Baltimore, Maryland is one of the most spectacular cities in the United States and really is underrated, in this Virginian’s opinion.
These are the best things to do in Baltimore, Maryland.
If you’re traveling to Baltimore last minute, you want to ensure you have tours and lodging booked ahead of time! Below are some of our top picks for both to help you plan!
Best Tours and Experiences in Baltimore:
- Spirit of Baltimore Dinner Cruise with Buffet (also has lunch options!)
- Baltimore Brewery Tour
- Historical tour of Baltimore with expert guide
- Fells Point Food Tour in Baltimore (likely to sell out fast)
- Sagamore Spirit Distillery Tasting and Tour
- Sailing Tour on the Chesapeake Bay (historical maritime tour)
Where to Stay in Downtown Baltimore:
- Sagamore Pendry Baltimore (5-star right on the water!)
- Tru By Hilton Baltimore Harbor East
- Hotel Revival Baltimore
- Staybridge Suites Baltimore
Filled with history and known for being the birthplace of the American national anthem, this harbor city is also well-known for its delicious restaurants, unique culture, and plenty of sites to see.
If you want to visit Baltimore, there’s no way that you’re going to get bored because there’s so much to do and see, from museums of all kinds to the National Aquarium to warships and more, you’ll never run out of things to see in Baltimore.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of all the top attractions in Baltimore that you should be sure not to miss, especially if you’re visiting for the first time!
If you have extra time in the city, definitely consider one of these amazing day trips from Baltimore to see what sits outside of the city (and beyond).
Best Things to Do in Baltimore
Maryland Science Center
Who says that a fun vacation can’t be educational? The Maryland Science Center is the oldest scientific institution in the state where you’ll be able to experience some interactive exploration.
Packed with numerous exhibits from astronomy to paleontology and the human body to physics, it reveals the wonders of science. There’s so much to learn at Maryland Science Center for the whole family.
Check out the Kid’s Room, walk into Newton’s Alley, explore Math in Nature or Dinosaur Mysteries. Dive into the world of cells at Universe Inside Us or take a journey to space through different interactive exhibits.
American Visionary Art Museum
A must-see Baltimore landmark focuses on thematic exhibitions, combining art, science, humor, philosophy, and social justice.
You’ll find unusual collections reshaping the definition of art. Explore unique works of graffiti, diorama, film, embroidery, multimedia, and sculpture on display.
The American Visionary Art Museum provides monthly events, art workshops, and the famous annual Kinetic Sculpture Race, so be sure to check out the website before visiting to see what interesting events are on schedule.
They also have virtual experiences to join from home or a classroom if you’re not up to travel yet. You must purchase tickets online in advance. The cost is $15.95 for adults and $9.95 for students.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Don’t forget to include this iconic Maryland destination in your Baltimore itinerary!
The Fort McHenry National Monument is known for being the city defense during the Battle of Baltimore, and it inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner.
Visit the home of the national anthem and dive into history with flag talks, re-enactments, and ranger programs. Take your chance to raise the replica of the original Star-Spangled Banner.
This Baltimore landmark provides various events and programs designed to bring history to life for guests. In addition, the park boasts a path for running, walking, or biking, along with amazing views and picnic places.
The entrance fee to the historic Star Fort is $15 for visitors aged 16 and up.
The Brewer’s Art
This exquisite restaurant and brewery is located in the heart of the Mt. Vernon district.
The Brewer’s Art offers house-made ales, an excellent wine list, and continental cuisine along with a relaxing atmosphere and reasonable prices.
Try spirits like Beazly, Birdhouse, Resurrection, and St. Festivus from the menu. You can also join in on their famous growler exchange programs.
The restaurant is also a great spot for business meetings and holiday parties. Choose a hidden corner, a seat by the window, or a table in the dining rooms and enjoy your delicious meal.
Be sure to visit a masterpiece of American architecture, the Baltimore Basilica.
Built in the neoclassical style, it’s the first Roman Catholic cathedral constructed in the United States and among the first religious buildings constructed in the country.
It was built between 1806-1821 and restored in November 2006 by the father of American architecture, Benjamin Henry Latrobe. The shrine is a top tourist destination, attracting 100,000 people every year.
The Basilica always hosts significant events and high-profile guests. Free daily tours are provided.
Baltimore Museum of Art
Founded about 100 years ago, the Baltimore Museum of Art aims to emphasize the significance of modern art along with highlighting and maintaining relevant historic collections.
The BMA possesses one of the important collections of 18th, 19th, and 20th-century art in the US. It’s home to 95,000 works covering ancient Egypt to the present day.
