Maybe you’re visiting Baltimore for seafood or sports, but you’ll stay for the vibrant arts scene, gorgeous outdoor spaces, and rich history. This gem on the Chesapeake is a real charmer - in fact, it’s earned the nickname “The Charm City” - with Victorian architecture and a picturesque waterfront. And if you’ve ever wished for big-city culture without the traffic and claustrophobia, you’ll find the perfect balance of cozy neighborhoods and sophistication here.
What Baltimore may lack in annual snowfall and crowded tourist attractions is certainly made up by the city’s fascinating past; almost everywhere you look, you’ll see notable historical sites, decades-old restaurants, and memories of its huge number of famous residents - like poet Edgar Allan Poe, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and songstress Billie Holliday. The Charm City is known for a whole lot beyond crabs and Old Bay.
The food scene is Baltimore certainly is a reason to visit - and the Charm City’s varied neighborhoods boast eateries that range from white-tableclothed seafood spots to tried-and-true diners. Then you’ll find plenty to do after you’ve finished your meal (and washed your hands!), from theater to concerts to sports games. And there is even a fun array of things to do in Baltimore with kids, so your Mid-Atlantic vacay can be one for the whole family.
No matter what brings you to Baltimore, Stay Alfred on Charles Street makes a perfect home base, with its central location near the waterfront and spacious floor plans. Though it might be tempting to splurge on a fancy hotel, you’ll get the true local experience at a Stay Alfred travel apartment - without sacrificing any luxury. Each of our units features a full kitchen, private bedrooms, and conveniences like fast, free WiFi and in-unit laundry.
But you aren’t coming all the way to Maryland to sit on the couch and watch Netflix; here at Stay Alfred, we’re all about uncovering those awesome local attractions and activities that will make your time in town truly extraordinary. Without further ado, here are our favorite things to do in Baltimore for any interest.
Uncover Baltimore’s history at these only-in-Baltimore spots
Since its founding way back in 1729, the Charm City has had its share of historical events and famous residents. And luckily for us 21st-century visitors, this town is home to a plethora of fascinating monuments that have stood the test of time. In fact, there are so many that you may hear Baltimore referred to as “Monument City.”
One of Baltimore’s most famous residents (though he wasn’t actually born here), was renowned poet Edgar Allan Poe. With a flair for the dark and mysterious, Poe’s death is a bit of a mystery as well, but it’s certain that he spent his final days here in the Charm City. Poe fans can visit both the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum and Edgar Allan Poe's Grave to learn more about the poet’s tumultuous life.
In addition to poetry, Baltimore was the setting of one exceptionally notable event in the musical history of the United States. Back in 1814, when a young Francis Scott Key was awestruck by the bombardment of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, he penned a poem that would later be set to music and become the national anthem of the USA. That’s right, folks, the Star Spangled Banner was born right here in Baltimore, and you can see the very spot where Mr. Key jotted down the words at The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House.
Besides these pieces of American history, you can explore global art history at The Walters Art Museum, one of Baltimore’s premier arts institutions. The collections here include nearly 40,000 pieces from the last few millenia - all viewable by the public for free. And the nearby Baltimore Basilica is a work of art on its own, showcasing stunning architecture and artwork. It’s no ordinary basilica, but the very first basilica in the United States.
But Baltimore’s history isn’t all about the arts. Sports fans, history sure didn’t forget about you! One of the greatest baseball players of all time was born and raised in Baltimore, and today the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum welcomes fans of America’s favorite pastime from around the world. After checking out the museum, why not head to an Orioles game?
Nothing beats a water view! What to do in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
When you’re visiting the Mid-Atlantic region, it only makes sense to spend time in, on, or around the water. And luckily for visitors to Baltimore, many of the top attractions in Baltimore sit around the Inner Harbor. This picturesque body of water wasn’t always just a sightseeing hub; back in the day, it provided an important port operation for the burgeoning city.
Today, you can experience a bit of that history at the Historic Ships in Baltimore exhibit, which features retired military boats, a submarine, and a lighthouse. Amateur historians of all ages will love climbing aboard the 1850s-era USS Constellation and learning about life on the USS Torsk submarine.
