One of the top destinations in the City of Baltimore is the Baltimore Inner Harbor. It has been one of the major seaports in the United States since the 1700s, and a notable example of urban renewal, having slowly transformed into a cultural center of the City in the 1970s. The city’s Inner Harbor area covers 97 hectares (240 acres) at the northwest end of Baltimore Harbor. It was renovated in 1980 and is a focal point for visitors, with many sightseeing locations. It is close to Little Italy on one side and historic Federal Hill on the other. There is a wide array of things to do at the Baltimore Inner Harbor, including waterfront shopping, dining, and various forms of entertainment. The Inner Harbor features 12 restaurants, 45 eateries, and over 100 shops, including a Maryland institution: Thrasher’s French fries.
Located near the Inner Harbor is the Peabody campus. Close to the Federal Hill, the recently expanded Maryland Science Center features an IMAX Theater and interactive exhibits. The Gallery is adjoining to the Harborplace, and is a mall featuring more shops and a food court. Another attraction, open year-round, is the USS Constellation, which is a Civil War battleship with a permanent home at Harborplace. The summer months are a colorful treat, when tall ships throughout the world camp at harborside with colorful flags and regalia, and invite the public in for tours.
Next to the water taxi stand and seasonal paddleboat rentals, one can visit Baltimore’s World Trade Center for an expansive view of the city before heading into the highly acclaimed National Aquarium. Close by is Port Discovery, an interactive museum for kids. The aquarium has in its vicinity two restaurants, the Hard Rock Cafe and the ESPN Zone. These restaurants are always full of fun-loving people. Inner Harbor boasts a variety of hotels for different categories of tourists.