For a day trip a long weekend or for a full week, Baltimore means fresh breezes off Chesapeake Bay, delicious fresh seafood, and plenty to do.
It’s a modern city with deep connections to its past, historic neighborhoods full of charm and a long legacy of American industry. To add some history to your next holiday, start with an itinerary below.
Exploring Baltimore, you’re never far from history, either military or industrial.
- Spend your morning strolling the Baltimore Riot Trail tracing where violence broke out when Union troops first arrived in Baltimore in 1861 to the USS Constellation and the other Historic Ships in Baltimore.
- You can also make detours to the original Washington Monument, Babe Ruth’s birthplace or Edgar Allen Poe’s grave.
- Lunch options abound, but only Lexington Market has been selling everything from produce to seafood to bakery treats since 1782.
- Spend your afternoon at Fort McHenry, learning about its pivotal role in the War of 1812 and its groundbreaking work as an Army hospital in WWI.
- Spend your evening in Fells Point, one of Baltimore’s oldest neighborhoods. Grab dinner at the iconic Bertha’s (once you’ve been, you’ll start noticing green “Eat Bertha’s Mussels” bumperstickers everywhere).
- For after dinner drinks, take up a stool at The Horse You Came in On. With libations served on site since 1775, it claims to be America’s oldest continuously operating watering hole.
Enhance your historical experience with fun and family-friendly activities all weekend long!
- Kids of all ages will adore the towering stacks of imaginative pancakes at Miss Shirley’s Cafe.
- Head next door from their Inner Harbor location for a interactive fun at Port Discovery Children’s Museum.
- Learn how to talk like a pirate as you sail the waters of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor with Urban Pirates.
- Once everyone has worked up an appetite, turn left out the front door and go only a few steps for delicious kabob at the Kabul Fresh Grill.
- Go under the sea at the National Aquarium and take a spin around the harbor in the Baltimore Water Taxi.
- If you want to head away from the water, beeline for the Maryland Zoo, a Druid Hill Park institution since 1876.
- There are plenty of dinner spots easily accessible to tourists right around the Inner Harbor (think: Cheesecake Factory or Bubba Gump Shrimp Company) but head a few blocks into the Federal Hill neighborhood for tacos (and an epic tequila list for grownups at Blue Agave.
- Should your trip happen to fall at the beginning fo the month, look into First Friday evening access to the Maryland Science Center.
Set out with your better half and discover why they call Baltimore Charm City.
- Woodbury Kitchen, home to James Beard Award-winning chefs, serves one of the most beloved brunches in Baltimore
- Expand your cultural horizons with a trip to the American Visionary Art Museum.
- Take it all in by ascending to the observation deck at Top of the World and see spectacular views of the Inner Harbor and city.
- What’s more romantic than crushing crustaceans and eating with your hands? Captain James Seafood Palace has a year-round building shaped like a ship and a summertime crabs hack right on the water.
- Opt for something a bit more unique than dinner and a movie by grabbing a table at Illusions Bar & Theater, with live magic shows every Friday and Saturday night.
From antiques and art to clothing and cocktails, we’ve pulled together a plan for historical fun and lasting memories.
- Start your day in Federal Hill with decadent treats from Diablo Donuts to keep you mobile as you window shop your way along Light Street and Charles Street.
- Be sure to pop in the Book Escape or Pandora’s Box and take some time to explore.
- Everyone in the group will find something to tickle the tastebuds at Cross Street Market, featuring everything from poke to pizza to pho to fried chicken.
- Grab a ride over to the Hampden neighborhood with its quirky boutiques like Caravanserai for handmade clothing and furnishings from around the world, Trohv for eclectic home furnishings and gifts, Doubledutch Boutique for retro-modern fashion or Paradisio antiques. And, if you find yourself in need of such things, Crystals, Candles and Cauldrons.
- Enjoy craft, literary-themed drinks and light bites at the Bluebird Cocktail Room.
- End your day with a kitschy only in Baltimore dinner at Cafe Hon.
Before you go
We’ve got some tips and advice for prepping for a visit to Baltimore including hours, weather, accommodations, and directions – everything you need to make your visit a comfortable and memorable one!
- Check the weather so you know how to pack and what to wear
- Read up on the War of 1812 and the Bombardment of Fort McHenry.
- Visit Baltimore is a one-stop shop for info on all the goings on across the city, including festivals and special events.
- Find a place to stay that makes it easy to see as much as possible. We like the Inner Harbor for its easy access to so many attractions and fun neighborhoods. Nearly every major hotel chain is represented, and boutique options, like the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore or the Pier 5 Hotel are also popular. If you’re looking for a luxe, historic option, consider the Admiral Fell Inn in Fell’s Point.