From a celebrated waterfront to fascinating neighborhoods and intriguing museums, Baltimore abounds with possibilities. Day 1
Begin your visit to Maryland's largest city at the Inner Harbor, where the city's renaissance began. The Top of the World Observation Level, on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center, offers a breathtaking overview of the city. After you've seen the bird's-eye view, see how the world looks to the denizens of the deep at the National Aquarium
in Baltimore and watch the amazingly acrobatic dolphins at the Marine Mammal Pavilion. Just two blocks from the Inner Harbor is Port Discovery
, with three levels of hands-on exhibits designed just for kids with the help of Walt Disney Imagineering.
Head back to the water and climb aboard the 145-year-old USS Constellation
, the last all-sail sloop-of-war built by the U.S. Navy. Learning is always fun at the Maryland Science Center
, where you can explore the stars at the planetarium or experience an adventure thanks to the IMAX theater. A few blocks north of there you'll discover the wonderfully entertaining National Museum of Dentistry.
End your day with a sunset trip on a water taxi to Fells Point, a working waterfront community that captures the spirit of seaport life in the 1800s. While strolling the cobblestone streets lined with shops, choose a water-view restaurant for your evening meal. Day 2
Baltimore is home to some of the nation's finest museums-and some one-of-a-kind exhibits you won't find anywhere else. Start at the Baltimore Museum of Art
, where the museum's permanent collections (highlighted by the Cone Collection, which includes works by Picasso, van Gogh and Matisse) stand alongside prominent touring exhibits. The Walters Art Gallery
, renowned internationally for its Greek and Asian collections, boasts art and artifacts that cover almost 5,000 years of history. Be sure to take a walk through the neighboring Mt. Vernon Square Park, where marble monuments and stately homes create the feel of a grand European city. Have a late lunch at one of the restaurants on North Charles Street, then work off those lunch calories and catch a great view of the city by climbing to the top of the Washington Monument
Back downtown, take a stroll through time while tracing the evolution of comic books and their impact on pop culture at the Geppi Entertainment Museum. The American Visionary Art Museum
exhibits works by non-traditional and self-taught artists. The museum is located at the base of Federal Hill - a landmark that's also the namesake of one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. Climb to the summit to take in another great view of the city's lights glittering on the waters of the Inner Harbor. Day 3
So much history unfolded here! Visit the Baltimore Civil War Museum
, located near the site of the first fatalities of the Civil War. Relics from Baltimore's industrial past can be found at the Baltimore Museum of Industry
and at the B&O Railroad Museum
, both of which are guaranteed to thrill the kids. Fourteen different sites make up the National Historic Seaport of Baltimore, including historic vessels, the Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse
and the Fort McHenry National Monument and Shrine
, where Baltimoreans held off an invading British fleet during the War of 1812 and inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."
After dinner at one of the Inner Harbor's restaurants or in nearby Little Italy, head out to take in a show or a concert at one of the city's celebrated performing arts centers: the Lyric Opera House
, home of the Baltimore Opera Company; the Joseph Myerhoff Symphony Hall
, home of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; the Hippodrome at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center
, where Broadway comes to Baltimore; the Arena Players
, one of the oldest black theater companies; and Center Stage
, a top regional theater known for its bold productions.