Baltimore Federal Hill
Serving as a lookout point, Federal Hill played an important role in defending the city of Baltimore from the British during the War of 1812; replicas of the cannons used sit atop the hill. Today, visitors can enjoy views of the Inner Harbor from the public park. In addition, restaurants and taverns, antique shops, art galleries, and an assortment of merchants attract locals and visitors alike to this neighborhood.
The Cross Street Market, a historic marketplace built in the 19th century, is set to complete its total renovation in 2020, with indoor and outdoor communal seating areas and a mix of vendors. Book a city tour that includes a stop in the Federal Hill neighborhood or get a bird’s-eye view of the area on a helicopter tour.
Things to know before you go
- This is a family-friendly area with a playground for kids.
- There are plenty of lodging options near the Federal Hill neighborhood, ranging from B&Bs to 5-star hotels.
- There are 90 steps to the top of the hill and a walking path that circles the perimeter.
How to get there
If you’re traveling by car, the neighborhood is easily accessible from Interstate 95, the Baltimore Washington Parkway, and Interstate 83. Plus, parking is fairly easy. Numerous forms of public transportation also serve the area, including the MTA bus, light rail, and the MARC commuter rail. The Charm City Circulator, Baltimore's free public bus, is also an option for those traveling without a car.
When to get there
In July and August on Thursday evenings, the American Visionary Art Museum hosts free movie screenings for visitors and locals at the Hughes Family Outdoor Theater, a natural amphitheater formed by Federal Hill. This is also a good spot to watch the Fourth of July fireworks. Otherwise, it’s recommended not to visit at night for safety reasons.
Another favorite destination for families, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor includes the Harborplace shopping center and the National Aquarium, plus plenty of seafood restaurants serving the local specialty, crab and crab cakes. The waterfront promenade is easily accessible to strollers as well. Boat tours of the Chesapeake Bay also depart from here.
- American Visionary Art Museum
- Maryland Science Center
- Baltimore Inner Harbor
- Baltimore National Aquarium
- Hard Rock Café Baltimore
- Baltimore Little Italy
- Star-Spangled Banner Flag House
- Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum
- Fell’s Point
- B&O Railroad Museum
- Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum
- Patterson Park
- Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
- Medieval Times Baltimore