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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, 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.

Hop Around

What is Baltimore's Inner Harbor known for?

The National Aquarium

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.

Inner Harbor

The National Aquarium sits on the water in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Historic Ships

USS Constellation

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.

The Maryland Science Center

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.

Exterior of The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore.

Exterior of The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore.

Port Discovery Children’s Museum

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.

SS Friend Ship at Port Discovery Children's Museum

Port Discovery is home to a nautical ship-themed playground.

Reginald F. Lewis Museum

Just one block away from the water, this museum features more than 13,000 square feet of permanent and temporary exhibition space holding about 10,000 objects. The Reginald F. Lewis Museum also hosts discussions, film screenings and living history performances.

Reginald F. Lewis Museum

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum

Waterfront Activities

The Inner Harbor offers plenty of ways to get on the water, whether you take the Water Taxi to a different neighborhood or a sightseeing cruise to see the city from a different perspective. You can also try a paddle boat, kayak or sailboat if you want to get a little more adventurous. Learn more about all the ways you can experience Baltimore by water.

Dragon boats on the water in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.

Dragon boats on the water in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.

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.

Inner Harbor

See the Inner Harbor from Federal Hill.


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.

Visit Baltimore logo sculpture

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.

Pier Six Pavilion in the Inner Harbor.

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

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. In the summer months, the outdoor crab deck grants you front-row access to the Patapsco River and the vibrant waterfront promenade.
  • 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.
  • Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls: Located in Harborplace across from the Inner Harbor Ampitheater, Mason’s is the place for fresh, buttery lobster and shrimp rolls.
  • Crust by Mack: On the second floor of Harborplace, this family-owned bakery serves a delectable array of sweet and savory pies, tarts, pastries and more with a waterfront view.
  • Matriarch Coffee: Get your caffeine fix at this Black-owned coffee shop located on the ground floor of Harborplace.

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. Browse our selection of Baltimore-themed merchandise, from t-shirts and caps to puzzles and postcards.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions