Baltimore's Inner Harbor is one of United States oldest seaports. It is a popular tourist attraction and a National Land Mark as well. I was blown away on arrival at the harbor last week. I'm not sure what I expected, but what I saw is definitely not what I expected. It felt like being at the Jema el Fina in Morocco on a full moon night when the smell of food fills the air like perfume.
So much to do, beautiful views and a nice breeze from the sea. Unlimited activities for all groups of visitors; family, individual, couples, etc. We were entertained by street performers right next to the USS Constellation. They were engaging, calling on visitors to participate in the 'hospitality of Baltimore'.
Great place to shop, eat, visit attractions, historic ships, large ships, beautiful views, rides and a lot more activities for family. I took my family to the recently opened Ripley's Believe It or Not, awesome experience!
We also toured all 4 historic ships namely; USS Submarine Torsk, USS Constellation, USCGC Taney/ Coast Guard and the lightship 116 Chesapeake.
The 9/11 Memorial on the top floor of the World Trade Center is not to be missed. From up there, the entire harbor and city of Baltimore is visible, a sight to see.
The National Aquarium seemed to be the highlight of all family visitors, we did not enter, the line was way too long for us, seeing as we had a 4 month old with us and it was hot by noon. Next time perhaps. But it comes highly recommended.
I believe I saw a Hard Rock cafe too. If you like them, there is one for you to feast at.
We were amazed at how clean the harbor is, beautiful and well maintained. We had lunch at the Cheese Cake Factory, the service and food were nothing short of outstanding! So much to see, so little time. We have planned a return trip to see some of the religious attractions around the city.
Most of the tourist life is located in this area. It contains the visitors center, National Aquarium, Ripley's, concert venues, ships, malls, restaurants, and boat rides. On the 4th of July most of the entertainment is free and some of the boat rides come down in price during the day. They also increase the schedule of the boat rides as well.
For the life of me, I cannot remember the tour boat we took around the Bay, but it had a large area open with seating all around and took us all around the Bay for about $15 per person---very much worth it when visiting Baltimore! Check around down by the harbor for the companies offering tours.
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.
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.
See the Inner Harbor in the most fun and exciting way.....aboard one of the vessels that coast through our beautiful waters.
The Prince Charming provides a short 60 minute tour of the Inner Harbor for very reasonable rates ($10 per adult, $6 per child). This relaxing, narrated tour will provide information on our Inner Harbor and is perfect for all ages.
Want something more? How about the Moonlight Party Cruise, which runs on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dancing, a cash bar, and appetizers complete this adults-only evening on the Harbor.
Are you looking for a Sunday afternoon getaway? Hop aboard the Champagne Brunch Cruise from noon to 3 p.m. and enjoy the buffet while listening to a live DJ as you sail through the Harbor.
Regardless of which cruise you choose, you are sure to be rewarded with wonderful photo opportunities, amazing service, and a view of the Inner Harbor you certainly will never forget.
O.K., I realize the Inner Harbor area is probably the most "touristy" area in Baltimore, but it definately is worth a visit!
The Harbor is surrounded by the Aquarium, World Trade Center, the Gallery Mall, and many waterfront restaurants.
Grab a beer at Hooters and enjoy the outdoor balcony that overlooks the Harbor, or try one of the many signature brews at the Capital City Brewing Company, which boasts equally great views.
Chow down at any of of the many waterfront restaurants, then walk off that meal by taking a stroll to the other side of the Harbor and visit our amazing Aquarium.
When you've had your fill of the Inner Harbor, hop aboard the Water Taxi and enjoy the peaceful cruise which will take you to Fells Point, yet another bar and restaurant hot spot.
A visit to Baltimore wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Inner Harbor. Come see why so many of us are proud to call Baltimore home.
