Things to do in Baltimore

Your first stop in Baltimore should be the Inner Harbor, where you’ll find a number of museums, as well as fine dining, shopping, and live music venues. You won’t meet many locals as Baltimore natives tend to shun the area. Still, it’s worth exploring. Some of the can’t-miss sights include seeing the USS Constellation at the Baltimore Maritime Museum, the Maryland Science Center, a favorite among families with young children, the eclectic American Visionary Arts Museum, and the enormous National Aquarium. History buffs looking for things to do in Baltimore should explore African American history at the Great Blacks in Wax Museum, located near Johns Hopkins University, or the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Black History, located near the Inner Harbor. Another famous historical attraction is Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, located across the harbor at Locust Point, where ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ was born.

Looking for things to do in Baltimore outside of the tourist-heavy Inner Harbor? Check out Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in downtown Baltimore, the Maryland Zoo in Druid Hill Park, the Baltimore Museum of Art near Johns Hopkins University, and the Walters Art Museum in Mount Vernon. Sports fans won’t want for things to do in Baltimore, either: catch a Baltimore Orioles game at Camden Yards or see the Baltimore Ravens play at the M&T Bank Stadium. Head to Baltimore in the summer to catch some of Charm City’s iconic festivals, including Baltimore Pride, Artscape, Afram, Maryland Film Fest, Otakon, and StoneSoul Picnic. Fans of the HBO show The Wire shouldn’t miss out on a chance to take The Wire Tour, a 3.5-hour driving tour of the series’ most iconic filming locations. Browse our Baltimore travel guide for more suggestions for what to do in Baltimore.

One of the newest additions to the Inner Harbor’s waterfront Harborplace, this 3,800-square-foot shop from the Maryland-based company is about more than spices.

The museum’s updated Contemporary Wing reopened in November 2012, just the first phase of a $24.5 million renovation to be completed in 2014. A new family audio tour (narrated by Matisse’s schnauzer Raoudi) highlights 20 works of art.

This energetic space dedicated to visionary art (which is, simply put, created by self-taught artists who play by their own rules) is more fun house than museum. Vollis Simpson’s giant WhirliGig—a 55-foot-tall, wind-powered sculpture made of found objects—welcomes visitors outside.

Mules stopped pulling coal barges in 1924; now bikers pass locks, lockhouses, and aqueducts while looking for bald eagles.

Cruise the harbor affordably (you can get a map of landing points at the tourist center in the Inner Harbor) on one of these open-air, blue-and-white motorboats.

Stroll up to the covered 18th-century Lexington Market for picnic fixings and free Friday and Saturday lunchtime jazz and blues concerts.

Upscale upstairs haven. Two vintage Waterford crystal chandeliers and a 30-foot-long marble bar, built in the late 1800s for a private men's club in Alabama, adorn this lounge at the Brass Elephant restaurant.

The stadium is largely credited with starting the league-wide trend toward serving regional cuisine in ballparks when it opened in 1992.