Considering moving to Baltimore? With fascinating local history, nationally-ranked universities, champion sports teams, and mouthwatering seafood, Charm City is a unique place to plant roots. Check out our guide to discover 12 things to know about living in Baltimore!
The Baltimore Job Market Is Growing
Over the last nine years, the Baltimore area has seen significant strides in economic growth, as the unemployment rate has gone down from 11% to 4.7%. This is due in part to Baltimore’s transition from canning, shipping, and auto transportation to medicine, research, and tourism. Some of the largest employers in the area include Johns Hopkins Medicine, The University of Maryland Medical Center, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Under Armour. Some people, though, choose to live in Charm City and simply make the commute to Washington, DC for work because the cost of living in Baltimore is cheaper—there’s even a direct route from Penn Station to Union Station.
Perfect Location on the East Coast
One of the best things about living in Baltimore is that it’s centrally located on the East Coast, so traveling to nearby cities for work or a quick vacation is a breeze! Take a 28-minute train ride into Washington, DC for work or for a day trip with the family to visit the Smithsonian. Head to Philadelphia—which is less than two hours away by both train and car—to catch a Philadelphia Flyers game or go on a haunted tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary. Road trip with friends for a fun-filled weekend walking around Times Square in New York City, which is less than four hours away by train and car. Basically, no matter where you want to go, it’s a quick trip to and from Baltimore!
Pursue a Degree at Top-Rated Schools
If you’re considering moving to Baltimore to further your education, you won’t be disappointed! This city is home to 13 diverse private and public colleges, with a few ranking in the top 200 for national university rankings. Johns Hopkins University—the nation’s leading research university—is a fantastic private university with programs for all interests from music and dance to physics and bimolecular engineering. Located in Downtown Baltimore, University of Maryland Baltimore has six nationally-ranked professional schools, is a major academic health center, and offers tons of organizations for students to get involved. There’s also Loyola University Maryland, which is a private liberal arts school that’s received many accolades for its academic excellence, belief in the education of the whole person, and strong campus community.
Getting Around Is Easy
Whether you want to travel by land, air, or water in the Baltimore area, this city’s transportation has you covered! The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has bus, subway, light rail, and train services that run throughout the entire city for all your travel needs. There’s also the Charm City Circulator, which covers Downtown Baltimore and has routes that directly connect you to other MTA transits. If you’re doing some shopping along Inner Harbor and don’t want to carry a bunch of bags to your apartment, hop on the Baltimore Water Taxi! In addition, Penn Station and Baltimore/Washingon International Thurgood Marshall Airport make commutes for work or weekend getaways easy for Baltimore residents.
History Runs Deep Here
Baltimore is well-known for its role in American history. It’s where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” after a battle at Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. But you probably didn’t know that Baltimore has other unique claims to fame. Former baseball legend Babe Ruth, filmmaker John Waters, decorated Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall all hail from Charm City—and while not a Baltimore native, Edgar Allan Poe spent a lot of time writing here, making him a famous figure and tourist attraction around the area! Baltimore is also a major player in other historical events, including the establishment of world’s first umbrella factory, the home of the world’s first dental college, and the starting point of the first common carrier railroad (B&O Railroad) in the nation!
Explore All Things Inner Harbor
Once a busy U.S. seaport for the canning and steel industry, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has become a one-stop shop for all things shopping, food, and fun! Go on a sightseeing tour during the day to explore the area by boat with Watermark. Wind through a maze of mirrors, feel every bump in the 4D theater, and see oddities like shrunken heads at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Take a family trip to the National Aquarium—one of the top things to do in Baltimore with kids—and see over 20,000 different species of marine mammals, fish, amphibians, and more. Grab a Cotton Candy Italian Ice from Rita’s and peruse stores like Banana Republic and H&M at Harborplace. Or hop aboard ships like the USS Constellation and USS Torsk to see artifacts, tour operation rooms, and learn how the boat crew lived with Historic Ships in Baltimore.
Baltimore Sports Fans Don’t Mess Around
When it comes to sports, Baltimoreans show their spirit loud and proud! On game days, you’ll find the streets flooded with purple and black as fans flock to M&T Bank Stadium to watch the Baltimore Ravens (NFL) work toward another Super Bowl Championship. Baseball enthusiasts can head to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to sip on a Natty Boh and catch the Baltimore Orioles (MLB) stealing bases. But football and baseball aren’t the only popular sports! Lacrosse is a major sport within the Baltimore area, and some of the nation’s top collegiate teams are located here—not to mention, Baltimore was the original home of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame (which is now located in Sparks, MD).
