Baltimore is found along the picturesque shores of the Chesapeake Bay. As the cultural capital of the region, the city is known for its vibrant art community, tantalizing seafood, and fascinating history.
Fondly known as “Charm City, there are all kinds of attractions in Baltimore whether you’re exploring it on your own, with friends, or with your family.
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Baltimore, Maryland, we’ve got you covered. This list covers all the cool things to do for an unforgettable trip. We’ve included several places you can explore like museums, gardens, and neighborhoods. We also share some of the locals’ favorite spots for drinking, dining, and shopping.
Things To Do in Baltimore: Popular Attractions
Baltimore has lovely weather, particularly in spring. Fortunately, there are several outdoor attractions that help you make the most of it. Here are some things you can do while getting some fresh Baltimore air.
Fort McHenry played a crucial role in ending the War of 1812. Hence, the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is a significant landmark in American history.
The entrance fee is $15 for visitors over the age of 16 and can be purchased online.
If you’re looking for some educational and interesting things to do in Baltimore with kids, this should definitely be on your list.
The fort is surrounded by beautiful grounds that can be explored for free. It has a path that circles the periphery—perfect for biking, walking, and running. If you have a free afternoon, you can reach the venue through a short drive from Inner Harbor.
Inner Harbor is a thriving waterfront area that underwent a major urban renewal project in the 1970s. This vibrant, active space is brimming with a number of nearby attractions.
You can visit the National Aquarium for a mesmerizing evening with marine life. Other options include the Davis Planetarium and Maryland Science Museum.
The area is also home to the Maritime Museum where you can find exhibits from the World War II submarine USS Torsk, the lightship Chesapeake, and USS Taney, a Pearl Harbor survivor.
If you’re someone who enjoys the sea, go for a cruise that will take you to see attractions like the Key Bridge, Fell’s Point, Fort McHenry, and more from the water.
Inner Harbor also has a lot of options for shopping and dining so it’s definitely worth a visit. You’ll find so many things to do that you won’t realize how much time you’ve spent exploring the area!
One of the best free things to do in Baltimore is visiting Sherwood Gardens. While the planted tulips bloom around the end of April and the beginning of May, the gardens are stunning throughout the year.
You can take a bus to North Charles Street which is around 3 blocks away and walk to the garden from there. There is also a 2-hour residential street parking available in the surrounding streets.
The garden boasts around 50,000 tulip bulbs in addition to other spring flowers. Magnolias, azaleas, flowering cherries, and dogwoods abound. Historically, the plants also include wisteria and English boxwood!
The private garden spans over six acres. It is designed for the public, allowing people to leisurely stroll through the area without fences, gates, or barriers.
Picnicking on their vast lawns makes for a magical experience. You’ll be surrounded by rare trees, native plants, and flowering shrubs that create a mesmerizing backdrop.
American Visionary Art Museum
The American Visionary Art Museum specializes in thematic exhibitions. Many of them are original works that feature different subjects like art, philosophy, science, humor, and social justice.
All the exhibits feature self-taught artists who work with a kaleidoscope of colors, art styles, mediums, textures, and more.
Tickets for adults cost $15.95. You can get to the museum by bus or train. If you take the bus, the walk will be shorter but if you take the subway, you can reach the museum after a longer 22-minute walk.
Neighborhoods To Explore in Baltimore
Every city has neighborhoods that are so charmingly distinctive that they become tourist attractions in themselves. Baltimore is no different. Catch a glimpse of some of Baltimore’s most famous neighborhoods by exploring:
Located in the north-central region of Baltimore, Charles Village is an eclectic area that’s close to the art and cultural districts of the city.
As you stroll around this neighborhood, you’ll be greeted with brick and stone row houses that date back to the late 1800s.
Oozing with charm, a portion of this village was called “Little Appalachia” as a lot of Southern and Appalachian migrants lived here. The renowned bluegrass musician, Hazel Dickens also lived in Charles Village!
Hampden is a wonderfully quirky locality, brimming with art, restaurants, and shops. It’s a one-stop destination that satisfies one’s thirst for sightseeing!
There are plenty of local shops with lots of interesting knick-knacks, particularly if you’re someone who likes antiques.
With a variety of coffee shops and restaurants, you can be sure to find a treat for your tastebuds too.
Initially created as a commercial area to support industrial development, this neighborhood is now a lively place for day and nighttime activities.
Local Picks: Must-Visit Places in Baltimore
If you’re looking for hidden gems that locals swear by, here are some places you should consider going to:
If you’re into thrifting, The Zone on Charles Street should definitely be on your list. The collection is mesmerizing and the shopkeeper Donna will make you feel right at home.
Nestled in the Ulysses Hotel along East Read Street, Bloom’s Bar is one of the most romantic things to do for a special night in Baltimore. Open from 5 p.m. onwards, the dimly lit and atmospheric bar is perfect for cocktails and conversation.
David and Dad’s Cafe
If you find yourself at Charles Street, then you need to at least get a coffee from David and Dad’s Cafe. While their brew is the perfect pick-me-up, the ambiance is worth staying for. Imagine high ceilings that are several feet high with elaborate interiors in shades of beige, cream, and gold.
It’s a great place to share with friends or simply enjoy a few moments of rest as you take a break from exploring Baltimore.
What is the best time to visit Baltimore?
Spring and Autumn are the best times to visit Baltimore, as summer tends to bring in the touristy crowds.
Does Baltimore have a lot of young people living there?
Yes, Baltimore has a high youth population, particularly as it has so many schools and universities/colleges.
Baltimore is like that friendly neighbor who always has something fun going on. From immersing yourself in stunning art, enjoying the delightful neighborhoods and delectable cuisines, and shopping till you drop, you can do it all in Charm City.
We’ve covered a lot of things you can do in Baltimore, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. You’re sure to find more incredible activities and places in this amazing city!