Top tourist attractions in Baltimore, MD.
Baltimore, Maryland, is a vibrant and historic city located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Based on the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore is a bustling port city with a rich maritime history.
The city is known for its diverse neighborhoods, delicious cuisine, and world-class museums and cultural institutions.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Baltimore is the Inner Harbor. This bustling waterfront area is home to shops, restaurants, and attractions like the National Aquarium and the USS Constellation.
Visitors can stroll along the waterfront promenade, cruise on the harbor, or explore the many museums and historic sites.
Baltimore is also known for its rich history, particularly African American and civil rights history. In addition, visitors can explore the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park, a museum and cultural center dedicated to the stories and contributions of African American maritime workers.
The city is also home to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, which features exhibits and programs that highlight the experiences of African Americans in the state and beyond.
For those who love the outdoors, Baltimore has plenty of green spaces to explore. The city has several beautiful parks, including Patterson Park, Druid Hill Park, and Leakin Park.
From its beautiful waterfront to its historical sites and cultural institutions, Baltimore has something for everyone to enjoy.
Top 15 things to do in Baltimore, Maryland
- National Aquarium
- Oriole Park at Camden Yards
- Lexington Market
- The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
- Patapsco Valley State Park – Hollofield Area
- Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
- Patterson Park
- Druid Hill Park
- The Walters Art Museum
- Federal Hill Park
- Port Discovery Children’s Museum
- American Visionary Art Museum
- B&O Railroad Museum
- Canton Waterfront Park
- Baltimore Museum of Art
National Aquarium in Baltimore
Located in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, the National Aquarium is one of the finest aquariums in the world. Its five levels include award-winning exhibits.
You can see more than 20,000 aquatic creatures, including some of the largest fish in the world. The aquarium also has a conservation center, which protects marine ecosystems worldwide.
In its first year of operation, the National Aquarium saw 1.6 million visitors. It was the largest paid tourist attraction in Maryland. The aquarium also has one of the world’s best collections of sea creatures. The building consists of three-dimensional architecture and two glass walls.
In addition to many exhibits, the aquarium also has an underwater viewing area. In the Living Seashore exhibit, you can see blacktip reef sharks, dolphins, and other fish.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Located in the heart of Baltimore’s historic downtown area, Oriole Park at Camden Yards has been the home to the Orioles for nearly three decades.
The ballpark is an iconic baseball stadium that has been a pioneer in sports architecture. The design of the stadium is innovative and features modern amenities.
The stadium features an open-air concourse, elevators, and ramps. It is also equipped with two foul poles. In addition, the Orioles have a native plant garden. These plants provide a habitat for butterflies and birds. The Maryland Stadium Authority operates the ballpark.
During the first 25 years of the park’s operation, the Baltimore Orioles set several franchise records, including attendance of over 3.5 million turnstile clicks in 1997. In addition, the Orioles led the AL in attendance for four consecutive years (1995-1998).
Lexington Market in Baltimore
During the past two centuries, the Lexington Market has changed drastically. From its humble beginnings in a small shed, it now encompasses all Lexington Street from Greene Street to Liberty Street.
The market was initially constructed with the intent of serving the immigrant community. However, few jobs were available when immigrants came to the United States. In addition, it provided a place for local farmers to sell produce.
As Lexington Market grew, so did the number of vendors. By the mid-1900s, the market boasted more than 1,000 stalls. This was a boon for those who wanted to start their own business.
The new Lexington Market is the product of a $45 million redevelopment. The redeveloped market will feature a new market building and a plaza. This design will bring much-needed urban green space to the area.
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Founded in 1876, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is the third oldest zoo in the United States. This zoo features over 1,500 animals, ranging from lions and tigers to giraffes and elephants.
The zoo is on over 135 acres of land owned by the City of Baltimore and leased to the State of Maryland. The zoo offers animal encounters and is an active participant in wildlife conservation.
