Ask any Baltimore local and they'll agree there are a few things you simply have to do during your stay here. From chowing down on steamed crabs to can't-miss landmarks, here are some of the things you shouldn't leave Baltimore without doing and seeing.
1. Pick Up (& Pick At) Some Steamed Crabs
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Baltimore is world famous for its crab houses
, and getting some friends together to pick fresh crabs is a Baltimore tradition. Don't know how to pick crabs? Never fear, About Baltimore has a guide to help you dive right in to a crab feast
. Other Baltimore food specialties include pit beef, lake trout, Berger Cookies, and snowballs
, which have their origins in Baltimore.
2. Get to Know Baltimore's Many Neighborhoods
Baltimore has more than 225 neighborhoods
, each with their own personality. Exploring them all while on the trip to the city--or perhaps even in a lifetime--would be impossible, but there are a few well-known neighborhoods that are perfect for a day or night on the town. One such neighborhood is Fells Point
, a neighborhood famous for its maritime past that has more than 120 pubs (along with plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, music stores, boutiques, and more). There's also Federal Hill
, known for its nightlife and the Cross Street Market
, and Hampden
, an electric neighborhood known for its restaurants, bars, shops, and small-town atmosphere.
3. Drink a Natty Boh or Local Beer
Although it hasn't been brewed in Baltimore for years, National Bohemian (known in Baltimore as Natty Boh or in some parts simply as National) is still the beer of choice in Charm City. While visiting, you'll come to know the beer's mascot, Mr. Boh, a one-eyed, handlebar-mustachioed caricature who graces t-shirts and advertisements across the city. Local breweries available on tap across the city include Heavy Seas, Union Craft Brewing, and DuClaw.
4. Explore the Inner Harbor
Photo by Jacqueline Munoz
5. Learn About The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner, the National Anthem of the United States, was written by Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry. Today, visitors can stop by the star-shaped Fort McHenry National Park
to learn more about the storied history of the War of 1812.
6. Check Out the Art Scene
Photo by Katie Langer.
7. Take Part in an Event or Festival
Courtesy the Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival
Year-round, Baltimore has a whole host of annual events
and ethnic festivals
. From Preakness to the Polish Festival, or the Great Halloween Lantern Parade to the Greek Folk Festival, nearly every day is filled with one activity or another. There are also many monthly discount and free events
, including gallery tours and discount museum admission days, worth looking into.