Baltimore Inner Harbor
Baltimore Inner Harbor is one of the most popular destinations in the City of Baltimore. Ever since the 1700s, the Inner Harbor has been one of the largest and busiest seaports in the United States, witnessing many historical events such as the Battle of Baltimore of 1812. With the famous Fort McHenry close nearby, the harbor also came under attack when Baltimore was declared by the British "a nest of Pirates", yet the American troops managed to repulse the joint naval and land attack of the British forces.
As one of America's oldest seaports, Baltimore Inner Harbor has been welcoming people, ships and good from all parts of the world, and it has acquired a reputation as one the newest travel destinations.
In recent years, the Inner Harbor began to be slowly revitalized through continuous efforts of redeveloping the downtown area and it soon blossomed into the cultural heart of the City. In 1979 the Baltimore Convention Center was inaugurated, and suffered further renovation and expansion in 1996. Harborplace, a modern shopping and restaurant complex, opened its doors on the waterfront in 1980. It was soon followed by the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the largest tourist destination in Maryland, featuring sharks, rays, dolphins and many different species of tropical fish and including a fascinating dolphin show and a walk-through the rain forest. Another cultural attraction, the Baltimore Museum of Industry, was opened in 1981. For those into sport events, the Baltimore Orioles of the Major League Baseball play in the neighborhood, on the Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame exhibit and the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum are also located nearby. The Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League may be found next door, on the M&T Bank Stadium.
Offering thousands of lodging possibilities for tourists, Baltimore also hosts various festivals and events throughout the year. One of the major attractions is the Preakness, a renowned horseracing event of the Triple Crown.
Artscape is another event held in the summer, dedicated to honoring arts. Also of interest is the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum, built around 1830 and which was lately restored and is now preserved as a historic house museum. Experiencing all four seasons, Baltimore displays picturesque scenery especially during springtime. Tourist may take advantage of the fancy gourmet cuisine and the wide range of international plates and fresh seafood from Maryland's Chesapeake Bay.