What to See in Baltimore

It's a valid question that I think most people have: What is there to do in a particular city? Well, when we're talking about Maryland's largest city, there's plenty to see and do. So rest assured and come with us on a tour of one of New England's finest cities, Baltimore, and discover what you should add to your itinerary for your next trip east.

1. National Aquarium

One of the largest aquariums in New England, the National Aquarium of Baltimore boasts over 20,000 animals and myriad possibilities for education and interaction. With exhibits like The Living Seashore where touching the animals is encouraged, the National Aquarium stands as one of the best in the nation. See sharks being fed, over 500 exotic fish swimming through a coral reef, and hundreds of jellyfish swarming and congregating in the exhibit Jellyfish Invasion and much more.

2. Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum

As the historic city where Poe really gained his groove in writing, and also where he died, Baltimore strives to preserve the writer's legacy through his 1830s home and residual possessions. A National Historic Landmark, the home on Amity Street maintains the writer's belongings such as his lap desk and telescope as well as exhibits on his life and death in Baltimore. The museum is one of the more extensive Poe museums and is not to be missed.

3. Inner Harbor

One of the best entertainment districts in the U.S., Baltimore's Inner Harbor elevates traditional attractions to a new level. There's no shortage of activity here from the National Aquarium to the Maryland Science Center, Little Italy, Federal Hill, and even the USS Constellation, the last remaining Civil War vessel still afloat.

4. Cylburn Arboretum

Free and open to the public year round, the Cylburn Arboretum is a magnificent and magical destination for anyone who enjoys natural landscapes, relaxing atmospheres, and a quiet getaway from the city's hustle and bustle. You can find a number of themed gardens like the Dahlia Garden, the Garden of the Senses which heightens both sight and smell, and also the Tree Peony Collection. The beautiful arboretum is located on the estate of a gorgeous mansion, a Civil War summer home, now open for tours and showing exhibits.

5. Fort McHenry

The star-shaped fort was built on the site of the former Fort Whetstone, notable for its usage during the Revolutionary War. Fort McHenry was built to heighten the area's protection and security, designed in a five-star shape complete with a dry moat, and utilized successfully in the War of 1812. It was here that Francis Scott Key coined "The Star Spangled Banner" which later became our national anthem. Come tour the fort and learn about the site's history and significance not only to Maryland but to the United States at large.

6. Walters Art Museum

One of the most notable collections of art in the world, the Walters Art Museum holds over 30,000 objects from every continent. Located in the historic, cultural district of Mount Vernon-Belvedere, the Walters Art Museum was begun by a family of private art collectors who wanted to open art appreciation to the general public. Today, visit to see works of art by Claude Monet, creations by Tiffany and Co., ancient Mayan, Sumerian, and Greek artifacts, and much more.

7. Baltimore Museum of Art

Like the Walters Art Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art is another world-renowned collection of artistic endeavors. With a respectable collection of ancient artifacts, the Baltimore Museum of Art excels in 19th-century, modern and contemporary art. See works by Rembrandt, Titian, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso as you walk the cleanly beautiful halls of this historic institution.

8. Johns Hopkins University

The first research university in the United States, Johns Hopkins remains one of the most prestigious medical universities in the world among its other stunning accomplishments. The historic East Baltimore campus is the perfect place for a free walking tour, being the comprehensive medical campus of the university. See the world's first and largest public health school, the Bloomberg School, as well as the world famous School of Medicine.

9. Baltimore Museum of Industry

Situated in an old cannery along the river, the Baltimore Museum of Industry highlights early 20th century industrial and manufacturing practices that have evolved into our modern day operations. Learn about how men like Carnegie and Rockefeller "built" America through hands-on activities with working equipment, interactive exhibits and artifacts. Guided tours put you in the action as workers in a garment loft or at the Kids Cannery which recreates life for factory workers at the turn of the century.

10. Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Also known as the Baltimore Basilica, this Roman Catholic Cathedral was the first built in the United States, consecrated in 1821 and designed by America's first professionally trained architect, Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Keeping with European traditions, Latrobe designed the building to stand with the Latin cross basilica plan in a neoclassical architectural style. The intensely beautiful, historical, and faithful cathedral is open to the public for weekly Masses as well as guided and self-guided tours highlighting the building's historical and religious importance.