Discover Charles Street Your Charles Street Journey Inner Harbor
The Inner Harbor neighborhood is a dense and eclectic mix of restaurants, shops, office buildings, apartments, hotels, museums, marinas, playgrounds, and parks. Although vibrant today, the Inner Harbor of the 1960s was a much less scenic and lined with dilapidated warehouses and piers. The city embarked on a novel and innovative scheme to revitalize the Inner Harbor to create a grand civic space to lure both tourists and residents to the waterfront.
The Inner Harbor is an intricate, exciting “people place” that changes all the time. It is a playground, a front yard, and the main street for the entire city. Its success has drawn international attention and even boasted more visitors than Disney World when the Harborplace marketplace opened in 1981.
Things to See at the Inner Harbor
- National Aquarium in Baltimore (501 E. Pratt Street) — A landmark of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the aquarium has been transporting visitors to the depths of the ocean for more than 30 years. Explore a coral reef and see its inhabitants at the aquarium’s Black Tip Reef exhibit, or get face-to-face with a sand tiger shark in Shark Alley. After plunging through the depths, go “down under” and explore the plants and animals of Australia in the Animal Planet Australia exhibit. To see what’s just outside the aquarium’s doors, visit the Maryland: Mountains to the Sea to discover the bullfrogs, diamondback terrapins, and striped bass that call the state’s rivers and marshes home.
- Historic Ships in Baltimore (Inner Harbor Piers 1, 3, and 5) — A collection of historic ships (and a historic lighthouse) are docked along the piers of the Inner Harbor. Baltimore’s historic fleet includes the USS Constellation, the last full-sail vessel commissioned by the U.S. Navy; the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Taney (which survived the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor); the World War II submarine Torsk; and the lightship Chesapeake.
- Maryland Science Center (601 Light Street) — Kids of all ages will enjoy exploring science with three levels of fun and engaging exhibits, a planetarium, and an IMAX theater. Popular exhibits include Dinosaur Mysteries and interactive experiments in Newton’s Alley.
- Baltimore Visitor Center (401 Light Street) — The center is the perfect way to discover and explore areas of the region's sites, history, events, accommodations, maritime activities, attractions and restaurants. Visitor center staff can provide information and sell tickets to area sites. Attractions, brochures and displays showcase all the activities available in and around Baltimore.
- Harborplace (Intersection of Light and Pratt streets) — Built in 1980 as part of the revitalization of the Inner Harbor, this festival marketplace contains numerous sit-down and casual restaurants, a variety of stores, and attractions like Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Harborplace consists of two buildings: one along Light Street and the other along Pratt Street.
- Top of the World Observation Level at the World Trade Center (401 E. Pratt Street) — Visitors get 360-degree view of Baltimore from the observation level on the World Trade Center‘s 27th floor. The building, designed by noted architect I. M. Pei, is as unique as the view: it is the tallest even-sided pentagonal building in the world.
- The Pride of Baltimore Memorial (South Inner Harbor Promenade) — Located just north of Federal Hill and Key Highway, this memorial honors The Pride of Baltimore, a reproduction Baltimore Clipper ship that sank in 1986 killing all of the crew. A new ship was commissioned in 1988. The Pride of Baltimore II serves as an ambassador for the state of Maryland and is a unique platform to teach American history and maritime science. Although it is often away from Baltimore, when in port the Pride II docks near the memorial.