Published March 05, 2013
The largest city in the state of Maryland holds many great attractions, ranging from nationally recognized museums to delicious seafood and harbor cruises. The birthplace of the U.S. National Anthem is also home to major cultural destinations and free entertainment. Enjoy live concerts and outdoor movie screenings during the summer, and feast on famous Maryland crabs. Here are five things to do and see while in Charm City.
5…Special deals with Baltimore Harbor Pass
When you arrive in Charm City be sure to get a copy of Baltimore’s Harbor Pass to get the most of your stay. This pamphlet holds many special deals and discounts for visitors. Once you have picked up your passbook, head over the National Aquarium, home to more than 16,000 animals. The aquarium is a nonprofit organization and admission, which runs at $29.95 for adults and $20.95 for children, helps support conservation and education programs.
Take part in dolphin training sessions and explore the museum’s exotic sea creatures. For thrill-seekers, the aquarium offers an opportunity to walk inches above the museum’s most dangerous animals, the sharks.
For some above the sea fun, visit the Top of the World observation deck for a 360-degree panoramic view of Baltimore. Located on the 27th floor of the world’s tallest pentagonal building, the observation deck is a great way to start your trip by catching breathtaking views of the city you will explore over the course of your trip.
4…Things to do for Free
One of the city’s many charms is the vast number of free museums and tourist attractions. The Baltimore Museum of Art offers free admission every day and is a major cultural attraction in the city. The museum’s exhibits include an internationally renowned collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. Special events are offered throughout the year so be sure to check their website’s calendar of events before visiting.
Another must-see museum is the American Visionary Museum. Although not free (tickets run at $15.95 for adults and free for children under 6), this museum is great for children and was named one of the 10 places to see before you’re 10 by Travel and Leisure in 2008. Housed in a former whiskey warehouse, the museum’s exterior is also a sight to be seen.
If your wallet is feeling a little light from all of the amazing sites to see, take a ride on the Baltimore Water Taxi Harbor Connector. This free service stops at many of the city’s greatest attractions including the Aquarium, Maritime Park and Fort McHenry, our next stop on five things to do in Baltimore.
3…Historic Fort McHenry
Visit the Fort McHenry National Monument, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which later become the United States’ National Anthem. Start your visit at the Visitor Center to watch a 10-minute film about Fort McHenry before beginning an hour self-guided tour of the site. During the summer, rangers lead talks and weekend living history in the fort. You can also watch the Fort McHenry Guard perform drill, musket and artillery demonstrations.
There are a lot of entertainment venues in Charm City. A Friday Night Live concert series is offered at the Power Plant just one block from the popular Downtown Inner Harbor area. Check out various restaurants, beer gardens and unique shopping venues which enjoying live music.
Another entertainment venue to enjoy is the Pier Six Pavilion which hosts outdoor concerts. Looking to catch some cinematic entertainment on your trip? Visit the Little Italy neighborhood and enjoy a free movie during July and August. Just make sure to bring your own lawn chair or picnic blanket.
1…Dine on that famous Maryland crab
Steamed, baked, stuffed, the Inner Harbor neighborhood offers a variety of famous Baltimore crabs any way you like it. Some restaurants to try include Bo Brooks, Canton Dockside and Captain James Crab House all on Boston Street. Any crab house you encounter will most likely include an impressive menu of the freshest crab and seafood. Tuck in!