Baltimore, Maryland, offers an array of great museums, hotels, wedding venues and excellent breakfast spots for couples and families planning a weekend getaway. View ancient works of art at The Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art, stroll through the beautiful Sherwood Gardens, and dine at excellent seafood restaurants.
We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.
1. The Walters Art Museum
© The Walters Art Museum
Founded in 1934, the Walters Art Museum, located on North Charles Street in Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon Cultural District, is one of the top Baltimore, Maryland attractions. William Walters and his son Henry Walters organized the museum’s collection: the artwork was initially displayed in the family’s mansion, but a new palazzo-style building was later constructed in the early 1900s to house the collection.
The Walters Art Museum contains art from ages of antiquity to the 20th century, including Asian, Byzantine, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman artwork. The museum offers free walk-in tours as well as family and school tours led by trained volunteer docents. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday.
600 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland, Phone: 410-547-9000
2. The Maryland Zoo
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After a visit to the Maryland Zoo, you will feel like you’ve gone on a voyage through the African savannahs. At this incredible zoo, you have the opportunity to visit Samson the elephant or Hassan the lion and his cubs, Luke and Leia. Get a sense of the Panamanian jungle when you visit endangered Panamanian Golden Frogs in the Chimp forest. If you are bringing kids, take them to the Giraffe Feeding Station, where the long-necked creatures will literally slurp the food right out of their hands.
If you are looking for fun things to do in Baltimore with kids, be sure to stop by the zoo. There are more than 1,500 animals of 200 species in the zoo, and you can see many varieties of birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles in the settings that replicate their natural habitats. The Maryland Zoo is located in Druid Hill Park and sits on about 160 acres of land. It was established in1876, and it is the third oldest zoo in the U.S.
1876 Mansion House Drive, Baltimore, Maryland, Phone: 410-396-7102
3. National Aquarium
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Opened in 1981 as part of Baltimore’s urban renewal project, the National Aquarium is located on East Pratt Street on the Inner Harbor. This enormous aquarium holds over two million gallons of water and is home to more than 17,000 aquatic animals representing over 750 species.
In addition to the aquarium, there is also a 4D Immersion Theater and several exhibits of interest, including the open ocean shark tank and the marine mammal pavilion. The National Aquarium offers several guided tours such as the “Insider’s Tour” and the “Shark Behind the Scenes Tour.” It also offers programs such as “Dine and Discover” and “Sea and Tea.” If you are wondering what to do in Baltimore on a rainy day, the aquarium is a great place to visit.
501 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 410-576-3800
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4. Maryland Science Center
© Maryland Science Center
Located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the Maryland Science Center helps visitors experience science as something fun, exciting, and inspiring. The center’s mission is to create awareness about the important role science plays in day-to-day life and to motivate young people to consider pursuing careers in science. The Center features a large modern IMAX theatre, the Ramsey observatory, and many permanent and temporary exhibits.
The Maryland Science Center is one of the best things to do in Baltimore with kids. Kids can easily get hooked on science after looking through a telescope, playing with real lab equipment, or watching the inside of their own bodies on a special screen. The Maryland Science Center is great fun for both children and grown-ups. Its many outreach programs and interactive exhibits attract huge numbers of teachers and students. Next read: Day Trips, Beaches Near Baltimore
601 Light Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 410-685-2370
5.Baltimore Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland
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You might have a hard time deciding what is more fun to do at the Baltimore Inner Harbor: people-watching from one of the many waterfront outdoor restaurants and cafes or visiting one of the numerous attractions. The Maritime Museum showcases an impressive number of ships, the Observation Level of the World Trade Center offers a spectacular view of the city, and the National Aquarium houses more than 17,000 fascinating underwater creatures.
You can also see the harbor as you cruise along on the Big Red Boat.
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6. B&O Railroad Museum
© B&O Railroad Museum
Located on West Pratt Street to the west of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the Baltimore B&O Railroad Museum exhibits historic railroad equipment that will be of interest to all visitors. When it opened in 1953, the museum was called the Baltimore & Ohio Transportation Museum. Today, it is known for having one of the world’s largest collections of locomotives and other railroad-related items.