The zoo is divided into five main areas. These include the African Journey, Polar Bear Watch, Zoo Central, Chimpanzee Forest, and Wilderness. The zoo is open daily, weather permitting, during the warmer months. In addition, the zoo is home to a cafe and gift shop.
Visitors can choose from four tickets: a basic membership, a deluxe membership, a family membership, and an annual membership.
The basic membership includes two adults and up to four children. There are also several options available for those who want to experience the zoo at a later date.
Patapsco Valley State Park – Hollofield Area
Located along the Baltimore National Pike, the Hollofield Area of Patapsco is one of the most scenic spots in the park. This spot boasts stunning views of the Patapsco River Valley. It is also home to the park’s headquarters and a campground.
It is common for the Patapsco Valley State Park to reach its maximum capacity during summer. That is why it is wise to visit in the spring or fall.
You will find that the park is full of family-friendly activities. You can rent an RV or take a dip in the Patapsco River. In addition, many hiking and biking trails allow you to explore the park at your own pace.
Among the park’s most impressive features is the Swinging Bridge. This iconic landmark is fun for everyone. It swings when children cross it and offer spectacular views of the surrounding area.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Visiting Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland, offers a glimpse into our nation’s past. You can see how the fort was used over time, learn about the Civil War, and enjoy various programs and special events.
When the British Navy attacked the city of Baltimore in 1812, the fort was defended successfully. However, its resistance inspired the words of the poem “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The poem became the United States’ national anthem, still sung today.
The fort was built to protect the entrance to the Baltimore Harbor. The defense was designed as a bastioned pentagon surrounded by a dry moat. It was also used as a military prison for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.
Located in Baltimore, Patterson Park is a historic park and one of the largest green spaces in the city. It is a popular park for locals, visitors, and tourists alike. The park has many recreational activities, such as baseball fields, soccer and frisbee fields, and a swimming pool.
The Patterson Park neighborhood is one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in Baltimore. It is located two miles east of the downtown district. It is also within walking distance of Fells Point and has the best nightlife in the city.
Historic mid-19th-century row houses surround Patterson Park. These row houses are built in the Italianate and Renaissance Revival styles.
They have flat brick facades and restrained flat roofs. They often feature molded sheet metal cornices that are stamped with neoclassical decoration.
Druid Hill Park
Located in northwest Baltimore, Druid Hill Park is the city’s oldest landscaped public urban park. It is also one of the first large municipal parks in the United States.
The 745-acre park has a variety of recreational activities, including a swimming pool, a disc golf course, and a tennis court. It is also home to the Maryland Zoo, the third-oldest zoo in the country.
The Parks & People Foundation works inside the park, advocating for improving the area’s parks. In addition, they work to inspire young people to care for green spaces and to create greener communities.
Druid Hill Park is a part of the American Parks Movement, which was established to encourage large parks in urban areas. The park was initially named “Acquitted Hills” but later changed to “Druid Hill.” It was established in 1860.
The Walters Art Museum
Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the Walters Art Museum is a cultural institution with a rich and varied art collection worldwide.
The museum’s mission is to engage people in the artistic process. The Walters Art Museum offers family programs, programs for adults, and special exhibitions.
The Walters Art Museum’s campus contains five historic buildings and 36,000 works of art. The museum’s collections span three millennia, from the ancient art of Egypt to contemporary Asian art and European masterpieces.
The Walters Art Museum’s collection includes works by masters such as Manet, Ingres, and Sisley. In addition, its Asian collection features over 1,000 pieces of Asian art. It also houses the museum’s most extensive collection of Thai bronze. Other notable groups include Chinese lacquers, Japanese armor, and Japanese metalwork.
Federal Hill Park
In South Baltimore, Federal Hill Park is a must-see location for visitors. It offers a fantastic view of the Inner Harbor. It features monuments commemorating the Battle of Baltimore in 1814 and a signal tower alerting ships of arrival. It also has a playground for kids and broad green areas.