Enjoy numerous unique displays, programs, events, family activities, and tours offered at the museum.
The landmark is open Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free reservations are necessary to visit the museum.
Fell’s Point Food and Walking Tour
Take a historical and flavorful tour and explore the colonial harbor of Fells Point. Experience diverse cuisine and learn about local history during this 3.5-hour guided tour.
Visitors enjoy food tasting at five restaurants offering the best of the local cuisine, including crab cakes, craft cocktails, and delicious desserts.
While moving from one spot to another, you’ll learn about the historical and industrial heritage of the city. Discover hidden corners of the architectural, residential, commercial, and social life of the area.
>> Click here to check rates and availability for the tour
B&O Railroad Museum
Dive into the story of American railroading at the B&O Railroad Museum.
This is the home of the most prominent collections of railroad treasures in the world. It’s considered to be the birthplace of American railroading.
The museum offers educational programs, tours, and numerous events for visitors of all ages.
This National Historic Landmark boasts 15,000 artifacts, 250 pieces of railroad rolling stock, four significant 19th-century buildings, and tons of antiques. It also includes a museum store and a cafe.
This privately owned community park called Sherwood Gardens was founded in the 1920s by John W. Sherwood.
His hobby of growing tulips has given rise to the most famous tulip garden in North America. About 80,000 tulip bulbs are planted every year alongside other spring flowers like dogwoods, wisteria, magnolia, and flowering cherries.
Some of the plants date back to the 18th century. The park covers six acres and has no fences and gates, no admission charge, and no need for reservations.
Visitors can stroll through the area and enjoy the spectacular views.
Check out a Coffee Shop in Baltimore
Along with its historical and architectural diversity, the city will excite you with the local coffee scene! It is one of my favorite things to do in Baltimore!
Visit Dovecote Cafe filled with artwork, a rustic interior, local coffee varieties, and a daily food menu.
Another cozy place welcoming locals and visitors with delicious coffee and sandwiches is 3 Bean Coffee. OneDo Coffee has an important place in the city’s coffee world with unique flavors and barista shows.
Enjoy a minimalistic atmosphere along with excellent coffee at Aveley Farms Coffee Roasters. Also check out Ceremony Coffee Roasters, serving only 85+ scoring coffees at their three locations in the city.
Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum
Explore the house where the great American writer once lived at the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum in Baltimore.
Walk on the same floors, stairs and see some significant belongings like Edgar’s portable writing desk and chair, china, glassware, and a telescope.
Enjoy the exhibitions of the museum highlighting the story of his life and death in Baltimore. The museum is open throughout the year and organizes changing exhibits and events.
The house isn’t accessible for visitors with disabilities, but a video tour is available on the website.
Dine at Woodberry Kitchen
Woodberry Kitchen offers a warm and cozy setting with an open kitchen and patio seating during the summer season.
Nestled in a renovated foundry, it provides exceptional service and delicious dining.
Combining various local ingredients, they have the best and most simple dishes on the menu, like a tomato and watermelon salad with cheese, cast-iron chicken, biscuits with carrots, string beans, and crab flatbread.
Gluten-free options are also available. You can also enjoy the live music performances. Check their website here.
Birthplace of Babe Ruth and Museum
The tiny house where Babe Ruth was born became a tourist attraction and museum in 1974.
Today, this educational institution aims to preserve the historic legacy of Babe Ruth, Baltimore’s Orioles, Ravens, and Colts. Visitors can enjoy numerous exhibits and programs providing cultural and learning experiences.
The museum houses the Orioles Hall of Fame, the Maryland Collegiate Hall of Fame, and exhibits on Babe Ruth’s and Johnny Unitas’ collections.
You may join a group or private tours. School field trips are also organized.
Skydiving at iFly
Have you ever tried skydiving? Cross this activity off your bucket list by checking out iFLY Indoor Skydiving for an unforgettable experience. Professional guides will provide specialized training before starting.
So, don’t worry if you’re a first-time skydiver. You’ll have two sessions of free-fall flights in the wind tunnel. Feel safe and enjoy your flights under the supervision of instructors.
It’s recommended that you wear comfortable clothes and well-fitting sneakers. The minimum age is 3. Due to safety purposes, the weight of flyers must not exceed 300 lbs.
>> Click here to book a skydiving adventure in Baltimore
Visit the hidden treasure of Baltimore’s urban atmosphere, Graffiti Alley.
