15 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Baltimore

The city of Baltimore is the largest in Maryland and is located on the Patapsco River. It played a significant role in American history by being defended for 25 hours by British forces without surrendering its fort.

When he saw an American flag still waving over Fort McHenry the morning after a battle, Francis Scott Key wrote the poem The Star Spangled Banner, which later became the lyrics to our national anthem.

In the city of Baltimore, Inner Harbor is the central area. Here, you will find museums and historic ships that are open to public tours while a bustling promenade surrounds it.

Baltimore is a city in Charm City with many attractions, including vibrant Fell’s Point, sedate Mount Vernon, Little Italy, and hip Hamden. The many museums; historic sites; cultural activities and lively symphony orchestra are offered for visitors to Attractions & Things to Do in Baltimore

1. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

A prominent piece of American history, Fort McHenry is just three miles south of the Baltimore city center. Built in 1798 to command the harbor entrance, it served as inspiration for our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

During the battle of Baltimore in 1814, the fort withstood a 24 hour bombardment with ten warships, five bomb ketches and a rocket vessel. This allowed Baltimore to be spared from capture, and saved it from occupation.

The visitor center to the fort is also a history museum where you can learn about what life was like during the fort’s operation as well as checking out displays and archeological sites.

Address: 2400 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland

2. Walters Art Gallery

Things to Do in Baltimore

In a city with a large number of museums, the Walters Art Museum is an internationally admired institution that houses an impressive variety of artwork. The museum is home to important pieces in arts across the third millennium BC and into the early 20th century.

Among its thousands of treasures are fine collections of ivories, jewelry, enamels, and bronzes; a large reserve of illuminated manuscripts, and rare books. The Walters’ collection has ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman art from before the fall of the western empire and the later Byzantine empire; collections from the African continent; and Western medieval ecclesiastical art including engravings from Gregorius di Tours and Gerard David.

The Musée D’Orsay makes exhibits and collections accessible to young children, who are shown special activities, challenges, treasure hunts, and more. Many French paintings from the 19th century are on display within these buildings and have been grouped together by theme.

Address: 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland

3. National Aquarium

National Aquarium

The National Aquarium, one of the most visited attractions Things to Do in Baltimore, offers visitors a variety of aquatic exhibits and is housed in a stunning building. Each exhibit explores different ecosystems–the Coral Reefs, the Open Ocean, Amazon River Forests, Marine Life, and more.

The Tropical Rain Forest is a spectacular five story-high environment where visitors can tour from the forest floor to the treetop canopy and see a variety of birds, frogs and other larger mammals. Elsewhere, visitors meet sharks, dolphins and many exotic species from the Atlantic Coral Reef Exhibit.

Address: Pier 3 and 4, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland

4. American Visionary Art Museum

American Visionary Art Museum

One of Baltimore’s most unusual museums is the American Visionary Art Museum, displaying self-taught artists’ work. It’s not just a gallery of paintings and drawings, but a lively – and frequently changing – celebration of the creative spirit.

Free exhibitions in the Children’s Museum offer many different opportunities for public art, posing thought provoking questions. Exhibits might consist of sculptures made from toothpicks, fabric collages, intricate embroidery and costumes created for a neighborhood festival to give a glimpse into the creativity surrounding you. The exhibits from the museum vary greatly with an exuberance that is contagious and always leave something intriguing to contemplate.

Visitors will enjoy stunning architecture and impressive exhibits, such as a dragon from a Chinese New Year parade. Savor gifts at the museum shop for unique souvenirs.

Address: 800 Key Highway, Baltimore, Maryland

5. Baltimore Museum of Art

Baltimore Museum of Art
Photograph by Eli Pousson, 2018 March 25.

The Baltimore Museum of Art is one of the most important art museums in America, with a wide array of collections. The permanent collection includes the largest collection of works by Matisse, some by Picasso and Cezanne, as well as van Gogh’s work and Andy Warhol’s work.

Along with modern and contemporary art; important African collections; and impressive collections of American art, the museum has a sculpture garden illustrating 100 years of modern and contemporary work. Free admission to the museum is granted.

Address: 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Maryland

6. Inner Harbor and Historic Ships

Inner Harbor and Historic Ships

Here is Attractions & Things to Do in Baltimore surround the Inner Harbor, such as the oldest sailing ship, that you could spend several days there. Highlights include ships open for tours and a submarine tour, among other things. You can also see a US Coast Guard Cutter and Lightship Chesapeake.

Harborplace–a mixed-use mall and market–is located in the historic district of Schuylkill River City and features shops, restaurants, and open spaces. Among the notable attractions at Harborplace is the Amphitheater, which hosts both street artists and live musical performances.

Address: 201 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland

7. See a Game: Oriole Park at Camden Yards

See a Game: Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Plan a weekend away to Baltimore to see the game at Camden Yards. Orioles Park at Camden Yards is the official home of the Baltimore Orioles, the city’s major league baseball team.

