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Baltimore Attractions and Things to See

The biggest independent city in the nation is Baltimore, Maryland, that is also the biggest city and cultural center in the state of Maryland, sitting along the tidal edges of the Patapsco River, which is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, and was founded in 1729. It is also the biggest US seaport in the Mid-Atlantic, since it sits closer to the Midwestern markets than other significant seaports on the East coast. Its Inner Harbor at one time, had been the second leading port of entry for immigrants into the country and a large important manufacturing center. The harbor has evolved into the Harborplace, a tourist, entertainment and shopping center, as well as the home of the National Aquarium in Baltimore; and Forbes Magazine rated it as the 3rd best city to shop in in 2010. Because the city's manufacturing economy began to decline, it would shift its focus to a more service oriented economy, with Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital are the city's biggest employers.

This fabulous city showcases outstanding examples of architecture from every period during the last two centuries and contains works created by some of the most significant architects in history, which include; I. M. Pei, Benjamin Latrobe, Mies Van Der Rohe, George A. Frederick and John Russell Pope. Some of the more significant structures that showcase the finest in their architectural styles are the Baltimore Basilica that was designed by Latrobe and constructed from 1806 to 1821, and now the oldest Catholic cathedral in the nation. Robert Cary Long, Sr. would construct the first museum in the country for Rembrandt Peale, and after being renovated, it is now the Municipal Museum of Baltimore, or better known locally as the Peale Museum. John McKim would found and endow the McKim Free School, but his son, Isaac, would be the one to build it in 1822, after being designed by William Small and William Howard.

The city has been dubbed a "city of neighborhoods" with 72 designated historic districts, that have traditionally been occupied by their various ethnic groups, with three notable ones along the port that include the Inner Harbor, that has become very popular with the tourist industry because of its shops, museums and hotels, with Fells Point and Little Italy that sits between the two and where former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi was born. Every year, Artscape happens in the Bolton Hill neighborhood, which is close to the Maryland Institute College of Art, and members of this groups consider this to be the biggest free arts festival in the nation.

The city has an excellent performing arts scene that includes the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, CENTERSTAGE that is the premier theater company, the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, the Baltimore Opera, the Baltimore Consort and the Hippodrome Theater. It also has the Everyman Theater that showcases resident troupes, the Pride of Baltimore Chorus, the Baltimore Theater Festival and the Single Carrot Theater. Other venues include the Urban Pirates that offers and provides family adventure cruises in the city's Inner Harbor, the Walters Art Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Fort McHenry National Monument, Oriole Park, the American Visionary Art Museum, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Mary's City that is a restored 17th century village like Old Sturbridge in Massachusetts or Colonial Williamsburg. And the list goes on, with Federal Hill Park, the Maryland Science Center, the National Aquarium and much more.

The best thing would be to decide what sights and attractions you prefer and then make up an itinerary before arriving in the city so you have everything laid out and won't waste as much time with the small details about where to go and what to see; but it would also behoove you to check into renting a vehicle to take you there and back, so the costs would be much cheaper than buses or taxis that might not cater to you and your family's needs. Dollar Rental Cars have been giving the best discounts and service in the city for many years now and continues to be the friendliest and most reliable for all of your traveling needs.