Best of Baltimore
There's more to this city than the Orioles and Old Bay-seasoned crabs. From Little Italy to American Visionary Museum, see the attractions that reveal the many sides of Charm City.
National AquariumBaltimore’s No. 1 tourist attraction? The world-famous National Aquarium, which sees over 1.6 visitors per year. With more than 16,000 creatures, the aquarium’s most popular attraction is Dolphin Discovery, where visitors can watch dolphin training, feeding and playing throughout the day. 960 1280
Walters Art GalleryOnce the private collection of a wealthy Baltimore tycoon and later his son, this collection of art spans 55 centuries, with works from around the world. Treasures include Egyptian mummy masks, Art Deco jewelry and 19th-century French Impressionist paintings. 960 1280
American Visionary MuseumWith Baltimore’s quirky and down-to-earth personality, it’s only fitting that you’ll find a museum here full of art by self-taught artists. Treasures include a life-size, interactive chess set of sculpted metal (made to resemble angels and demons) and an outdoor 55-foot-tall, colorful wind-powered sculpture, WhirliGig. 960 1280
Inner HarborA major seaport hub since the 1700s, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is the center of the city’s tourism today: The National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center and numerous dining and shopping options can be found near the waterfront. For an affordable and fun way to see these sites from the water, take a water taxi, which runs year-round. 960 1280
Maryland Blue CrabsSo what’s a Baltimorean’s favorite pastime -- and most revered art form? Cracking the hard shells of Maryland blue crabs, of course! What might seem like a messy meal of crustaceans to some is nothing short of the best meal in town to locals. And don’t even think of forgetting the Old Bay, the signature seasoning on top of this Charm City delicacy. 960 1280
Sport Legends MuseumLocated in Camden Yards, this museum profiles Maryland’s prolific sports history. See artifacts and exhibits from Baltimore’s sports legends, from Babe Ruth to Cal Ripken. Babe Ruth’s Birthplace and Museum is just minutes away if you want to explore even more of the baseball hero’s life. 960 1280
Fort McHenryThis star-shaped brick fort is famous for its role in the War of 1812. The national monument, which staved off a British invasion, later inspired Francis Scott Key to pen a poem, “Defence of Fort McHenry” -- the words of which later served as the lyrics to his “Star-Spangled Banner.” 960 1280
Maryland Science CenterLocated in the Inner Harbor, the Maryland Science Center has 3 floors of interactive and educational exhibits, as well as an IMAX theater and planetarium. No matter what your age, you’ll find something new to learn -- and amuse you -- on every visit. 960 1280
Edgar Allan Poe Grave and MemorialNevermore, B’more, quoth the Raven. While this poet of the macabre has gone down in history as one of Baltimore’s most famous residents, sadly, one of his old haunts -- a site later known as the Baltimore Poe House and Museum -- closed its doors in 2012. But you can still leave a penny on the wordsmith’s grave, which has been tradition since the 1870s (when school children collected pennies to buy the poet a proper grave). 960 1280
JanuaryWild & Scenic Film Festival
Nevada City, CA
The largest film festival of its kind, Wild & Scenic presents films about nature, activism, adventure, conservation, environmental justice and indigenous cultures with the goal of inspiring possibilities to restore the Earth and its communities. Come away from this festival with a new sense of awe for our planet.
More Festivals in January:
Irvine International Film Festival -- Irvine, CA
Desperado LGBT Film Festival -- Phoenix
Frozen River Film Festival -- Winona, MN 960 1280
FebruaryBig Sky Documentary Film Festival
At the historic Wilma Theater in downtown Missoula, Montana’s largest cinema event showcases an average of 125 nonfiction films annually. Along with screenings of new and classic documentaries, the festival includes film discussions, pitch sessions and workshops for aspiring filmmakers.
More Festivals in February:
Magnolia Independent Film Festival -- Starkville, MS
Appalachian Film Festival -- Huntington, WV
Big Dam Film Festival -- Quincy, IL
Carolina Film and Video Festival -- Greensboro, NC
StarLite Film Festival -- Winter Garden, FL 960 1280
MarchDisposable Film Festival
Disposable video is considered any short film made on an inexpensive device, such as a cell phone. But while moments captured with low-cost video technology may be considered "disposable," that doesn't mean they're not worthy of attention. Kicking off each year in San Francisco before going on tour across the country, this festival gives the work of non-traditional filmmakers the chance to be taken seriously.
More Festivals in March:
Ann Arbor Film Festival -- Ann Arbor, MI
Charlotte Film Festival -- Charlotte, NC
DIY Film Festival -- Hollywood, CA 960 1280
Set among the mountains of Colorado, Aspen Shortsfest is an Oscar-qualifying international competition featuring a selection of drama, comedy, animation and documentary -- all at 40 minutes or less.