One of the earliest railroad centers in Baltimore is located two blocks away from the birthplace of baseball’s most legendary hero, George Herman “Babe’” Ruth. But now it has become a museum, and a statue of Babe Ruth stands outside of it. You can tour Oriole Park for a peek behind the scenes by taking an indoor walking tour inside the Press Box, Club Levels, and Dugouts.

8. Fell’s Point

Fell's Point

Fell’s Point is an old harbor quarter in Baltimore with a beautiful history and many sites for visitors. It was once the shipbuilding district of Baltimore, with places of entertainment for sailors before that time. Today it serves as a popular place to meet with lively restaurants, cafes, and shops, which creates a market area selling local foods to connect Fell’s Point to the Inner Harbor.

American Airlines Center

9. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum

The Mount Clare Station (1851), the Print Shop (1884), and a roundhouse that now houses an excellent collection of historic locomotives are on the Pratt Street Railroad Station of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

The centerpiece of the museum is a turntable that connects to 22 lines with trains. With a few exceptions, all the pieces are original and in working order. In front of the building is an area with even more trains. There’s also a miniature railway system.

Address: 901 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland

10. Maryland Science Center

Maryland Science Center

The Maryland Science Center is in the southwest corner of the Inner Harbor and hosts a highly interactive exhibits for young students. There are scenes about science-themed to explore, like learning how atoms relate to one another. The museum is located on three floors filled with content that will also stimulate knowledge of adults.

Full size dinosaurs roam throughout the Dinosaur Mysteries museum, where kids can participate in a number of dig pits, field lab, and excavation activities. One of the most innovative exhibits is a Baltimore-inspired “street” of brick row-house storefronts, each store with related challenges and activities: how gears work at the Bike Shop, sound experiments at the Music Store, or designing and flying paper airplanes at the airport.

Address: 601 Light Street, Baltimore, Maryland

11. Baltimore Museum of Industry

Baltimore Museum of Industry

Out of the way, but worth a visit nonetheless, the Baltimore Museum of Industry is a fascinating look at the wide variety of commercial and industrial businesses that have taken place in Baltimore throughout the years. The main emphasis is on the workers and small business owners who were an integral part of the city’s development.

The MSA offers a variety of workshops, as well as a contemporary historical recreation of Baltimore’s waterfront. This includes a print shop, cannery and several other historical recreations such as painted doorsteps and window screens.

Address: 1415 Key Highway, Baltimore, Maryland

12. National Cryptologic Museum

National Cryptologic Museum

The National Cryptologic Museum is not far from downtown Washington D.C., and features work by spies and counterspies as well as encryption methods. Here, visitors can see the actual Enigma machine that was in use during World War II to decrypt German signals.

This letter has multiple meanings. It can describe the most traditional and primitive computers which used in Ancient Rome or the highly technical supercomputers available today. The letter can also be a metaphor for a scavenger hunt where children decrypt messages and answer questions as they tour the museum.

Guided tours last around 90 minutes, presenting history and information about secret missions such as Code talkers from World War II, the Cold War and more. In the adjacent National Vigilance Park are two reconnaissance aircraft used for secret missions.

Address: 8290 Colony Seven Road, Baltimore, Maryland

13. Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

One of the best family-friendly activities in Baltimore is a trip to the zoo, which was constructed in 1873 and has recently undergone renovations. The zoo has more than 2,000 animals housed within its grounds and some impressive renovations have been recently made to their animal enclosures and park grounds.

Walk a goat and feed African penguins or toss a fish to a penguin in the African Peninsula. At the Castaway Cay Beach Resort in St. Thomas, these animals enjoy roaming free, so take the opportunity to have your own cuddly encounter by feeding them some kibble from the food dispenser.

Walking onto the deck next to giraffes could be the most gentle and calming interaction with animals. Simply bring an acacia branch to them and watch as they gently take it with their giant, grey tongues. For an animal interaction that’s a little more spirited, walk out to the petting area where you can pet farmyard animals like cows, pigs, sheep and even chickens.

14. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Basilica of the Assumption is one of the oldest Roman Catholic cathedrals in the United States. It has been built for more than 200 years, making it one of the earliest. In the crypts, we can find the tombs of Archbishop John Carroll (1735-1815) and other church figures.

The building is a National Historic Landmark, and was fully restored in the original style between 2004 and 2006.

Address: 409 Cathedral Street

15. Washington Monument and Mount Vernon

Washington Monument and Mount Vernon

The Washington Monument, the tallest structure in Baltimore, has a 228-foot spiral stairway leading visitors to its summit. There are windows attached to observation decks at the top of some parts that allow visitors to view the surrounding area.

At the ground floor of the monument is a museum and exhibits about George Washington himself and the monument. Other attractions nearby include 19th-century industrialist mansions, now part of the Mount Vernon Cultural District.

Address: 699 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland

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