The best thing about Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is how open it is. You feel like you’re part of one huge coastal crowd wherever you are on the square mile of waterfront. Plus, the City of Baltimore has done a great job of creating a diverse and exciting visitor environment on the harbor.
For starters, there is an enormous variety of restaurants and eateries on or within easy walking distance of the Inner Harbor. For the ethnic eater, there’s Greek, Italian, Lebanese, Irish, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, German, French and English. For families on a budget, there are fast food and sandwich stores. For seafood lovers there’s two waterfront restaurants – the Rusty Scupper and my favorite, McCormick & Schmicks. And for cuisine aficionados there is Cindy Wolf’s extraordinary Charleston restaurant, Fogo de Chao for great Brazilian fare, and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for the meat eater in the crowd! Cigar lovers will want to stop in at the Club Havana above the steakhouse, one of the top five cigar lounges on the east coast.
The Inner Harbor is also a great place for shopping – not just in the trendy shops right on the harbor at the Harborplace, but especially the upscale shops and boutiques in the Gallery. And if you’re looking for something really different, you can always take the water taxi to Fells Point. In addition to lots of little storefront shops, there is one of the world’s great maritime antiques and collectables emporiums right on the dock.
There are lots of upscale hotels on the Baltimore waterfront, but my favorite is the Renaissance Harborplace right on Inner Harbor. For those who want to enjoy a bit more of the historic flavor of Baltimore, check out Admiral Fell Inn at Fells Point. If you’re cruising into Baltimore on your mega-yacht, the Inner Harbor East Marina is a good choice. It’s located between the Inner Harbor and Fells Point, but just a short water taxi ride to both.
There’s certainly no shortage of tourist attractions on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor – especially for waterfront lovers. Baltimore’s National Aquarium is one of America’s best. The kids will love the Maryland Science Center, touring of USS Constellation and world-class Port Discovery Children’s Museum. The whole family will enjoy the cruise out to historic Fort McHenry at the entrance to the Harbor. And there are lots of outdoor shows and concerts right on the wharf every weekend. For sports enthusiasts, the Orioles and the Ravens both play their home games within walking distance of the Inner Harbor.
Like Wilmington, Delaware there is so much more to the city’s cultural offerings than just those near the harbor. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum is a national treasure. The Maryland Historical Society is one of the finest regional history museums in the country. And the legendary Walters Art Museum is an internationally-acclaimed museum of world art from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th-century Europe. It counts among its many treasures Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi; medieval ivories and Old Master paintings; Art Deco jewelry and 19th-century European and American masterpieces. And there’s only one city on earth that can claim Charm City Cakes, one of the most creative and innovative specialty bakery’s in America. Check them out on the Food Channel!
And the best thing about a weekend excursion in Baltimore is that it’s just 90 minutes from Wilmington!