More than 26 million people visit Baltimore every year, and many of these visitors will head to the same few attractions. They’ll take a stroll through the Inner Harbor, visit the Aquarium, maybe head out to Fort McHenry, or catch a game at Camden Yards. If you’ve already checked these places off your list, or if you’re looking for something a bit more unique to do, you might want to consider one of these attractions for your next trip to Charm City!
#1. The Peabody Library
This place is gorgeous, so get your phone ready because you’ll have plenty of Insta-worthy material by the time you leave. Focused on the 19th century, the Peabody Library houses more than 300,000 books throughout its six levels, all within a 61-foot high atrium.
Take a stroll through the ground floor and marvel at the beautiful ironwork of the balconies, the old wooden card catalogs, the fantastic map collection, and some of their first-edition books, including Moby Dick and works by Frederick Douglass. Do be courteous during your visit, though, as this is still an active library! The Peabody Library also serves as a venue for weddings and private parties, so inquire in advance to ensure the library will be open when you wish to visit.
#2. The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower
This clock tower was built in the early 1900s by Capt. Isaac Emerson, who was the creator of Bromo Seltzer, an old-school headache remedy (made with several ingredients that have since been deemed toxic – oops!) At 289 feet tall, the tower was Baltimore’s tallest building from 1911 until 1923, and the clock was the largest in the world at the time it was built. Today, the tower is used as work and gallery space for artists, and the public is welcome to visit the artists and even watch some of them in action. The 15th floor has a free museum containing an extensive collection of iconic Bromo Seltzer glass bottles, and you can also join a tour which includes an overview of the tower’s history and a visit inside the clocktower!
#3. The B & O Railroad Museum
Feel like a kid again as you marvel at the largest collection of 19th-century locomotives in the U.S. The B&O was the first railroad in the United States, and the museum celebrates the railroad’s fascinating history of engineering and innovation.
Complete with train rides, model train displays, and history tours, there is something for everyone at the museum. Begin your visit inside the beautiful Mt. Clare Roundhouse, built in 1884, and learn about the evolution of locomotives and the railroad that paved the way for commercial and passenger train service in the USA.
#4. The American Museum of Visionary Art
If you’re looking for a museum unlike any you’ve ever seen, check out the wacky American Museum of Visionary Art. They have the most fascinating collection of the odd, interesting, fun, and downright strange all grouped together!
From a creepy dollhouse to a huge ball made out of bras, to beautiful paintings, and sculptures made out of everyday objects, this museum breaks the mold for what some might consider “art” and shines a light onto some very creative people’s ideas. Not only is this museum unique for Baltimore, but it’s unique to museums everywhere, and I think you’ll love it!
#5. Baltimore Museum of Industry
We all have bad days at work, but at least our working conditions aren’t like they used to be. The Baltimore Museum of Industry highlights Baltimore’s industries of the past and what it would have been like to work in a cannery, garment loft, print shop, and more. The museum has a fantastic collection of antique machinery, including beautiful printing presses, antique bakery equipment, an assortment of old pharmacy bottles, and a working blacksmith shop! See some of the beautiful antiques in action and take a tour back through Baltimore’s past and the history of labor in the United States.
#6. Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House
And after you’ve worn yourself out visiting all of these fantastic Baltimore destinations, be sure to sit back and relax with a pint or flight of delicious Guinness beer brewed in the first U.S.-based Guinness brewery since the 1950s!
The Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House opened in summer 2018 and is already well on its way to becoming a major tourist destination. Tour the brewery, sit on the patio or lawn outside, or enjoy some delicious brown bread and burgers in the restaurant. But most importantly, sample some of their fabulous craft brews that you can only find in Baltimore!
So on your next visit to Baltimore, I hope you’ll venture out of the Inner Harbor and check out some of these fabulous, unique attractions. And if you do, stop back and let me know which spot was your favorite!
In my next post, we’ll say goodbye to Baltimore and head out to the Southwest. Stay tuned!