The L-shaped lane is a haven for local street artists, providing a platform for creative self-expression. Once a criminal backstreet, Graffiti Alley is now filled with vibrant colors.
You can even see cool designs on trash cans. The alley is owned by Graffiti Warehouse, which decided to turn the street into an artistic shelter in 2005.
Today, this is a site of breakdancing parties and school field trips.
Federal Hill Park
Federal Hill Park is a popular green space in Baltimore that is situated south of Inner Harbor, offering spectacular views of the harbor and downtown skyline.
The park played an important role in the historical heritage of Baltimore. Named for the prominent hill, it served as a mining spot in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Later, the hill was used as a fort by the Union Army during the American Civil War. Today, this is a city park that features plenty of amenities like hiking, picnicking, and panoramic views.
Sagamore Spirit Distillery Tasting
Visit the distillery with the most famous whiskey brand, Sagamore Spirit.
Take a one-hour whiskey tasting tour, explore how the alcohol is distilled, and treat yourself to four delicious types of whiskey.
You can also enjoy an interactive session learning about historical facts and stories or watch the reviving tradition of Maryland rye whiskey making.
To participate in the tour, visitors must have passports or IDs with them. Whiskey tasting is not permitted for customers under 21.
>> Click here to book your distillery tour and tasting
Eat Fried Crab Cakes at Faidley’s Seafood
Founded in 1886, Faidley’s Seafood is one of the oldest places to serve fresh seafood in the Chesapeake region.
Try a classic flavor at this crab cake landmark. With their local sources of the freshest Blue Crab, the restaurant boasts award-winning crab cakes.
Run by the same family since 1886, Faidley’s has maintained Maryland-style crab feasts to promote local tourism and business.
Check out the restaurant to try both a backfin and jumbo lump, as well as their famous soups, fish, shrimp, and oyster dishes.
Indulge in Craft Beer in Baltimore
Start your beer tasting tour at Pratt Street Ale House, offering twenty drafts and hand-pump selections. Looking for something exceptional?
Drop-in Racers Cafe with 13 rotating drafts, including domestic crafts and some rare imports. Enjoy weekly brewery events along with more than 50 drafts at Frisco Taphouse & Brewery.
You’ll find Maryland’s largest beer selection at Max’s Taphouse, boasting 102 drafts and five hand-pumped cask ales.
Another way to experience Baltimore’s craft beer scene is to join this Craft Beer Brewery Tour.
The guided trip will take you to the four best breweries in the city, offering 16 beer styles, delicious lunch, and comfortable transportation.
>> Click here for a craft beer tour in Baltimore
The Washington Monument (no not that one… the Baltimore one!) is the first architectural monument built in honor of George Washington.
Visitors can climb the 227-stairs to the top of the monument’s tower and enjoy picturesque views of the town. Or, if you want a leisure adventure, visit the gallery dedicated to George Washington and American history.
Don’t miss your chance to stroll along Mount Vernon Square Park, too. It’s open to the public year-round.
The fee is $6 for adults and $4 for children under 13. Admission to the gallery and its exhibitions is free.
Phoenix Shot Tower
Phoenix Shot Tower is an absolute must-see when visiting Baltimore.
Built in 1828, it was regarded as the tallest structure in the US. The cornerstone of the Old Baltimore Shot Tower was laid by the last living founding father, Charles Carroll of Carrollton.
From the 18th century to the 1960s, the tower was used for producing shot balls of muskets. It also served as a bomb shelter in the late 1960s and finally became a museum in 1976.
Phoenix Shot Tower belongs to one of the first National Historic Landmarks of Baltimore.
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
Hear the voice of Maryland’s African American history and culture by visiting the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture.
It offers special exhibits, permanent collections, educational programs, and public events. The landmark boasts a collection of about 10,000 items.
Their permanent selections depict 400 years of history and cover spheres like industry, politics, leisure activities, sports, media, arts, and education.
The museum includes exhibition spaces, a two-story theater, a gift shop, classrooms, meeting rooms, an outdoor terrace, and reception areas.
Take a Historical Tour of Baltimore
If you want to understand the city better, take a historical Baltimore sightseeing tour organized by I Love Baltimore Personal Tours.
Explore the historical neighborhoods of the area, as well as numerous museums and churches.
Their experienced guides will provide interesting historical facts and stories about the local landmarks.
You’ll enjoy traveling through the city in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle in the summertime. You can join this two-hour activity at the Baltimore Visitors Center.
The maximum number of participants is eleven.
>> Click here to check rates for this historical tour of Baltimore
The Urban Oyster
Prefer quality food in a relaxing atmosphere? Be sure to grab a delicious meal at The Urban Oyster.
