Baltimore, a bustling city built on tradition and civic pride, is an American success story. Since the redevelopment of the Inner Harbor in the late 1970s, Baltimore has set the standard for urban renewal and is now a major travel destination welcoming over 11 million business and leisure visitors each year.
The crown jewel of Baltimore is the Inner Harbor, a scenic and popular waterfront area with dozens of retail stores, restaurants and attractions. The fun and festive atmosphere of the Harbor is enhanced by street entertainers, open-air concerts, fireworks, parades, paddle boats, cruise boats and an outdoor ice skating rink.
But there's more to Baltimore than is seen at first glance. Charming historic neighborhoods surround the Inner Harbor, each offering their own character, history and cuisine. Little Italy is a pasta lover's paradise with outdoor movies on summer weekends, festivals of San Gabriel and St. Anthony, and two bocce ball courts. Fells Point is the oldest section of Baltimore and still has the feel of an old English neighborhood with cobblestone streets, unique shops and plentiful pubs and restaurants. And, there's Harbor East, a bustling waterfront stop with its own attractions, retail shops, and restaurants.
The best view of the city is from the top of Federal Hill on the south side of the Inner Harbor. The surrounding neighborhood has a variety of boutiques and restaurants and one of the city's most popular markets. Mount Vernon, the cultural center of the city, was the address for the rich and famous during the 18th and 19th centuries. Their legacies include the first architectural monument to George Washington; Peabody Conservatory of Music; The Walters Art Museum; and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption, the first Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States. And don't forget about Canton to the east. There you will find one of the city's hottest neighborhoods, where old factories have been converted into a thriving retail and entertainment hub.
Baltimore has restaurants to satisfy nearly every craving. Dining options include elegant gourmet cuisine, ethnic foods from around the world and plenty of fresh seafood from Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is known for its fabulous crabs, and dining at one of the cities many seafood restaurants or crab houses is a must for all who visit.