Experience the Charms of Baltimore, Maryland

Get to know Charm City — a nickname Baltimore has no trouble living up to.

Baltimore, Maryland, Inner Harbor, skyline, night, USA, Capital Region
Inner Harbor and the Baltimore, Maryland skyline
Baltimore, Maryland, dining, chef, restaurant, kitchen, food, seafood
Baltimore's culinary scene features fresh crab and seafood
Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland, national monument, historic shrine, American flag, flag, USA
Fort McHenry National Monument and Shrine
Union Craft Brewing, Baltimore, Maryland, brewery, beer, USA
Union Craft Brewing in Baltimore, Maryland
Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, museum, African American history, USA
African American history is on display at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum
Washington Monument, Baltimore, Maryland, Mount Vernon neighborhood, USA
Baltimore's Washington Monument in the historic Mount Vernon neighbourhood
Baltimore, Maryland, Inner Harbor, skyline, night, USA, Capital Region
Baltimore, Maryland, dining, chef, restaurant, kitchen, food, seafood
Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland, national monument, historic shrine, American flag, flag, USA
Union Craft Brewing, Baltimore, Maryland, brewery, beer, USA
Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, museum, African American history, USA
Washington Monument, Baltimore, Maryland, Mount Vernon neighborhood, USA

Located on the storied shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, the city of Baltimore has been a backdrop for pivotal moments in American history, including battles with the British at Fort McHenry. Though the past is certainly a part of Baltimore’s story, the city has been showing off a more contemporary side lately — all whilst earning a reputation as one of the coolest destinations on the East Coast. From waterfront fun and cultural gems to hip neighbourhoods and a hot culinary scene, there are countless Baltimore attractions to discover. Here are some of our current favorites.

Art, Light, Music & Entertainment

When the temperatures rise, Baltimore heats up with summer festivals like Artscape — the country’s largest free arts festival — which takes place over three days in the Station North neighbourhood each July. Enjoy live concerts on outdoor stages, outdoor sculptures, performance art, craft vendors and plenty of food and drink options.

In November, visitors can take part in a completely new experience combining two of the city’s favourite events, Light City and Book Festival, when Baltimore will be filled with dramatic, large-scale illuminated works of art along with musical performances, author appearances and book signings. It’s a one-of-a-kind celebration that’s perfect for all ages. 

Fresh Fare & Seafood

Thanks to its prime waterfront location, Baltimore is known for fresh seafood — particularly steamed blue crabs. Whilst you certainly won’t want to miss getting your hands on this tasty specialty, Baltimore's food scene boasts plenty of other riches. Flavours from Italy, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and beyond are part of the well-rounded dining landscape, not to mention high-end and inventive eateries.

A collection of farmers’ markets with a focus on local produce, cheese and crafts draw both residents and visitors throughout the year at locations like the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar at Holliday and Saratoga Streets, the Pratt Street Market and the Fell’s Point Farmers Market. Indoor public markets and food halls are another way to sample the robust fare of Charm City, with dozens of options under a single roof. Lexington Market’s 130 merchant stalls have provided fresh produce, international cuisine and in-market dining since 1782, including Faidley’s Seafood — the ultimate stop for a delectable crab cake. You also won’t want to miss perusing the selection at newly renovated historic neighbourhood markets: Broadway Market in Fell’s Point or Cross Street Market in Federal Hill. 

Get the best deals at some of Baltimore’s most delicious restaurants during Summer Restaurant Week in August. Two-course brunch and lunch menus range from $12 to $20, and three-course dinner menus range from $20 to $35.

America’s Favourite Pastime

As one of only a few cities with a downtown baseball and American football stadium, Baltimore is the best place to take in a ballgame. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is often voted one of the best stadiums in Major League Baseball and it’s easy to see why when you’re greeted by the iconic B&O Warehouse, picnic and standing-room areas and delicious local food choices. Tickets for children under 9 are free and on Sundays after the game, they can run the bases just like the pros. Next-door, M&T Bank Stadium hosts the Ravens football team, whose season starts in August. On Sundays the city is painted purple and black with fans cheering on the game at local bars and tailgate parties in the stadium parking lot.

