If a trip to Baltimore to catch an NFL game is something you’ve been thinking about, read on. This guide will help you make the most on exploring the area. So grab a brew, sit back, relax and enjoy reading the best things to do.
My husband and I came to Baltimore on a day trip via train from Washington DC in May 2019 to visit friends, Matt and Kelly, who we’d met on holiday in Mexico a year or two earlier. It was so nice to see them again, and we were so lucky to have locals show us around. Going there, I had no idea what to expect, but it was so picturesque and I can see now why it had the nick name ‘Charm City’.
We started at the Baltimore Museum of Art
The 104-year-old museum’s collection spans centuries of art, from ancient to the contemporary. You’ll even find here, the world’s largest Matisse collection as the museum boasts more than 1,000 works by the French Fauvist painter and sculptor. With six Doric columns gracing the front, the elegant building designed by John Russell Pope is also a work of art.
Climb Mount Vernon Place
We checked out Mount Vernon Place, home to the Washington Monument. If you can climb the 227 marble steps, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the neighbourhoods elegant 19th and 20th rowhomes built in Beaux Arts, Greek Revival and Italianate styles.
The square makes a good launching point for exploring the Mount Vernon neighborhood and contains many architectural marvels: a Norman-Gothic church, the Palazzo-style Walters Art Museum and the George Peabody Library. Which reminds me… it’s time to enjoy a drink!
Grab a beer at The Brewer’s Art
When our friends first brought us here, I really didn’t know what I was walking in to, as it’s set in a turn of the century mansion, in a low-lit cavernous basement that features a wood-panelled formal dining room.
The Brewer’s Art brews its Belgian-style beers in house. Baltimore is home to many great breweries and brewpubs, but this should be your first stop.
Walk to the top of Federal Hill Park
Federal Hill Park is a 10-acre park that is a short walk from the Inner Harbor and offers a panoramic view of the waterfront. It’s perfect for getting a birds-eye perspective of the attractions clustered around the waterfront. Wear comfortable shoes to climb the 99 steps to the top.
Here we explored Inner Harbour itself and visited the The National Aquarium (at 501 East Pratt Street on Pier 3 in the Inner Harbor area).
To me, it was well worth a trip, you saw a huge range of animals, and they even had a rainforest at the top – where I saw a sloth!
Enjoy the waterfront sights, arts districts and renowned restaurants
Take the Baltimore Water Taxi along the waterfront for stunning views, including the impressive Under Armour complex, before touring the Inner Harbor’s historic ships, such as the U.S.S. Constellation, the last Civil War-era vessel still afloat. Check out the National Aquarium, which notably is in Baltimore and not in Washington, D.C. For world-class restaurants and vibrant arts, visit any of the city’s charming neighbourhoods. Baltimore is a foodie city; Zagat honoured it as the No. 2 city on its “Top 17 Food Cities of 2015” list. Embrace local culture in the city’s three arts and entertainment districts to take in street art, music venues and artist studios. Stop at local shops in Fell’s Point and Hampden, or head to Harbor East for upscale boutiques.
Where history, heritage and culture come together
I’ve already mentioned one museum but no visit to Baltimore is complete without a visit to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, which defended the city during the War of 1812. Learn about Maryland’s African-American heritage at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, the National Great Blacks In Wax Museum and the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park. One of Baltimore’s most famous residents, Edgar Allan Poe, left a lasting impression on the city; hear all about it at the Poe House and Museum and visit his grave. Take advantage of the city’s two free-admission major art museums: The Walters Art Museum with its 55 centuries of art, artefacts and jewellery. Round out your cultural tour with stops at the B&O Railroad Museum and American Visionary Art Museum.
A city proud of its seafood reputation
Sweet Maryland blue crabs, a well-known local staple, are on menus all over town – in crab cakes, crab chowder and even crab eggs Benedict. But the most authentically Maryland way to enjoy the crustaceans is with a crab feast.
We went to McCormick & Schmick’s at Pier 5 near the Inner Harbor. The seafood selection is fresh and extensive with over 30 selections of fish ranging from Virginia Chincoteague oysters to Tocumen, Panama yellowfin tuna. Top tip, check out their happy hour to try many of their popular items at a reduced price. Here’s what we enjoyed!
… and finally, hear from a local!
Check out this video from VisitTheUSA, with a local sharing their view of the city. Enjoy!
Thinking of taking a trip stateside? Check out the Travel section to discover more about your team, it’s stadium and the incredible city they call home.