It’s easy to fall in love with Baltimore, thanks to its scenic waterfront, friendly character, and fascinating history. The only thing that’s crabby here is the seafood! Which, of course, is famous in its own right. Since the Charm City’s beginnings back in 1729, this town has been home to a slew of notable people, renowned art and architecture, and a bustling business scene – and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Visit Homages to Baltimore’s Famous Residents and Culture
The Charm City certainly gave the world a taste for crab cakes, but notable Baltimorians also contributed to sports, literature, business, and more. There’s no better way to get to know them than in their hometown. At the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, baseball fans can see the childhood home of the famous slugger, which is just a short walk from Camden Yards. Poetry fans also flock to Edgar Allan Poe’s Grave, where you can pay your respects to the great writer.
Baltimore is also known for its vibrant African American culture, to which the Reginald F. Lewis Museum is dedicated. Here, visitors can see photographs and artifacts from the struggles and successes of Baltimore’s African American population. To learn more about African American history in Baltimore and beyond, head to The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum for not only lifelike wax versions about famous world leaders, but also thought-provoking exhibits about slavery and civil rights.
Admire Baltimore’s Architecture
One could argue that you need to travel to Paris or Rome to see awe-inspiring architecture, but we disagree. Baltimore’s historic buildings may not be the most famous, but they certainly have something to offer for any architecture lover. Inspired by Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, the Bromo Seltzer Tower was once Baltimore’s tallest building and featured the largest clock at the time. Today, it’s a place for artists and artisans to work and sell their wares, and that famous clock is still operational.
Additional architectural wonders around the Charm City include The Baltimore Basilica, which was the first Roman Catholic basilica in the United States. It’s also a fantastic example of famed architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe’s work. Another landmark structure is the World Trade Center on the Inner Harbor. It isn’t just home to the Top of the World Observation Level, it’s also the tallest 5-sided building on the planet, stretching 27 stories high. That’s not something you see every day!
Learn About Baltimore’s Oldest Industries
Silicon Valley might be considered the United States’ modern, boundary-pushing technological hub today, but a couple of centuries ago, Baltimore was one of the country’s biggest centers of innovation. The world can thank Baltimore for advances like traffic lights and passenger railways, and you can learn all these Charm City innovations and more at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.
To dive deeper into Baltimore’s pioneering railroad industry, check out the B&O Railroad Museum. It’s a must-see for train buffs, with almost 200 locomotives on display, a mesmerizing array of model trains, and functional trains that you can ride. Another industrial highlight – and a culinary highlight – is Lexington Market, which opened in 1782. Wander through the stalls and shops which have offered local food and gifts for centuries.
Dine at Longtime Baltimore Restaurants
Baltimore’s cuisine is famous for seafood, so in order to fully understand the city’s gastronomy, you’ve got to get your hands messy. Perhaps the most iconic seafood joint is Phillips Seafood, which has several locations around town, including one on the Inner Harbor. The company started as a fishing outfit over a century ago and finally opened their first restaurant in the 1950s, serving crab cakes, clam bakes, and fish.
For more legendary Baltimore fare, head to the historic Fells Point neighborhood. Nearly every establishment here has some sort of story from the city’s past, some dating back to the 1700s. Grab a drink at The Horse You Came In On Saloon, which is rumored to be the last place Edgar Allen Poe was sighted. Or indulge in some tasty pub grub and live music at Waterfront Hotel. Just know that you can’t spend the night at this “hotel” since it doesn’t have guestrooms; instead, check into one of the nearby vacation rentals in Baltimore.
See Art Come to Life at Baltimore’s Landmark Venues and Museums
Thanks to the thriving economy throughout Baltimore’s history, the city became home to world-class museums and arts venues, which are just as dazzling today. Take in a show at the Hippodrome Theatre, which opened in 1914, or watch an indie film at the iconic Charles Theatre in Midtown.
For art lovers, everything from ancient artifacts to Impressionist oil paints can be found in Baltimore. Both The Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art, which is on the Johns Hopkins University campus, showcase incredible collections of work from American artists as well as greats like Picasso and Monet.
Check Out Baltimore’s Most Iconic Monuments
Since the city predates the founding of the United States, it’s no wonder that Baltimore has its fair share of historical monuments. In fact, no trip to Baltimore is complete without a visit to The Washington Monument. No, not that Washington Monument; Baltimore actually has its own obelisk dedicated to the country’s first president.
Another Charm City essential is Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. The storied Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812 happened here, and this historical site inspired the words in the national anthem. Intrigued about the famous song’s origins? Pay a visit to the spot where the original “Star-Spangled Banner” was sewn at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House.
With so many landmarks and such rich history, Baltimore is surely one of the country’s most fascinating cities.