Top 21 Baltimore Attractions & Things To Do You Just Can't Miss

Last Updated on February 28, 2024 by Nikki Jain

Baltimore has world-famous crab cakes and the Orioles, and that should be enough attractions in Baltimore to please anyone, but Baltimore offers so much more. The grand view of the Inner Harbor is second to none. The Baltimore Aquarium, with its shark exhibit, and the Baltimore Museum of Art, with the world's largest Matisse collection, are unexpected but welcome Baltimore attractions.

And there are so many things to do in Baltimore, from visiting the birthplace of our National Anthem to the graves (both of them) of one of America's greatest poets, Edgar Allen Poe. The Sherwood Gardens provide sheer beauty and charm as it surrounds visitors with 50,000 tulips every spring, while indoor skydiving at iFly can shoot the adrenaline through the roof.

So many Baltimore attractions, so little time. This article will help you make the most of your visit.

Things To Do in Baltimore

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1: National Aquarium

National Aquarium

The National Aquarium is one of the best Baltimore attractions for families. With 20,000 species on display, Amazon Forest, Atlantic Coral Reef, and many other exciting experiences, the aquarium will keep everyone entertained.

Children can discover and chat with rainforest creatures in the Critter Chat Gallery. Families will love the Dolphin Tour. Guided tours are available through the food preparation area and then to the special close-up look.

For early risers, the Sunrise Tour happens before the aquarium opens to the public and lets families can get behind the scenes and help feed the dolphins.

This summer tour takes place on weekends, and brave visitors can also join in a shark feeding. The hours are 9 am to 5 pm, and the general entrance fee is $39.00 for visitors under 21 and $49.95 for anyone older.

Address: 501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202

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Also Read: The Best Aquariums in the US

2: Maryland Science Center

Maryland Science Center
Flickr/Christopher Amrich

Education, fun, excitement and fascination can all be experienced when you visit the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore.

Located in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, the museum has some fabulous exhibits for children and adults on topics such as space exploration, physics, and biology.

The museum holds excellent educational workshops such as SciLab, where visitors can put on their lab coats and goggles and then become scientists by conducting experiments in a controlled environment. Children will love exploring a giant human heart or launching rockets into space.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the Maryland Science Center features special events and exhibitions held here over the course of the year as well as an IMAX screen that shows educational yet fascinating 3D documentaries.

Address: 601 Light St, Baltimore, MD 21230

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Also Read: Best Science Museums in the USA

3: Maryland Zoo

Maryland Zoo

The 745-acre Maryland Zoo is one of the exciting places to go in Baltimore with or without children, anyone who wishes to enjoy 1,500 animals and 200 separate species.

The penguin exhibit has a display of 60 African black-footed penguins and cormorants waddling inside their habitat. Learn more about these animals while you help feed them.

Visitors can journey through Africa and view lions, ostriches, chimpanzees, elephants, and zebras. Come at feeding time and feed the giraffes. Become a part of the show.

Check their website for special information on breakfast or yoga sessions with these beautiful animals. While at the zoo, learn how to groom a goat.

The zoo has an abundance of child-friendly activities, such as a carousel and a 10-minute train ride. And the barnyard area is fun for all, especially for visitors from urban areas.

During bad weather, polar bears and river otters will happily make an appearance. The zoo has several concession stands and picnic areas.

Various events are going on daily, including penguin feedings, keeper chats, and more! The zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with admission for anyone 2 years or older at $28.00.

Address: 1876 Mansion House Dr, Baltimore, MD 21217

Also Read: The Best Zoos in the USA

4: Six Flags America

Six Flags America

For heart-pounding thrills, one of the best things to do in Baltimore is visit Six Flags America. The easiest way to reach this amusement park is by train.

Once at Six Flags, there are rollercoasters, live entertainment, hair-raising rides, gentler rides for younger children, as well as dining and shopping opportunities.

Six Flags even has a cooling water park. For the brave, the Firebird is Maryland's only floor-less rollercoaster with a nine-story drop at 56 mph.

For a genuine waterpark adventure, the Bahama Blast places four people in a tube and lets them spin on a wild ride from the top of a dark tower. There is a waterfall for extra thrills.