A fun and relatively inexpensive activity is to buy a pass on the taxi boats and tour Baltimore harbor ($6 for an all-day pass). Ride out to the American Visionary Art Museum across from the inner harbor, Fells Point for dinner or pubcrawling, or just enjoy the skyline. Especially nice at sunset, during a full moon, or in summer to cool off. For a great sunset, take the taxi boat to the Rusty Scupper and head for the balcony for drinks. For sunset and good food, head for the landing near the Pier 6 concert tent and hit McCormick and Schmick's seafood restaurant and get a table outside to bask while you munch.
Despite its decidedly touristy image, Inner Harbor is a great way to be lost in (not literally, actually) and with a camera on hand, have fun taking snaps. The place is filled with great photo opportunities from the historic boats anchored in the harbor (pictures 1 and 2), to colorful bollards (picture 3), and a flashy-red lighthouse (see tip above on Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse).
Some of the quieter areas away from the main tourist drag - that part of the harbor near Eden Apartments on the way to Fells Point - have some of the most interesting subjects if you like boats and their reflection against the silky water (pictures 4 and 5). And this is amidst an industrial zone.
Strictly speaking, Federal Hill is not part of the Inner Harbor, and is its own district, but since it is easily accessible from and overlooks the harbor, I have included it as one of the points of interest within Inner Harbor.
What is a plain-looking hill that serves as a good vantage point for taking in the views of the Inner Harbor, the area has a rich historical importance. Nearby Fort McHenry, now a national monument, served as a bastion of patriotic opposition against the British Navy in the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. Foremost, this is the birthplace of the country's national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, interesting sang to the tune of a popular drinking song.
Today, Federal Hill has been transformed into a leafy park with facilities for a children's playground and jogging paths and lots of benches to relax on.
The National Aquarium is arguably the city's top tourism draw - for kids and the young at heart - at least. Housed in a futuristic buildings across two piers at the Inner Harbor, it is regarded as one of the finest aquariums in the United States, with over 16,500 species on display.
Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to visit the aquarium, perhaps conscious of the expectation that I'll be coming back to Baltimore soon. But if you are not a frequent visitor to the city, you should grab any chance to see the aquarium.
One of the most visually attractive attractions at the Inner Harbor is the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, technically known as B-4222. Built in 1855, it is said to be Maryland's oldest screw-pile lighthouse and was originally positioned at the Seven Foot Knoll, a shallow shoal at the foot of the Patapsco River.
Now decommissioned, the lighthouse is part of the Baltimore Maritime Museum, and an attractive subject for a shutter-happy tourist like me.
The Inner Harbor is arguably Baltimore's tourism epicenter. This is where most tourists start their visit to the city - and unfortunately for many, end there as well.
The harbor's importance and prominence coincided with Baltimore's rise as major seaport in the 18th century. After World War II, the Inner Harbor declined as a major seaport along with shift towards large container-carrying vessels for which the Inner Harbor's shallow port is not suited. It then fell into decline and urban decay until the mid-1970s when the harbor underwent massive redevelopment and gentrification as Baltimore's centerpiece tourist attraction.
The redevelopment provided Baltimore with world-class tourism assets such the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, Hyatt Regency, Harborplace festival marketplace, Baltimore Maritime Museum and Port Discovery Children's Museum. The redeveloped Inner Harbor was also hailed as a model for "post-industrial waterfront redevelopment around the World" by the Urban Land Institute.
While Inner Harbor was redeveloped with the tourists' dollars in mind, the area's touristy vibe is tempered by locals taking a walk or jogging, or tending their boats at the marina, and of course enjoying the many food outlets at Harborplace, including getting their fix of Maryland's blue crabs.
We spent a few hours here, wandering around the harbour and then having lunch.The harbour is active.
You have several old vessels to visit - a submarine, a lightship, and Coastguard cutter and a schooner. There are harbour ferries and tours to take. Then the shops and restaurants. Then the Aquarium.
Good place to hang out for a while.
Every day of my time in baltimore i was walking through the Baltimore harbor on my way to the city. Iyts such a nice scenic walking path. I went past the dominoes Sugar factory, the houses on the water, The huge fort, the water taxi terminal, the cruise pick up
& it takes you into the harbor shopping center & food court