The Federal Hill summit has been an overlook for the Baltimore skyline for centuries. However, during the Civil War, Fort Federal Hill was manned by Union troops. British warships fired approximately 1,500-1,800 rounds during the battle at the fort. The attack was devastating, killing four Americans.
Federal Hill is a residential area with primarily single-family row houses and apartments. It’s located near local shops, restaurants, and nightlife. There are also some annual events and festivals.
Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Port Discovery Children’s Museum is a family-friendly destination in Baltimore, Maryland’s historic Fish Market building.
With over 80,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and activities, kids can explore their imaginations, learn about local history, and play with their newfound knowledge.
The museum offers multiple permanent exhibits and several fun-filled special events. There are three floors of educationally interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. Guests can enjoy interactive art studios, the BGE StudioWorkshop, and an indoor sports court.
Several exhibits for toddlers, such as Wonders of Water, Kick It Up!, and Tot Trails. In addition, there are several more hands-on features for children of all ages, such as a three-story treehouse, a royal farm convenience store, and a nifty water activity room.
American Visionary Art Museum
American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) is an official national museum featuring intuitive self-taught artists’ work.
It is also an educational institution that hosts apprenticeship programs, community outreach events, and an annual Kinetic Sculpture Race. It is located on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in the Federal Hill neighborhood.
Rebecca Alban Hoffberger is the founder and director of AVAM. Before founding the museum, she was the development director for People Encouraging People Inc. She studied under Marcel Marceau in Paris and founded her own ballet company.
Her artwork often involves the backyard recreation of Eden, a quest for Utopia, and a personal plea for justice. She has collaborated with the George Circle Gallery in Baltimore to mount two successful shows.
AVAM has a permanent collection of over 4,000 pieces of art. It includes works by artists such as William Kurelek, Leo Sewell, and Leonard Knight. It also has a film archive and documents related to visionary art.
In addition, the museum’s exhibitions explore various subjects, including the power of story-telling and the impact of technology on everyday life.
B&O Railroad Museum
Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the B&O Railroad Museum is a fun place to visit with the family. The museum boasts a variety of locomotives, historic buildings, and railroad artifacts. The facility is also home to a HO scale model layout.
The B&O Railroad Museum features four significant 19th-century buildings. The main building is a sizeable 22-sided building with a 60-foot turntable. There is also a small movie theater and a children’s play area. The museum also houses a historic roundhouse and an extensive research library.
One of the country’s largest collections of nineteenth-century railroad equipment is housed at the B&O Railroad Museum. This includes locomotives, rolling stock, and historical dioramas.
In addition, the museum has many other incredible exhibits, including a collection of vintage station clocks. The museum also has small objects like pocket watches, lanterns, and communications devices.
Canton Waterfront Park
Canton Waterfront Park offers scenic views of the harbor and vista-rich recreation areas at the easternmost access point to the Baltimore Inner Harbor. The area contains two concrete boat ramps and a public fishing pier. It also boasts several special events, including a free summer concert series.
The Korean War Memorial, located within the park, pays homage to 527 Marylanders who died during the conflict. The park also features a splash pad, a “living willow tunnel,” and a musical fence.
Canton Waterfront Park is great for watching the famous fireworks show. The park is also a great place to eat and drink. Canton Square is a popular bar and restaurant destination just two blocks away. The park is also a good location for jogging the waterfront promenade.
Baltimore Museum of Art
Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the Baltimore Museum of Art is one of the state’s largest and most important art museums. The museum’s collections include European and American paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. Its renowned Cone Collection of modern art is the cornerstone of the museum’s permanent collection.
A former pathologist, Claribel Cone (1864-1929), and her sister Etta Cone (1870-1949) began collecting works in the early twentieth century. They began visiting Paris and other cities where emerging artists worked. They also started collecting works by artists including Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, and Vincent van Gogh.
A private board of trustees governs the Baltimore Museum of Art. It receives funding from various sources, including corporations and federal agencies.
The BMA offers programs, including artist talks, lectures, concerts, and other special events. It also offers free admission. It hosts more than 200,000 visitors a year.