Inner Harbor, Baltimore: What to See & Do + Where to Eat, Drink & Stay

Heading to Maryland and the beautiful city of Baltimore? If you love wandering around a city and taking in the sights, make a beeline for Inner Harbor, Baltimore. Tucked around Baltimore’s harborfront, this vibrant neighborhood is a sightseeing hub with loads of attractions and activities for travelers.

The captivating waterfront district is home to the Maryland Science Center, with a fantastic planetarium and observatory, and the National Aquarium, where you can interact with various marine creatures. Explore legendary vessels at the Historic Ships in Baltimore and head to the Top of the World Observation Level for sweeping city views.

Shop until you drop at the elegant Harborplace, watch street performers and talented musicians along the waterfront, and head to Power Plant Live for a one-of-a-kind dining experience!

Is Baltimore calling, but not sure where to start? Look at this comprehensive guide to one of Charm City’s most exciting neighborhoods to decide what to see & do, where to eat & drink, and where to stay in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor!

Why Treksplorer? Founded in 2011 by Ryan O’Rourke, Treksplorer provides travel recommendations and advice to millions of readers every year. Our content is rooted in our writers’ firsthand experiences, in-depth research, and/or collaborations with other experts and locals. Read more about our editorial policy.

What to see & do

Maryland Science Center

Calling all science geeks! Dive into a world of scientific wonders and mind-blowing discoveries at the Maryland Science Center. Designed for explorers of all ages, the center has three floors of interactive exhibits, an observatory, and a planetarium.

Begin your Maryland Science Center adventure at the Earth and Space section and can get your hands dirty digging up dinosaur fossils. Then make your way to the BodyLink exhibit and dive into the fascinating world of anatomy and physiology. Test your reflexes, challenge your senses, and learn how the body works.

Maryland Science Center

Next stop at one of Baltimore’s favorite museums: The planetarium, where you can venture into space and explore the mysteries of the cosmos. Tinker, build, and unleash your inner engineer at the Power Up! Exhibit, or get up close and personal with creepy crawlers in the Insect Cart.

If you’re visiting the Maryland Science Center with the little ones, the Kids Room is a magical place with play areas and interactive exhibits where they can let their imagination run wild. Before you leave, pop into the Science Store to browse the scientific goodies, from cool gadgets to mind-bending puzzles.

National Aquarium

Dive into an underwater wonderland at the National Aquarium and embark on a journey through the ocean’s incredible marine ecosystem. One of the top three aquariums in the United States, this marine sanctuary is home to thousands of species thriving in award-winning habitats and is one of the must-see Baltimore tourist attractions.

National Aquarium

Wander through the National Aquarium’s incredible exhibits, from the mesmerizing Dolphin Discovery, where playful dolphins put on a show to the Living Seashore, where you can touch starfish and stingrays. Don’t miss the one-of-a-kind Sleepover with the Sharks experience, where you can spend the night surrounded by these magnificent creatures!

Enjoy an exhilarating sensory adventure in the aquarium’s 4D Immersion Theater. With 3D visuals, special effects, and even moving seats, you’ll feel like you’re in the world beneath the waves. Before you head out, swing by the gift shop to find a few ocean-themed treasures and souvenirs.

Historic Ships in Baltimore

Set sail on a journey through maritime history at the Historic Ships in Baltimore. Located within easy walking distance of each other, the Historic Ships collection features four legendary vessels and a historic 1856 lighthouse overlooking Baltimore Harbor.

Historic Ships in Baltimore

Immerse yourself in the nautical tales of the past while exploring these beautifully restored and maintained ships. Discover the secrets of the USS Constellation, the last all-sail warship built by the United States Navy. Squeeze into the tight living quarters and the torpedo room of the World War II submarine, the USS Torsk.

Walk around the decks of the USCGC Taney, the last surviving warship from the attack on Pearl Harbor, and reflect on the bravery and sacrifice of those who served. You can also enjoy various interactive experiences and activities; channel your inner sailor as you climb into the rigging and hoist the flags or test your skills with a cannon firing demonstration.

Top of the World Observation Level

Head up to the Top of the World Observation Level for breathtaking views and a birds-eye perspective of the city. Located on the top of the world’s tallest regular pentagonal building, the World Trade Center on E Pratt Street, the observation deck boasts spectacular, unobstructed panoramic views of Downtown Baltimore.

Learn about Baltimore’s rich history, culture, architecture, and the city’s transformation over time through interactive exhibits and displays. Discover the city’s famous landmarks and get a sense of what makes Baltimore so unique.

Top of the World Observation Level

The Top of the World Observation Level hosts various special events throughout the year, from art exhibitions to live music performances. No matter what time of year you visit Baltimore, keep an eye on their calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.

Swing by the gift shop before you leave to pick up unique Baltimore-themed souvenirs and treasures to take home.