It is housed in the Mount Clare station and roundhouse, the birthplace of the American Railroad. There are several children’s programs, including Kids Zone and Toddler Time, and the museum also plays host to birthday parties from time to time. Group tours for adults, seniors, and students are also available, and a ride on the Mile One Express is included depending on the time of year. The museum is open every day.
901 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 410-752-2490
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7.Fell's Point, Baltimore, Maryland
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Feel’s Point is an excellent reminder of Baltimore's British nautical roots. It is named for the Englishmen Mr. Fell, who founded a ship-building company in this location in 1726 and later became famous for his "Baltimore Schooners." The waterfront neighborhood is an exciting and lively location that hasn’t changed much since its glorious days of the past.
As you stroll through Fell’s Point, you can see many beautiful and charming 18th- and 19th-century homes and storefronts. Fell’s Point is also home to the Baltimore Farmers’ Market and some incredible restaurants. If you’re feeling hungry, sample goodies at the market, grab some oysters at one of many bars, or get a piece of pizza at Verde. If you are looking for things to do in Baltimore this weekend, there is always some sort of music performance going on, which really gets the night going.
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8.Oriole Park Tours
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Located on West Camden Street not far from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is the home of a professional baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles. Also known as Camden Yards, Oriole Park first opened in 1992 as a “retro-classic” ballpark; the architecture pays tribute to the golden age of baseball yet includes all the facilities of a modern baseball park.
Public tours last about one hour and 30 minutes and are held every day; private group tours are also available. Tours include a visit to the dugout, the press level, the suite level, and much more. Visitors will also learn about Babe Ruth, the Inner Harbor, and the B&O Railroad throughout their tour.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 333 West Camden Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 888-848-2473
9.Port Discovery Children's Museum
© Port Discovery Children's Museum
If you do not know what to do with your extremely energetic kids on a rainy day, take them to the Port Discovery Children's Museum. The museum, located in the historic and beautifully renovated Fish Market building in the Inner Harbor, is one of the top family attractions in Baltimore. It has three floors of interactive exhibits that encourage learning through play, and it offers a number of constantly changing programs for kids. There’s something for every child, from infants to 10-year-old children.
Toddlers can crawl around in Tot Trails, and older kids bursting with energy can spend some of it at Kick It Up! Everyone is welcome to splash to their heart’s content in Wonders of Water. For those who like to play house, they can spend time at the Royal Farms Convenience Store and Fill’er Up Station. They can also cook and sell food in Tiny’s Diner or climb and slide through KidWorks, a 3-story urban tree house.
35 Market Place, Baltimore, Maryland, 410-727-8120
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10.Urban Pirates, Baltimore, Maryland
© Urban Pirates
Located on the Ann Street Pier at Fells Point on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Urban Pirates creates an interactive pirate adventure for the young and the young at heart. Custom built pirate ship the Fearless sails the Inner Harbor while crew members teach guests how to lead the life of a pirate: you will learn how to dance, how to sing, and how to talk. Sashes, temporary tattoos, and vests are provided for the family adventure.
Family Adventure Cruises operate every day and Adult B.Y.O.G (Bring Your Own Grog) Cruises operate Thursday to Saturday. Urban Pirates also hosts special private charters and events like birthday parties, reunions, and corporate events.
911 South Ann Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 410-327-8378
11. Fort McHenry National Monument
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Best known for its role in the War of 1812, Fort McHenry is a star-shaped fort that is part of the U.S. National Park Service’s Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. It is located on East Fort Avenue just south of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The fort successfully defended Baltimore Harbor when the British navy attacked it.
It was this battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words of The Star-Spangled Banner, which later became the national anthem of the United States. The park welcomes school field trip groups, and one of the park’s programs helps children to earn a Junior Ranger badge. The park is open every day.
2400 East Fort Avenue, 410-962-4290
12.Clavel, Baltimore, Maryland
Cheerful and bright, , Clavel brings the festive atmosphere, traditional small plates, and drinks of Mexico to Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood. This small taqueria and mezcaleria, with open rafters covered in cheerful holiday lights, serves upscale versions of traditional Mexican snacks such as seven different kinds of tacos, quesadillas, ceviche, and tortas. The hip crowd that flocks to this downtown eatery washes down their spicy delights with specialty mezcals or cold beer, filling the place to the rafters and spilling out onto the few outdoor tables. Be prepared to wait for a table, but such dishes as frijoles puercos and queso fundido make it worthwhile.
