Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is the heart of the city, and one of America’s oldest seaports, dating to the 1600s. Today Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is an important landmark and favorite boating and sightseeing destination for Maryland residents and visitors alike in the spring and summer. The weather from Memorial Day to Labor Day is picture-perfect, the food is unsurpassed and the waterways are fun to navigate and explore. Just dock your boat and follow the brick promenade through this bustling historic city, and enjoy fantastic restaurants, eclectic shops, museums, entertainment and family-friendly attractions. And it goes without saying, that Baltimore serves up some of the freshest seafood anywhere – straight away out of Chesapeake Bay.
The vibrant neighborhoods of the Inner Harbor
The Inner Harbor
The Inner Harbor is rich in maritime history and merriment, so it goes without saying that its ships are show stoppers. The last sail-only warship designed and built in 1854 by the U.S. Navy, the USS Constellation, rests in the harbor as a museum ship and a National Historic Landmark, but it’s also home to one of the most impressive assemblies of military vessels in the world! The vessel showcases over 200 years of Maryland’s seafaring history - a single day pass will get you aboard the full collection.
The Inner Harbor is also one of the area's entertainment centers. The Pier Six Pavilion offers outdoor concerts featuring national names, and there’s nothing better than a concert on the waterfront under the stars. Another hot spot for music and entertainment is Power Plant Live! Known for being an energy-filled district of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, this stretch of upbeat blocks is a short walk to the Inner Harbor.
Maryland is the premier location for all things seafood. If you’re a lobster lover, you must want to visit Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls. The name says it all. They offer five different types of lobster rolls, served up the way lobster is meant to be prepared; “Simply, and honestly.”
Where to dock:
Harbor East Marina is a 180-slip marina, with up to 500 feet of alongside dockage in the luxurious section of downtown, where all the splendid shops and restaurants are just steps away.
Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina is across from the National Aquarium and minutes from Camden Yards – giving you a plethora of activities to enjoy as a family or on your own!
Fells Point is one of the oldest waterfront neighborhoods in Baltimore, famous for its cobblestone streets along the harbor and main square. It’s also famous for its seafood joints serving up mouth-watering Chesapeake Bay crab and oysters, as well as hip pubs and taverns - most with live music. The picturesque streets are lined with inviting galleries, record stores, and restaurants embracing every genre.
If you’re looking for an experience that is both inspirational and educational, head to the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum. Housed in one of Baltimore’s oldest existing waterfront buildings, the museum “explores African-American nautical history . . . Celebrating the contributions of African Americans in the development of Baltimore’s maritime industry.”
Since the 1700’s, Fells Point has been the center of outdoor, waterfront shopping for local, farm fresh items. Fresh is just what you’ll find today at the Fell’s Point Farmers Market. Year-round it’s overflowing with fresh local food and crafts. It’s also the heart of this neighborhood, where friends and neighbors meet, catch up and relax.
Where to dock:
The Pendry Hotel and Dock is known for its impeccable service and unrivaled guest experiences. Guests are welcome to enjoy the state-of-the-art facilities onsite, including a beautiful fitness center and sparkling outdoor pool that overlooks the harbor. There are three restaurants at the hotel.
Oasis Marinas at The Crescent offers boaters 52 slips, a gated pier, electric and water hook-ups and a pump-out station. Whatever brings you to this fine marina, you’ll find something for everyone to enjoy.
The Canton neighborhood is a waterfront neighborhood perfectly located along Baltimore's outer harbor in the southeastern section of the city - just two miles east of Baltimore's downtown district. Its celebrated O’Donnell Square is buzzing with shops and pubs, while its public park, Canton Waterfront Park, hosts a generous selection of festivals and summer concerts. It’s also home to the annual Baltimore Wine Festival where you can sample from more than 160 wines from all over the world.
And because boaters love their marine life, don’t miss the National Aquarium. It’s a captivating stop that’s new every time you visit, with ever-changing exhibits that include fascinating sea creatures – some exhibits are even interactive allowing visitors to touch the animals.
“A true destination for great food and celebration” is what Mama’s on the Half Shell boasts – fresh, hearty, traditional, and authentically Maryland. And locals agree that Mama’s delivers! These same locals are also picky about their coffee. When they want the best cup of Joe, sans tourists, they head to Lighthouse Coffee right on Lighthouse Point. A consistent five stars proves it is indeed “great coffee.”
Where to dock:
Lighthouse Point Marina has 500 slips available to boaters and can support vessels up to 300’. On-site amenities include complementary Wi-Fi, bath and restrooms, and drop in and haul out service.
Oasis Marinas at Clinton Street Boatel delivers a beautiful view of the Patapsco River and Fort McHenry, with a fuel dock on-site with pump-out, and great storage options for boaters.
The Port Covington neighborhood is considered the inviting 'front porch' to the city. It’s a neighborhood with a fresh new look and an urban feel to match. Locals, pets and visitors alike flock to South Point, an attractive open space with an entertainment pavilion hosting live performances. It’s the perfect spot to bring a picnic or relax in the comfy Adirondack chairs and watch the sunset over the waterfront.
Just on the other side of the Hanover Street bridge from South Point, you can find Nick’s Fish House, at the Baltimore Yacht Basin. It’s a crowd pleaser with generous portions of fresh, local seafood – the ideal spot for enjoying a crab feast on their waterfront deck.
Port Covington is also home to a distillery that is sure to put Maryland back on the map as the home of fine rye whisky – the Sagamore Spirit Distillery and the adjacent Rye Street Tavern. Stop in for a tour, an event or a tasting, and you’re sure to go back.
Where to dock:
Port Covington Marina, conveniently within walking distance of Rye Street Tavern https://www.ryestreettavern.com/ , is a secure, gated marina. Other amenities on-site include showers, picnic area with grill, and Wi-Fi.
Baltimore Yacht Basin is ideally situated in a “Limited Wake Zone.” Onsite guests can enjoy the Captain's lounge, showers and, of course, Nick's Fish House, serving up fresh seafood, delicious land-fare and freshly-made cocktails.
Written by: Jo Montgomery