Harborplace Mall

Feel the need for some retail therapy? Make your way to Harborplace Mall, where you’ll find everything from designer boutiques and brand stores to delicious dining options and plenty of entertainment.

Harborplace Mall

Browse through various stores, from trendy fashion boutiques to unique gift shops. Treat yourself to new threads, score the perfect accessory, or discover a special treasure. Grab a bite and recharge your batteries at one of the many cafés and restaurants dotted around the mall.

Harborplace Mall is also packed with entertainment options. Catch a live performance by local musicians, watch street performances, or stroll along the waterfront promenade and soak up the beautiful views.

Power Plant Live!

Unleash your inner rockstar with a night out at Power Plant Live! Located just a few blocks from the iconic Inner Harbor, Power Plant Live! is a vibrant district of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. From solving mysteries in an escape room to relaxing in the beer garden, this complex has it all.

Power Plant Live!

Get ready for an epic lineup of live music and entertainment. Power Plant Live! is known for hosting incredible concerts featuring local talents and top-notch performers. From rock and pop to hip-hop and country, there’s a genre to suit every music lover’s taste.

Power Plant Live! also offers a fantastic array of bars and clubs, each with its own unique vibe. Whether you’re into laid-back lounges, high-energy dance clubs, or sports bars to catch the big game, you’ll find a spot that suits your mood. You’ll also find plenty of dining options when hunger bites!

Where to eat & drink

When it comes to dining and drinking in Inner Harbor, this vibrant waterfront area offers a fantastic selection of restaurants, cafes, and bars to satisfy every craving. Whether you’re in the mood for seafood delights, international cuisine, or a refreshing cocktail, Inner Harbor has something for everyone.

Start the day with a hearty breakfast or brunch at Miss Shirley’s Cafe, Inner Harbor. Known for its creative twists on classic dishes, Miss Shirley’s offers a range of mouthwatering dishes like coconut cream stuffed French toast, buttermilk pancakes, or a fried chicken, biscuit, and gravy omelet.

With its spectacular waterfront location, Rusty Scupper Restaurant & Bar is a go-to spot for fresh seafood and breathtaking views. Tuck into Maryland crab cakes, Maine lobster, or their famous seafood bisque while taking in the sights of the harbor.

If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience, the Capital Grille is a fantastic choice. Expect an elegant ambiance with stylish décor, soft lighting, impeccable service, and mouthwatering cuisine. Dine on expertly prepared, dry-aged steaks and fresh seafood dishes, including lobster, salmon, and sea bass. Pair with fine wines from around the world.

Rusty Scupper Restaurant & Bar in Inner Harbor

Looking for a warm and welcoming neighborhood bar in Inner Harbor? Peter’s Pour House is a popular spot where locals head to watch the game over a drink. Grab a table on the outdoor patio and enjoy a few drinks against beautiful harbor views. Keep an eye out for regular specials!

Another fantastic spot for drinks with a view is the Water Street Tavern & Key West Patio Bar. The Water Street Tavern boasts a lively bar scene, perfect for socializing and catching up with friends. If you want a more relaxed and laid-back setting, head to the Key West Patio Bar. This outdoor space offers a tropical vibe with palm trees, colorful décor, and a refreshing sea breeze. It’s the perfect spot to kick back, unwind, and enjoy a drink while soaking up the waterfront views.

For a one-of-a-kind experience, try the Clock Restoration Bar & Kitchen. Combining the charm of a vintage clock restoration shop with a trendy bar and kitchen concept, the laid-back bar boasts a cozy and intimate ambiance. Sip expertly crafted cocktails with creative twists on traditional favorites like the Bees Knees or an Old Fashioned.

Where to stay

With its central location, Inner Harbor is one of the most popular places to stay in Baltimore. Most of the hotels here fall within the mid-range and above. If you run out of accommodation options, expand your lodgings search to neighboring areas like Downtown Baltimore, Little Italy, or Fell’s Point.

Hyatt Regency Baltimore

Hyatt Regency Baltimore

Enjoy a relaxing stay in upscale rooms with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore. Upgrade to a suite for separate living areas with pull-out sofas and spectacular city or harbor views. Enjoy continental breakfast and evening snacks in a private lounge and unwind next to the rooftop pool.

Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore

The Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore

Overlooking the Inner Harbor, the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore offers modern rooms with high-end amenities. Book a studio or suite for spectacular harbor views from floor-to-ceiling windows. Enjoy top-notch facilities like a pool and sauna, tennis courts, a fitness center, and a safari-inspired restaurant.

Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel

Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel

Ideally located within a short walk from the Baltimore Convention Center, Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel offers a comfortable and convenient place to stay. Airy rooms and suites have marble bathrooms with designer toiletries. Enjoy complimentary weekday breakfast and evening snacks in club-level rooms.

Treksplorer

Ryan O'Rourke is a seasoned traveler and the founder & editor of Treksplorer, a fiercely independent guide to mid-range luxury travel for busy people. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

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