Six Flags is the ideal day trip from Washington. For the ultimate time, arrive early in the day. Basic tickets are $35.00 per person, but special tickets with benefits, such as added rides, water, etc., can be more.

Address: 13710 Central Ave, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

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Also Read: The Best Amusement Parks in the US

5: Top of the World Observation

Top of the World Observation
Flickr/Elvert Barnes

Another of the Baltimore attractions that provide exemptional thrills is the Top of the World Observation Deck.

Visit the deck on the 27th floor of the world's hugest pentagonal skyscraper for an intense 360-degree view of the skyline and harbor.

Use a set of binoculars to orient yourself regarding your future activities and marvel at how tiny your hotel looks and how vibrant Baltimore is.

The magnificent view of the harbor alone would make climbing to the top worthwhile (relax, there are elevators).

During the Holiday season, don't miss the special holiday train from November through January with surrounding lights and gardens.

The general admission is $8.00 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5.00 for children under the age of 12.

The Observation Deck is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and until 7:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. They open from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays.

Address: 401 E Pratt St 27th floor, Baltimore, MD 21202

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6: Maryland Brewery Tours

Maryland Brewery Tours

Ever wondered how beer goes from malt, yeast, hops and water to your glass? Curious about how your favorite breweries got their name? Or perhaps you simply want to spend a day with family and friends sipping Maryland's finest craft beers!

One of the best things to do in Baltimore when you are in the mood for a cold one is to take a brewery tour.

The Original Brew Tour Highlights the history of Baltimore beer with some exciting food pairings. The tour includes roundtrip transportation.

Sample up to 16 beer styles across 3 stops. The tour stretches over 5 hours from Friday through Sunday for $129.00 per person.

The Sip of Baltimore Tour is an introduction to 12 different types of craft beers with snacks and includes behind-the-scenes tours of local breweries.

The tour lasts for 3.5 hours, Friday through Sunday, and costs $99.00 per person.

The Baltimore Brewery Tour can also arrange for fun private parties such as Bachelor/Bachelorette parties, birthday parties, or other private get-togethers.

Address: 10227 Wincopin Cir Suite 718, Columbia, MD 21044

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Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Maryland

7: Maryland Historical Society

Maryland Historical Society
Chris Becker

Few places in Baltimore can demonstrate the state's history and culture more vibrantly than the Maryland Historical Society and inspire an appreciation for the past in its visitors.

It exhibits over 350,000 objects dating from the pre-settlement era to today, and the incredible library contains 7 million books, photographs, and other documents.

Objects on display include furniture dating back to the 19th century and fashion and accessories spanning four hundred years, and the collection includes some of Maryland's best-known artists.

The primary reading room has journals, pamphlets, and magazines relating to Maryland – a vast source of important information. The society's collection also includes rare books and manuscripts.

One of the most enjoyable and kid-friendly displays is the current Sesame Street's Jim Henson Exhibition and its muppet collection, costumes, and film clips.

The Historical Society is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with extended hours to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday evenings. Children's admission is $6.00, and adults pay $9.00.

Address: 201 W Monument St, Baltimore, MD 21201

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8: Baltimore Museum of Art

Baltimore Museum of Art
Dreamstime/Sandra Foyt

Baltimore takes art very seriously, which is why one of the best places to visit in Baltimore is the Baltimore Museum of Art.

The selection is a blend of modern, contemporary, and 19th-century works. The pride of the museum is its Henri Matisse collection – at 1,000 pieces, it is the largest public holding in the world.

Admission is free, but there may be a cost for special events. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays and open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with hours extended to 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays.

The museum also offers talks, workshops, after-hour social get-togethers, and concert, turning art into a lifestyle.

The exquisite 2.7-acre Sculpture Garden has 33 modern sculptures and is a lovely place to stroll, enjoy the sights, and relax.

Address: 10 Art Museum Dr, Baltimore, MD 21218

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Also Read: Best Art Museums in the USA

9: Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry

One of the historical Baltimore attractions that will make you stand just a bit straighter is Fort McHenry.

This is the "Birthplace of the National Anthem" during the War of 1812. As the British were bombarding Baltimore, Francis Scott Key captured the sights and sounds he witnessed in a poem and set it to music. He called it the National Anthem.