Continue on your aquatic exploration with a visit to the National Aquarium, home to nearly 800 different species of fish, sharks, mollusks, jellyfish, undersea plants, and more. This aquarium is so impressive that it has earned the title of most-visited tourist attraction in Maryland, so it’s definitely not one to miss. Beat the crowds and visit in the morning or on a weekday.
But marine biology isn’t the only type of science you’ll find around the Inner Harbor; the Maryland Science Center also sits near the waterfront, just one block from Stay Alfred on Charles Street. This massive science wonderland features an IMAX theater, a planetarium, and more than 20 dinosaur skeletons - plus a whole slew of constantly changing exhibits and events. You’ll leave here with new knowledge about space, chemistry, and the human body, and possibly a new appreciation for your Stay Alfred’s mattress after testing out the human body exhibit’s bed of nails.
In addition to the science-y attractions, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is home to some notable history and art museums, including the Baltimore Museum of Industry, which highlights the Charm City’s prominence as a manufacturing city. Here, you’ll learn more than you ever imagined about canning, textiles, steel production, and the food industry. Exhibits also showcase local Baltimore businesses that made it to the big leagues, like McCormick spices.
Also worth a visit are the American Visionary Art Museum and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, two of Baltimore’s most acclaimed cultural landmarks. The American Visionary Art Museum is a work of art itself, with a funky curved facade, and the museum’s mission to empower everyday people through the arts is truly admirable. And the Reginald F. Lewis Museum pays homage to Baltimore’s African-American culture and history through photographs and a fascinating collection of artifacts.
Dine in true Baltimore style at these top seafood restaurants
The quintessential Baltimore meal is a steaming pile of Dungeness crabs, but since you’re so close to the Chesapeake Bay, pretty much any seafood is going to be top notch. Oysters, clams, shrimp - you name it, you can find it freshly caught here.
You can’t talk about Baltimore seafood without mentioning the Rusty Scupper Restaurant & Bar, an upscale spot serving high-quality dishes right on the Inner Harbor. The views are just a bonus - we’d come here to eat even if the dining room was in the basement. Baltimore locals have dined on Rusty Scupper’s crab cakes, scallops, and fish and chips for the last few decades, and since it’s just a 10-minute walk from Stay Alfred on Charles Street, you’ll feel like a local too.
Can’t get enough crab cakes? Make your way to Faidley Seafood in Lexington Market for their massive crab cakes and some clams. This seafood stalwart has also been around for decades, so you know they’re doing something right. In fact, the Faidley family started filling Maryland bellies back in the 1880s! So this one qualifies as a cultural experience and a tasty meal.
Another solid bet for crab cakes and fresh fish is Nick's Inner Harbor Seafood, nestled in Federal Hill’s Cross Street Market. Nick’s serves up seafood in all forms - from oysters on the half shell to beautiful sushi rolls. The fun sports bar-style ambiance makes sure everybody has a good time, especially on game days.
Speaking of oysters, you’ll find some of the best across the harbor in Fells Point. Thames Street Oyster House is one Baltimore’s favorite raw bars, where you can find a rotating selection of oysters at market prices. Or, head over during their weekday happy hour and enjoy specially priced oyster shooters. Even if you’re not oyster obsessed, Thames Street offers a tasty menu of New England cuisine, including Maine lobster, monkfish, and bouillabaisse. Pro tip: after eating here, walk a couple blocks to Pitango Gelato Fells Point for a refreshing
Start the day off right at one of these favorite Baltimore cafes
You wake up to your alarm. You turn it off and close your eyes. You snuggle back up in that dreamy bed at Stay Alfred on Charles Street. Just one more hour of sleep… But then, suddenly, you remember the plethora of Baltimore breakfast joints and coffee shops that are awaiting you! And you leap out of bed, with a smile on your face, ready to seize the day!