Below the Surface

Baltimore’s picturesque Inner Harbor is an attraction in itself, but it’s also the site of the National Aquarium. More than 20,000 aquatic animals in award-winning habitats call it home, including a giant sea turtle, green moray eels, sandbar sharks and hundreds of jellyfish. Immersive exhibits give visitors an up-close look at these creatures that roam beyond the depths — like the Living Seashore’s hands-on touchpools and the encompassing design of Atlantic Coral Reef.

Multicultural Baltimore

Given the city’s nearly three centuries of international immigration history, it’s no wonder there’s a diverse tapestry of multicultural attractions like the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, which counts an original, autographed photograph of prominent abolitionist Frederick Douglass amongst its permanent collection. The Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum interprets Baltimore’s maritime history as it relates to African Americans. And, the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum pays tribute to visionaries like jazz singer Billie Holiday and Harriet Tubman, who helped establish the Underground Railroad to free slaves.

Celebrate “Poe-tober”

It was in Baltimore where beloved macabre poet Edgar Allan Poe met his wife, launched his literary career in 1829 and ultimately found his final resting place at Westminster Hall. Celebrate the life and death of Poe all year long by visiting the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum, where Poe lived with his aunt, but especially during October — the month of his death — when things get really spooky. Poe-themed live performances, poetry, booksellers and other vendors commemorate Poe’s death day as part of the International Edgar Allan Poe Festival and Awards.

Star-Spangled History

Step back in time at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, a must-see historical site in Baltimore. During the War of 1812, this is where a battle took place that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which would become the US national anthem. Given this connection, it’s only fitting that when a new flag is designed for use by the US, it’s first flown over the pentagon-shaped brick fort. Roam the grounds, stop by the onsite museum and plan to witness one of the twice-daily flag-change programmes.

Baltimore Is for Beer Lovers

Sip your way across the city, where Baltimore's craft beer scene is alive and well. There is plenty of craft beer flowing from tap houses, sports bars and breweries, big and small. Drop into popular spots like Union Craft Brewing, Pratt Street Ale House and The Brewer’s Art, known for its hearty beers produced in an old mansion on Charles Street. And just a short distance from downtown Baltimore, Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House is the Irish favourite’s first brewery on American soil in more than 60 years, offering some special experimental beers. Enlist the pros on a tour with City Brew Tours, who will ensure you get an extensive, behind-the-scenes look at four different stops — and plenty of tastings to boot. Beer even takes centrestage during Baltimore Beer Week in October, a citywide fest honouring sudsy culture.

Historic Meets Modern

At first glance, Fell’s Point has all the markers of a historic neighbourhood — cobblestone streets, Colonial-style houses and quaint storefronts — but the waterfront enclave has boomed recently with of-the-moment hot spots, combining 18th-century businesses with upscale restaurants and trendy cocktail bars. Stroll the area and you’ll come across favourites like Bond Street Social, Barcocina and Ampersea, which puts a modern spin on Maryland classics. The perfect example of history-meets-modern is the luxury Sagamore Pendry Hotel, which sits atop the two-century-old Recreation Pier and offers unbeatable waterfront views.

Welcome to Hampden, Hon!

Like Fell’s Point, change has also come to the Hampden neighbourhood on the north side of the city. Previously a 19th-century, blue-collar mill town, it’s evolved into a haven of Baltimore art and kitsch. The main corridor, 36th Street — simply called The Avenue by locals — is where you’ll find a collection of indie shops and eclectic cafes intermingled with barber shops and pharmacies. The Food Market is a standout for its serious comfort food served during dinner and weekend brunch. The neighbourhood’s vibrant personality is celebrated during June’s Honfest, complete with beehive hairdos and cat-eye glasses, and September’s Hampdenfest, where the main event is the toilet races. 

More Neighbourhoods to Know

With more than 200 Baltimore neighbourhoods in total, you could spend a vast amount of time exploring the ins and outs of each unique area, whether through historic sites, attractions, special events, architecture, shopping or dining. Visit the lively village square rimmed with restaurants and pubs at the heart of Canton; take in the best views of the Inner Harbor and the downtown skyline from Federal Hill; or soak up art, music and theatre in Mount Vernon — Baltimore’s cultural centre, where you’ll find the Walters Art Museum, Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. And that’s just the beginning; there truly is no limit to the number of charms you’ll uncover throughout the city.

Request the free Visit Baltimore Official Guide, find hotel deals and explore additional trip ideas.

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