Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is its most tourist-friendly neighborhood for one simple reason: it was created as such. The area was designed and structured to attract travelers to the city. The area was designed and structured to attract tourism to the city. At the end of the 1970’s the city made a concerted and deliberate effort to revitalize the neighborhood known only for its warehouses and docks.
Through the years of construction, advertising, and business-building, the Inner Harbor has turned Baltimore's tourism industry into a $625 million success (approximately). With over 7 attractions in the immediate vicinity, numerous restaurants, a retail and entertainment complex, and more than 10 hotels within walking distance, all travelers have to do is get to the Inner Harbor once they arrive in the city. They won't have to leave the neighborhood until it's time to fly back home. Everything is right at their finger tips.
Some of the best attractions in Baltimore are situated in the Inner Harbor. Maryland's most lucrative attraction is the Baltimore National Aquarium which stays busy and never seems to disappoint visitors. Just a few hundred feet away from the Aquarium is Maryland's most famous seafood restaurant, Phillip's Seafood. With its occasional long lines, it can be considered an attraction in and of itself.
The waterfront is most inviting in the summer time and makes a great pit-stop for tourists after a long day of walking and sightseeing. The Inner Harbor is filled with entertainment on the water as well as off. Visitors can take a glimpse into maritime history on board the USS Constellation; give their kids an opportunity to role play on a pirate ship; or dine and party on board Spirit Cruises. If you’re looking to stay on dry land, there are plenty of restaurants like Ta Tasca with outdoor seating that have awesome harbor views. And there’s also entertainment in the Harborplace amphiteater by musicians and other local artists. You may also find an early morning outdoor group yoga class gracing the area.
The Harbor through Glass — Photo courtesy of kymagirl
In the winter, right around the holidays, there are several celebrations that are meant to wow both visitors and locals alike. During Christmas, the Inner Harbor’s shopping and entertainment complex, Harborplace gets fully decorated in lights, making it look magical and majestic. For New Year’s Eve, the Inner Harbor is the place to be for a spectacular fireworks display. Tourists can catch the illuminated magic for free along the waterfront promenade or inside several local attractions for a fee.
Overall, the Inner Harbor is a pretty self-contained neighborhood for tourists and offers pretty much everything a tourist might be looking to do in the city. There’s definitely more to see to Baltimore than just the Inner Harbor, however it’s a good place to start and if you want to keep things simple and would rather not travel too far, a good neighborhood to stay.