Baltimore is a city that’s full of American history, excellent seafood, and incredible architecture. It’s steeped in Americana, which makes it hard for first-time travelers to figure out what to do and where to go. Do you go to the neighborhoods and historic districts? Or do you head to the harbor to check out the tall sailing ships? Maybe you want to taste some Maryland crab that’s fresh caught from the ocean floor. Following are some tips to make your first trip to Baltimore a memorable one!
Check Out the Neighborhoods
Federal Hill is a lively neighborhood that’s filled with rehabbed brick rowhouses that Baltimore is famous for. The neighborhood also abuts the harbor and is home to Federal Hill Park, which offers one of the most famous views of the Inner Harbor. History and architecture enthusiasts should make it a point to head to Federal Hill.
Guilford is another neighborhood that’s not to be missed. Designed by historically famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, Guilford is a community that enforces strict bylaws regarding maintenance of the homes in the area. It does this to maintain its historic character. But perhaps the most interesting thing about Guilford is the residents’ annual journey to Sherwood Gardens to experience the floral carpet of blooming tulips.
Soak in American History
Baltimore is home to an incredible selection of historical sites, and it’s easy to find hotels that’s near many of them for easy access. The city is widely associated with the American Revolution, but it’s much more than that. Edgar Allan Poe called Baltimore home, and his home has been turned into a museum. Babe Ruth’s birthplace near Camden Yards is also a museum. Make a stop at the Hampton National Historic Site, a plantation listed on the National Historic Register. It has the original mansion and several outbuildings that show what life was like for landowning aristocrats in the 1700s and 1800s. Get some exercise while sightseeing at historical stops along the Gwynns Falls Trail. It’s a 15-mile series of trails within Baltimore that features a waterfall that gives the trail its name.
Fill Up on Seafood
No trip to Baltimore is complete without a meal of seafood. Everything is fresh caught and cooked the moment it reaches the restaurant. There are plenty of chain restaurants that serve seafood, but give them a pass and stop at places like LP Steamers near Riverside Park, Mama’s on the Half Shell in Canton, or Faidley’s on the West Side. None of these are upscale restaurants, but they are full of character, and their offerings came about as the result of preparing the same foods for decades.
Baltimore is a city that’s vibrant, thriving, and rich in offerings. There’s so much to do that it’s not easy to decide what to do on a first trip. These tips are designed to help you with the must-do activities when you’re in town even if they’re off the beaten path.