With a beautiful harbour, interactive museums and the country’s earliest commuter railway line, this historic city is also where the national anthem was born.
Located facing the Atlantic Ocean in Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore was originally founded in 1729. Built around its port, it was once a fishing and shipbuilding town, but it quickly developed into a significant centre for trade and manufacturing. Following years of decline from the 1950s, the city began an urban renewal programme during the 1970s and 1980s. The picturesque Inner Harbor is now a buzzing cultural district. You’ll find the locals to be friendly and you’ll soon understand why Baltimore earned its nickname of “Charm City”.
Central Baltimore is comprised of contemporary office buildings and upmarket hotels. There are also quality museums and plenty of family-friendly attractions to keep everyone entertained. Head to the Visitor Center at the Inner Harbor and pick up a 3-day pass, which offers discounts on transport and entry into some of the main attractions.
The waterfront with its restaurants, museums and children’s attractions is a great place to explore. Notable highlights include the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the historic war ship USS Constellation, which can be found at the Maritime Museum. For more military nostalgia, take a trip to Fort McHenry. This is where you’ll find the victory flag which became the inspiration for the national anthem 200 years ago.
There’s plenty more to see outside the Inner Harbor. Walters Art Museum is home to a vast collection of rare manuscripts and artwork. Take a ride on the country’s first commuter railway line at the B&O Railroad Museum. Kids will love Maryland Zoo and adults will enjoy the regular wine-tasting events at the Boordy Vineyards.
There are plenty of options for getting to the Inner Harbor. The Charm City Circulator is a free shuttle bus service that runs every ten minutes. For a scenic way to enjoy the harbour-side museums, you could always take a water taxi.
Whilst it may lack the vibrancy and urban buzz of nearby east coast neighbours such as New York, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, its friendly locals, variety of museums and historical attractions ensure that Baltimore remains a popular destination.