It’s no secret that Baltimore is chock-full of history. From inventing the bottle cap to some of the more infamous battles around Chesapeake Bay, there are loads of history to unpack and explore in this area of Maryland. Here are 13 of the best historical sights to visit in Baltimore.
1. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine will give you a sneak peak into the War of 1812. This pentagonal fort is located on the coast at Locust Point and though they are not hosting on-site programs and services at this time, you are still able to do self-guided tours via smart phone.
2. B&O Railroad Museum
Originally named the Baltimore & Ohio Transportation Museum when it opened back in 1953, this museum will take you through the magic of railroads throughout the centuries. Explore the largest collection of locomotives in all of the United States and one of the most significant collections of railroad remains in the world. You can purchase tickets here for admission and here for train rides.
3. Edgar Allen Poe’s Grave Site and Memorial
With a name like mine (Raven), I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been hearing Edgar Allen Poe quotes my entire life. “Quoth the raven, nevermore,” seems to live rent free in my head. The tragedy of his death in 1849 left many in sorrow, as he’s contributed so many important literary works in America. Now, many flock (pun intended) to the Westminster Presbyterian Church every year to see the burial site of this great poet.
4. Great Blacks in Wax Museum
At the Great Blacks in Wax Museum, you’ll feel like you are face to face with over 150 of some of the greatest historical figures in history. Learn about The Underground Railroad and Abolition and Women’s Rights while saying hello to Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and even Frederick Douglas. The list goes on.
5. Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum
This one doesn’t need much explanation because I think it’s pretty safe to say we all know and love Babe Ruth. At the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, you’ll find loads of baseball memorabilia as well as other sports-related exhibits. Buy your tickets here to check out the home of where this legend was born.
6. Washington Monument and Mount Vernon Place
Nestled in the center of Mount Vernon Place is the Washington Monument. This was the very first monument built to honor Washington, so it has a special place in the Baltimore’s heart. I think it’s safe to say this icon is on the list of anyone visiting the city, but, if not, add it now!
7. Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse
The Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse is the oldest screw-pile lighthouse left in the entire state of Maryland. Built back in 1855, this dwelling is an isolated station that was used to light sailors’ way through Chesapeake Bay.
8. Peabody Library
The Peabody Library looks like something taken straight out a Harry Potter film. Though it is part of John Hopkins University, these walls of books have not just been filled with students. In fact, many private events have been hosted here including receptions, corporate events–even weddings! The George Peabody Library has consistently ranked among the most beautiful libraries in the world, so there really is no excuse not to add it to your itinerary.
9. USS Torsk
USS Torsk is a Tench-class submarine that was built during World War II for the United States Navy. With ten torpedo tubes, this massive submarine is now out for show just one minute away from the National Aquarium.
10. Edgar Allen Poe House & Museum
So you’ve seen the gravesite of Edgar Allen Poe, now it’s time to see his work come to life. Located at the former home of this famous poet is the Edgar Allen Poe House & Museum. Once a writer’s house museum in 1949, you can now take a walk through the property on one of their many tours. Who knows, maybe it was the atmosphere that was most inspirational in his writing works.
11. Baltimore Museum of Industry
The Baltimore Museum of Industry will walk you through all of the manufacturing and industry that has occurred throughout the 20th century. Explore various pop up and hands on exhibits as well as get the chance to get your hands dirty in their hands-on exhibits!
12. Baltimore Streetcar Museum
The Baltimore Streetcar Museum is all about– you guessed it — Baltimore’s extensive public transportation history. Founded back in 1966, this volunteer-led museum is home to a permanent collection of Baltimore street railway vehicles. Explore through displays, videos, presentations–even streetcar rides while at the BSM.
13. Bromo Seltzer Tower
The Bromo Seltzer Tower is a 15-story clocktower that was built back in 1907, being named the tallest building in Baltimore at that time. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this fully-functioning clock is now visited by people all over the world. If you’re hoping to explore even further, you can take a walk inside of the structure and check out the largest collection of Bromo Seltzer and Maryland Glass bottles.
I hope this list gave you a starting point for your Baltimore itinerary. As always, if you know of any more hidden gems in the city, please share them in a comment below!