225 West 23rd Street, Baltimore, MD 21211, 443-900-8983
13.Reginald F. Lewis Museum
© Reginald F. Lewis Museum
Conveniently located in Downtown Baltimore, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum showcases the history and culture of African American people in Maryland. This bright and modern museum offers visitors the chance to improve their knowledge of African American history by hosting rotating and permanent exhibits which tell the story of many aspects of local African American history including slavery, resistance to bondage, the Civil Rights Movement and later segregation. The museum is also home to a massive permanent collection of objects that are not on exhibition. Interested parties may study these online.
Reginald F. Lewis Museum, 830 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, 443 263 1800
14. Baltimore Museum of Art
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Located at 10 Art Museum Drive near Johns Hopkins University, the Baltimore Museum of Art is famous for its collection of 19th century and modern art works and is one of the best things to do in Baltimore. The museum was originally founded in 1914, but the Roman temple style building was not constructed until 1929. It houses more than 90,000 works of art that span many centuries, from Byzantine art to contemporary art. One of the highlights of the museum is the Cone Collection.
The two Cone sisters collected and donated several pieces of 20th century artwork by famous artists like Cezanne, Gauguin, Manet, Picasso, Renoir, and many more. The museum also has the world’s largest collection of works by Matisse. Outdoor events like music concerts take place in the lovely sculpture garden. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday and entry to the BMA is always free.
10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, MD, 443-573-1700
15.American Visionary Art Museum
© American Visionary Art Museum
Located on Key Highway in Baltimore’s Federal Hill neighborhood near Inner Harbor, the Baltimore American Visionary Art Museum focuses on “outsider art,” which is also sometimes referred to as “raw art” or “intuitive art.” The museum contains 67,000 square feet of space in which it exhibits its permanent collection of about 4,000 pieces of artwork.
In addition to the museum’s main exhibition area, there are several other points of interest throughout its one-acre campus, including the Jim Rouse Visionary Center, which hosts events and large exhibitions, as well as the Tall Sculpture Barn and the Wildflower Garden.
800 Key Highway, 410-244-1900
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16. Historic Ships in Baltimore
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The Historic Ships in Baltimore is a collection of four museum ships and one lighthouse. This maritime museum is located on East Pratt Street on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this massive collection includes the USS Constellation, an 1854 sloop-of-war, the Chesapeake, the USS Torsk, a World War II submarine, the USSCGC Taney, a Coast Guard cutter, and a lighthouse called the Seven Foot Knoll Light. The museum offers several guided tours such as the “Ship as a Machine,” the “Powder Monkey Tour,” and many more. The “Overnight Adventure” is a hands-on experience and includes meals and a hammock or bunk.
301 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD, 410-539-1797
Patterson Park lies on the site of a former military base for soldiers preparing to fight in the decisive battle of North Point during the War of 1812. Much later 6 acres of land was donated to the city of Baltimore for a “public walk” and Patterson Park was born. It is the oldest park in Baltimore and has been extended and improved many times over the years. In the 19th century curved paths, fountains, lakes, trees and a fabulous pagoda turned the park into a much loved oasis for city dwellers. In the 20th century sports fields and other recreational facilities were added. Today visitors can look forward to enjoying playgrounds, tennis courts, a swimming pool and many other treasured amenities.
Patterson Park, 2601 E. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21224, 410 276 3676
18. Costas Inn, Baltimore, Maryland
© Costas Inn
Costas Inn is a Baltimore institution. In operation since 1971, this enormous, no-frills establishment somehow manages to feel homey and comfortable at the same time. People come to eat at Costas from all over the world thanks to several TV appearances featuring their famous crabs.
They have an extensive menu with fantastic soups and great beef, but most people order the crabs. They are flown in daily, hand sorted and graded so that only the freshest and most flavorful crabs reach the customers’ plate. The crab cakes are not to be missed as well. You can now even order their crabs online, anywhere in the country. The establishment features karaoke on Saturday nights and live music on Friday nights. Sundays are NFL Football nights – guests can enjoy great food while watching NFL games on ten huge plasma TVs.
