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Best things to do in Baltimore

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Where in the world: USA  /  Maryland  /  Baltimore
Many visitors come to the city to try their luck at Horseshoe Casino, but things to do in Baltimore include a range of different activities away from the roulette table. For a slice of Baltimore history, visit Fort McHenry National Monument, which played a major role in defending Baltimore Harbor during the siege of 1812. In addition to offering insight into the life of the influential Garrett family, Evergreen Museum & Library attracts art aficionados with its Gilded Age architecture and lavishly furnished rooms. To spend some quality time with the family, tour Oriole Park at Camden Yards for a behind-the-scenes look at the history of baseball in Baltimore, or check out the educational programs at National Aquarium.

Baltimore is best known for its Casinos, Aquariums, and National Parks.

Top 15 things to do in Baltimore

1. Horseshoe Casino

Try your luck at Horseshoe Casino, a sprawling, two-story establishment, equipped with over 2,000 slot machines. In addition to the standard blackjack, craps, and roulette, fans of table games can choose from several poker varieties, including Ultimate Texas Hold'em and Mississippi Stud. As far as refreshments are concerned, a number of restaurants and food outlets await, ranging from casual to upscale. If you get tired of gambling, you can relax with a drink or dance the night away at the lounge, which hosts DJs and live music on weekends.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC

Housing the largest collection of air and spacecraft in the world, National Air and Space Museum features the Apollo 11 command module and the Wright Brothers' biplane that launched the age of aviation in 1903. View IMAX films, try a flight simulator, visit the planetarium, or just explore hundreds of air and spacecraft, plus thousands of smaller objects--including several spacesuits worn on the moon and a real lunar rock. The museum is a haven for fans of the history and science of aviation, spaceflight, geology, and geophysics. Check online or at the entrance for IMAX movie times, daily tours, and educational activities.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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3. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Renowned as one of the world's greatest museums, National Gallery of Art holds a collection of paintings, prints, drawings, medals, photographs, sculptures, and decorative arts from the Middle Ages to the present. The museum's campus includes the original neoclassical west building designed by architect John Russell Pope, the modern east building designed by I.M. Pei, and a sprawling sculpture garden. Don't miss the two major highlights of the museum's collection: the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas and the largest mobile ever created by American sculptor Alexander Calder. For the sake of expediency, consider exploring the staggering collection of over 100,000 artworks on a guided tour of the galleries.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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5. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC

Discover the many wonders of the natural world at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the most-visited museum in North America. View the vast collection of more than 126 million plants, animals, minerals, and human cultural artifacts, which are spread throughout dozens of interactive and themed exhibits. Learn more about our beginnings in the Hall of Human Origins. Get up close to a life-size Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton at the Hall of Dinosaurs, where you can interact with your favorite prehistoric creatures in the simulated Walking with Dinosaurs experience. See the most famous diamond in the world, the Hope Diamond, in the Hall of Minerals. Admission is free year-round.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. Tidal Basin, Washington DC

Relax by the water and see some of America's proudest monuments at Tidal Basin. This man-made inlet was created in the 19th century as a means to control the high tides of the Potomac River. Today, along the banks you can visit some of Washington D.C.’s famous memorials honoring historic figures, including Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The scenic basin, with approximately 3,750 cherry trees in its vicinity, is also noted as the venue for the National Cherry Blossom Festival at the start of spring each year. If you'd like to do your sightseeing from the water, you can rent a paddle boat. The basin is also a great spot to take an aimless stroll or have a picnic. From the area, you have easy access to the National Mall and its many sites.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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7. Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, Washington DC

Take a trip to Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, home to about 1,800 animals of 300 different species--including its famous giant pandas. The nation's zoo covers 66 hectares (163 acres) with habitats for lions, bald eagles, poisonous frogs, Asian elephants, meerkats, orangutans, pythons, sloth bears, and more. Volunteers in red shirts are on hand around the zoo for advice and information about the animals. If you get hungry, you can choose from several food outlets or bring your own picnic.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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8. Sherwood Gardens

Sherwood Gardens is a 6-acre (24,000 m2) park located in the Guilford neighborhood of Northern Baltimore, Maryland. The gardens are bordered by East Highfield, Underwood, Stratford and Greenway Roads. In addition to well-groomed, standard ground cover (azaleas, evergreens, etc...), Sherwood Gardens is famous for its nearly 80,000 tulips that peak in late April. After the tulips finish blooming, the Tulip Dig occurs on the Saturday of Memorial Day each year. Anyone can dig up and purchase the tulip bulbs.

The park is maintained and managed by Stratford Green, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC

Pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the Holocaust at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Adjacent to the National Mall, the museum serves as a memorial as well as a platform for documentation and study of that time. Travel through the exhibits chronologically, from the Nazi rise to power to the liberation. You can experience it all through a series of artifacts, photographs, and personal testimonies. Visit the Hall of Remembrance before you leave to light candles in memory of the victims. An exhibit called Remember the Children: Daniel's Story is designed for kids eight and older, and several other areas are suitable for young children as well as adults. However, children under 11 are discouraged from viewing the permanent exhibit due to the emotional and often horrifying subject matter.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. National Aquarium

Constructed during a 1980s period of urban renewal, National Aquarium shelters more than 17,000 marine animals, representing 750 different species. Dedicated to inspiring conservation of the world's diminishing aquatic treasures and disseminating information about the pressing issues facing endangered habitats around the globe, the aquarium offers educational programs suitable for visitors of all ages. You can learn about the dangers threatening the planet's rain forests and coral reefs, or visit the marine mammal pavilion to observe Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, most of which were born in captivity. Save a little time for the sea cliffs exhibit, housing several species of seabirds.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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11. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

The fortress that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star Spangled Banner," Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine displays artifacts from all the wars fought near its walls. Soldiers at the fort successfully defended Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812. The fort was used in military operations until World War II, acting an army hospital in World War I and as a Coast Guard base in World War II. You can reach the military establishment by water taxi from Inner Harbor in the center of Baltimore. Historical reenactments of the siege of 1812 and other periods take place regularly.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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13. Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg

Located on the site of one of the bloodiest episodes in American history, Gettysburg National Military Park preserves the landscape of the historic 1863 battle between the Union and Confederate forces. Though the battle resulted in the largest number of casualties in the entire American Civil War, it became the turning point of the dramatic conflict when the Union army turned back the Confederate attempt to invade the North. The military park contains most of the original battlefield, as well as many support areas, including the supply and hospital locations. Start your exploration at the park's museum and visitor center, where you can see over 40,000 war artifacts and an enormous cyclorama painting of the battle by French artist Paul Philippoteaux.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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14. The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum houses a vast selection of world art, including Greek sculpture, Roman sarcophagi, Art Nouveau jewelry, and medieval ivories, as well as Old Master and 19th-century masterpieces. Named for William Thompson Walters and Henry Walters, the father and son duo who collected a significant portion of the museum’s pieces, the museum opened in 1934 following Henry’s death and subsequent donation of his collection to the city of Baltimore. An audio guide is available to talk you through each exhibit.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. Washington Monument, Washington DC

Standing at a height of 170 m (555 ft), Washington Monument represents the world's tallest structure made entirely from stone. Constructed in two stages between 1848 and 1884 as a memorial to George Washington, the monument at the time of its completion briefly seized the crown as the tallest building in the world. See the view for yourself by taking the tower's elevator to the top, where you'll find a small museum and a sweeping panorama of Washington, D.C. To ensure that you get to see the interior, reserve tickets ahead of time online (for a fee), or pick them up in person for no cost at the monument's lodge nearby.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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