​The fort has been one of Baltimore's guardians since the War of Independence, and the sole attack was the monumental occasion during the War of 1812.

During the Civil War, more than 10,000 Southern sympathizers were held here.

​​​Fort McHenry is a tribute to all the wars fought by the U.S. and still has a large collection of cannons used in the Civil War, as well as uniforms, military memorabilia, and flags.

The 43-acre park surrounding the fort has jogging and hiking trails, and the Visitor Center has Civil War magazines and a statue honoring Francis Scott Key.

It is also a popular picnic spot. Park rangers provide educational tours during weekends. General adult admission is $16.00 for visitors 16 years and older.

Address: 2400 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230

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10: The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum

A must-see in Baltimore is the Walter Art Museum with its collection of 36,000 items spanning from 5,000 BC to the current era.

This is amazing artistry through the ages and is definitely worth seeing. The museum has everything from ancient Egyptian and Ethiopian artifacts and old Roman stone coffins.

There are also stunning images of Buddha. Stroll among medieval armor, pottery, and exquisite sculptures.

To view art from more recent times, visitors can stroll through the European collection of Manet, Rousseau, and Monet.

Few museums have this kind of impressive display. To help visitors through such a vast amount of artwork, there are docent-guided one-hour tours to make every exhibit real and fun.

These tours, with only five participants, are remarkably intimate and geared toward personal interest.

All of this is free, but a donation is appreciated. The Walters Art Museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm and open from 1 pm to 8 pm Thursdays.

The Walters Art Museum is closed Monday and Tuesday.

Address: 600 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

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Also Read: The Best Museums in Baltimore

11: B&O Railroad Museum

B&O Railroad Museum

Many people don't realize the importance of the railroad in the growth of the U.S. as a country. The B&O Railroad Museum is one of the great spots in Baltimore that reminds us how much we owe to the railroad.

It has one of the top collections of railroad memorabilia anywhere. It is also home to the largest locomotive exhibit from the 19the century.

The museum offers education, events, tours, and programs for adults and children. For youngsters who love their choo-choo, this is sheer nirvana.

A part of the entire museum experience is its 20-minute Mile One Express ride along the original U.S. railway. In a way, this is very much where the country began in earnest. 

The museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The entrance fee is $20.00 for adults and $12.00 for children under 12.

Address: 901 W Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21223

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Also Read: The Best Museums in Baltimore

12: Patterson Park

Patterson Park
Dreamstime/Jon Bilous

Patterson Park is one of the places to visit in Baltimore that is its own vital destination. This 133-acre park, Baltimore’s oldest, is filled with history, fun, and iconic sights.

A three-story observation pagoda sits conveniently on top of a hill. During the summer, guests will be treated to concerts, summer camps, seasonal festivals, and sports.

It is frequently called the "Best Backyard in Baltimore." The western area is calm and relaxing with three miles of hiking paths and greenery.

The other half of the park is a children’s paradise with two playgrounds, playing fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, a swimming pool, two rock climbing walls, an ice-skating rink with a fireplace, a lake for boating, a fountain, and a dog park.

It’s the perfect place to let the kids cause a bit of chaos and get a scrapped knee.

Patterson Park is open from sunup to sunset and is surrounded by a plethora of excellent neighborhood restaurants.

Address: 27 S Patterson Park Ave, Baltimore, MD 21231

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13: General Casimir Pulaski Monument

General Casimir Pulaski Monument
Flickr/Baltimore Heritage

Like the more famous French General Lafayette, the Polish General Count is famed for fighting for American liberty, as well as freedom in his own country.

The monument is one of the attractions in Baltimore erected to honor and remember the man known as the "father of the American Calvary," with command of mostly Maryland troops.

He died in a critical cavalry charge, and the monument shows the count on his horse, his sword thrust out, prepared for battle.

Having already fought the Russians in his native country, the Count was admired for his military bravery; he even saved General Washington’s life. And he gave his own life to the cause of American freedom.

The large relief statue by the southeast corner of Patterson Park does honor the man it represents.

