The largest city in Maryland, Baltimore is often referred to as "Charm City." It’s made up of hundreds of identified districts, and was home to historical greats like author Edgar Allan Poe and singer Billie Holiday. The city is known for its historical significance in the U.S., its port, Inner Harbor, and its massive arts and cultural scene. | Read more below »
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As the 24th largest city in the U.S., Baltimore is is divided into 72 historic districts and nine official geographical regions, including: Northern, Northwestern, Northeastern, Western, Central, Eastern, Southern, Southwestern, and Southeastern. The city played a large role in the development of the U.S. and even spent some time from 1776 to 1777 as the nation’s capital. Today, it’s an economic hub for Maryland, with its downtown district among the fastest-growing neighborhoods in the area.
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is the second largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic United States. Its proximity to Midwestern markets adds to its value, as no other seaport on the East Coast can compete. The site is also among the city’s most visited spots due to its scenic views, as well as the surrounding areas that provide significant options in dining, nightlife, museums, and culture. Fells Point — featured in the film "Sleepless in Seattle" — and Little Italy are two other big points of interest.
The city of Baltimore was featured in the 1972 cult classic film "Pink Flamingos," as well as the Broadway musical (and film) Hairspray, both created by John Waters. Waters tends to poke fun at the local dialect, which is sometimes called "Baltimorese" or "Bawlmorese." Baltimore natives frequently refer to the city without its "t" sound and instead call it "Balmer."
Aside from Baltimore serving as the backdrop for Hairspray, one of the biggest Broadway musicals of all time, the city has much to offer for theater junkies. Touring Broadway productions frequent the area, thanks to the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center. Locally, Center Stage serves as the premiere theater company in the area. Vagabond Players, Everyman Theater, Single Carrot Theatre, and the Baltimore Theatre Festival round out some of the local theatrical options. Additionally, the Arena Players Inc. are located in Baltimore; the group is the nation's oldest continuously operating African American community theater. For opera lovers, the Lyric Opera House is the home of Lyric Opera Baltimore, while the Baltimore Rock Opera Society, an all-volunteer theatrical company, launched its first production back in 2009.
Venues include: France Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome Theater; Lyric Opera House
Baltimore’s musical roots date back to 1857, when The Peabody Conservatory was founded. Located in Mount Vernon neighborhood, it’s among one of the most prestigious in the world, along with places like Juilliard and Curtis Institute. But that’s not the only musical claim Baltimore has. Non-profit chamber music organization Vivre Musicale calls the city home. Women’s choir Pride of Baltimore Chorus is a three-time International silver medalist, while the Baltimore Consort music ensemble has carried on for more than 25 years. The Grammy Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is an internationally renowned orchestra, founded in 1916. It began as a publicly funded municipal organization. These days, it’s led by Marin Alsop, the first female conductor of a major U.S. orchestra.
Venues include: Rams Head Live; 8x10 Club; Ottobar; Pier Six Concert Pavilion; Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
The birth of Babe Ruth is just one small part of Baltimore’s intricate history with baseball. Prior to that, the Baltimore Orioles were one of the most successful early franchises in the 19th century. Many of its team members were hall of famers in the late 1800s.
Babe Ruth played for the minor league Orioles team, which was only active in the early 1900s. In 1954, Baltimore Orioles became part of the MLB, where the team made it to the World Series in 1966 (they won), 1969, 1970 (winning again), 1971, 1979, and 1983 (they won here, too). Excluding 1972, the team also made the play-offs every year from 1969 to 1974.
Cal Ripkin, Jr., who played for the Orioles from 1981–2001, famously broke Lou Gehrig's "unbreakable" streak of 2,130 consecutive games played. Nicknamed "The Iron Man," Ripken was named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated for the feat, and later inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of several other Orioles players and managers.
Several NFL teams were once involved with Baltimore, but it’s the Baltimore Ravens that the city proudly lays claim to these days. The team formed in 1996 and went on to win the Super Bowl in 2000 and 2012. They have also appeared in four AFC Championship Games.
Teams include: Baltimore Orioles; Baltimore Ravens; Baltimore Blast; Baltimore Burn; Baltimore Nighthawks; Baltimore Mariners
Crab cakes, slippery pot pie, and sauerbrauten are all local Baltimore staples. Recently, the city has added a great number of big-time chefs to its food scene. Although the city claims to be home to the best crab cakes, it also offers plenty of other exciting and unique meals as well, including dishes like crispy Thai string beans, lobster mac, and artisan beers.
Charm City has a massive art, history, culture, and LGBT scene. Artscape, the largest free arts festival in America, takes place annually in Bolton Hill near Maryland Institute College of Art. The Maryland Film Festival is also a yearly event at Charles Theatre. At the port, the USS Constellation, the last Civil War-era vessel afloat, is a big draw. A national aquarium, science center, and numerous museums are all places tourists can check out, too.
The port of Baltimore makes it possible to take cruises around the city. But for those who prefer dry land, Baltimore has been ranked the 14th most walkable city in the U.S. Additionally, several interstate highways, used by commuters and public transit, help make traveling through the city easy.