A historic city with a unique charm and character. From its iconic Inner Harbor to its bustling neighborhoods, Baltimore has plenty to offer for visitors and locals alike. Whether you're a foodie, history buff, or just looking for some fun activities, the Charm City has something for everyone.
Even though I love art, sometimes I want to go somewhere different other than museums, galleries and aquariums. That's exactly what you'll find on this list. Activities that you can do in Baltimore that are museum free... well, almost.
If you are a museumgoer, then you have a few options around the area such as the American Visionary Art Museum, National Aquarium, Baltimore Museum of Art (even though this one is far away from "Downtown Area") and more. That being said, continue reading and explore this list, ideal for those who don't like museums.
Here's my personal list of Top Attractions in Baltimore.
1. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
This coastal fortification, best known for its role in the War of 1812 when the American storm flag was flown and where Francis Scott Key was inspired to pen "The Star-Spangled Banner", is the perfect place to go for a long walk or run. Its gorgeous views and lush scenery will make you fall in love with Baltimore.
Start your visit at the Visitor and Education Center. This is a self-guided tour. Plan to be there around 1hr to 1hr 30min. Believe me, time will pass as you're taking hundreds of pictures. There is an admission fee of $15 per adult (ages 16 and over) if you want to enter the historic zone.
2. Federal Hill Park
This former lookout during the Civil War and the War of 1812 is now a scenic park overlooking the Inner Harbor. This Baltimore landmark has the most beautiful panorama so your inner photographer can have fun taking lots of pictures of the downtown skyline and the Northwest Branch of the Patapsco River. Ideal to walk around, take the kids to the playground area and have breakfast or lunch with a view. This is for sure a can't miss.
3. Walk around Inner Harbor
This historic seaport is a landmark to the city of Baltimore. And with good reason! It has everything, from museums to gorgeous waterfront views. Who would've thought that once a steel mill occupied this area? Nowadays you can find Historic Ships (pretty much floating museums which are cool and different), a variety of restaurants with delicious food and scenic views, the Pratt Street Power Plant, and even though I said I wouldn't mention them, there are a few museums in this area. Other things you can do is go to a concert at the MECU Pavilion, stop at the Baltimore Visitor Center and get details on how to explore the city, or get on board Spirit Cruises and explore the city in a different way.
4. Power Plant Live!
Even though it's located in Inner Harbor, I loved this place so much I gave it its own spot on this list. This trendy entertainment venue features diverse restaurants, bars, indoor and outdoor concert space, comedy clubs and nightclubs. There's no fee to go in, except on certain occasions when they hold a ticketed event. But don't think you'll walk into a massive outdoor venue. I would say it is a mid-size area where you can definitely find a little bit of everything, even an axe-throwing bar! And for those who love sports, you can watch football games and more on a big LED screen. Cheers! May the best team win.
5. Visit the baseball and football stadiums
Yes, I'm referring to the M&T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL Ravens, and the Oriole Park at Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles. They are less than 5min away on foot from each other and it's just a 6 min car ride from Inner Harbor. The M&T Bank Stadium looks massive in the daytime and dazzles you at nighttime with purple lights that illuminate the arena. Tours are $5 per person and lasts an average of 90 minutes. Then as you make your way to Oriole Park, you realize how immense this retro major league ballpark is. That is because the former B&O Warehouse building was incorporated into Camden Yards in 1992 when it opened. It now has team offices and spaces. Known as The Ballpark That Forever Changed Baseball, you can tour the grounds at $15 for adults and $10 for seniors (60 and over) and children (3 to 14), and last approximately 90 minutes.
Update: Check if the tours are reinstated. It seems they paused the tours of Oriole Park.
6. Fells Point
Known for being one of the hip neighborhoods, Fells Point didn't disappoint. It has a large concentration of bars and restaurants in the city, and it's just a couple blocks away on foot from the Inner Harbor. In fact, some restaurants are blessed to have that gorgeous view. Expect Instagram ready cobblestoned streets, multiple seafood joints, live music, galleries, fashion boutiques and more. It's a can't miss spot that must be on your list.
7. Get something to eat at Cross Street Market
This market has existed since the mid 1840s. Can you believe that? People have come and gone, the building has been rebuilt and destroyed again, still it remains in the same corner and people gather there for lunch or just get a quick bite to eat.
Up until my last visit they were working on the façade of the building but don't let it fool you, they're still open. This food hall has a little bit over a dozen vendors, each of them offering a great variety of cuisine.
8. B&O Railroad Museum
I know, I said it was a list of museum-free options. But this one unexpectedly grabbed my attention and after my visit I must say it's one of the coolest, most different museums I've been to. The B&O aka the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum features just that, historic railroad equipment from the 19th and 20th century, mostly from American railroads. The wow factor: it offers train rides (usually) Wednesday through Sunday. The B&O Museum is believed to have one of the most significant collections of railroad treasures in the world. What really caught my attention: one of the buildings in the museum is a roundhouse that has over 15 live-size locomotives and you can even hop on some of them. How amazing is that!? You get to really feel as if you're in the 19 hundreds for a few minutes.
That's it! My top 8 places to visit in Baltimore, Maryland. I hope you enjoyed reading about these places and that you found it useful when planning your next trip!