Discovering Local Gems in Baltimore

Touring a city for the first time, it can be hard to get past the in-your-face tourist attractions and city sites that you've always wanted to visit. But if you're interested in finding the hidden gems which the locals frequent on your Baltimore student trip, never fear! We've got you covered with the top local gems that this beautiful harbor-side New England city wants to share with you!

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo - Just outside of Baltimore your student group will encounter a safari experience! A 100-acre preserve and zoo, Catoctin's mission is to illuminate and educate visitors on the animal world all around us. Hop on board a truck and ride through each of the planned ecosystems, exploring the animals of North America, Eurasia, Africa, and more! The open air truck will let you lean out and fully experience the magic of the up close animal encounters, participate in the animal feedings (not the big cats, though), and watch the Habitats of the World animal presentations. It's truly something special to experience these beautiful, exotic animals in their free-ranging habitats.

Gwynns Falls Trail - 15 miles of hiking and biking trails through the gorgeous, green woodlands and 30 neighborhoods of Maryland, Gwynns Falls Trail moves along the picturesque Gwynns Falls stream. Nine trail heads give you extra options on where to start enjoying the natural surroundings and exploring the neighborhoods of the Gwynns Falls Valley. Learn about the first families to settle the area and build its reputation, observe the wildlife and have a blast in this picture perfect natural wonderland. Travel along the trail and see how many historical landmarks and sights you're able to find!

Hampton's Mansion - Owned by the Ridgley family from the 18th-19th centuries, Hampton's Mansion was the largest private home in the nation when it was completed in 1790. Still a beautiful example of Georgian architecture, Hampton's Mansion is a wonderful National Historic Site with gorgeously preserved gardens, interiors filled with historic furniture and decor, and more. As you tour the grounds, make sure you see everything from the main house to the slave quarters and overseer's house which has been preserved for historical integrity.

Smithsonian National Museum of Dentistry - So good it became a Smithsonian affiliate, the National Museum of Dentistry covers the history, practice, and evolution of dentistry in America. Supported by the University of Maryland, this wonderful museum has everything from George Washington's teeth, which aren't made of wood, to pop culture characters portrayed on toothbrushes and toothpaste. While your students might not be super excited about teeth, the National Museum of Dentistry presents the history in a fun and inviting light, giving interesting insights that you probably didn't know existed!

Maryland Sunrise Farm - The Maryland Sunrise Farm, formerly the U.S. Naval Academy Dairy Farm, is now a fully interactive working farm, corn maze, and activity space for visiting groups. 570 acres covers the grain crop production and grass fed cattle pastures, making Sunrise Farm one of the largest organic farms in the state. The farm welcomes groups of all ages and offers a number of activities including a themed corn maze, horse boarding lessons, seasonal pumpkin patch, and tours of the farm! Really, who doesn't love a good corn maze? Come by and meet the animals, have fun with a group led activity, and learn all about what it means to be an organic farmer!

Baltimore Museum of Industry - Though not as hidden as the other gems on this list, the Baltimore Museum of Industry is an incredible opportunity that your student group will not want to miss. Located in a defunct cannery, the Museum of Industry is based on 20th century manufacturing and industrial services including a machine shop, print shop, garment loft, and cannery among others, all fashioned after their 1900 era forms. There are exhibits, artifacts, and demonstrations on how each of these industrial areas worked in their time. This is an important stop for school groups learning about history and science, experiencing the significant evolution from the industrial era to today.

Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum - Everyone knows Babe Ruth, the Great Bambino, one of the most important baseball legends this country has ever known. His birthplace in Baltimore is now open to the public through the Sports Legends Museum of Camden Yard, home of the Orioles. A number of personal possessions, posters, artifacts, and more are on display at the legend's home including exhibits on his impressive record, his uniform, and even on the history of the house itself. Sports fans will delight in the chance to catch a glimpse of Babe Ruth's life and legacy, and then maybe head over to Camden Yards and see the modern greats play!