Things to Do  |  Travel

Baltimore Day Trip: 10 Best Things to Do This Summer

Make the most of your visit to Charm City

1. Pet a Clearnose Skate At the National Aquarium

Batimore-bound: Our neighbor to the north has a stellar aquarium.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is one of the best aquariums in the country—and with thousands of creatures and dozens of exhibits, it’s easy to spend a day there. Kids will love the “Living Seashore” exhibit’s two “touchpools” filled with skates, moon jellies, and horseshoe crabs. When you’re done exploring aquatic life, grab a to-go bite from the Shake Shack across the street, then find a spot along the harbor to enjoy your food with a view.


2. Feast on Crabs


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What’s a Maryland summer without cracking a crab or two? Baltimore has several crab houses, but L.P. Steamers (laid-back), the Choptank (fancier), and Nick’s Fish House (on the water) are recommended. For a sweet finish, head to Bmore Licks in either Canton (closer to Choptank) or Federal Hill (closer to L.P. Steamers and Nick’s), then stroll Patterson Park or the Baltimore Waterfront Promenade, respectively.


3. Sip Slushy Cocktails At a Waterfront Pool Bar

The Pendry’s pool bar is open to the public.

While the very fancy pool at the very fancy Sagamore Pendry is for the hotel’s guests and day-pass holders only, the public is welcome at the very fancy pool bar. It’s open-air, with sweeping views of the water—and it’s got “slush cocktails” that are perfect for cooling off on a summer day. Too hot to sit outdoors? Inside the hotel are an Italian restaurant and a whiskey bar.


4. Catch an Orioles Game

It’s a great season to catch an O’s game. Photograph by Peyton Stoike/Baltimore Orioles.

Root, root, root for the home team, hon. Camden Yards is a great ballpark, and the O’s are having a good season. Pickles Pub across the street is a popular spot for pregaming, but once inside, don’t miss Boardwalk Fries and Boog’s Barbecue.


5. Check Out a Museum After-Hours

The American Visionary Art Museum stays open late on movie nights in July. Photograph by Nick Prevas/American Visionary Art Museum/PNC Charitable Trusts.

If you’ve never been, you’ll find the American Visionary Art Museum to be a fun, innovative place to spend a few hours. (Make a note to check out its Kinetic Sculpture Race, held each spring.) In summer, AVAM keeps the fun going after-hours: Its free “Flicks From the Hill” series includes an outdoor movie plus free museum admission from 5 to 9 every Thursday in July.


6. Take a Food Tour


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Want a literal taste of the city? Both Bite of Baltimore and Charm City Food Tours offer walking food tours in Fells Point and have five-star reviews on Trip­Advisor. Or check out a brewery tour. There are several to choose from—beloved Baltimore beer brand Heavy Seas, for example, has a brewery and taproom just outside the city in Halethorpe, with tours offered on Saturdays.


7. Admire a Matisse at the Baltimore Museum of Art

A Matisse fan? Hit the Baltimore Museum of Art. Photograph of courtesy of Baltimore Museum of Art.

The Baltimore Museum of Art reportedly has the world’s largest public collection of Henri Matisse, with an entire new space dedicated to his work. Also on exhibit, through July 16: “The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century,” which explores hip-hop’s influence on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.


8. Go Shopping

Fells Point is a hub of small shops.

Want to fit in a little retail stroll? Baltimore is great for that. In Fells Point, you can explore the stores running east to west along Thames Street. From there, head up South Broadway for more boutiques, such as Poppy and Stella, which sells women’s shoes and accessories. (For lunch, Ekiben, on Eastern Avenue a block from South Broadway, is a good choice.) Across town, the artsy Hampden neighborhood is known for its vintage shops as well as stores such as Good Neighbor that feature local artists, and the newer Harbor East development houses dozens of shops, including Anthropologie, Lululemon, and South Moon Under.


9. Get a Top-Notch Spa Treatment At the Four Seasons

Photograph courtesy of the Four Seasons Hotel.

The spa at the Four Seasons Baltimore is considered one of the best in the region. If you’re going midweek, check out the Sol-to-Go packages, which include three hours of rooftop pool access with a facial or massage, starting at $300.


10. See a Concert on the Water At Pier Six Pavilion


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The outdoor waterfront music venue Pier Six Pavilion holds more than 4,000 concertgoers and features national acts as well as world tours. This summer, it will host the bands Yellowcard, Umphrey’s McGee, Whiskey Myers—whose songs you might recognize from TV’s Yellowstone—and more. (Other spots worth checking out for live music: the 8×10, Rams Head Live!, and Ottobar.)

This article appears in the July 2023 issue of Washingtonian.

Amy Moeller
Fashion & Weddings Editor

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.