tower’s history and see views of downtown Baltimore from the top of the structure. The Phoenix Shot Tower is an important part of Baltimore’s heritage, and it is definitely worth a visit.

maryland zoo
Maryland Zoo” by sneakerdog is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

15) Go to the Maryland Zoo

The Maryland Zoo is located in Baltimore and is home to more than 2,000 animals. The zoo is open year-round, and visitors can explore different exhibits, such as the Penguin Coast, the African Journey, and the Maryland Wilderness.

The zoo also offers educational programs, such as animal workshops and behind-the-scenes tours. In addition, the Maryland Zoo is a great place to take kids, as there are plenty of activities to keep them entertained. The zoo also has a number of restaurants and cafes, so visitors can grab a bite to eat after a day of exploring. Whether you’re looking for a place to take the kids or simply looking for a fun day out, the Maryland Zoo is definitely worth a visit.

port discovery
amped up on port discovery” by woodleywonderworks is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

16) Bring the Kids to the Port Discovery Children’s Museum

The Port Discovery Children’s Museum is a great place to take kids of all ages. With three floors of hands-on exhibits, there’s something for everyone.

The museum is designed to spark imagination and curiosity, and it does a great job of that. The exhibits are always changing, so there’s always something new to see. And if your kids get tired of walking around, there’s a carousel and a puppet theater where they can take a break. The staff is also very friendly and helpful, so you can rest assured that your kids will be well taken care of. If you’re looking for a fun and educational activity for your kids, the Port Discovery Children’s Museum is definitely worth a visit.

water taxi
Water Taxi, Baltimore” by Bogdan Migulski is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

17) Take a Guided Tour on the Baltimore Water Taxi

Looking for a unique way to see Baltimore? Then be sure to take a guided tour on the Baltimore Water Taxi! The tour lasts about an hour and gives you a chance to see some of the city’s most popular attractions, including the Inner Harbor, Fort McHenry, and the National Aquarium.

Plus, the boat offers a great view of the skyline, so you can snap some photos of the cityscape as you cruise along. And if you’re feeling thirsty after all that sightseeing, don’t worry – the Water Taxi also has a bar onboard, so you can enjoy a refreshing drink while taking in all the sights.

Recap of the Best Things to do in Baltimore

  • Inner Harbor
  • Fells Point
  • Fells Point Privateer Festival
  • Fells Point Halloween Festival
  • National Aquarium
  • Maryland Science Center
  • Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
  • Federal Hill Park District
  • Visit Hampden
  • Hampdenfest (if it’s back on this year)
  • Catch a Ravens or Orioles Game
  • American Visionary Art Museum
  • Baltimore Museum of Art
  • Water Taxi
  • Pheonix Shot Tower
  • Marlyand Zoo
  • Port Discovery Children’s Museum

Where to next?

Looking for great hikes and outdoor activities? Check out Colorado Springs!

Trying to find a charming town in the midwest? Take a look at Dubuque, Iowa!

How about San Francisco? From mountain biking to iconic landmarks, SF has it all!

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