Baltimore is a popular tourist destination in Maryland on the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States of America, near Washington (D.C.). It is perhaps most famously known as the city where Frances Scott Key wrote the lyrics for the Star Spangled Banner, and today has become a major center for tourism and travel.
It lies a the juncture of the Chesapeake Bay and the U.S. capitol of Washington, DC. With a mild four season climate, continuous nightlife, and plenty of southern hospitality, any time of the year is a great time to visit "Charm City"!
The excellent market place, near the harbor, is full of fresh seafood and great food bars to eat with the locals. (Although, obviously, locals do not frequent the Inner Harbor, preferring the neighborhoods surrounding it) Little Italy and Fell's Point, Federal Hill, etc. all feature local and international cuisine. Maryland is known for its steamed crabs, which used to come from the Chesapeake Bay, but due to over-fishing, the catches are diminished each year, so crabs are frequently brought in from Louisiana and Texas.
Lexington Market is an especially popular lunchtime destination, with countless vendors selling all kinds of food imaginable. There are standing tables in an open area on the ground floor, as well as a large seating area on the upper level above that.
Fine dining can be had at "windows" the restaurant in the Renaissance Harbor Side Hotel. Get a window table for a view of the U.S.S. Constellation docked at the inner harbor. It looks down on the pavilions at the harbor.
Do not be overly concerned about claims that Baltimore has a high murder rate. While all large urban areas have crime problems, in B-More, most of the murders are related to the illegal drug market and occur in areas of town you will never encounter. As a visitor, you will be safe, but be prudent and know where you are going and how you are getting there. As when visiting anywhere, common sense precautions should be taken when walking around at night: walk in groups; do not carry large amounts of money; and avoid poorly lit and seedy neighborhoods.
One of the most popular (and unique!) modes of transportation in Baltimore is the water taxi system. The water taxi is an especially nice way to get around during the warmer months, and offers unique views of the Baltimore skyline. $8.00 buys you unlimited rides all day long, and you can hop on and off at any of the stops throughout the harbor area (which covers areas like Fort McHenry, Fells Point, Little Italy, the Science Center and Aquarium). Hours of operation vary throughout the year; check the schedule for details.