The Best Landmarks to Visit in Baltimore, Maryland

The Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse sits in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
The Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse sits in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor | © natthaphong janpum / Alamy Stock Photo
Baltimore can be offbeat and quirky, but with an incredible and unique spirit. Being a historical city that has rebuilt itself many times, its confidence is always shining through. Visit these memorable landmarks, representing its past and present, the next time you are in Maryland’s largest city.

Frank Zappa Bust

Historical Landmark

Unveiled on Frank Zappa Day in 2010, outside the Southeast Anchor Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, this bust commemorates Frank Zappa’s life and music. An avant-garde rocker, bandleader, filmmaker and composer, Zappa is a symbol of Baltimore’s cultural heritage and spirit and an icon for freedom of speech, political activism and the abolition of censorship. While he might have lived in Los Angeles for much of his life, he will always be among Baltimore’s famous sons.

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American Brewery Building

Brewery

The restoration of this unique building, in the Broadway East neighborhood, is symbolic of modern Baltimore. What was once a brewery that laid dilapidated for over 40 years is now a health-care and community center for Humanim. Visible from all over the city, the quirky architecture of this five-story Victorian structure can be enjoyed on a guided tour. Where there was once beer, there are now many new ideas.

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Patterson Park Pagoda

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

In Patterson Park, an exotic, Victorian-built, Chinese-style pagoda that dates back to 1891 serves as a 60ft (18m) observatory. Located right at the top of Hampstead Hill, where the British were defeated, and designed as a lookout tower, it now serves as a striking yet proud oddity that seems otherworldly in spring among the blossom trees and merrily heartwarming while adorned in fairy lights in winter. It’s open to the public on Sundays.

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Mr Trash Wheel

Architectural Landmark

Inner Harbor has a googly-eyed, rubbish-eating hero named Mr Trash Wheel. Developed by John Kellett as a solution to the unsightly refuse floating down the Jones Falls River, the Inner Harbor Water Wheel, as it is officially known, is powered by the river’s current and solar panels. Rotating forks remove the debris from the water, where it is placed onto a conveyor belt and then finally dropped into a dumpster. It’s a memorable and inspiring sight.

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Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse

Architectural Landmark

This lighthouse might be the smallest one, but it has one of the biggest stories. Constructed in 1856, it spent most of its life out in the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Patapsco River. Today, it sits in the Inner Harbor and is a great attraction if you are visiting the area and want to take in some lovely views. It also houses a small museum.

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Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

Inspired by the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy, this strikingly bizarre tower was built in 1911 by captain Isaac Emerson, the inventor of the Bromo-Seltzer antacid. It was once the tallest building in Baltimore and featured the largest four-dial, gravity-driven clock in the world (as well as being the most over-the-top heartburn marketing ever conceived). You can climb its very steep steps and stand in the clock where you can marvel at its inner workings.

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These recommendations were updated on June 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.