The Perfect Baltimore Itinerary
The waterfront city of Baltimore, Maryland is creative, diverse and immersed in history and culture. As the birthplace of the American national anthem, Baltimore’s history is America’s history, woven into the very fabric of the flag and story of the United States. The city is easily accessible and conveniently located en route to other major cities along the East Coast like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City; plus, Baltimore offers plenty of memorable experiences at a fraction of the price. Here’s how to enjoy a long weekend in Charm City.
Day 1: The Quintessential Baltimore Experience
Start your Baltimore adventure in the heart of the city, the Inner Harbor. Here you’ll find beautiful views by land or sea alongside iconic Baltimore attractions. Fuel up with breakfast at Miss Shirley’s, a Baltimore favorite. Spend some time exploring the National Aquarium, which is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country and houses more than 20,000 animals. Get hands on at the Living Seashore exhibit, where you can touch live jellyfish, starfish, stingrays and more.
Nearby, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum chronicles the lives of Maryland African Americans dating back to the 18thcentury with a permanent collection of more than 10,000 objects and temporary special exhibitions.
Climb aboard one of four historic ships and a lighthouse docked around the harbor to see what life at sea was like on these vessels: the 1854 Sloop-of-War USS Constellation; the World War II submarine USS Torsk; USCGC WHEC-37, the last surviving warship afloat today from the attack on Pearl Harbor; the Lightship Chesapeake, once one of the most modern and capable ships used by the U.S. Lighthouse Service; and the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, built in 1856 to mark the mouth of the Patapsco River.
Wrap up the day with a can’t-miss Baltimore tradition: crabs! If you’re here during the warmer months, enjoy an authentic crab feast on the Phillips Crab Deck. Overlooking the harbor, the Phillips Crab Deck delivers a full menu of Eastern Shore favorites. You’ll love watching the action at the steaming station, where live crabs are sorted for size and prepared fresh to order. Ask a local to help teach you the art of the crab feast—not only the correct technique for picking meat from the crab, but also taking time to sit, relax and enjoy the company of your fellow diners.
Day 2: Explore Charm City’s 200+ Neighborhoods
Start your morning in Hampden, once a 19th-century blue-collar mill town that has evolved into a hub for one-of-a-kind shopping, dining and creativity. Hampden’s main street is 36th Street, known to locals as The Avenue.
Take a dockless scooter or hail a rideshare to the nearby Baltimore Museum of Art, home to the world’s largest collection of Henri Matisse. For lunch, walk through Wyman Park Dell, a serene 16-acre public park, to get to R. House, a chef-driven food hall in the Remington neighborhood.
Hop over to Mount Vernon, a community with a lively cultural arts center and some of the most beautiful, well-preserved 19th century architecture in the United States. Palatial homes face small parks and Belgian Block streets that surround the area’s centerpiece, the original Washington Monument. Other must-see cultural institutions in the area include the Walters Art Museum, the George Peabody Library, the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Maryland Center for History & Culture.
While in Mount Vernon, grab a cocktail at Topside, a panoramic rooftop restaurant and garden bar at Hotel Revival. This boutique hotel puts art front and center and offers plenty of photo opps.
For a luxurious dinner, head to The Bygone in Harbor East. Sitting atop the Four Seasons Hotel, you’ll find a menu of upscale, classic American cuisine in a swanky space reminiscent of the 1920s with sweeping views of the city.
Day 3: Immerse Yourself in History & Culture
Take a Baltimore Water Taxi to Fell’s Point, a neighborhood older than the city itself and the first neighborhood in Maryland to be listed on the National Register of Historic Districts. Situated along the picturesque waterfront and home to a plethora of locally owned boutiques, bars and restaurants, Fell’s Point is a must-see.
Discover the history of the first African American-owned shipyard in the country at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum.
For lunch, Broadway Market, a recently renovated historic market, offers plenty of local and international cuisines. If you have a larger appetite, head to Thames Street Oyster House, a longtime favorite where you can enjoy fresh local seafood from the Chesapeake Bay.
Walk over to the posh Sagamore Pendry Hotel situated on the historic Recreation Pier. The hotel’s pool deck overlooks the harbor directly across from the iconic Domino Sugars sign. Stay the night or enjoy dinner at Rec Pier Chop House, an Italian steakhouse in the hotel.
Day 4: Make the Most of Your Last Day in Baltimore
A visit to Baltimore is not complete without getting a taste of the city’s literary history. Check out the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum, where the famous author lived for a period of his life and wrote some of his earliest stories.
Then, journey to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine to recreate the battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Walk the grounds to see soldiers’ barracks and enjoy waterfront breeze.
On your way back, stop at the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM). This one-of-a-kind national museum is dedicated to outstanding original works of art created by intuitive, self-taught artists. You won’t be able to miss it for the shimmering mosaic exterior.
Grab lunch at Cross Street Market in Federal Hill, where you can enjoy local seafood, pizza, drinks and more in one of the oldest public markets in America.