On the south side of the Inner Harbor is Federal Hill Park, a former lookout during the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Today, visitors can take in dramatic view of Baltimore's cityscape from the top of the hill. The neighborhood around Federal Hill Park takes its name from the landmark.
With a collection of more than 16,500 specimens representing 660 species, National Aquarium, Baltimore is the city's most-visited attraction. Exhibits include a multi-story Atlantic coral reef, an open ocean shark tank, a 4-D immersion theater, a tropical rain forest, a glass pavilion with Australian wildlife, and a mammal pavilion that holds Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.
In lieu of a traditional maritime museum, several historic ships are permanently docked in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Visitors can climb aboard and experience four historic ships -- a U.S. Navy tall ship first launched in 1854, a U.S. Coast Guard lightship from the 1930s, a submarine that took two war patrols in Japan during World War II, and the last ship floating that fought in the attack on Pearl Harbor -- and a lighthouse. All of the ships are operated by Historic Ships in Baltimore, and tickets can be purchased for more than one ship at a discount. The lighthouse is free to all visitors.
4. Harborplace and the Gallery
The two pavilions full of retail and dining options in the Inner Harbor is known as Harborplace and the Gallery. Inside is a mix of local and national restaurants and stores, plus Ripley's Believe it or Not!
Three levels of exhibits, a planetarium, and an IMAX theater draw crowds to the Maryland Science Center. Kids will love learning about physical science, space, Earth science, and the human body. There's also a special exhibit on blue crabs, giving the museum some local flavor.
One of the best ways to explore Baltimore's Inner Harbor and other waterfront attractions is by boat, and there is no shortage of vessels traversing the water. From dinner cruises to a pirate ship excursion, here is a breakdown of the many ships and experiences that can be had onboard ships in the harbor.
Get a birds-eye-view of Baltimore at the top of Baltimore's World Trade Center, a skyscraper with an observation deck on the 27th floor that provides a 360-degree view of the city. A memorial to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks is located on the pedestrian promenade outside the building.
Two blocks north of the Inner Harbor is this entertainment complex with bars, clubs, and restaurants, plus some arts attractions. Although Port Discovery!, the children's museum, is located in the complex, Power Plant Live! really comes alive at night, when the young professionals come out to play.
You can't miss Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Baltimore: a two-story green serpent with steam coming out of its nose wraps around the upper level of the museum. Inside the museum are more than 500 of Ripley's trademark "oddities" in seven different galleries, plus a mirror maze and a 4-D movie theater.