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, you’ll now find a busy destination for fun. The Baltimore Inner Harbor has everything, from scenic waterfront views to fresh seafood restaurants to spectacular museums. Keep reading to discover why Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor is worth a visit.
What is Baltimore's Inner Harbor known for?
In addition to its gorgeous waterfront views, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is famous for its breadth of attractions and world-class restaurants. The water is rimmed with beloved museums, including the National Aquarium, a leading favorite for locals and visitors alike. See 20,000 different animals in award-winning habitats, including a tropical rainforest and an Australian river gorge.
Interested in maritime history? Docked along the edges of the Inner Harbor are the Historic Ships In Baltimore’s floating museums. Take a tour of the U.S.S. Constellation, built in 1854 by 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. This playful museum tucks a world of fun into a former fish market building. Let little ones explore the four-story SkyClimber, or play pretend on the life-sized cargo ship.
Where are the best views of the Inner Harbor?
From Rash Field Park to Canton Waterfront Park, the Inner Harbor promenade is lined with many benches where you can sit and enjoy scenic views of the water. For more of a birds-eye perspective, head to Federal Hill Park or the Top of the World Observation Level at the top of the World Trade Center. Nothing beats getting out on the water, however, which you can do via a tour with Hornblower Cruises or Cruises on the Bay by Watermark. Or, catch the view from the Baltimore Water Taxi or a Chessie Dragon Paddle Boat.
Take a photo to commemorate your time in Charm City with Visit Baltimore’s logo sculpture in the Inner Harbor. Find it outside the World Trade Center building, close to the National Aquarium. Inspired by Baltimore’s industrial and working-class roots, this structure references a megaphone, or a voice projecting boldly into a space. Be sure to share your Baltimore pride loud on social media and tag us @visitbmore and use #VisitBaltimore.
Where can I see a show in the Inner Harbor?
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 Pier Six 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.
Where should I eat in the Inner Harbor?
Check out these Inner Harbor restaurants.
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 for restaurants in the Inner Harbor 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.
- Tír na nÓg 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.
Stop at the Baltimore Visitor Center
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Baltimore safe?Like any major city, you need to be aware of your surroundings. We recommend that visitors follow best safety practices including: plan your route before you go, avoid walking alone in unlit areas and keep your valuables out of sight.
Where are the best views of Baltimore's Inner Harbor?There are several spots along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor that offer fantastic views of the water. Have a drink on the rooftop of the Four Seasons, spend the day sunbathing on Federal Hill or enjoy a bird’s-eye view from the World Trade Center’s Observation Level — all while taking in stunning scenes of the Chesapeake Bay.
Where is the Visitor Center located?The Baltimore Visitor Center is located at 401 Light Street on the west shore of the Inner Harbor Promenade. Find out more about what’s available at the Baltimore Visitor Center and hours of operation.
Do cruise ships leave from the Inner Harbor?No, cruise ships do not leave from the Inner Harbor, but they do leave from the Port of Baltimore just minutes from Inner Harbor.
How do I use the Baltimore Water Taxi?The Baltimore Water Taxi offers one price for all-day, unlimited on-off service to more than 30 attractions and neighborhoods. Routes are seasonal and schedules can vary depending on the weather so we encourage you to check out the water taxi website for the latest information.
Where can I enjoy crabs?