More Festivals in April:
Atlanta Film Festival – Atlanta
Independent Film Festival of Boston – Boston
Nashville Film Festival -- Nashville, TN 960 1280
MayMaryland Film Festival
An annual 4-day event, the Maryland Film Festival screens approximately 50 feature films and 75 short films of all varieties including documentary, animation, experimental and hybrid. The festival also includes a vintage silent film with live musical accompaniment, a classic 3-D film and a feature selected and hosted by legendary filmmaker (and Baltimore native) John Waters.
More Festivals in May:
3-Minute Film Fest -- Santa Fe, NM
Big Island Film Festival -- Kohala Coast, HI
Cheyenne International Film Festival -- Cheyenne, WY 960 1280
JuneWaterfront Film Festival
Looking to provide a "Middle Coast" venue for independent filmmakers, entertainment professionals from LA, NYC and Michigan created the Waterfront Film Festival, set in the tranquil resort village of Saugatuck.
More Festivals in June:
Little Rock Film Festival -- Little Rock, AK
Nantucket Film Festival -- Nantucket, MA
San Antonio Film Festival -- San Antonio
Staten Island Film Festival -- Staten Island, NY 960 1280
Julyda Vinci Film Festival
What began as a humble screening of animations in 1999 has evolved into a 3-day exhibition of indie film in the genres of documentary, animation, shorts, and experimental. The da Vinci Film Festival is held as part of "da Vinci Days" where the small town of Corvallis is taken over by artists, engineers and teachers in a sensory experience inspired by the ultimate Renaissance man.
More Festivals in July:
Sacramento Film and Music Festival -- Sacramento, CA
New Hope Film Festival -- New Hope, PA
Real to Reel International Film Festival -- Shelby, NC 960 1280
AugustSidewalk Moving Picture Festival
Located in several venues throughout Birmingham’s historic theatre district, Sidewalk promotes a sense of creativity as filmmakers and film-goers mingle between screenings. Enjoy the outdoors as well with the addition of Sidewalk Central, a live entertainment and vending venue.
More Festivals in August:
Fandana Film Festival -- Huntington, IN
Feel Good Film Festival -- San Clemente, CA
Minneapolis Underground Film Festival – Minneapolis
The Indie Gathering -- Hudson, OH 960 1280
St. George, UT
Organized by Dixie State College, DOCUTAH embraces Utah’s gorgeous scenery by screening its documentary submissions in outdoor venues among the red rocks of southern Utah. Master class seminars and filmmaker panels where student documentarians can learn the art of documentary filmmaking round out the experience.
More Festivals in September:
Jaxon Film Fest -- Jackson, MI
Phenom Film Fest -- Shreveport, LA
Latin American Film Festival -- Providence, RI
Great Lakes International Film Festival -- Erie, PA
Actors Film Festival -- Las Vegas 960 1280
OctoberTallgrass Film Festival
The largest independent film festival in Kansas, this 4-day event showcases more than 100 films from around the world, including foreign, documentary, short, GLBT, retrospective and premiering films. The festival prides itself on giving a voice to films that would otherwise not have a theatrical screening in the region.
More Festivals in October:
Austin Film Festival -- Austin, TX
Buffalo Screams Horror Film Festival -- Buffalo, NY
International Children's Film Festival – Chicago
Midwest Ski Film Festival – Milwaukee
Modern Film Fest -- Kannapolis, NC 960 1280
NovemberColumbus International Film & Video Festival -- Columbus, OH
The CIF+VF is the longest-running film festival in the United States, founded in 1950 by a group of progressive educators. This 6-day event in downtown Columbus, OH, carries on that legacy, screening films in a variety of categories including health, technology, spirituality and social issues.
More Festivals in November:
Denver Film Festival -- Denver
Margaret Mead Film Festival -- New York
Red Rock Film Festival -- St. George, UT
Virginia Film Festival -- Charlottesville, VA
The Boston Jewish Film Festival -- Boston 960 1280
DecemberSanta Fe Film Festival
Santa Fe, NM
Beginning in 1999 as a way to promote Santa Fe's identity as a cultural hub, the Santa Fe Film Festival quickly turned into a premier event for the area. The festival offers awards to films in the categories of best feature, best Native American film and best Latino film, among others.
More Festivals in December:
Reel Independent Film Festival -- Hollywood, CA
Moondance International Film Festival -- Boulder, CO
DocMiami International Film Festival -- Miami 960 1280