Known for its hometown hospitality and working-class resolve, Baltimore has evolved from port city to steel town to modern cultural center. For nearly three centuries, people from around the world have arrived in Baltimore to plant new roots and follow their dreams.
In the early 1800s, Baltimore was the second largest port of entry, after Ellis Island, into the United States. Today, people of every background make up the fabric of Baltimore’s cultural landscape. In our faces are echoes of Europe; Africa; North, South and Central America; Asia and the Middle East. In our streets and neighborhoods are the museums, monuments, shops and festivals that reflect our culture and history. And in the midst of our variety lie the common threads that make Baltimore the city we love: sunny days at the Inner Harbor; hikes and treks through our walking paths and parks; laughter, memories and shared experiences.
The deep, cobalt splendor of Chinese porcelains; the warm luxury of Zambian sculpture; the quiet power of ancient Mayan ceramics: art is an expression of our souls in flight. In Baltimore, the arts inspire and delight us, reminding us of who we are. At the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and The Walters Art Museum, you’ll find collections of ancient art from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Contemporary art, with thought-provoking exhibits and modern-day perspectives on everyday life, is featured at the BMA, the James E. Lewis Museum of Art, Contemporary Museum, the American Visionary Art Museum and Sub-Basement Artist Studios. Each summer, hundreds of thousands of visitors arrive on Baltimore’s Mount Royal Avenue for America’s largest free public arts festival, Artscape. The outdoor festival presents an eclectic collection of pottery, paintings and sculpture by local artists, along with live concerts, food and kids’ entertainment. Baltimore’s performing arts scene is a dynamic mix of music, dance and theater. Don’t miss shows at Baltimore’s performance and theater spaces like CENTERSTAGE, the Arena Players theater, the Creative Alliance at The Patterson, The France Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome Theatre and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Take a guided tour of the city or venture out on your own. You’ll find history all around you—peeking through branches, peering from walkways, sometimes even underfoot. Markers and monuments to great American and international leaders, from Frederick Douglass to Simon Bolivar, dot the city’s streets and corners. The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History & Culture, the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum, and The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum celebrate the amazing journey of African-Americans in Maryland and across the country. Our Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards is a must-see for history buffs and sports fans alike, and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Industry tell the story of Baltimore’s beginnings. The story of the Jewish experience unfolds at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, with the nation’s largest single collection of regional Jewish Americana. At the Maryland Historical Society, the story of Maryland’s history comes to life through exhibits, fine art and treasured artifacts.
Sunshine, music, laughter and good eats—Baltimore’s festivals celebrate culture and outdoor fun with family and friends. Are you ready to get on your feet? East Baltimore’s Patterson Park comes alive with color, music and dance during LatinoFest, a day-long event featuring live music and Latino cuisine. The African-American Heritage Festival is the largest festival of its kind on the East Coast, celebrating African-American music, culture and cuisine. Baltimore’s annual Caribbean festival celebrates the sounds of Trinidad and Jamaica, with bright, traditional costumes and the delicious flavors of Caribbean cuisine. The Stone Soul Picnic draws more than 100,000 people to Baltimore’s famed Druid Hill Park for music, food and family fun. The St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival ushers in the summer with a celebration of the music, food and culture of the Greek Islands. East Indian, African-American, Polish, Korean and Native American festivals dance through the city during the summer months.
Plan your trip!
- Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy June 9, 2013 - June 9, 2014 | All Day
- All Aboard for Train Ride Season at the B&O! June 18, 2013 - December 31, 2013 | All Day
- Breakfast with the Animals June 18, 2013 - December 31, 2013 | All Day
- Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity! October 5, 2013 - August 31, 2014 | All Day
- Book Bindings from the Gilded Age October 27, 2013 - January 19, 2014 | 10:00am - 5:00pm