Top Attractions for First-Timers
Baltimore has no shortage of museums, historical sites, and landmarks to fill your itinerary. But if you’re short on time or trying to see the highlights for your first visit, add these top six attractions to the top of your Baltimore bucket list.
Home to more than 20,000 animals and exhibits spanning rainforests to coral reefs, the National Aquarium is one of Baltimore’s most popular attractions. Marvel at playful dolphins, tropical fish, sharks, jellies, and more in this state-of-the-art facility. Make sure to check out the iconic multi-story shark tanks and the Atlantic Coral Reef for an underwater adventure. With the aquarium located right on the Inner Harbor, you can easily pair this visit with more harbor explorations.
Step back into a pivotal moment in American history at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. It was here in Baltimore Harbor that Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, inspiring him to write the poem that would later become the national anthem. Walk the grounds of the star-shaped fort and learn more about its history through immersive exhibits and demonstrations.
American Visionary Art Museum
Those looking for something truly unique need to visit the American Visionary Art Museum. Dedicated to showcasing self-taught art and the creative spirit, this Inner Harbor museum will fill you with inspiration. View mind-boggling sculptures, mosaics, and other visionary works of art that break free from traditional norms.
BO Railroad Museum
At the BO Railroad Museum, step back into the golden age of American railroading. This landmark museum is home to an unparalleled collection of locomotives and railcars where you’ll learn all about America’s first commercial railroad. Take a ride behind an 1856 steam locomotive or a 1930s passenger car and experience Baltimore’s history in motion.
Maryland Science Center
Discover three floors packed with interactive exhibits spanning dinosaurs, space, the human body, physics, and more at the Maryland Science Center. Embark on an immersive journey through outer space in the Davis Planetarium or catch a film in the IMAX theater. With hands-on activities the entire family will enjoy, it’s easy to spend an entire afternoon exploring here.
You can’t visit Baltimore without stopping by the country’s longest continuously running market. Since 1782, Lexington Market has been serving up local fare loved by everyone from college students to celebrities. Grab a bite from one of the many takeaway stalls and take in the market’s lively, no-frills atmosphere. Don’t miss out on local icons like Faidley’s Seafood and their legendary crab cakes.
Mount Vernon and East Baltimore
Beyond its famed Inner Harbor, Baltimore has distinctive neighborhoods and districts waiting to be explored. Head to Mount Vernon to admire the architecture of this cultural hub before grabbing lunch in Little Italy nearby. Soak up the laidback vibes in Hampden browsing vintage shops, coffee houses, and restaurants. Or wander through Fell’s Point’s cobblestone streets lined with eclectic galleries, boutiques, and lively pubs. Art and history buffs shouldn’t miss East Baltimore’s monumental national landmarks. The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House marks where Mary Pickersgill sewed the flag that inspired America’s national anthem. Nearby, divers explore shipwrecks dating back centuries at the Historic Ships of Baltimore. And Federal Hill Park offers some of the best skyline views around.
How to Get Around Baltimore
While many East Coast destinations are extremely walkable, you’ll likely need some kind of transportation to efficiently explore all that Charm City has to offer. Here are some of the best ways for visitors to get around Baltimore.
Baltimore’s public transportation system includes buses, Lightrail trains, Metro subway, and the free Charm City Circulator buses. The Lightrail provides service between Hunt Valley and BWI Airport while the Metro subway connects Owings Mills to Johns Hopkins Hospital. While the public system is extensive, it can involve many time-consuming transfers. Purchase a CharmPass to pay your fare.
Taxis and Rideshares
Taxis and rideshares like Uber and Lyft are readily available throughout Baltimore. But hourly fares and surge pricing can add up, especially during peak times around the Inner Harbor and when traveling between distant attractions. Make sure to pinpoint your exact pickup location when booking to avoid delays.
For ultimate convenience when traveling with a group, consider a charter bus rental. Whether you’re a family reunion, school group, sports team, or business looking to book group transportation in Baltimore, a charter bus keeps everyone together on one comfortable ride. You’ll have direct transport between your hotel, desired attractions, and more – no confusing public transit maps or waiting for Ubers required. From intimate 14 passenger limo buses to 56 passenger motorcoaches equipped with restrooms, Baltimore Party Bus Company has the perfect bus rental for your Baltimore group. Perks like wifi, TVs, plush reclining seats, personalized service and easy direct drop-offs make exploring Baltimore a breeze. Plus, you can sit back and enjoy the city views when you leave the driving to your experienced chauffeur. Contact Baltimore Party Bus Company at (571) 444-5978 for help planning the perfect bus rental to discover Baltimore.
Ready to Get Started?
With its fascinating history, award-winning seafood, exciting sports culture, and diverse neighborhoods, Charm City has so much in store during your first visit. Use this Baltimore beginner’s guide to start crafting your perfect itinerary. Just be sure to come hungry – you’ll want to sample your way through Baltimore’s culinary scene. From the bustling Inner Harbor to quaint neighborhoods dotted with murals and rowhomes, Baltimore offers a wonderful mix of modern energy and historic charm. To make getting around this East Coast destination seamless for your group, partner with Baltimore Party Bus Company. Our team will match you with the perfect transportation whether you need an airport shuttle, day-long attraction transportation, or an evening out on the town. Leave the driving and logistics to us while you experience the very best of Baltimore. Contact Baltimore Party Bus Company today at (571) 444-5978 to get started planning an unforgettable Baltimore visit.