Tours of Baltimore, on foot or four wheels, run from traditional surveys of historic buildings and sites, to quirkier explorations such as the Fells Point Ghost Tour. Baltimore Trolley Tours offers a 90-minute narrated tour of the city; tours are $26.95 for adults ($15.95 for children 6–12; 5 and under free) and depart at 10:30 am and 12:30 pm daily from the visitor center at the Inner Harbor.
For an overview of downtown’s many historic sights, the Baltimore National Heritage Area offers 90-minute walking tours of 20 downtown sites including City Hall and the Phoenix Shot Tower, which, when completed in 1828, was the tallest structure in the United States. $10 guided tours begin at the visitor center at the Inner Harbor.
Baltimore Heritage, not to be confused with Baltimore National Heritage Area, has been dedicated to preserving Baltimore’s architectural heritage since 1960. It offers a variety of tours—on foot and bicycle—throughout Baltimore’s neighborhoods. One weekend’s focus could be on the city’s gargoyles and statuary; another, an in-depth look at historic Hampstead Hill. Tours are up to $10 per person.For a general overview of Baltimore, energetic, irrepressible Zippy Larson offers many different walking tours with historic, cultural, and architectural themes. Zippy's witty, well-researched tours take you outside the tourist bubble.
A particularly fascinating experience is local historian Wayne Schaumburg's guided tour to Greenmount Cemetery. Baltimore's largest and most prestigious burial ground is the final resting place of John Wilkes Booth, Johns Hopkins, and other native sons and daughters. Tours take place Saturday mornings in October and November and are $15 per person.
Baltimore Ghost Tours interweave narratives about city neighborhoods' colorful pasts with tales of its spectral inhabitants. Tours, which are suitable for children, run Friday and Saturday evenings (depending on the neighborhood) at 7 pm from March to November; the cost is $13 per adult; reservations are recommended. The Fells Point Preservation Society also offers a Fells Point Ghost Walk as well as tours focusing on such topics as maritime history and immigration.
A far less pedestrian way to see downtown is atop a Segway, the motorized upright two-wheel scooters. Segs in the City offers 90-minute historic city safaris for $60.
Most cruise and tour boats depart from docks in the Inner Harbor. Spirit Cruises, Ltd. and Watermark Cruises present lunch, dinner, and evening cruises around the harbor.
Baltimore Ghost Tours (800/979–3370. www.fellspointghost.com.)
Baltimore Heritage (410/332–9992. baltimoreheritage.org.)
Baltimore National Heritage Area (410/878–6411. explorebaltimore.org.)
Baltimore Trolley Tours (410/254–8687. www.baltimoretrolleytour.com.)
Greenmount Cemetery Tours (410/256–2180. home.earthlink.net/~wschaumburg.)
Mount Vernon Cultural District (201 W. Monument St, Mount Vernon, Baltimore, MD, 21201. www.mountvernonbaltimore.org.)
Spirit Cruises, Ltd. (866/835–8844. www.spiritcruises.com.)
Segs in the City (800/734–7393. www.segsinthecity.com.)
Watermark Cruises (1 Dock St., Annapolis, MD, 21401. 410/268–7601. www.watermarkcruises.com.)
Zippy Tours (410/522–7334. www.zippytours.com.)