Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has thrived following a massive urban renewal project that began in the 1970’s. The result is a vibrant, active, waterfront area featuring the glass enclosed market of Harborplace, the National Aquarium, the recently restored U.S. Frigate Constellation, the Maryland Science Museum and Davis Planetarium, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
A good place to start your explorations of the city is at the Baltimore Area Visitors Center, located on the west side of the Inner Harbor, on Light Street, just south of Harborplace.
The Baltimore harbor also hosts the Baltimore Maritime Museum, a 3 ship exhibit which includes the lightship Chesapeake, the World War II submarine USS Torsk, and the USS Taney, the only ship still afloat that survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
There are several entertainment venues in the area, including Pier 6 Pavilion, Rams Head Live, the Hippodrome, and Royal Farms Arena.
On the Water
Interesting ships visit the Baltimore Harbor throughout the year, including many tall sailing ships. Sail Baltimore publishes an on-line schedule of ships that will be visiting the harbor.
A water taxi service is available to transport you to the many attractions around the harbor. Or for a different experience, you can take a ride on the Baltimore Ducks. These amphibious ducks take you on a tour of Baltimore from both land and sea as the expedition takes you through historic sites and neighborhoods then plunge you into the Inner Harbor for a water tour.
Take a Baltimore Harbor cruise to see the sights. The Spirit of Baltimore or Inner Harbor Spirit offer lunch, brunch, dinner, and moonlight cruises in the Inner Harbor and down the Patapsco River. Or, for thrill-seekers, there’s the Seadog Baltimore. This high-speed tour boat combines an educational tour of the Baltimore’s historic sites with and exciting speedboat ride.
The Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore’s Major League baseball team, plays in downtown Baltimore at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Oriole Park is one of the best stadiums in baseball, with great seats, a retro design, and lots of great food. Plan to see a game when the O’s are in town.
You can order tickets in advance from the team’s website, or get them at the stadium box office. If you can’t make it to a game, Orioles ballpark tours are available. Tours include the Orioles dugout, press level, scoreboard control room, and suite level. Visitors coming to town for a game will want to check out our list of hotels closest to the stadium.
The Fells Point neighborhood, one of the nation’s oldest maritime communities, has been designated as a National Historic District. Fells Point was the hub of the nation’s shipbuilding industry in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. As you walk the cobble stoned streets today, you will find some 350 original structures housing shops, galleries, pubs, and restaurants. The most convenient way to get to Fells Point from the Inner Harbor is to catch the Water Taxi.
The Little Italy neighborhood is located between the Inner Harbor and Fells Point and is the place to find great Italian food at one of its many restaurants.
Fort McHenry was constructed in 1803 to defend Baltimore’s Harbor. The site of the flag flying over the fort during a War of 1812 attack, inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to the Star Spangled Banner. The fort is open for visitation and is accessible by water taxi and by car.
Getting Around Baltimore
The Charm City Circulator offers a fast, friendly, and free way to get around the city. This city bus service has several routes, including the Banner Route connects inner harbor stops with Fort McHenry. The Orange Route connects the inner harbor with the Little Italy neighborhood and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
The Water Taxi connects Baltimore’s attractions and is a great way to get around. The Water Taxi stops at the Aquarium, Harborplace, the Maryland Science Center, Little Italy, Fells Point, and Fort McHenry.