Baltimore is a major city in Maryland with a long history as an important seaport. Fort McHenry, birthplace of the U.S. national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” sits at the mouth of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Today, this harbor area offers shops, upscale crab shacks and attractions like the Civil War–era warship the USS Constellation and the National Aquarium, showcasing thousands of marine creatures.
Baltimore’s claim-to-fame may be that it was the birthplace of America’s National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” but its determined, down-to-earth spirit makes it a truly American city. With a dynamic Inner Harbor – the best view of which is from atop Federal Hill – that was as busy in the 18th Century as it is today, Baltimore is a city of contrasts. This center for cultural and heritage travel also is known for its quaint neighborhoods and thriving culinary scene. Tour the important landmarks like the first Washington Monument or first Catholic cathedral in the United States, but don’t miss seeing the vintage row houses and meeting proud, friendly locals.