Baltimore is Maryland’s largest city, home to more than 620,000 individuals. Although the city has lost population over the past six decades, its metropolitan area continues to grow. Today, more than 2.7 million people live near the city, with triple the population when the Washington, DC, metropolitan area is included. The following are some of the best places to visit while you are in Baltimore.

1. Oriole Park at Camden Yards — Home to the Baltimore Orioles major league baseball team, Oriole Park is one of the leading retro parks of its kind. It proximity to much of the city and its timeless charm are what attract people to the stadium.

2. Fort McHenry National Monument — This National Park Service destination marked an important battle in the War of 1812. It led Francis Scott Key to pen “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It takes about two hours to visit the fort and monument. Take in both the flag change and ranger talk while you are there.

3. Baltimore Museum of Art — Every major city has an art museum of renown and Baltimore is of no exception. The Baltimore Museum of Art features 19th century art and has collections from Africa, the Pacific Islands, and Asia as well as a textiles display and photographs. The museum’s exhibits are constantly changing as well.

4. Historic Ships in Baltimore — A number of cities display historic ships especially around major summer holidays. In Baltimore, a permanent display of historic ships can be seen including military vessels from the world over. Check out the US Sloop-of-War Constellation, Lightship Chesapeake and the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse that is part of the display.

5. The George Peabody Library — There are libraries and then there is the Peabody. Housed in the Peabody Institute of Music at Johns Hopkins University, the Peabody will amaze you with its massive atrium held up by 61-foot columns. Decorative embellishments throughout give this library a look that you will never forget.

6. National Aquarium — Washington, DC, may be the capital, but Baltimore is home to the National Aquarium. Opened in 1981, the aquarium was built when the city was undergoing an important renaissance. It is home to more than 750 species including over 17,000 specimens. The aquarium is located next to the city’s historic ships display.

7. National Cryptologic Museum — Cryptology is the science of cryptography, the process of writing or reading secret messages or codes. It is the National Security Agency’s chief gateway to the public, the first and only museum of its kind for the intelligence community. Learn how America broke secret codes in World War Two to win the war. If you dare, ask how the NSA is spying on you today!

8. Federal Hill Park — Located next to the American Visionary Museum, Federal Hill Park provides the best view of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Located in a residential area, restaurants and cultural attractions are nearby. Enjoy dining out and then a romp around or take in a game of basketball. A playground, picnic area and benches are available.

9. Baltimore Water Taxi — When you look out from Federal Hill you will notice an unusual site: blue and white water taxis. Composing the Baltimore Water Taxi fleet, you can get perhaps the best view of the city right on the water. More than a dozen routes are covered too including Harborplace, Maritime Park, Fells Point, Canton Park and Fort McHenry.

Baltimore Highlights

There are many more attractions in Baltimore also worth exploring including the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, the Walters Art Museum, the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the Mount Vernon Cultural District. What you can’t do in a weekend can be handled in a week, in Maryland’s largest and most iconic city.

See Also — Visit the Maryland Travel Places section for more information about America’s 33rd state.