Baltimore is the largest city in the U.S. state of Maryland, and the 29th-most populous city in the country. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland and is not part of any county. Founded in 1729, Baltimore is the second-largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic. The city’s Inner Harbor was once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States and a major manufacturing center. With hundreds of identified districts, Baltimore has been dubbed a “city of neighborhoods.” Famous residents have included writers Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Hamilton, Frederick Douglass, and H.L. Mencken; jazz musician James “Eubie” Blake; singer Billie Holiday; actor and filmmaker John Waters; and baseball player Babe Ruth. Baltimore has more public statues and monuments per capita than any other city in the country, and is home to some of the earliest National Register Historic Districts in the nation.
The city is rich in architecturally significant buildings in a variety of styles. The streets of Baltimore are organized in a grid pattern, lined with tens of thousands of brick and formstone-faced rowhouses. In The Baltimore Rowhouse, Mary Ellen Hayward and Charles Belfoure considered the rowhouse as the architectural form defining Baltimore as “perhaps no other American city.”
Baltimore’s history and attractions have allowed the city to become a strong tourist destination on the East Coast. Much of the city’s tourism centers around the Inner Harbor, with the National Aquarium being Maryland’s top tourist destination. Baltimore Harbor’s restoration has made it “a city of boats”, with several historic ships and other attractions on display and open for the public to visit. Other popular tourist destinations throughout the city include Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Fort McHenry, the Mount Vernon and Fells Point neighborhoods, and museums such as the Walters Art Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Industry, and the B&O Railroad Museum. Baltimore is known for its Maryland blue crabs, crab cake, Old Bay Seasoning, pit beef, and the “chicken box.” The city has many restaurants in or around the Inner Harbor. Many of the city’s upscale restaurants can be found in Harbor East.
Baltimore is the home of numerous places of higher learning, both public and private. 100,000 college students from around the country attend Baltimore City’s 12 accredited two-year or four-year colleges and universities. The city’s public schools are managed by Baltimore City Public Schools and include schools that have been well known in the area.