Address: Eastern Ave. and Linwood Ave., South Patterson Park, Baltimore

14: Elk Room

Elk Room
The Elk Room

One of the Baltimore attractions that promise romance and a tad of debauchery is the Elk Room, which is unsurpassed for a romantic date – for anyone fancying a prohibition-type bar with the accompanying secrets of speakeasy bars. The cocktails are strong, and the candlelight is inviting.

Enjoy the peephole door, 1920’s costumed servers, 1940s jazz tunes, and prohibition bric-a-brac.

The whisky selection is quite extensive, so try a few before any possible raid. Come for the live entertainment every Thursday through Saturday.

Like any proper prohibition bar, there are underground passages to a private poker room and a cigar bar for members. The food is tasty and creative, such as wild boar nachos.

The Elk Room is open daily from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Address: 1010 Fleet St, Baltimore, MD 21202

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15: Baltimore Dinner Cruise

Baltimore Dinner Cruise
Dreamstime/Lei Xu

More Baltimore attractions that help cultivate romance are dinner and dance cruises of the harbor.

Begin the evening with a hotel pickup, then spend an enticing three-hour evening aboard the Spirit of Baltimore with drink, a culinary feast, and a delightful cruise around the harbor.

The buffet-style dinner includes chicken, fish, salads, and pasta. Return to the buffet as many times as you like. Then cuddle your partner for some dancing while you enjoy the views.

The dress code is casual dressy. Jeans, halter tops, shirts, sneakers, and shorts would look out of place during this elegant evening. Cruises leave at 5:00 or 7:00 PM and are $141 for each person.

Address: Inner Harbor Marina, 561 Light St, Baltimore, MD 21202

16: Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum

Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum
Dreamstime/Christophe Merceron

The Edgar Allan Poe House is one of the destinations in Baltimore that is open year-round.

Poe lived here between 1833 and 1935, and the house is as originally designed with his writing desk and chair, china and glassware, and other exhibits.

Although Poe was originally from Virginia, Baltimore was where his career began and where he found his wife, Virginia.

He frequently claimed Baltimore as the place of his birth. This city was where he felt at home.

The Poe's Death Bus Tour is one of the Baltimore tourist attractions that shouldn’t be missed. This is where Poe died, and the hour-and-a-half tour includes visiting his two graves (yes, two), the hospital where he passed away, and a tour of his house and museum. Please note that the house is not handicapped accessible.

The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.00, but please call for reservations. The bus tour is $49.00 to $54.00.

Address: 203 N Amity St, Baltimore, MD 21223

17: Baltimore Basilica

Baltimore Basilica
Dreamstime/Lei Xu

One of the places in Baltimore that will always remain special is the Baltimore Basilica, the country’s first Catholic cathedral, making this architectural masterpiece a historically important house of worship. This religious shrine is visited by 100,000 people each year.

It is open weekdays for public viewing. On Wednesday and Friday, the Basilica offers guided tours.

One thing that makes the cathedral very different from most darkened houses of worship with painted windows is the installation of bright clear windows that invite in the light.

As one docent has stated, "On a sunny day, visitors would walk in and get knocked down by the light."

The main choir is a special gem and can usually be heard at the 10:45 Sunday mass.

The Basilica prides itself on its great historical significance, from Thomas Jefferson’s idea of the wooden ski-lit dome to the site of the first ordination of a black priest in America in 1891.

These days, the Basilica is the final resting place of nine of Baltimore’s former archbishops. Click below for various scheduled mass times.

Address: 409 Cathedral St, Baltimore, MD 21201

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18: Sherwood Gardens

Sherwood Gardens
Dreamstime/Jon Bilous

Sherwood Gardens is a private Park available to the public 24 hours a day and one of the significant attractions in Baltimore.

In bloom for most of the year, the grounds are filled with magnolias, dogwoods, catalpa trees, oaks, azaleas, and more.

However, the garden truly comes to life every April and May when 50,000 colorful tulips bloom and herald in the season.

Everyone is welcome in this exotic garden, but since it is private, it is requested that dogs are kept on a leash and that visitors abstain from loud music.

Approval for picnics must be obtained before the event at $10.00 per person. The photography requires permission and costs $50.00.

The garden received the Best of Baltimore Readers’ Poll award in 2020, and rightfully so. It takes visitors out of the city and into a different, peaceful, spectacular different realm.

