Baltimore Things to Do Tips by Tom_Fields
Baltimore Things to Do: 389 reviews and 838 photos
The Cylburn Mansion
Do you want a break from the big city? Want to go someplace that's green and quiet? The Cylburn Arboretum offers just that, only a few miles from downtown Baltimore.
Jesse Tyson, a wealthy Baltimore industrialist, hired architect George Frederick to build the mansion. The Civil War delayed completion until the 1880s. Tyson lived here until his death in 1906. The city acquired the property in 1942, and made it a park in 1958.
The estate has 176 acres of beautiful grounds. The flower gardens are quite nice, although pretty small. There are several pleasant footpaths through the woods that surround the mansion.
Address: 4915 Greenspring Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21209
Directions: From I-83, take the Cold Spring exit, and go west. Head north on Greenspring Avenue, and it's on the right. The grounds are open dawn to dusk. The mansion is open Monday-Friday, 7:30 to 3:30.
Other Contact: email@example.com
The Prince Charming
A great way to learn aboutr the Inner Harbor, and all that it has offer, is to take one of these hour-long, narrated cruises. The Prince Charming has two decks, one for sightseeing and the other for refreshments. The views are great, and the crew is courteous and professional.
Address: 561 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Directions: The ticket office is on the waterfront, between the Visitors Center and the Science Museum.
Other Contact: 1-800-695-BOAT
The Public Works Museum
Every city worth seeing has at least a few of those rather obscure, unusual places that most people never bother to visit. One such place is the Baltimore Public Works Museum.
It's dedicated to all those humble, unsung heroes who have built and maintained the things that we mostly take for granted (until something goes wrong). I'm talking about the roads, sewers, water works, power plants, streetlights, and other amenities of modern life. Here is their story.
Address: 751 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21202
Directions: At Pier 7, on the north side of the Inner Harbor. It's inside an old pumping station.
Other Contact: Fax 410-545-6781
The Civil War Museum
At the outset of the Civil War, in April 1861, Maryland was a neutral state. It was, like Kentucky and Missouri, divided right down the middle. So the Confederates tried to seize control of Baltimore, in an effort to surround Washington and make it too vulnerable to defend.
A crowd of rebel sympathizers attacked the Sixth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia Regiment in Baltimore, just as the troops were departing from the railroad station on Pratt St. A fight broke out that left a four soldiers and 12 rebels dead.
Today, the old rail station, dating from 1849, houses the Civil War Museum. It's a modest place, but full of interesting historical displays, weapons, uniforms, and a small theater.
Address: 601 President Street Baltimore, MD 21202
Directions: Near the Inner Harbor. Just east of the Pier 6 Concert Pavilion, adjacent to the Marriott Inner Harbor East. It's on the south end of Little Italy.
Phone: (410) 385-5188
The Pratt St Pavilion at Harborplace
Here are stores and restaurants of nearly every description. If you enjoy dining al fresco, on the edge of the Inner Harbor, then this is the place. There are three main sections: The Light St Pavilion, the Pratt St Pavilion, and the Gallery.
On the day of my first visit, the Swedish sailing ship Gunilla was tied up in front of the Light St Pavilion. A South American-style band called the Mystic Warriors was performing along the old waterfront. So be sure to check out whatever's going on at the time.
Nearby is the Visitors Center, the perfect place to obtain all the information you need about the city.
Address: 200 East Pratt Street, Baltimore MD 21202-6103
Directions: On the western end of the Inner Harbor.
Other Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (410) 332-4191
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum
Most people take the railroads for granted. But in 1829, they made their first appearance in the United States. It happened right here, in Baltimore. It was a sensation, and it changed history.
The first railroad in America was laid down right here. One can still ride the route of that first railroad. Trains depart daily from April through December. There's not a whole lot to see, but it's still a historic experience.
The old Roundhouse, where locomotives and rolling stock were once maintained, now houses some of the oldest ones in existence. The museum also has some nice model trains, and a collection of railroad memorabilia. This includes the First Stone, laid down on July 4, 1828, by Charles Carrollton--the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Address: 901 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21223
Directions: About 10 blocks west of the Inner Harbor. See website for directions from other cities. It's close to I-95.
This converted Gothic church was built over a burial ground, one of the city's oldest. Part of the cemetery is open to the public. Here are interred some of Baltimore's most renowned citizens--heroes of the Revolution and the War of 1812 (including Francis Scott Key), some of the city's early mayors, and Edgar Allan Poe. The writer's grave is just inside the gate.
The church is managed by a private non-profit called the Westminster Preservation Trust, Inc.
Address: 500 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore MD 21201
Directions: At the intersection of Fayette and Green Streets, near the Lexington Market light rail stop.
Other Contact: email@example.com
Since 1782, Lexington Market has been the center of downtown Baltimore's shopping, and a hub of social life. Here are all kinds of groceries, including ethnic foods. At the center is a small stage with live entertainment.
Conveniently located near the Inner Harbor, Camden Yards, and the Washington Monument, it's ideally situated. So if you're visiting downtown, and have some time to spare, drop by for a bit.
Address: 400 W. Lexington Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
Directions: From the Lexington Market stop in the light rail, go west one block (the market is visible from the train). Open Monday-Saturday, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.
Other Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Washington Monument
One of Baltimore's landmarks, something every visitor should see, is the George Washington Monument in the Mt Vernon Cultural District. Plainly visible from anywhere on North Charles St, it's the city's grandest monument.
Begun in 1815, it was designed by Charleston architect Robert Mills. Mills also designed a number of historic buildings in Washington and Charleston, including the Washington Monument.
Address: 699 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
Directions: At the intersection of Charles and Monument Streets. Just east of the Centre St light rail station.
Visitors on North Charles St
This is the largest free art fair in the entire country. For three days in July, downtown Baltimore comes alive with art exhibits, food booths, live entertainment, and much more. And, this being Baltimore, the fair has a touch of the city's well-known eccentricity. You just never know who's going to come up out of the woodwork with something off the wall. If you love art, then don't miss it.
Directions: Downtown, centered around Penn Station, North Charles St, and the University of Baltimore/Mt Royal St light rail station.
Other Contact: 1-877-BALTIMORE
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