4100 Northpoint Blvd., Baltimore, MD, 410-477-1975
19.Miss Shirley's Cafe
© Miss Shirley's Cafe
If you need more than toast and coffee to start the day and if you like to linger over your breakfast or brunch, Miss Shirley’s Café is right up your alley. Modern but made cozy by brightly colored walls and comfortable banquettes, Miss Shirley’s combines Southern cuisine with Chesapeake Bay fresh ingredients, with the addition of lots of great seafood. You will get truly delicious crab cakes, oysters encrusted with cornmeal, French toast stuffed with pumpkin cheesecake, and other decadent delights, all fresh and made in-house from scratch.
Of course you can get fried green tomatoes and corn bread, and they also offer Bloody Mary’s and mimosas. The menu is the same whether you come early, before work, or for lunch during the weekend, so think about having that refreshing Bloody Mary if you are heading to work. You can find Miss Shirley's at three locations: Roland Park, the Inner Harbor, and Annapolis.
513 W Cold Spring Ln, Baltimore, MD 21210, 410-889-5272
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20.The Brewer's Art
© The Brewer's Art
Located in a lovely historic mansion in Baltimore's Mt. Vernon neighborhood, The Brewer's Art is a beer lover’s delight. They brew their award-winning Belgian-style ales on site, and Chef Ray Kumm has developed a fantastic Bavarian-inspired menu. The bar on the ground floor is always packed and lively, while the back dining room is elegant and romantic. Intimate and softly lit rooms on the lower level are just perfect for indulging in beer tasting.
The menu is rather diverse, and features dishes that range from Grilled Kassler Rippchen, house cured ham steak with warm German potato salad, to the grilled vintage hanger steak with rosemary garlic fries. The bar has its own menu with plates like Pork Belly BLT or Brewer’s Art cheeseburger. The bar is simpler than in the dining room, but its cuisine is no less divine.
1106 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD, 410-547-6925
21.Wet City Baltimore
© Wet City Baltimore Facebook
Wet City is a curious gastropub in Baltimore’s Mid-Town Belvedere, with striking white walls, an open-floor plan, and bright pink and blue accents. The art on the walls breaks up the expanses of white and the long bar provides a lively contrast. There are 20 beers on tap, constantly revolving, with a larger list, published online, of what is coming next. Their cocktails are a story in itself, interesting and unusual. The bar snacks and larger plates are elevated pub grub – you will find perfect comfort food such as shrimp and grits or confit chicken wings. It is a striking place in many ways but well worth checking out for the carefully selected beers on tap and striking bold choices, in decor, in beer, and in food. It is an educational experience, just as its owners planned.
223 W Chase St, Baltimore, MD 21201, Phone: 443-873-6699
22.Alma Cocina Latina, Baltimore, Maryland
© Alma Cocina Latina
Alma Cocina Latina is an award-winning Latin-inspired restaurant in Baltimore's upscale Canton neighborhood, originally opened in 2015 by restaurateur Irena Stein. The restaurant, which has been acclaimed by international publications such as The Washington Post, serves up elevated Venezuelan cuisine in a sleek contemporary dining space, striving to bring the ambiance of Latin America and the Caribbean to the Chesapeake Bay. An open-plan arepa bar takes center stage in the restaurant, serving up arepa options such as pulled chicken and ají amarillo, grilled Angus sirloin, 14-hour slow-smoked pig and mango barbecue sauce, and vegetarian with grilled portobello mushrooms and fried egg. Wagyu burgers are also served up, along with entrees such as polenta de Alma, pork Milanese, roasted poussin, and pesca'o frito. Artisanal sangrias are available to complement all meals, along with Latin small craft spirits and full beer and wine menus.
1701 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201, Phone: 667-212-4273
23.Top of the World, Baltimore, Maryland
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Top of the World is the observation level of the Baltimore’s World Trade Center. Located on the 27th floor, Top of the World is one of the best places to see Baltimore in all its glory, and to watch fireworks, see an exhibition, or attend a party. With its huge windows, this 1,000 square-foot space offers spectacular 360-degree, panoramic view of the city, Inner Harbor, and even Chesapeake Bay.
Top of the World is also a popular venue for various events, from 4th July celebrations to various art exhibitions. The observation level can be rented for special events for up to 250 people, and you can choose any caterer you like as long as it is on the approved list. The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts manages Top of the World.
