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Two people looking closely at a wall installation at The American Visionary Art Museum.

What to eat, see and do in Baltimore

Baltimore is a town for explorers, artists and dreamers. If you're looking for an experience that will awaken your senses, inspire new thinking and spark your spirit of adventure, you'll find it here. We invite you to wander through eclectic neighborhoods and visit a variety of attractions at your leisure, or select from one of our many guided tour opportunities. Scroll down for our recommendations on some of the things you have to do while you're here.

Top 20 things to do in Baltimore

Baltimore is an eclectic and exciting city, and it’s always beckoning to adventurers, explorers, artists and dreamers. Experience an awakening of your senses, get new inspiration and let your inner adventure-seeker loose while exploring our expansive city. We’ve compiled a list of some can’tmiss activities, and we invite you to visit our unforgettable attractions at your leisure. 

  1. Cruise around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor with a ride on a Baltimore Water Taxi to get you to your next destination, or just enjoy the views! 
  2. Get an up-close view of the sharks at the National Aquarium while visiting Blacktip Reef and Shark Alley. 
  3. Explore history at the National Great Blacks In Wax Museum, where 150 life-sized wax figures portray important moments and contributions in African American history. A life-sized slave ship replica will emphasize the scale of the many difficult journeys that enslaves people experienced. 
  4. You can’t miss getting a view of the iron, wood and glass Patterson Park Pagoda, a unique four-story observation tower built in the 1890s. The park is also home to a duck pond, an ice skating rink, dog parks and plenty of open space to roam. 
  5. Try some of Maryland’s famous steamed blue crabs or jumbo lump crab cakes at Faidley’s Seafood in the historic Lexington Market. Not a fan of crabs? We have other seafood too!
  6. Art aficionados will delight at the collections on view at The Baltimore Museum of Art — don’t miss your chance to see the world’s largest collection of Henri Matisse’s artwork. 
  7. Waddle your way to The Maryland Zoo to see the award-winning Penguin Coast exhibit, home to the largest colony of endangered African penguins in North America. 
  8. See the massive dinosaur replicas on display at the Maryland Science Center in the Inner Harbor. When it’s over, stop by the Davis Planetarium or rooftop observatory to experience the stars. 
  9. The birthplace of the American national anthem is right here in Baltimore. Francis Scott Key wrote the words that would become “The Star-Spangled Banner” while watching a battle at Fort McHenry, which is now a museum and public park.  
  10. Take a ride into your childhood fantasies with a ride on a Chessie Dragon paddleboat or an electric Pirate Ship in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. 
  11. If you’ve got kids in your crew, don’t skip Port Discovery Children’s Museum and its SkyClimber. No one will get bored exploring 80,000 square feet and three floors of adventure. 
  12. Looking for a completely unique art experience? Visit the American Visionary Art Museum, entirely comprised of works by self-taught artists.  
  13. Travel through seven millennia at the Walters Art Museum, home to 36,000 objects that include coats of armor, Roman sarcophagi and Fabergé eggs. 
  14. See life and history through the eyes of Black Marylanders at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, which features thousands of works of art and historical artifacts in its collection. 
  15. Follow in Edgar Allan Poe’s Baltimore footsteps by visiting his one-time home (now a museum), statue, favorite pub, gravesite and more.  
  16. Honor the contributions of African Americans to Baltimore’s shipbuilding industry at the first African American-owned shipyard, the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum. See what life what was like for Frederick Douglass when he lived here.
  17. Spend a day getting to know Baltimore’s native filmmaker and writer John Waters by touring his favorite local haunts. We’ve compiled an entire day’s worth of stops. 
  18. You’ve probably heard of the Washington Monument in nearby Washington, D.C., but did you know that Baltimore’s Washington Monument came first? Climb the 227 marble steps for a spectacular city view. 
  19. Catch a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country. If your visit falls during the offseason, ask about getting a behindthescenes tour.  
  20. Get inspired (and take some selfies) by the colorful, large-scale — and legal — graffiti in Graffiti Alley behind the Motor House creative incubator. The colors and images are constantly changing, so no two visits are the same.

Trust us, Baltimore offers more than 20 adventures, but we wanted to give you a head start. When you run out of things to do, download our free Visit Baltimore Official Guide for even more ideas.