It is regarded as the first female- and black-owned oyster bar in Maryland, featuring chargrilled oysters and other seafood dishes.
Situated on the first-floor restaurant space of Hotel Revival, it offers raw bivalves, oyster tacos, and baskets. Try their incredible burgers and salads, soups, and seafood nachos.
Takeout and delivery are also available. Check out their website here.
Inner Harbor Cruise
A unique way to explore Baltimore and the Inner Harbor is via a 2-hour lunch cruise.
Visitors journey along the Patapsco River, enjoying views of waterfront attractions. The sights along the route include Maryland Science Center, Federal Hill, Fort McHenry, and the Francis Scott Key Bridge.
Enjoy relaxing music and try drinks and delicious food from the lunch buffet menu. The cruise departs from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and is wheelchair-friendly.
Don’t forget to grab warm clothes with you if you’re heading on the boat during winter!
>> Click here to book your Baltimore Inner Harbor cruise
Top of the World Observation Deck
Top of the World Observation Deck is a great place to start your trip to Baltimore.
Located on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center, it offers panoramic vistas of Maryland’s urban center. Enjoy breathtaking views of Baltimore’s skyline, harbor, and beyond.
The attraction provides stationed binoculars and photo-map guides and is helpful to visitors getting to know the neighborhood, local sites, and hotels.
Regular hours of operation are Thursdays, 10 am-6 pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 10 am-7 pm; and Sundays, 11 am-6 pm.
The admission fee is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (60+) or military with ID, and $5 for children 3-12 years old.
Jewish Museum of Maryland
The Jewish Museum of Maryland was founded in 1960 and is one of the country’s leading centers highlighting Jewish history and culture.
It has three galleries with changing exhibits and two preserved historical synagogues. Its collections include historical photographs, rare books, art pieces, clothing, documents, and oral stories.
The center also boasts a library and a fantastic gift shop. The operating hours are Sunday and Tuesday – Thursday, 12 pm -4 pm. The admission fee is $8 for adults and $4 for students aged 12 and over.
Docent-led group tours of the synagogues are also available.
Eat Maryland Crabs
Your trip to Baltimore will be incomplete without trying Maryland Blue Crabs! You’ll find plenty of options to dive into the world of crab in Baltimore.
Visit Bo Brooks Restaurant for waterfront dining with the vistas of Inner Harbor and try a heaping pile of steamed crabs.
Check out Stoney Creek Inn, an old crab house that serves excellent steamed crabs, crab dip, and crab cakes.
Another choice for crab lovers is Cantler’s Riverside Inn, offering tons of steamed corn alongside trays of crabs as well as crab dip and fried oysters.
And a local favorite is Captain Billy’s, where visitors can enjoy sunset views of the Potomac and steaming mounds of Old Bay seasoned crabs.
Also be sure to try their delicious dessert: corn fritters with sugar and honey. If you’re visiting Baltimore in winter, indulging in some seafood is a fantastic thing to do!
George Peabody Library
Visit one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. The George Peabody Library was founded by George Peabody and was formerly known as The Peabody Institute Library.
The library’s collection contains 300,000 volumes and reflects many ideas, but is mainly focused on the 19th century.
The library boasts works covering religion, architecture, topography and history, British art, American history, biography, and literature, Romance languages and literature, history of science, geography, exploration, and travel.
This unique library also hosts various events. Click here for more.
Rawlings Garden and Observatory
The Rawlings Garden and Observatory is a conservatory and botanical garden that is located in Druid Hill Park.
Its mission is to foster the understanding of plants and the role they play in our life. It is the second oldest living glass botanic conservatory in the country.
Take a unique tour of the world’s flora and explore the Palm House and Orchid Room, three greenhouses, two display pavilions, and outdoor gardens. Enjoy and study plants in their natural environment.
Best Places to Stay in Downtown Baltimore
Are you looking for the best places to stay in downtown Baltimore? Here are some of our top picks!
- Sagamore Pendry Baltimore (5-star right on the water!)
- Tru By Hilton Baltimore Harbor East
- Hotel Revival Baltimore
- Staybridge Suites Baltimore
Did we miss any of the best things to do in Baltimore? Let us know the best attractions in Baltimore (or places to eat) in the comments below. Thanks!
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- Baltimore in winter
- Weekend in Baltimore itinerary
- Best small towns in Maryland
- Romantic Maryland getaways
- Maryland in winter
- Maryland in fall
- Best places to visit in Maryland
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