Seriously though, we’re all about Baltimore mornings, especially when they involve a bountiful brekkie at Blue Moon Cafe (or their satellite location Blue Moon Too). The original Fells Point location is open 24-hours on weekends, so no matter how early you wake up (or how late you stay out), you’ll never go hungry. Don’t miss the Captain Crunch french toast or the Eggs Benedict!
If you’re in the mood for a sunny morning walk, wander over to Spoons, an 8-minute walk from Stay Alfred on Charles Street. This brunch spot is a favorite of many a local - and not only for their blackberry lavender mimosas. There’s a menu item for everyone, including fried oysters and grits, cinnamon roll pancakes, and housemade granola.
What about some coffee? Get your caffeine fix at 3 Bean Coffee, a quick walk from Stay Alfred on Charles Street, where you can try creative coffee drinks like a honey graham latte - or stick to the classics. There’s also kombucha on tap for the non-coffee drinkers and a mouthwatering selection of quiches, pastries, and pies.
Or, keep an eye out for Ceremony Coffee Roasters - this local mini-chain has a half dozen locations across the Baltimore metro. And even though they’ve expanded beyond their original coffeehouse, the quality of their roasts remains excellent. Grab your favorite coffee drink and a bag of beans to take home.
Enjoy the weather year-round from Baltimore’s most scenic outdoor spots
Baltimore may not have the 330+ days of blue skies that Southern California has, but the weather is pretty darn good. Mild winters, warm summers, and beautiful autumn foliage make the Charm City absolutely lovely any time of the year. So what better way to spend your time than in the great outdoors?
One of Baltimore’s most photogenic outdoor areas is certainly Federal Hill Park, a grassy space perched next to the Inner Harbor. Bring a picnic and admire the harbor views, or squeeze in a workout and run up and down the 100 stairs leading to the top of the hill. It’s also a great spot to relax after a day at the American Visionary Art Museum or the Maryland Science Center.
Less elevated but equally scenic is Patterson Park, a huge expanse just east of Fells Point. This urban oasis has everything you need for a perfect day outside, including an outdoor swimming pool (in the summer), an ice rink (in the winter), and a gorgeous pagoda available for viewing year-round.
And it wouldn’t be a visit to Baltimore with a stop at legendary Fort McHenry, the inspiration for the Star Spangled Banner. During the War of 1812, soldiers at this fort bravely defended Baltimore Harbor during an attack by the British Navy (in 1814, go figure). Today, visitors can admire its full glory thanks to the care and maintenance by the National Park Service.
Well, technically it’s not a park, but it definitely qualifies as a wonderful outdoor activity. The Baltimore Farmers' Market & Bazaar runs every Sunday from April to December and features a smorgasbord of local vendors sell everything from fruit to flowers to furniture. Take a nice 12-minute walk from the Inner Harbor and enjoy wandering through the stalls.
Delight the little ones with these fun things to do in Baltimore with kids
While the kids might initially say they want to go to Disney World, they’ll be in for a treat when they realize how many exciting, kid-friendly activities are found in the Charm City. You’ll find plenty of things to keep them entertained - whether they’re just learning to walk or about to get their driver’s license.
Built especially for the young’uns, the Port Discovery Children's Museum is perfect for the under-10 crowd. Set near the Inner Harbor, this unique museum features exhibits that cover all aspects of port operations, and kids can try their hand at operating a crane and sitting in the bridge of a ship. Other exhibits include a mini convenience store, a kid-sized diner (with a cash register, how cool!), and the laid-back “Oasis” where kids and adults can do puzzles or just take a breather.
Slightly older kids will enjoy the thrill of visiting the Top of the World Observation Level in Baltimore’s World Trade Center skyscraper. From this 27th-floor perch, you can see for miles, and the 360-degree panoramic windows ensure that you can see everything in your midst. Also, you’ll earn the right to say that you’ve been on the top of the world’s tallest pentagon-shaped building!
In addition to these Inner Harbor attractions, the young travelers in your group will also love the Maryland Science Center, the National Aquarium, and the Historic Ships.
