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“biggest tourist trap in the USA!!”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Inner Harbor

Inner Harbor
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Spirit of Baltimore Dinner Cruise with Buffet
Ranked #11 of 226 things to do in Baltimore
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: One of America's oldest seaports dating from the 1600s is today an important landmark and popular tourist destination. Park your car and follow the brick promenade through this bustling complex of eateries, stores, museums, entertainment and children's attractions. Sample the fresh seafood right out of Chesapeake Bay.
Baltimore, MD
Level Contributor
54 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“biggest tourist trap in the USA!!”
Reviewed August 4, 2007

I grew up relatively close to Baltimore's Inner Harbor and visited it several times. At one point I worked downtown and would go to lunch almost everyday in the inner harbor. I truely believe that the harbor is the largest tourist trap ever! I've been to several cities around the US and this is truely the biggest money sucking magnet. The truth is that Baltimore is a big crime filled mess with little to draw tourist dollars, so they created something call the Inner Harbor. Although over the past 10 years they have done some good things to rehabilitate alot of the surrounding neighborhoods, there are still pockets of ghettos surrounding baltimore and typically the trash from those neighborhoods wander in on the lightrail or metro to the harbor for weekend begging. Most of them are fake bums, taking advantage of tourists to make an extra buck. When I worked down there I noticed one woman frequently begging for money claiming to be homeless. Then one day I saw her climbing into her fairly nice buick which she had parked in the parking garage a few blocks up.
Around the inner harbor there is a wide selection of eateries and shops. Most all the restaurants are good to excellent but its your typical Cheesecake factories, Hard Rock Cafes, ESPN Zones and California Pizza Kitchens that can be found just about anywhere in the country. Most of the shops are just what you would find in any other mall as well. Bath and Body Works, Lindt Chocolatieres, Godiva, Foot Locker, etc...Again, nothing special. For a more Maryland experience, try Phillips Seafood. For a little more unique experience you could walk a few blocks past the harbor to Little Italy but choose your restaurant wisely. Most of the restaurants in Little Italy have moved away from fresh and homemade to prepackaged dishes. On one Occasion I ate at Chiapperelli's and paid $18 for a side salad, bread and one Tyson's Frozen Chicken breast with sauce and cheese on it (pasta not included) otherwise known as chicken parmesagne. Aldo's or Delle Noche are much better choices but of course you will pay for it.
There is a full spectrum of attractions. The Baltimore Aquarium while its not the worst I've ever been to its definately not the best. Most of the building is old and displays are small. They did however add an interesting Australia exhibit which was small but interesting because of the unique animals they had on display. The Baltimore science center is good if you have kids. Displays are often elementary school level. The IMAX theatre there is worth seeing but you have to pay for admission to the science center as well as admission to the IMAX to see the show. If your into baseball then you have to see the greatest baseball stadium ever built! Camden Yards! The adjacent warehouse is filled with restaurants, bars and shops that you can enjoy before, during or after a game. Boogs Pit Beef is a cant miss and tickets to the games are very affordable. Raven Stadium is also right next door but not quite the architectural feet.
Another attraction that may be worth the money is one of the harbor cruises, they can range anywhere from short rides out to fort McHenry to a dinner cruise to Annapolis. I believe one of the cruise lines provide themed cruises such as a pirate ship cruise and a duck boat tour. There are also ferry boats that shuttle between the inner harbor, fells point and Ft. McHenry all day and night so dont drive around and waste money on parking garages like some people.
At night, be sure to check out Power Plant Live or Fells point. There is sure to be a bar, club or restaurant that suites your style, although most places attract a younger crowd.
In summary, Baltimore's inner harbor has plenty to entertain and waste time and money on but lacks any real tourist attraction besides ft mchenry. Beware of the homeless, avoid dark alleys and travel in groups. Who ever dubbed the named charm city was probably just looking for tax dollars. Harm City is more fitting.

24 Thank mikemike0221
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great time in B-More”
Reviewed August 3, 2007

Spent about 24 hours in Baltimore and had a wonderful time. Stayed in the Inner Harbor area and was close to numerous restaurants and the water. Enjoyed the walk around the harbor. The downtown area, as well as the stadium area, were all close. I will be going back.

1 Thank NETXVA7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Stay away at night!”
Reviewed July 10, 2007

I frequent the Inner Harbor in Balto. on a daily basis and I can tell you that it has changed over the years. Do not go there on a Thu. Fri. or Sat. night. It is filled with shady homeless panhandlers and gangs of unsupervised juveniles. The gangs have taken over. City Hall tries to sugar coat or gloss over the problems in this tourist area.l would not recommend it for families after dark. Th aquarium is very nice.

8 Thank trustytraveler_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“A good place to past the time.”
Reviewed June 17, 2007

The Inner Harbor is your average tourist sight - think the
Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. But, this doesn't mean it can't be great! The shopping and restaurants were very good. Street performers entertained and tours were able to be taken. So, there was
much to do. In addition, it is a great place to walk around on a beautiful day in Baltimore. Of course, you can't miss the Inner Harbor on a trip to Baltimore. So, make the most of it and have fun shopping, eating, and doing whatever attractions suit you! Have fun!

3 Thank BJMSZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Inexpensive Parking”
Reviewed September 3, 2006


Parking near Inner Harbor can be very expensive.

There is a particular parking lot charging you $10 for over 5 minutes and $25 just for couple of hours. The design of the ingress is in a way that you cannot easily back off. The board showing the fee is put near the ticket machine. You can not see it from outside. By the time you are there, you are almost trapped because it is likely that some cars are behind you.

It is not a fair trade. If one is willing to pay for the price, fine. But designing the lot to trap you with a charge three to four times more expensive definitely ruins many visitors' first impression of Baltimore.

This lot is open-aired. Next to it is a garage in the InterContinental Harbor Court that charges $12 for three hours and over.

When you get in Inner Harbor by 395, at Conway the first parking lot is that charges outrageous fee. It is run by Central Parking System. It is at the block bounded by Conway, South Charles and Light. It is opposite to the Convention Center. They put a big sign of Public Parking, luring you to believe that it is a municipal facilty.
If you get in to it, immediately get out and get to the adjoining InterContinental. They claim that they have five minutes grace period. But I can't find it posted anywhere.

40 Thank SidneyinPhilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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