Baltimore centers on the peaceful Inner Harbor, a lovely renovated neighborhood curving around the Patapsco River. Walk along the stretch or take a water taxi to pop into restaurants, shops and cultural attractions.
On the harbor’s eastern side, visit Fell’s Point, once a shipbuilding community. Frederick Douglass was enslaved here as a youth for over 10 years. The community now features restaurants, shopping and events such as the Privateer Festival celebrating the region’s pirating past. Head west to the National Aquarium with over 20,000 animals in habitats ranging from ocean to rainforest.
A bit north, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum’s exhibits display some of Maryland’s African-American heritage. Find hands-on fun and learning at the Port Discovery Children’s Museum. Continue north to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, America’s first cathedral, built in the early 1800s.
Return to the harbor’s wide brick promenade to see dinosaurs, space displays and amazing demos at the interactive Maryland Science Center on the western shore. Find more fun at the American Visionary Art Museum, where unique self-revelatory art includes giant whirligigs and a full-size dress for a full-size horse. On the southern peninsula, visit the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. The fort’s 1814 battle inspired Francis Scott Key to write the U.S. national anthem.
Drive to Druid Hill Park, about 5 miles (kilometers) north of the harbor, where flowering trees border Druid Lake. Visit the park’s Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and the City of Baltimore Conservancy, with beautiful plant specimens. Stroll through the forested Wyman Park next to the Johns Hopkins University campus and stop at the Baltimore Museum of Art, featuring a very large Matisse collection.
If you enjoy baseball or simply want to relax in this inspiring stadium, visit Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Notice how Baltimore’s purpose-built stadium incorporates a warehouse from the old B&O Railroad. Eat a hot dog with crab dip as you cheer on the hometown Orioles.