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Baltimore is an independent city located in the U.S. state of Maryland. With its reputation focused on the water, Baltimore (the largest city, although not the capital of Maryland) is a microcosm of the history of the USA’s eastern seaboard.

Baltimore is a city with distinct seasons – warm summers, sometimes snowy, cold winters and moderate temperatures in-between.

Baltimore, Maryland

Most visitors to Baltimore don't get beyond the city's Inner Harbor during their stay (with the possible exception being a jaunt inside the idyllic walls of Camden Yards, home of baseball's Orioles, and one of the finest ballparks in the major leagues). Not that there's anything wrong with that: the USS Constellation battleship anchored there is a delight for exploring, as is the Torsk submarine. The National Aquarium immerses wide-eyed land-dwellers in a magical marine world of sharks, dolphins, and, soon-to-come, a recreated Australian underwater habitat. There is so much to see that every day is filled to overflowing with events of interest and enjoyment.

Baltimore’s central business district is lined with museums, shops, restaurants and other attractions. Downtown fans out from the harbor, with Charles Street dividing the east and west sides of the city. Just to the east of downtown is Little Italy, a neighborhood of ethnic eateries and colorful, well-kept row houses. East of Little Italy is Fells Point, a historic maritime community with some of the city's most popular restaurants, bars and shops. East of Fells Point is Canton, a neighborhood pulsing with new restaurants, boutiques and evening activity.

South of downtown is Federal Hill, an enclave of renovated homes that perches on a hill overlooking the harbor. North of downtown is Mount Vernon, a stately neighborhood of elegant row houses and tree-shaded parks. This is Baltimore's cultural corridor: The Walters Art Museum, the Peabody Library and Conservatory of Music, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Lyric Opera House, and Center Stage are found there. Farther north is the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus. Ringed by the neighborhoods of Charles Village, Waverly and Hampden, this part of town is also home to the Baltimore Museum of Art and its peaceful sculpture garden.

The waterfront and Camden Yards are part of one scenic stretch of downtown Baltimore that has become the center of city life in recent years. Camden Yards is the home of the major league Baltimore Orioles, and the surrounding streets are lined with small cafes, microbreweries, and stores.

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor looks out upon the Patapsco River, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay. The thriving waterfront is home to the National Aquarium in Baltimore (among the best in the world), the Maryland Science Center and the Baltimore Maritime Museum. The Inner Harbor borders downtown and is just blocks away from Fells Point, a charming maritime neighborhood just south of Little Italy. Also in the harbor area is Federal Hill, which puts you in the vicinity of Fort McHenry National Monument.

Try sampling some of Maryland's famous cuisine, in the open-air mall on the waterfront. It is filled with arcades, shops, and restaurants catering to all tastes. This area is the gateway to the Inner Harbor, featuring boat rides and tours of the surrounding waterways.

Baltimore's cultural scene mixes traditional museums with interesting historical diversions. The Baltimore Museum of Art features a large and impressive collection of art from all periods and places. The Maryland Science Center offers exhibits, demonstrations, an IMAX theatre and a planetarium. Finally, the Walters Art Gallery has an impressive collection of French Impressionist art as well as large holdings of ancient Greek and Roman works.

History abounds in the Baltimore area. Fort McHenry, the star shaped fortress at the harbor entrance was the site of the battle in the War of 1812 that prompted Francis Scott Key to write the "Star Spangled Banner." The USS Constellation, the last surviving ship from the Civil War

can be seen in the harbor area. Plans are afoot to make it possible at some time in the future to view the USS Forrestal, America's first super carrier, in the same location.

Fun, interactive exhibits at the Maryland Science Center; animals at the Baltimore Zoo; trains at the B&O Railroad Museum; places to play at the newly renovated Chinese Pagoda in Patterson Park; Port Discovery Children's Museum; marine life at the National Aquarium are among the many Baltimore attractions that are popular with children and families.

Old Baltimore can be glimpsed in the neat tree lined streets and neighborhoods dominated by simple row houses. The Edgar Allen Poe House celebrates the life and achievements of one of America's most original writers who invented the detective story and penned the eerie tale of "The Raven." Babe Ruth's birthplace is now home to a museum dedicated to his life and career as one of America's greatest athletes.

If you want to get a sense of the heart and soul of Baltimore, take a water taxi to Fell's Point, a waterfront neighborhood packed with pubs and fresh seafood spots where you'll find the finest steamed wild mussels around, along with live blues on many nights. Look around a little more and you’ll find yourself sitting down to the best Low country food this side of Charleston.

Visitors can sample crab cakes, tour the Inner Harbor, and take in a ball game in one of America's most beautiful stadiums, all within downtown Baltimore, and then when they think there is no more to see and do, they can branch out to discover even more beyond. There is never enough time to experience this fascinating city in just one visit.
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