401 E. Pratt Street, 27th floor, Baltimore, MD, 410-837-VIEW
24.Sherwood Gardens, Baltimore, Maryland
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Sherwood Gardens are a beautiful destination year-round but visiting the gardens at the end of April or the beginning of May is a truly dream-like experience. Imagine the sight of 80,000 tulips, hundreds of azaleas, mature dogwood, and flowering cherries in full bloom, a blaze of colors and fragrances. This spectacular display is an annual event at Sherwood Gardens.
Local petroleum pioneer and conservationist John W. Sherwood, an avid gardener who planted many of the mature trees and plants we can enjoy today, founded the garden in the 1920’s. He began by planting the tulips he brought from the Netherlands, starting what would later become the most famous tulip garden in North America. Sherwood Gardens is part of the Guilford Residential community and is managed by the Guilford Association. Access to the gardens is free.
The Guilford Association, Inc., 4200 Saint Paul St., Suite 100, Baltimore, MD, 410-889-1717
25.The George Peabody Library
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The George Peabody Library is located on East Mount Vernon Place on the Peabody Institute campus. It is John Hopkins University’s 19th century research library, and it is open to the general public. The library’s collection contains 300,000 books, most of which are from the 19th century and some of which are early printed books.
Completed in 1878, the building has become well known for its beautiful and ornately decorated interior; the ceiling of the atrium soars 61 feet above the black and white marble floor. Because of its refined beauty, the library is a popular venue for weddings and other special events. It is open from Tuesday to Friday.
17 East Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, MD, 410-234-4943
25 Best Things to Do in Baltimore, Maryland
- The Walters Art Museum, Photo: The Walters Art Museum
- The Maryland Zoo, Photo: Courtesy of barry barretta - Fotolia.com
- National Aquarium, Photo: Courtesy of f11 photo - Fotolia.com
- Maryland Science Center, Photo: Maryland Science Center
- Baltimore Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland, Photo: Courtesy of hestamm/Fotolia.com
- B&O Railroad Museum, Photo: B&O Railroad Museum
- Fell's Point, Baltimore, Maryland, Photo: Courtesy of Christian Hinkle - Fotolia.com
- Oriole Park Tours, Photo: Courtesy of Roger- Fotolia.com
- Port Discovery Children's Museum, Photo: Port Discovery Children's Museum
- Urban Pirates, Baltimore, Maryland, Photo: Urban Pirates
- Fort McHenry National Monument, Photo: Courtesy of Zack Frank - Fotolia.com
- Clavel, Baltimore, Maryland, Photo: Clavel
- Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Photo: Reginald F. Lewis Museum
- Baltimore Museum of Art, Photo: Courtesy of jon bilous - Fotolia.com
- American Visionary Art Museum, Photo: American Visionary Art Museum
- Historic Ships in Baltimore, Photo: Courtesy of next record - Fotolia.com
- Patterson Park, Photo: jonbilous/stock.adobe.com
- Costas Inn, Baltimore, Maryland, Photo: Costas Inn
- Miss Shirley's Cafe, Photo: Miss Shirley's Cafe
- The Brewer's Art, Photo: The Brewer's Art
- Wet City Baltimore, Photo: Wet City Baltimore Facebook
- Alma Cocina Latina, Baltimore, Maryland, Photo: Alma Cocina Latina
- Top of the World, Baltimore, Maryland, Photo: Courtesy of jon bilous - Fotolia.com
- Sherwood Gardens, Baltimore, Maryland, Photo: Courtesy of smiles bevie - Fotolia.com
- The George Peabody Library, Photo: Courtesy of Andrea Izzotti - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: BooFace Photography/stock.adobe.com
B&O American Brasserie
B&O American Brasserie is an elegant brasserie-type restaurant located in Hotel Monaco in a beautifully preserved Beaux Arts building, which used to be the headquarters of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad – hence the name B&O. The atmosphere is that of a luxurious train coach, complete with leather seats and long tables. It is easy to imagine travelling to distant places when you dine at this restaurant. The delicious cuisine is modern American, and it is presented with exceptional flair.
Ingredients are seasonal and locally sourced. The fish is sustainable, the steaks are hand-cut and there are plenty of options for vegetarians. The place is packed during happy hour, and the handcrafted classic cocktails are extremely popular. If you are looking for unique date night ideas in Baltimore, try this unique restaurant.