Address: 4310 Underwood Rd, Baltimore, MD 21218

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19: Skydiving at iFly

Skydiving at iFly
iFly Baltimore

iFly is one of Baltimore attractions for adults and children that is fun and out of the ordinary. Experience the heart-pounding thrill of skydiving while being indoors.

This is the ideal place for novice and experienced adrenaline junkies to fly through a vertical wind tunnel with professional flight instructors.

The experience lasts between one and two hours. This includes training and gearing up in a jumpsuit, goggles, and helmet before enjoying an actual flight that will last approximately 5 minutes.

Several flight packages are available, from two flights to five flights. iFly will also record the fun on video.

Participants must be over 3 years old and weigh less than 300 lbs. Be realistic – younger children may be somewhat overwhelmed and fearful by the experience.

iFly has varied hours, so click below for more information. The cost of a single flight is $69.99.

Address: 8209 Town Center Dr, Nottingham, MD 21236

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20: Fells Point Food Tour

Fells Point Food Tour
Dreamstime/Joe Benning

Regardless of what else you are doing, enjoying tasty food should top the list of things to do in Baltimore.

The three-hour Fells Point Food Tour is a guided tour through the cobblestone streets of the city’s three-hundred-year-old historic district.

During this remarkable tour, you will get to sample traditional Maryland dishes at some unique restaurants. The price of food and drinks are included in the tour, so simply enjoy.

Dishes will most likely include the famous Maryland crabcakes, pit beef, crab soup, and other tasty dishes.

There will also be special desserts and cocktails. For an added touch of elegance, the tour includes a visit to the country’s one and only Grand Marnier Club, where there is a bottle with your name on it.

The tours are conducted between Wednesday and Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at $65.00 per person.

Address: Broadway Market, 1640 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD 21231

21: Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament

Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament - Baltimore

Looking to be treated like royalty? Look no further than the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament as one of the fabulous things to do in Baltimore while traveling back to the 11the century. Best yet, the castle has a full-service bar!

The Maryland Castle is located by Arundel Mills Mall, with plenty of parking. It's okay to do some shopping at the mall on your way to the castle.

VIP front-row seats may be available for the asking. It never hurts to check. You will receive a crown, whose color determines which knight is yours to cheer for. Stroll through the Hall of Arms with its castle artifacts and treasures before settling into your seat.

A four-course dinner will be served once everyone is seated, and drinks will follow. The jousting is a two-hour show with swords and hand-to-hand fights.

Keep eating, drinking, and cheering on your knight for a splendid medieval time. The cost per person is approximately $70.00

Address: 7000 Arundel Mills Cir, Hanover, MD 21076

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1. What is Baltimore famous for?

Baltimore is responsible for much of U.S. history, such as the Edgar Allan Pe Museum, Fort McHenry, which inspired the words to the American National Anthem, and the museum in honor of the B&O Railroad, which helped establish our country's westward movement (which, incidentally, led to the end of slavery). It is also quite famous for its fabulous crabcakes.

2. What is the best time to visit Baltimore?

The unanimous agreement is that the summer months of June through August are the best months to visit Baltimore. While this period also has the most crowds, it has an abundance of festivals and events. If you are willing to pay premium rates, summer is your time.

3. What is the number 1 attraction in Baltimore?

It is not an easy choice, but Fort McHenry heads the list with its pivotal role in the War of 1812. Here, the flag that inspired Francis Scott Keys' National Anthem still flies and has the power to fill people with tears of pride.

4. What is the most unique thing to do in Baltimore?

The Inner Harbor is one of the most beautiful and unique seaports. It is also near great shops and the Baltimore World Trade Center. But in all honesty, it's those famous Baltimore crab cakes that people keep coming back for.

Rounding Up

Baltimore attractions can sometimes be overlooked for the nearby glitz of New York and Washington. However, the sheer variety of culture, amusements, food, and general things to do in Baltimore comes as a pleasant surprise to many first-time visitors. The city that gave us our National Anthem is not to be missed. Whether touring the wondrous Inner Harbor or experiencing Baltimore's famed food choices, Baltimore invariably holds visitors in its thrall.

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