After all that sightseeing and museum time, the little ones deserve a treat - and there’s nothing better than sharing a box of Berger cookies among the fam. These decadent, chocolate-frosted cookies are a Baltimore staple - so much so that they’ve become a symbol of the city - and they have been popular since the mid-1800s. Pick up a box at any grocery store. And maybe a box to bring home too.
Let’s go to a show, hon! Check out Baltimore’s best arts venues
Although slurping down fresh oysters could kind of be considered an art, Baltimore is home to some world class cultural venues that are worth a visit. Perfect for date nights or daytime activities, you’ll find no shortage of concerts and plays throughout the Baltimore metro.
The Charm City’s music scene is anchored by Power Plant Live!, a huge venue containing comedy clubs, nightclubs, restaurants, and bars. In addition to rock-n-roll, country, and Vegas-style venues, you’ll find an escape room and a beer garden. It’s just a couple blocks from the Inner Harbor.
Or if you’re looking for some chart-topping acts, head to the Baltimore Soundstage, a massive arena-sized venue that welcomes touring acts from around the world. This mega-venue is also just a short walk from the Inner Harbor, so you can get a nice dinner before the show or take a scenic stroll afterward.
For a more intimate music experience, try The Sidebar Tavern, home to indie music shows and local Maryland talent. And if an evening at the orchestra is more your style, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra plays regular shows just north of the Inner Harbor.
How about a night at the theater? Baltimore has proved itself to be a leading theater destination, with a myriad of theaters featuring shows of all types. Don’t miss the historic Hippodrome Theatre, which shows Broadway musicals in Vaudeville-style surrounds, or the Baltimore Center Stage, showcasing a variety of touring and local productions.
Or for a more unique experience, visit the Everyman Theatre, known for its local acting chops, the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company Theater (try saying that five times fast!), or the Baltimore Theater Project known for eclectic, experimental shows.
Take me out to the ball game! Where to watch live sports in Baltimore
As Maryland’s largest city, Baltimore is home to the state’s professional sports teams, which include the Baltimore Orioles baseball team and the Baltimore Ravens football team.
Catch the Orioles runnin’ the bases at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, near the Inner Harbor, which can hold nearly 50,000 screaming fans. The O’s are one of the original eight American League teams, formed in 1901, and the franchise was based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and St. Louis, Missouri before finally making its way to Baltimore in the 1950’s. Fun fact: the Oriole is the state bird of Maryland!
And the local football team, the Baltimore Ravens, play regularly at M&T Bank Stadium. In homage to the famous Baltimore resident, the team is named in honor of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven.” Want to see one of the best games of the year? When the Ravens play the Pittsburgh Steelers, fans from both teams turn out in droves, since the two home stadiums are only a 5-hour drive from each other.
But pro sports aren’t the only opportunities for some athletic entertainment; Royal Farms Arena hosts the Charm City’s local arena football team, the Baltimore Brigade, as well as occasional preseason basketball games, boxing matches, and indoor soccer games.
Your home away from home: Where to stay in Baltimore
Now that you’ve made the fantastic decision to come to Baltimore, you have to make another decision: where to stay in Baltimore. Well, you could splurge on a fancy five-star hotel, or you could take a chance on a questionable vacation rental, but the best choice really is a private, professionally managed travel apartment at Stay Alfred on Charles Street.
Our Baltimore digs let you live like a local - a stylish one, at that - and enjoy all of the space and security of your own place. Say goodbye to shared bathrooms and subpar amenities, and revel in the convenience of your own full kitchen, in-unit laundry, and a guest service team that’s available around the clock.
That’s right, hon! All of our units at Stay Alfred on Charles Street boast spacious floor plans that include at least one private bedroom, a swanky bathroom, a living room, a full kitchen, and large windows that let in that gorgeous Maryland sun. And outside of the travel apartment itself, you can take advantage of the building’s amenities, which include an outdoor pool, a fitness center (open 24/7, yay!), a sleek club room, and a golf simulator.
Here at Stay Alfred, we’re passionate about giving you a place in the city where you can relax, recharge, and enjoy Baltimore to the fullest. Book yours today!