5 Fun Things to Do in Baltimore, MD: Off the Beaten Track + Tips

You’ll discover plenty of fun things to do in Baltimore Maryland. Rich with history and museums, gorgeous harbor views, art culture, and regional cuisine, it’s a great destination to visit.

But there are handful of attractions a bit off the beaten track you won’t want to miss.

Make sure you get these 5 things, below, on your Maryland itinerary. It’s followed by list of essential tips for visiting Baltimore.

Let the fun begin!

fun things to do in Baltimore MD - Inner Harbor Skyline
Inner Harbor | Baltimore, Maryland

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn about Baltimore’s hidden gems and tips, including:

  • Going Off the Beaten Path
  • The National Aquarium
  • The Maryland Science Center
  • Fort McHenry
  • The Walters Art Museum
  • George Peabody Library
  • 13 Tips for Visiting Baltimore
  • Final Thoughts on Fun Things to Do in Baltimore
  • Next Steps

Off the Beaten Path: Baltimore’s Best Hidden Gems

Getting to know Baltimore is discovering all the unique and wonderful things that make this city great.

From its historical landmarks to its quirky neighborhoods, there is so much to explore in Baltimore Maryland, also known as “Charm City.”

And while Baltimore has no shortage of amazing attractionsThings, there are also plenty of hidden gems that are often overlooked by visitors.

If you’re looking to get off the beaten path and explore some of Baltimore’s best hidden gems, here are a few places to start.

1. The National Aquarium

The National Aquarium is one of the world’s largest aquariums.

It is home to more than 20,000 animals and 500 different species. Not only that, but the aquarium also provides life-saving animal rescue and conservation efforts.

Located in downtown Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the award-winning National Aquarium is a must-see for any animal lover. You’ll find all kinds of beautiful sea life there, including reef sharks, bottlenose dolphin, the giant pacific octopus, and a variety of fish species.

But also, you’ll see other cuties you might not expect at an aquarium, like the puffins, macaws, tamarins, and sloths!

Take your time exploring the exhibits or even take part in one of their field events if you want to be an active part of their conservation work. Just be sure to sign up in advance.

2. The Maryland Science Center

The Maryland Science Center is a great place to spend a day exploring all things science.

It’s also another opportunity to get interactive.

From hands-on exhibits to planetarium shows, there’s something for everyone at this Baltimore attraction – even a Sesame Street exhibit for the little ones if you’re traveling with children.

Ages 5-12 will get the most out of this stop, but this is a fun thing to do in Baltimore for the kids at heart of any age.

Plus, they do a great job of keeping this spacious museum clean and working well.

You can easily spend the better part of a day here.

And best of all, it’s located right in the heart of downtown.

3. Fort McHenry

Fort McAdams - Baltimore MD

Fort McHenry is a historic fort that played a pivotal role in the War of 1812.

Today, the star-shaped fort is a national monument and park. Visitors can learn about its history and enjoy breathtaking views of Baltimore’s harbor.

You can even take a tour of the fort to see it up close. If you do, you’ll get an introduction to the museum, watch a short movie, and have an opportunity to visit the park bookstore.

When you go, look out to the water where the British would have been and imagine this place in action. It withstood severe naval bombardment by British forces during the War of 1812!

In fact, Fort McHenry is the birth place of The National Anthem.

And if you time it right, you may happen to see a re-enactment.

This is definitely one of the Baltimore Maryland historical sites not to miss.

4. The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum is home to an impressive collection of art, ranging from ancient Egyptian artifacts to European masterpieces.

It’s home to 36000 objects from around the world!

Located in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, the Walters Art Museum is a must-visit for any art lover.

Plus, admission is free, making it a great activity for budget-minded travelers.

Visiting the Walters Art Museum is one of the fun things to do in Baltimore that won’t take the whole day. You’ll want to earmark about 2 hours to explore the museum.

And if you’re craving more art, head over to the Walls of Graffiti Alley in the States North Arts and Entertainment District.

You’ll see vibrant, creative expression over just about every inch of this L-shaped corridor owned by Graffiti Warehouse. It’s one of the few spaces where young artists can legally share their street art.

Related Post: Best Art Museums in New England

5. George Peabody Library

George Peabody Library - Baltimore MD

Connected to the famous Johns Hopkins University, the George Peabody Library is free and open to the public.

It’s a non-circulating collection (you can’t take the books out), but you are free to use the collection for research or just to feed your curiousity.

But even if you don’t crack open a book, the George Peabody Library is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. It’s even served as a stunning wedding venue!

With over 300,000 books, you’ll find mostly 19th Century writings on architecture, biography, British art, geography, literature, religion, romance languages, the history of science, topography, and–my favorite–travel.

The stacks include five tiers of ornamental cast-iron balconies culminating to a dramatic skylight 61 feet overhead.

It’s a beautiful site to take in, and one of the fun things to do in Baltimore, for sure.

