Baltimore is a special kind of American coastal town located 24 miles from the largest estuary in the United States, the Chesapeake Bay. From the sunny, humid summers to its brooding fall and winter weather, Baltimore has been a historic touchstone of the USA since its formation. In fact, the bombing of Fort McHenry in Baltimore inspired Francis Scott Key to pen “The Star Spangled Banner”. In spite of its history, Baltimore is all but stuck in the past. Catch it in a good mood, and you’ll find a beautiful, modern port city with tons to see, eat, and do. Catch it in a bad mood, and you can still do plenty of great things like eat fresh seafood all day.
Here are our top fun things to do in Baltimore.
The old shipyard and dock at Fell’s Point used to be one of Baltimore’s busiest ports. It still is, but for different reasons. Now, Fell’s Point has the greatest concentration of bars and restaurants in all of Baltimore, along with several high-end hotels, residential buildings, and plenty of historic charm. If you’re looking for a picturesque spot to eat, it’s hard to get fresher seafood than Fell’s Point without jumping in and catching it yourself
If you’ve got good Baltimore weather and a day to spare outside the city, it’s worth 30-minutes to drive to Patapsco Valley State Park. It’s filled with meandering river trails that lead to gently cascading waterfalls. The Patapsco Valley has lush deciduous forests in the summer, and eerily beautiful landscapes in the winter as well. Visit during fall for peak leaf-peeping and a firework display of fall colors. Cascade Falls is located within the State Park boundaries a bit farther to the south.
Though born in Boston and raised in Virginia, Edgar Allan Poe spent the beginning and end of his life in Baltimore, where he is buried at Westminster Hall. No one knows exactly how Edgar Allan Poe died, but he was found on the streets of Baltimore unconscious from drinking and in someone else’s clothes. The city pays homage to its most infamously gloomy citizen through the city’s NFL team, the Baltimore Ravens. You can visit his family home turned museum and learn more about his turbulent and macabre life. There are no hearts buried beneath the floorboards, we promise.
Marvel at 2.2 million gallons of water and over 750 unique species of animals at the Baltimore National Aquarium on the Baltimore Inner Harbor. This award-winning museum is Maryland’s biggest attraction, with over 1.5 million visitors every year. Exhibits include Australia: Wild Extremes, Amazon River Forest, jellyfish, sharks, as well as a marine mammal pavilion with six Bottlenose dolphins.
No joke, the George Peabody Library is out of a movie. This stunning neo-Grec style 19th-century research library is located on the campus of Johns Hopkins University. It’s open to the general public, making it one of the best free things to do in Baltimore. Whether you want to escape the hustle of the city for a few hours or just pretend you have an important thesis to write, the George Peabody Library is a must-see.
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