2 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD, 443-692-6172
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Attraction Spotlight: National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD
With more than 20,000 creatures that swim in the sea, fly through the air and crawl on the sand, the National Aquarium in Baltimore is teeming with life. Exhibits featured at the Aquarium cover the globe, bringing the World's oceans to downtown Baltimore. With a mission to inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures, the organization is a hub for activity for marine life, learning and leadership. Home to more than 600 species of animals, each visit to this vibrant venue is sure to be a unique and enjoyable experience.
The origins of the National Aquarium date back to 1873, when the first National Aquarium was established. The Aquarium found its home in Washington, DC throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. During this time, the National Aquarium Baltimore, part of the city's redevelopment in the 1970s, opened in 1981. The two aquariums operated in parallel for many years, and in 2003, came together in an alliance.
This alliance created a working relationship and partnership between the two organizations, enabling them to improve both their collections of animals, as well as their educational impact. As of 2013, however, the National Aquarium DC closed its doors for renovations, and is in planning and fundraising processes. Patrons of the DC location and its animal need not shed a tear; many of the DC creatures were transferred to the nearby Baltimore location. The 20,000 animals that now make up the collection at the National Aquarium Baltimore are available for wonder and amazement throughout the year.
The exhibits that make up the National Aquarium feature a vast array of animal life. Vertebrates, invertebrates, mammals, fish, amphibians and more are all featured in striking and award winning exhibits. From Australia to the Atlantic and the Amazon, these exhibits take visitors on an underwater adventure around the world.
Amazon River Forest
Transporting visitors to the wilds of South America, the Amazon River Forest exhibit features a variety of plant and animal species. The Amazon, home a third of the world's animal species, is a key habitat. The National Aquarium educates and enlightens all who enter about the animal life who live in this river environment. These animals include emerald tree boas, giant waxy tree frogs, white-blotched river stingrays and many more.
Atlantic Coral Reef
The enormous 335,000-gallon enclosure of the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit is an impressive sight brimming with aquatic life. More than 500 species of fish can be seen in the enveloping encounter. The fabricated reef provides a backdrop for colorful and exotic fish to dart in and out, as if playing hide-and-seek with those who enter their watery world. Divers can be seen feeding these creatures, including the green moray eel and bonnethead shark, creating an even more interactive experience.
Atlantic to Pacific
Go on a voyage from the one coast of the country to the other in the Atlantic to Pacific exhibit. With a variety of animals, from Atlantic sea-cliff dwelling puffins, to a Pacific coral reef, there is much to see. Visitors can get a preview of the vibrant underwater realm on the Aquarium's website via a live aquarium web cam.
Australia: Wild Extremes
This award winning exhibit takes its guests down under, to a northern Australian river gorge. This enclosure is the home of 1,800 animals representing 120 species, from snakes and turtles to flying foxes. Guests will want to be sure to see the Laughing Kookaburra, Australia's national symbol, and the Grey-headed flying fox, among many other fascinating animals in this exhibit.
When most people think of reefs, they often imagine the Great Barrier Reef of Australia or the meso-American reef in the Atlantic off the coast of Central America. The world's oceans are home to many more than those, however, and the National Aquarium has a special exhibit devoted to just such a reef. Blacktip Reef, another award winning exhibit, is a recreation of an Indio-Pacific reef. This exhibit also has a live web cam, where aquarium enthusiasts can watch this lively exhibit any time they please. Animals here include clown triggerfish, emperor angelfish, harlequin tuskfish and many more.
The biggest enclosure of the Aquarium is home to some of its most entertaining inhabitants;:a colony of eight bottlenose dolphins. The social group, comprised of six female and two male dolphins, is a social group with complex relationships. Staff can frequently be viewed in the exhibit, caring for the animals, cleaning the area, or playing with the dolphins.
Showcasing an oft-overlooked but ever-present sea-creature, this exhibit is dedicated to jellyfish. Found in every ocean on the globe, and even some freshwater environments, the number, movement and activity of these creatures can be an indication of changing aquatic environments. With many species available for observation and education at the National Aquariums, visitors are sure to walk away with a better appreciation for these gelatinous creatures after gazing upon this illuminating exhibit.
