Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a remarkable area of resurgence and restoration that has become a model of urban renewal for the entire country. The Inner Harbor has become a magnet for tourists and residents alike because of its vibrant, varied activities, as well as its many restaurants and shops. There is now a water taxi service which connects many of Baltimore’s interesting neighborhoods via a pleasant boat trip. There are also new hotels in the area, built to take advantage of the area’s popularity.
My walk begins at the Inner Harbor. Wander around the busy waterfront to appreciate how this rundown and crime-ridden area was transformed due to the imaginative and far-sighted development. You will return after the walk to spend more time here later.
Now, walk out to the main street (Pratt Street) and turn left. There, a few blocks ahead, on the left, is Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the first of the modern-style baseball parks and a model for subsequent ones. There are shops and restaurants here, as well as museums to browse through.
Continue west on Pratt Street and then turn left on Emory Street to visit the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum which pays tribute to, perhaps, baseball’s greatest player.
After your visit, walk back to Pratt Streetand turn left. Ahead, on the left, is the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum, one of the best examples of its type in the country.
Now retrace your steps on Pratt Street, and then turn left onto Greene Street. Ahead, on your right, is Historic Westminster Hall and Burying Ground. Edgar Allen Poe is buried here.
Continue north on Greene Street. At Mulberry Street, turn right, and then left at Cathedral Street. The beautiful Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is on your right. It was the first Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States.
Where Cathedral Street meets Centre Street, there is a great little museum, the Walters Art Museum, a city-owned collection of works from ancient times to the present.
Now, turn right on Centre Street and then left at Charles Street into Mount Vernon Square. The Washington Monument, ahead, is a tribute to America’s first president. Climb the spiral staircase for great views of the city.
Exit the square walking eastward on Monument Street, and then turn right on Calvert Street, which leads back to the Inner Harbor area. Before completing your walking tour, take a shuttle boat (at Light Street dock) to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, the location, during the War of 1812, where the United States’ national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, was penned by Francis Scott Key.
When you return to the Inner Harbor, note that water taxis are available which offer access to other city neighborhoods, such as, Little Italy, and other attractions, such as, the Maryland Science Center, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore.