Baltimore is Maryland's largest city and a popular vacation destination. Nicknamed "Charm City," Baltimore was established as a port by the colonial government in 1729. Today, the city continues to thrive. Positioned alongside a branch of the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore is a vibrant and active seaport community, and many of its most popular sights and attractions are found along the Inner Harbor.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Baltimore has more than 200 neighborhoods within nine districts. Baltimore's world-famous Inner Harbor is surrounded by historic neighborhoods, each with unique shops and restaurants. Some of Baltimore's vibrant and populated neighborhoods include Canton, Federal Hill, Fells Point and Harbor East. Each of these neighborhoods, which are all close to the city center, has experienced rapid growth in the past decade. Many new shops and restaurants dot the sidewalks.
Some of the more popular neighborhoods in Baltimore include:
- Belair-Edison is located in Northeast Baltimore City. The neighborhood was established in 1940 and borders a large portion of Herring Run Park with its bike trails, tot lots, and running stream.
- Canton, a vibrant neighborhood located in Southeast Baltimore bordering Patterson Park and the Patapsco River, was first developed in the late 1800's. Today, Canton is built from the ashes of Baltimore's former industrial base - decrepit factories and warehouses have been refurbished and modernized for use as apartment lofts, entertainment venues, restaurants, and offices.
- Hampden's small town atmosphere and proximity to downtown make it one of the most desirable of neighborhoods for singles and young families. Hampden offers scores of elegant to funky stores, eclectic restaurants and special events.
- Patterson Park, a designated historic district, is located between Canton and John's Hopkins Medical Center. Patterson Park is within walking distance of a variety of the city's best restaurants, nightlife, and cultural activities.
- Riverside has a mix of new and longtime residents, as well as a combination of refurbished and older homes. Many Riverside homes were built in the early-1900s through the 1920s.
- Washington Village/Pigtown's biggest draws are its diversity and location. The neighborhood is very affordable, attracting students, retirees, singles, and young couples and parents. Pigtown residents enjoy its proximity to downtown, I-95, Federal Hill, the MARC train, and the stadiums.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Baltimore was once known as a blue-collar industrial town, but times have changed. It is now home to one of the best medical facilities in the world, Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Baltimore is home to the headquarters of many Fortune 1000 companies, including Constellation Energy, Legg Mason, T. Rowe Price and Black and Decker. The city's biggest employers include National Institutes of Health, Fidelity & Guaranty Insurance Underwriters and Abacus Corporation.
- Baltimore City Hall: This historic building is one of the few U.S. government structures built in Second Empire style. It sits in the heart of Baltimore, across from the War Memorial Plaza. The building is open to the public, and features tours of its chambers as well as displays chronicling the history of Baltimore.
- The Maryland Zoo: This 160-plus-acre zoo was originally founded in 1876. Owned by the city of Baltimore, the zoo's collection of animals includes more than 1,500 birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians representing nearly 200 species, all displayed in natural settings designed to imitate their natural habitats.
- Mount Vernon: Mount Vernon is a rich cultural district featuring attractions such as the Walters Art Museum, Enoch Pratt Free Library and Centerstage Theater Company. The district sponsors Friday evening music at the Walters Art Museum, with music ranging from bluegrass to rock and roll.
- National Aquarium in Baltimore: Thousands of aquatic animals are featured at this famous aquarium. Visitors can learn about the specifics of various species of marine life while traveling through diverse exhibits.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has achieved a place among the world's most prestigious orchestras. Acclaimed for its excellence, the Baltimore Symphony offers innovative education and community outreach initiatives.
- Baltimore Museum of Art: The largest art museum in Maryland, the Baltimore Museum of Art includes sizeable collections of 19th-century, modern and contemporary art. Notably, the museum houses the world's largest collection of Henri Matisse's work.
- Walters Art Museum: This internationally acclaimed museum's collection features art spanning from pre-dynastic Egypt to modern-day Europe. Among the museum's gems are medieval ivories, Art Deco jewelry and a number of 19th-century European and American paintings and sculptures.
- American Visionary Art Museum: Located at the base of Federal Hill, this museum showcases the work of some of America's most original, self-taught artists, among them whirligig sculptor and mechanic Vollis Simpson and metal artist David Hess, who created the museum's main staircase and garden gates.
- Port Discovery Children's Museum: Here children use their hands to learn about history, science and culture. The Royal Farms Convenience Store and Fill'er Up Station teaches kids about eating healthy snacks.
- National Great Blacks in Wax Museum: This museum commemorates the contributions of African Americans to Baltimore and the United States with life-size wax statues. Among the 100 people immortalized here are two Baltimore residents, abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. U.S. President Barack Obama is also represented.
Baltimore is home to two professional sports teams:
- The Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League
- The Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball
Baltimore is home to several colleges and universities, including:
- The University of Baltimore
- University of Maryland at Baltimore
- Johns Hopkins University
- Loyola College in Maryland
- Maryland Institute College of Art
- College of Notre Dame of Maryland
- Goucher College
- The Lexington Market: A focal point in Baltimore, the Lexington Market hosts some of the most famous events in town. The market runs continuously throughout the year, and serves as a venue for the following annual events: the Chocolate Festival in October, the Preakness Crab Derby in May and the Travis Winkey Fashion Show in early December.
- Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race: Every year, kinetic sculptors from across the Eastern United States convene at the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) on Baltimore's Inner Harbor for this aquatic race.
- Polish Festival: Baltimore's Polish community kicks off the summer Festival of Nations season with three days of celebration at Patterson Park. Visitors can expect live music from polka bands, dancing, Polish specialty foods and Polish crafts.
- St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival: Baltimore's Greek community congregates for a festival at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, part of the city's Festival of Nations. The four days of fun includes Greek dancing, traditional costumes, tours of the church and specialty Greek foods.
- African American Heritage Festival: Oriole Park hosts the annual African American Heritage Festival as part of the summer-long Festival of Nations. The weekend features food, music, arts, clothing, books and live entertainment.
- Baltimore Book Festival: This three-day event celebrates books and writing with a series of readings, author talks, book signings, literary walking tours and a book fair. The festival also features events geared toward young readers.
Local newspapers include the Baltimore Examiner and the Baltimore Sun.
- WBAL Baltimore
- WNUV Baltimore-the Baltimore Fox Station
- WJZ Channel 13
- WIYY 98.0 FM (rock)
- WCBM 680 AM
- WPOC 93.1 FM (country)
- WJHU 88.1 FM
- WWMX 106.5 FM