The Best of BaltimoreBy Allison Russo
Your guide to exploring Charm City’s top five attractions
Baltimore, Maryland, has a rich history, beautiful coasts, and a number of can’t-miss activities and sightseeing opportunities. Whether you’re in town for a weekend getaway or spending a full week, you’ll find all kinds of activities in Baltimore.
1. Experience Oriole Park at Camden Yards
If you’re a baseball fan, you definitely need to visit Oriole Park. Completed in 1992, the stadium is located in downtown Baltimore. If you visit to see a game, don’t miss unique stadium food like crab mac ‘n’ cheese hot dogs, or crab-dip-covered Chesapeake waffle fries. If there isn’t a game going on, check out adjacent Eutaw Street, where you can see the diamond, browse souvenir shops, and grab a bite to eat.
Get a closer look at Camden Yards on an official tour. You’ll get to see the club level suites, press area, scoreboard control room, dugout, and more. Keep your eyes open for the bronze statue of baseball legend Babe Ruth, who grew up in Baltimore.
2. Explore the Inner Harbor
The Inner Harbor is a Baltimore hub with waterfront views, interactive museums, and a variety of fabulous shops and restaurants around every corner. Cool off on a harbor cruise, and then explore historic ships on tours of the USS Constellation, USS Torsk, USCGC Taney, and US lightship Chesapeake. Vacationing with kids? They’re sure to enjoy the Maryland Science Center, complete with an IMAX theater and planetarium, and the Port Discovery Children’s Museum. There, you’ll find three stories of exhibits and educational opportunities. Browse nationally known shops at The Gallery at Harborplace. Follow that up with some famous Chesapeake Bay seafood at one of the Inner Harbor’s local eateries.
3. Visit Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is known as the site of the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. Significant in that American troops stopped the British from invading. This battle became even more legendary, as it inspired Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The song was originally written as a poem called “Defence of Fort M’Henry,” but we all know it best as the US national anthem.
The fort was used as a military prison during the Civil War, and as a hospital for the US Army during World War I. The National Park Service designated the site a national park in 1925, and a national monument and historic shrine in 1939. Today, you can access Fort McHenry by car or via water taxi from the Inner Harbor. It’s a must-see for any American-history fan—and even if you’re not a history buff, you can enjoy their special events throughout the year. For example, there are artillery demonstrations, Defenders Day, and Fleet Week.
4. Kayak on Chesapeake Bay and the Inner Harbor
Maryland is famous for the Chesapeake Bay, and a kayak tour is the perfect way to see the Bay, and spend an afternoon in the sun. Wildlife such as bald eagles, osprey, herons, plovers, and sandpipers call The Bay home, so a leisurely kayak trip is a birdwatcher’s dream. A number of local outfitters offer guided tours of the Chesapeake Bay, so even if you’re not a kayaking pro, you can still have fun on the water.
Ultimate Watersports is a kayak tour company that offers sunset and moonlight tours, which leave from a private waterfront retreat on the Chesapeake, just outside of Baltimore in Middle River. Shallow Creek Kayaks offers kayak rentals at a variety of launch locations in the Baltimore area, and they provide paddles and life vests so all your needs are covered.
5. Peruse the National Aquarium
Located in the Inner Harbor, the National Aquarium is one of Baltimore’s most popular attractions. You’ll get an up-close-and-personal look at nearly 20,000 animals. Residents include seahorses, sea cucumbers, sloths, and bottlenose dolphins. If you’re looking for an interactive experience, schedule your visit around a dolphin encounter or guest diver program. You can also get tickets to an educational film at the 4D immersion theater. Special tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at the National Aquarium, so you’ll get to see how the animals are taken care of, and learn more about how they were rescued.
Endless activities in Baltimore
Whether you’re a nature-lover, sports fanatic, history buff, foodie, or shopping enthusiast, Baltimore has enough to keep you entertained. From family-friendly activities to solo adventures, this Maryland city is a perfect place to vacation.
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