Charm of Inner Harbour Baltimore

Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States, snakes its way north for about 200 miles (320kms) from the Atlantic Ocean. Into this mighty waterway drain over 150 rivers and streams, one of which is the Patapsco River. Upon its shores was built the city of Baltimore, and although its shallow tidal flats weren’t deep enough to form the harbour which once made Baltimore the second largest port in the USA, it was an ideal place to build an inner harbour to cope with local needs.

Although Inner Harbour has had a chequered history, once being an industrial wasteland, it has been re-invigorated and now attracts the bulk of Baltimore’s tourists to enjoy its many charms.

A good place to get your bearings is to visit the Top of the World observation deck on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center. From here you get a 360° panoramic view of Inner Harbour and beyond and pick up local maps to help you plot your outing.

The Baltimore Maritime Museum has pride of place in the harbour where you can board historic ships such as the US frigate Constellation which was launched in 1797. She fought in many battles, including the Civil War, until being finally de-commissioned in 1955 after a very long and distinguished service.

View underwater treasures at the National Aquarium where over 16,000 marine creatures are on display. One of the attractions which helps you to understand the local environment better is a self-guided tour which traces the water cycle from a freshwater pond in the mountains of Western Maryland through the tidal marsh, into the coastal beach and out into the deeper, darker waters of the Atlantic shelf.

Another cultural highlight is the Maryland Science Center which is one of the oldest scientific institutions in the United States. There are many attractions here, including IMAX in 3D, which shows an ever changing variety of films, plus a Planetarium and many permanent and short term interactive exhibits.

A great way to see Baltimore is by boat and there are many different cruise options including lunch and dinner cruises or use a Baltimore Water Taxi to get you around the harbour. A Baltimore Harbour Pass gives you five attractions over four days at quite a decent discount.

For entertainment and food Inner Harbour is just like any port with heaps of bars, restaurants and cafes offering a great choice, and a multitude of hotels where you can stay to keep close to the action.

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