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Sure, everyone is proud of his hometown; but you won’t find any city folk with more pride than your average Baltimorean. As the largest independent city in the country, it’s no surprise that Charm City has plenty of awesome sights to see and fabulous activities to dive into. Whether you are strolling alongside the shark tank in the National Aquarium or rooting for the Orioles in Camden Yards, there’s no end to the fun that can be had in Baltimore. Here is our list of the five best things to see and do in Lord Baltimore’s eponymous city:
1. Venture to Fort McHenry. Though Baltimore had been a thriving city for nearly 200 years by the time this star-shaped fort was attacked, Fort McHenry remains one of the best historical sights in the city. Of course it doesn’t hurt that Francis Scott Key penned the famous "Star Spangled Banner" here after holding off the British for more than 25 hours. With an unrivaled view of the city’s Inner Harbor, you can explore the Star Fort and set eyes on the largest (and one of the oldest) Star Spangled Banner you’ll ever see (it was originally 30 feet by 42 feet).
2. Mosey around the Inner Harbor. Charm City has been a major U.S. seaport since the early 1700s. As a major tourist attraction, you may be thinking that you’d want to avoid this kind of place. Think again. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor lures visitors and locals alike, as it is one of the most iconic seaports in the country. Lined with shops, museums and restaurants, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything more Baltimorean than this. You can even hop on a water taxi or a paddleboat and float on the northern branch of the Patapsco River (right off of the Chesapeake Bay).
3. Flock to M&T Bank Stadium. Football fan or not, the atmosphere at M&T Bank Stadium will get you cawing for the Baltimore Ravens. With stars such as linebacker Ray Lewis and free safety Ed Reed, it’s hard not to root for the Ravens. Named after Baltimore legend Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, this AFC football team is the pride and joy of the city. Ravens fans are some of the rowdiest in the league, especially against longtime rival the Pittsburgh Steelers. With purple body paint and purple beer, the fans cheer on their beloved Ravens every game, rain or shine.
4. Soar to Camden Yards. Once the home field of baseball legends Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken Jr., Camden Yards is one of the most beautiful ballparks in the world. The redbrick stadium sinks into the ground just a couple blocks from the Inner Harbor. With stellar views of the Patapsco River, it doesn’t matter if you are a Baltimore Orioles fan or not. With a Natty Boh (a locally brewed beer) and a Boog’s Barbeque pit beef sandwich in hand, be sure to join the crowd in yelling "O!" during the "O! say can you see" part of the national anthem.
5. Dive into the National Aquarium. Jutting out into the Inner Harbor, the National Aquarium Baltimore is one of the best underwater adventures in the nation. As you venture up on the escalator, be sure to admire the stingray pool below and the life-size model of a humpback whale soaring above you. With more than 16,000 creatures, you can travel the underwater world without even leaving the building. Whether you are a shark fanatic or a jellyfish fiend, each and every exhibit at the National Aquarium will certainly intrigue you.