Tips for Visiting Baltimore | Fun Things to Do In Baltimore, MD

Now that you know a few of the many hidden gems that Baltimore has to offer, you’ll want to explore some of these lesser-known attractions and get to know the real Baltimore.

But before you start packing, we have gathered some useful tips on how to prepare your trip.

That way, you can make the most of your time in Charm City.

Tip #1: Check the Weather

Baltimore can be hot and humid in the summer.

As with any trip, be sure to check the forecast before you pack your bags.

And if you’re visiting during the colder months, pack warm clothes. Temperatures can dip below freezing.

Tip #2: Book Accommodations in Advance

Baltimore is a popular tourist destination, so be sure to book your hotel or Airbnb in advance.

This will allow you to have your pick of the best places to stay. You don’t want to be stuck with an overpriced room at the last minute!

You’ll find some luxurious hotels downtown, but there are also plenty of more affordable options in Baltimore’s suburbs.

So take your time when you’re figuring out where to stay in Baltimore. That way, you’ll enjoy the experience more.

Tip #3: Research for Places to Eat

steamed crabs baltimore md

With so many great restaurants in Baltimore, it can be hard to decide where to eat.

Do some research in advance and make a list of places you want to try.

That way, you can make the most of your time in Baltimore and enjoy some amazing food.

But there will be some Baltimore famous food you won’t want to miss.

Among the most popular are steamed crabs, crab cakes, oysters, and pit beef.

Tip #4: Prepare for Some Shopping

Baltimore is home to some great shopping, so be sure to pack a few extra dollars.

From souvenir shops to high-end boutiques, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Baltimore.

The most popular shopping area is Inner Harbor.

But you’ll also discover plenty of great shops in Baltimore’s other neighborhoods.

For instance, Hampden is known for its vintage stores, while Fells Point has a mix of funky shops and art galleries.

Tip #5: Dance the Night Away

Baltimore is known for its vibrant nightlife! things to do in Baltimore at night

Be sure to hit the town and experience it for yourself.

From live music venues to dance clubs, there’s something for everyone in Baltimore, Maryland.

And if you’re looking to enjoy a drink or two, Baltimore has no shortage of bars and pubs.

Some of the most popular nightlife spots include:

  • Power Plant Live!
  • Mount VernonFells Point

Tip #6: See a Theater Show

Baltimore is home to a number of great theater companies, so be sure to catch a show while you’re in town.

From Broadway musicals to local productions, there’s something for everyone at one of Charm City’s theaters.

Tip # 7: Enjoy a Seasonal Festival

And if you’re looking for a truly unique experience, check out the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

It begins in late August and continues for about nine weeks of renaissance fun – including jousting, knights in shining armor, and so much more.

Here are some other worthwhile Fall festivals in Baltimore Maryland area, too:

  • Homecoming Fall Festival
  • Fells Point Fun Festival
  • Harvest Ball & Frolick
  • Das Best Oktoberfest
  • Great Baltimore Oyster Festival
  • Autumn Solstice Bonfire & S’Mores
  • Pumpkins on the Green
  • Perry Hall Apple Festival

Tip #8: Pack Comfortable Shoes

You’ll do a lot of walking in Baltimore, so be sure to pack comfortable shoes.

Sneakers or walking shoes are a good choice, as you’ll likely be doing a lot of exploring on foot.

Tip #9: Bring Cash

While many businesses in Baltimore accept credit cards, there are some that only accept cash.

To avoid any inconvenience, be sure to bring enough cash to cover your expenses.

Tip #10: Plan Your Trip in Advance

Baltimore is a big city with a lot to see and do.

To make the most of your time, it’s a good idea to plan your trip in advance and decide which attractions you want to visit.

That way, you can make sure you don’t miss anything during your stay in Baltimore.

Tip #11: Arrange How to Get Around

Book your Baltimore car service in advance to avoid any hassle when you’re trying to get around the city.

With a reliable car service, you can sit back and relax while someone else does the driving.

And if you are not traveling alone, you can also book a group tour of Baltimore to make sure you hit all the highlights of the city.

Tip #12: Leave Room for Surprise

While it’s always good to plan your trip in advance, don’t forget to leave room for spontaneity.

Baltimore is full of hidden gems, so you never know what you’ll find when you’re exploring off the beaten path.

Tip #13: Pack your Camera

Baltimore is a beautiful city, so be sure to bring your camera to capture all the sights.

From the Inner Harbor to Camden Yards, there are plenty of photo-worthy locations in the city.

Final Thoughts on Fun Things to Do in Baltimore

Now that you know a few of Baltimore’s best hidden gems, it’s time to start planning your trip.

And with these helpful tips, you’ll be sure to have a great time exploring all that Charm City has to offer!

Be sure to let us know how your trip goes in the comments below. And feel free to share any fun things to do in Baltimore not on our list!

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.