10 Can't-Miss Things to Do in Baltimore

By Jim Meyer

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Fells Point waterfront
Image Credit: Visit Baltimore
Baltimore Harbor evening
Baltimore Harbor evening
Image Credit: Dean Ray and Visit Baltimore

Spend a day in Baltimore and you'll understand how its beautiful waterfront views, people and experiences earned it the name "Charm City." Get in touch with your inner Jacques Cousteau at the National Aquarium. Open your mind with out-of-this-world art at the American Visionary Arts Museum. Experience art, history and culture at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture. Get pampered at the Four Seasons. In Baltimore, charm abounds and adventures await. Find out  "How Baltimore Quietly Became the Coolest City on the East Coast"  according to Travel + Leisure. 

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture features fascinating permanent and traveling exhibitions. Image Credit: Visit Baltimore

1 Discover Maryland Legends and Legacies

Sign up for the Legends and Legacies Heritage Pass online at Baltimore.org and celebrate the lives of Marylanders who changed the course of American history. The pass provides discounted entry to three of Baltimore’s most popular attractions honoring AfricanAmerican history and culture—The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture and the Frederick Douglass Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum in addition to other deals. 

Baltimore Harbor evening Image Credit: Dean Ray and Visit Baltimore

2 Hit the Inner Harbor

Considered the heart of Baltimore, the Inner Harbor is home to the shops and boutiques of Harborplace, Fells Point and Harbor East, amazing restaurants, and renowned attractions like the National Aquarium, The American Visionary Art Museum, The Maryland Science Center,  Ripley’s Believe It or Not and The Baltimore Museum of Industry. Explore the area by water taxi or walk the 7-mile brick Waterfront Promenade that connects all the action.


More about Inner Harbor


Type:
Attraction


Location:
Pratt and Light Sts
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-332-4191


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Nighthawk schooner in Fells Point

3 Party Like a Pirate at Fells Point’s Privateer Festival

The British Navy called Baltimore a “Nest of Pirates,” and the Fells Point neighborhood still likes to let its pirate flag fly. The annual Privateer Festival in Fell's Point Visit historic ships, reenactors, comedic skits, live music, maritime merchant booths & a bounty of food and drink.  A kids' area features craft activities and the popular parrot display. Throughout the year, set sail with Urban Pirates Family and Adult Cruises for a swashbuckling harbor adventure.


More about Urban Pirates-Baltimore


Type:
General Attractions


Location:
911 South Ann St
Baltimore, MD 21231
410-327-8378


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Summer means baseball! Watch the Orioles at Camden Yards, then catch a minor league game across the state. Image Credit: Englishgroup2016

4 Catch an O’s Game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Whatever the time of year, Maryland sports fans show up to support their ball-playing birds in and around Baltimore. In the fall and winter, the M&T Bank Stadium parking lot packs with tailgate parties for Ravens games, while in the spring and summer, Camden Yards fills with friends and families for a quintessential evening with hot dogs, peanuts and cold beers as the Orioles rule the roost.  The stadium offers family-friendly experiences. Throughout the summer, kids can run the bases, play catch on the field, watch fireworks displays and even meet members of each team—some of whom might one day become Os.


More about Oriole Park at Camden Yards


Type:
Attraction


Location:
333 W Camden St
Baltimore, MD 21201


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Baltimore's Kinetic Sculpture Race

5 Marvel at the American Visionary Art Museum’s Kinetic Sculpture Race

The first museum of its kind in the country, the AVAM celebrates the artist in everyone. Once a year they get that art out on the street—and the water—for the Kinetic Sculpture Race, a day-long adventure where racers pilot home-built, human-powered dragons, chariots, crabs, and even an enormous pink poodle across the city and through the harbor.


More about American Visionary Art Museum


Type:
Visual Arts


Location:
800 Key Hwy
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-244-1900


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HonFest is an annual festival held in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. HonFest takes its name from the word "hon" - a slang term of address or endearment. Image Credit: Kevin Moore

6 Hang Out with a Hon, VIRTUALLY

This year, the Hons prove that nothing can bring them down as their event goes Virtual!  Coming from one of the top 15 Hipster Neighborhoods in America according to Forbes magazine, funky Hampden (home to unique boutiques, daring restaurants and pubs, and a vibrant arts and music scene). demonstrates that the show must go on.  Watch and see how Hampden does its part to keep Baltimore weird.


More about The Avenue in Hampden


Type:
Art Galleries


Location:
W 36th St.
Baltimore, MD 21211


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Car art pops up often at the art-tastic Artscape in Baltimore.

7 Take a Pilgrimage to Artscape, America’s Largest Free Arts Festival

Artscape, the country’s largest free arts festival just so happens to hail from Baltimore, as every July, thousands of attendees gather in the Station North Arts & Entertainment District of Baltimore for one full weekend of music, dance, theater and more. During this quirky annual tradition, browse or buy local artworks, hear headlining musicians across multiple stages and snap a selfie with one of the decked-out “art cars” that line North Charles Street.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore Image Credit: Visit Baltimore

8 Experience Fintastic Fun at the National Aquarium

With its revolutionary architecture and dedication to conservation, the giant National Aquarium is one of the most influential aquariums in the world. With stunningly beautiful exhibits like the Animal Planet Australia, Blacktip Reef, Shark Alley, the Amazon River Forest, plus the immersive 4-D theater, the National Aquarium makes exploring our ocean planet fun.


More about National Aquarium in Baltimore


Type:
Attraction


Location:
501 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-576-3800


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Be inspired at this important War of 1812 site and birthplace of The National Anthem. Image Credit: Ken Stanek Photography

9 Picnic at Fort McHenry, Home of the Star-Spangled Banner

Now a National Monument & Historic Shrine, during the War of 1812, Fort McHenry repelled the British, saving the city and inspiring Francis Scott Key to write our National Anthem. A picnic on the fort’s sprawling, waterfront lawns is a great way to get in touch with history and to see the skyline of Baltimore.  


More about Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine


Type:
Attraction


Location:
2400 E Fort Ave
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-962-4290


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B&O Railroad Museum Image Credit: VisitBaltimore

10 Ride the Rails at the B&O Railroad Museum

Stand under the soaring cupola of the B&O roundhouse then board one of the museum's historic trains for a ride down the rails. With working trains, model gardens and rides for the kids, the next stop is fun at the B&O Railroad Museum and, as a bonus, you get to cross off a spot on your Monopoly board bucket list. 


More about Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum


Type:
Attraction


Location:
901 W Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21223
410-752-2490


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Featured Places
Inner Harbor
01
Location:
Pratt and Light Sts
Baltimore, MD 21201
Urban Pirate Ship
02
Location:
911 South Ann St
Baltimore, MD 21231
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
03
Location:
333 W Camden St
Baltimore, MD 21201
American Visionary Art Museum exterior view
04
Location:
800 Key Hwy
Baltimore, MD 21230
Avenue in Hampden
05
Location:
W 36th St.
Baltimore, MD 21211
National Aquarium in Baltimore
07
Location:
501 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202
Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine
08
Location:
2400 E Fort Ave
Baltimore, MD 21230
Round House at the B&O Railroad Museum
09
Location:
901 W Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21223
Inner Harbor
10
Location:
Pratt and Light Sts
Baltimore, MD 21201
Wax sculptures at museum
12
Location:
1601-03 E North Ave
Baltimore, MD 21213
Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine
13
Location:
2400 E Fort Ave
Baltimore, MD 21230
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