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A Tour of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

The Inner Harbor has everything from scenic waterfront views to spectacular museums. Here’s how to make a day of it.

Where Baltimore’s shipbuilding and steel mills once stood, is now a busy destination for fun. Here’s the best way to experience everything the Inner Harbor has to offer.

Hop Around

Start with a Stop at the Visitor Center

First things first—make a stop at the Baltimore Visitor Center, along the waterfront promenade. It’s one of the best places to get details on how to experience the city, with the help of expert staff and volunteers who will provide personalized tips on touring Charm City, plus a bevy of brochures, maps and information sheets on hotels, museums, restaurants and attractions.

 

Exterior of the Baltimore Visitor Center in the Inner Harbor.

The Baltimore Visitor Center is located right next to West Shore Park overlooking the Inner Harbor.

Check out a Museum

The Inner Harbor is rimmed with beloved museums. One of the leading favorites for locals and visitors alike is the National Aquarium, where you can see 20,000 sea animals in award-winning habitats, including a tropical rainforest and the Australian Outback.

The U.S.S. Constellation in the Inner Harbor.

Take a tour of the historic USS Constellation in the Inner Harbor.

Interested in maritime history? Docked along the edges of the Inner Harbor are the Historic Ships of Baltimore’s floating museums. Take a tour of the U.S.S. Constellation, built in 1855 for the U.S. Navy and now holding court as the only surviving ship from the Civil War. Nearby, find three additional ships and a lighthouse that all detail marine experiences between the mid-1800s and the 1980s.

Got a budding scientist on your hands? Across the harbor from the Aquarium sits the Maryland Science Center, where three floors of science-focused demonstrations thrill kids and grown-ups alike. Hands-on exhibits explore the solar system, the human body and more.

An especially family-friendly neighborhood, the Inner Harbor is home to the Port Discovery Children’s Museum, ranked among the nation’s best. Recently reopened after a major renovation, this playful museum tucks a world of fun into a former fish market building. Let little ones explore the four-story Sky Climber, or play pretend on the life-sized cargo ship.

Get Out on the Water

If you’re more into modern-day adventures, try a tour with Spirit Cruises or Cruises on the Bay by Watermark, or get a waterfront view from the Baltimore Water Taxi or a Chessie Paddle Boat.

 

Chessie paddle boats in the Inner Harbor.

Take advantage of the Inner Harbor’s waterfront activities, like the Chessie paddle boats.

Grab a Bite

It’s not hard to find great food in Baltimore, and the Inner Harbor is no exception. Here are a few solid choices if you’re looking to take a break from your exploration.

  • Blackwall Hitch – This seafood restaurant comes complete with nautical inspired décor and two stories to enjoy the waterfront views.
  • McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks – For high quality seafood, head to the end of Pier 5 with a view of the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse overlooking the water.
  • Phillips Seafood: It’s hard to overstate how great the food is at Phillips. For more than 100 years, this Maryland-based, family-owned restaurant group has served up outstanding crab cakes and fresh seafood with flair.
  • Rusty Scupper: From the East Coast’s freshest oysters, shrimp and lobster to its famous crab cakes, this waterfront favorite is a seafood lover’s dream.
  • Tir Na Nog Irish Bar & Grill – Located on the second floor of Harborplace, this authentic Irish pub combines Irish and Maryland delicacies with a full bar and live music.

See a Show

As one of Baltimore’s entertainment centers, the Inner Harbor has plenty of options for live music. Head to Power Plant Live! for an all-in-one hot spot for restaurants, bars and music venues, including Rams Head Live. Nearby MECU Pavilion also offers outdoor concerts from national names right on the water during warm summer months. Looking for more? Check out some of our other favorite music venues.

 

The MECU Pavilion, formerly Pier Six, in the Inner Harbor.

MECU Pavilion, an outdoor music venue, hosts national acts during the summer.