10 Museums to Explore in Baltimore
If you’re planning a trip to Baltimore, or you’re a local resident who’s looking for a fun, cultural activity to enjoy in your home city, consider visiting one of the amazing array of museums. From art to science to history, the many museums in Baltimore run the gamut of interests. To get you started, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites.
1. Baltimore Museum of Art
The Baltimore Museum of Art, founded in 1914, features 95,000 works of art including the world’s largest group of Henri Matisse pieces. The museum hosts a wide variety of modern, contemporary and 19th-century art.
The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays, and you can visit the BMA Sculpture Garden from 10 am to dusk Wednesdays through Sundays, weather permitting. If you plan to see a specific collection or work of art, you’re encouraged to call ahead to ensure the piece will be displayed. The museum, sculpture garden and the BMA store are closed on some holidays.
2. Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum
If you enjoy the eerie works of Edgar Allan Poe, you’ll love visiting the house and museum that bear his name. Located at 203 N. Amity St., this attraction is open Thursdays through Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm.
In this small brick house, Poe wrote some of his early stories that came to represent the genres of science fiction, horror and mystery. Poe’s work has inspired a generation of poets, playwrights and authors throughout Baltimore, and the house and museum celebrate his legacy and welcome thousands of visitors from around the world each year.
3. Frederick Douglass and Isaac Myers Maritime Park
Celebrating the significant role of African-Americans in the rise of the maritime industry in Baltimore, the Frederick Douglass and Isaac Myers Maritime Park serves as a national heritage site in one of the city’s oldest industrial buildings on the waterfront.
The site highlights the life of Frederick Douglass, both as a child living through slavery and a young man who became a nationally known leader. The park also offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the Chesapeake Marine Railway and Dry Dock Company’s founding, as well as Baltimore’s African-American community during the 1800s.
Bearman Gallery, located on the museum’s third floor, features rotating exhibits of local artists’ work. The museum is open to the public weekdays from 10 am to 4 pm.
4. The Walters Art Museum
The historic buildings of the Walters Art Museum give visitors a view of global art dating back thousands of years. With more than 300 programs each year, the museum features activities for art lovers of all ages.
The museum, at 600 N. Charles St., began with a gift from Henry Walters — a noted philanthropist and collector — of his significant art collection, along with an endowment to Baltimore and two buildings. Walters wanted his gift to benefit the public, and his generosity led to the opening of the Walters Art Gallery in 1934. In the decades since its founding, the museum has expanded both its collection and its space with the addition of two nearby buildings.
5. Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
If you’re visiting Baltimore with young children, you’ll love Ripley’s Believe It or Not! With strange and shocking exhibits including a 12-foot-tall sculpture made of scrap car parts, you’ll enjoy visual illusions, a T-Rex constructed from Pop-Tarts wrappers and much more.
The museum features more than 8,000 square feet of exhibits, including the “Baltimore Odditorium.” You can visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, at 301 Light Street Pavilion, Mondays through Thursdays 10 am to 8 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 10 am to 9 pm, and Sundays 10 am to 6 pm.
6. Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Speaking of attractions that are great for kids, the Port Discovery Children’s Museum offers a variety of exhibitions. The museum currently is undergoing construction, and the main part of the museum is closed through spring 2019. However, visitors can enjoy special pop-up exhibits until construction is complete.
The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Pop-up play spaces are open Wednesdays 10 am to 5 pm, Thursdays-Fridays 11 am to 7 pm, Saturdays 10 am to 5 pm, and Sundays noon to 5 pm. In addition, “The Construction Zone” exhibit is open Fridays 10 am to 4 pm, Saturdays 10 am to 5 pm, and Sundays noon to 5 pm; it features activities like designing and building a robot, playing with life-sized building blocks and launching rockets toward the moon.
7. Maryland Science Center
If you have a love of science, you’ll enjoy spending time at the Maryland Science Center, which aims to provide both children and adults with access to innovation, education and invention.
The museum features unique exhibits such as “Cells: The Universe Inside Us,” which allows visitors to explore virtual cells and walk through a maze demonstrating how proteins are created.
The museum is open on Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm, and Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm.
8. Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum
Are you a baseball fan? If so, you’ll love visiting the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum, at 216 Emory St. Located only three blocks from Oriole Park at Camden Yards, this attraction is marked by 60 baseballs artfully painted on the sidewalk between the ballpark’s Babe Ruth statue and the museum.
Born in 1895, George Herman “Babe” Ruth lived near the famous Camden Yards. In the 1960s, the property was scheduled for destruction after falling into disrepair, when the press secretary for the Baltimore mayor initiated an effort to restore it. In 1974, the site opened as a monument to the beloved slugger, and the non-profit Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation formed to manage the museum.
In 1983, the expanded site became the Baltimore Orioles’ official museum, and the site became known as the Babe Ruth Museum. The site also began serving as the official archives for the Baltimore Colts in 1985.
Today, the recently renovated museum has a new entrance along with a new elevator and galleries telling Babe Ruth’s story.
9. Historic Ships in Baltimore
No visit to Baltimore is complete without seeing the Historic Ships, including the USS Constellation. Located at Pier 1, the Museum Gallery portrays the history of the USS Constellation with a variety of personal belongings of the ship’s crew.
You can interact with crew members who are on board to answer your questions and provide you with a memorable experience. You’ll also enjoy exploring four full decks — including the gun deck, featuring the Galley and the Captain’s Cabin — as well as experiencing a live firing of the Parrott rifle.
In addition, you can visit several other ships, including the USS Torsk and Lightship Chesapeake at Pier 3, along with the USCGC Taney at Pier 5. Visiting hours vary for the different ships, so be sure to check the schedule before setting out.
10. Baltimore Museum of Industry
At the Baltimore Museum of Industry, you can observe a blacksmith forging iron, create your own video game or learn to shuck oysters — among a variety of other interesting activities.
Designed to highlight the industrial legacy of Baltimore and Maryland, the museum demonstrates in a hands-on way the importance of innovation to continuing progress in industry. Situated in a historic oyster cannery on five acres along the waterfront, the museum features tours and live demonstrations appealing to visitors of all ages.
The museum, located at 1415 Key Highway, is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm.
Enjoy a Vibrant Lifestyle at Tudor Heights
At Tudor Heights in Baltimore, we believe that creating a meaningful life involves holistic wellness that addresses the physical as well as the social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of overall well-being. Along with the many museums to visit in Baltimore, you’ll find a variety of engaging activities around town and within our campus in the Park Heights neighborhood. From our convenient location, you can enjoy elegant supportive living as you connect with the people and places you love. To learn more, please contact us today.