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For those who want to do more than gaze at exhibits, then a visit to the Living Seashore is a must during a trip to the National Aquarium. Two touch-pools provide opportunities for guests to reach out and touch the sea-life they have seen behind glass surfaces. With around 150 animals in the exhibit, there is ample opportunity to experience marine life in a new and interactive way. More than just animals, however, this exhibit also includes videos, games, tactile learning activities, and a Conservation Station where visitors can demonstrate their commitment to the coast by pledging to protect its habitats and animal inhabitants.
Bringing the learning a bit closer to home, the Maryland Experience exhibit highlights habitats and aquatic life in and around the state. Some animals in this exhibit include the American bullfrog, striped burrfish, diamondback terrapin turtle and many more. Highlighting the biodiversity found right in the Aquarium's own back yard, this exhibit takes visitors from mountain streams all the way to the continental shelf of the Atlantic Ocean.
Mysterious, notorious and ever-captivating, sharks are a favorite of aquarium visitors. With a 225,000 gallon, ring shaped enclosure featuring several species of sharks, the National Aquarium does not disappoint. The unique, circular exhibit design allows the animals to circle the visitors, enhancing the experience of the exhibit and the fascination with these predatory animals.
As the world's oceans feature a sometimes harsh and inhospitable environment, marine life has had to adapt to survive. The Surviving Adaptation exhibit at the National Aquarium pays homage to evolutionary phenomena, highlighting several unique and fascinating animal adaptations. Creatures in this exhibit include the electric eel, giant Pacific octopus, longsnout seahorse, peacock mantis shrimp and more.
Upland Tropical Rain Forest
This exhibit showcases animals from an endangered and disappearing habitat. More than just aquatic life, this enclosure is also home to number of land animals, as well. Visitors will want to be sure to see the Line's two-toed sloth, golden lion tamarin monkey, and blue poison-dart frog, among many other jungle dwellers.
The National Aquarium is more than just its exhibits, however. The 90,000 square foot Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Waterfront Park is a great way to enhance a visit to the Aquarium. Not just your average park with shrubs, swing-sets and picnic tables, the Waterfront Park is a Certified Wildlife Habitat. As educational as it is inviting, this area, situated along the Chesapeake Bay estuary, helps to promote conservation of this important natural habitat.
Conservation is a key component of the work undertaken by the National Aquarium. These efforts include animal rescue operations, which have returned more than 100 animals to the wild, as well as creating educational resources and opportunities to protect animals and their habitats. These include lecture series, habitat restoration days, and consumer education on smart seafood choices. All of these efforts work to preserve the natural environment for the future.
Education helps to further these conservation efforts, which often start with the youngest among us. The National Aquarium is working to educate tomorrow's leaders on the importance of conservation today through field trips, student programs, volunteer opportunities, the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit and more. In addition, the organization works to educate the educators, with abundance resources for teachers, including workshops, orientations, and outreach programs. These outreach efforts include traveling programs, bringing the Aquarium to the classroom for interactive and engaging learning activities.
In order to have the best and most engaging experience at the National Aquarium, visitors can download the Aquarium App prior to arrival, which includes keeper times, maps and more. The Aquarium advises visiting prior to 11am or after 3pm most days for a more enjoyable experience with fewer crowds. Located in downtown Baltimore, the Aquarium is easily accessible from freeways and public transit. Public parking is available in close proximity, for a fee. For the optimum experience, it is recommended to review the calendar of events on the Aquarium's website prior to planning your visit. Visitor tips, also available online, help to ensure guests make the most of their visit.
In addition to the abundance of permanent exhibits on display to discover and dive into, the National Aquarium also feature a range of events to enhance every visit. From daily offerings like animal feedings and 4D Immersion films, to festivals and glittering gastronomic gatherings, there is something for kids, adults, students, teachers and everyone in between. The Aquarium also offers deals, half price nights, and special programming for special needs guests. For those seeking an even more in-depth aquarium experience, Immersion Tours take guests behind the scenes, get them the inside scoop, and show them the amazing animal care at the aquarium. Visitors can choose one of these three tours available on specific days and times throughout the month, and are advised to book in advance.
501 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, Phone: 410-576-3800
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