Check Out the Local Arts & Culture Scene
Experiencing all of the amazing museums, theaters, and galleries is a must when it comes to Baltimore things to do! Explore over 90,000 works of Native American, Contemporary, and African works—as well as the largest Henri Matisse collection in the world—at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Immerse yourself in unique and original art from everyday people who love to create at the American Visionary Art Museum. Let the sweet melodic sounds of the internationally-recognized Baltimore Symphony Orchestra fill your ears during one of their performances at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Visit Baltimore Clayworks to see rotating pottery, sculptures, and ceramic exhibits from both international and local artists. Or travel back in time to learn about the people and businesses who transformed the city of Baltimore from trading post to research hub at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.
Be a Part of the Festival Fun
Looking for fun things to do in Baltimore with your friends or family? Check out all of the fun festivals! Sample local favorites from food trucks, let the kids create crafts, watch a street performance, and see multimedia works from over 150 artists and designers at the largest free arts festival, Artscape. Put on your cat-eye glasses, your beehive wig, and colorful attire to listen to live music and fill up on great food at HONfest. Attend the Chesapeake Crab, Wine, & Beer Festival—one of the top things to do in Baltimore—and feast on all-you-can-eat crab for hours and try over 60 beers and wines. Participate in more than 50 events around the city like the High Heel Race, Pride Block Party, and Drag Performances at the 11-day Baltimore Pride. Or celebrate the largest cultural festival on the East Coast with African cuisine, live performances from national and local artists, and seminars at AFRAM.
Nab Some of that Blue Crab
Due to its location along the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland reigns as the top place for producing blue crabs (also called the Maryland crab), and Baltimore is known for having some of the best restaurants that serve up this delicious crustacean. Grab a mallet at Locust Point Steamers and crack open a few Large Hot Steamed Crabs. Order the award-winning Baltimore’s Best Crab Cakes, Fried Crabby Mac, or Crab Imperial Toast to share with the whole table at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood. Enjoy waterfront views from the outdoor patio while feasting on a Crab Grilled Cheese Sandwich or Jumbo Lump Crab Imperial from Nick’s Fish House. Head to Koco Pub—Baltimore’s favorite neighborhood pub—to get The Original Crab Cake Platter with a side Creamy Crab Dip. Or get elbow deep in Old Bay and butter with a dozen Steamed Crabs for dinner or enjoy some crab for breakfast with Blue Crab Hash at Captain James Seafood Palace.
Take Your Taste Buds on a Journey
While blue crab is a staple of the Baltimore area, it’s not the only delicious dish Baltimoreans are great at making! Fill up on Bacon Milkshakes, Crabby Pattis, Peach French Toast, or Alfredo Scramble at the eccentric Papermoon Diner. Make your way to Thames Street Oyster House—one the best places to eat in Baltimore—and order oysters on the half shell. Sit out on the patio and sip on brunch cocktails like Kitchen Bloody Mary or Hot Buttered Rum while feasting on Deviled Eggs and a Bake Shop Board at Woodberry Kitchen. Take your belly south of the border with Aquachile Rojo Ceviche or Carne de Res and Barbacoa de Borrego Tacos at Clavel, which was named one of the best restaurants in Baltimore. Not sure what you’re in the mood for? Make your way to Lexington Market and peruse over 120 vendors and restaurants to find something to satisfy your taste buds, such as a gyro from Mt. Olympus, hot dogs from Konstant’s, or pancakes from Big Red.
Hit Up the Local Nightlife
Whether you’re looking to have a relaxing time with friends or let your hair down on the dance floor, you’ll never have trouble finding fun things to do in Baltimore at night! Try a few brews like the Crooked Crab Crabby Kolsch, Harpoon UFO Raspberry, or Dragon Burst at Max’s Taphouse. Listen to live music and saddle up to the bar at The Horse You Came In On Saloon to get a beer on tap or a shot of Jack Daniel’s. If you enjoy a little magic with your cocktail, then Illusions is the place for you—order the Lychee Martini or German Pear while watching a performer escape from a locked box. Toss back a cocktail bucket or two—like the Fruit Roll Up or Get Lit—with some friends and tear up the dance floor at Howl at the Moon. Or head to Power Plant Live! with your pals for themed bar crawls and events, drink specials, and endless fun.
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