Baltimore, the largest city in Maryland with an important seaport on the wide estuary of the Patapsco River and with several famous universities, museums and a renowned symphony orchestra, Baltimore is a major east coast cultural center.
Baltimore, located in the central area of the state along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay and founded in 1729, is the second largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic United States and it is situated closer to Midwestern markets than any other major seaport on the East Coast.
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor was once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States and a major manufacturing center. After a decline in major manufacturing, industrialization and rail transportation, Baltimore shifted to a service-oriented economy, with Johns Hopkins Hospital (founded 1889), and Johns Hopkins University (founded 1876), now serving as the city’s top two employers.
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is an attraction in itself. Surrounding this urban waterfront park, you’ll discover a number of family-friendly places to visit. The National Aquarium features more than 16,000 animals, from sharks to a giant sea turtle, while the Maryland Science Center’s highlights include two story dinosaurs and interactive exhibits to keep the kids busy. The Port Discovery Children’s Museum features more activities for the little ones, a short ride away, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park engages young and young at heart with the giraffe-feeding station and much more.
Mother Seton House and Historic Seminary Chapel, the Federal-style house, home to the first American-born Catholic saint, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and the historic chapel of american nation’s first Catholic seminary (1791).
Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens, enjoy a different plant material in five distinct areas of the garden: the 1888 Palm House, the Orchid Room, Mediterranean House, Tropical House and Desert House.
Washington Monument and Mt. Vernon Place, the first U.S. heroic and civic monument dedicated to George Washington was designed by Robert Mills who later also designed the Washington Monument in DC.
Patterson Park Boat Lake, is a combination of an open water and wetland habitat for fish, waterfowl and songbirds. Seasonal events are planned each year.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine and Hampton National Historic Site, this 18th-century brick fort defended Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812 is the birthplace of the American national anthem. Park rangers offer visitor programs and special events that highlight the park’s history. Visit the birthplace of “The Star-Spangled Banner!”
Caroll Park, boasts an assortment of athletic fields, a neighborhood playground and a spectacular outdoor skating facility, as well as a nine-hole golf course.
Baltimore Trolley Tours, enjoy the sights, sounds, and history of Baltimore from the seat of one of a unique San Francisco style Trolleys. The comfort controlled trolley allows for you to embrace the guided experience without the distraction of the outdoor elements. The large classy art-deco designed windows give you the opportunity to enjoy the scenery at such sites as Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key saw the flag that so inspired him to write the American national anthem during the War of 1812.
Baltimore exhibits examples from each period of architecture over more than two centuries, and work from many famous architects such as George A. Frederick, Benjamin Latrobe, Mies van der Rohe, John Russell Pope and I. M. Pei.
The city is rich in architecturally significant buildings in a variety of styles. The Baltimore Basilica (1806–1821) a neoclassical is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the United States. In 1813 Robert Cary Long, Sr., built for Rembrandt Peale the first substantial structure in the United States designed expressly as a museum. Restored, is now the Municipal Museum of Baltimore, or popularly the Peale Museum.
Historically a working-class port town, Baltimore has sometimes been dubbed a “city of neighborhoods”, with 72 designated historic districts traditionally occupied by distinct ethnic groups. Most notable today are three downtown areas along the port:
- the Inner Harbor, frequented by tourists due to its hotels, shops, and museums;
- Fells Point, once a favorite entertainment spot for sailors but now refurbished and gentrified;
- Little Italy, located between the other two, where Baltimore’s Italian-American community is based – and where former U.S. House SpeakerNancy Pelosi grew up.