If you dash along Baltimore’s downtown streets in a car, you’ll miss the many exceptional sights from the Baltimore Waterfront Promenade: endless Patapsco River vistas, historic landmarks, well-kept residential decks on new condominiums and 18th century townhouses, flotillas of motor- and sail-boats, docked industrial ships, street entertainment, diverse shopping and a notable selection of non-chain bars and restaurants.

The Baltimore Waterfront Promenade — mostly brick-paved and about three miles long extends from Canton Waterfront Park to Federal Hill (south of the Inner Harbor). It is a safe and accessible way for pedestrians, dog walkers and runners to see how Baltimore lives, works and plays.

Baltimore Waterfront Promenade

If you have a full day, walk the promenade from end to end, stopping to sight-see or wander through adjacent neighborhoods. If your energy ebbs, hop a water taxi; the landings are clearly marked throughout the waterfront. Starting at Canton Water front Park, there are legions of locals walking dogs, fishing and strolling. As you walk into adjacent Fells Point, colorful shops, restaurant and pubs beckon from cobblestone streets.

Moving eastward you pass upscale Harbor East and walk through Baltimore’s major tourist destinations at the Inner Harbor. The showpiece attractions include the Maryland Science Center, the National Aquarium, Harborplace and the USS Constellation. Lower cost activities include tours on occasionally visiting ships and the 360 degree panoramic view from the Baltimore World Trade Center Observation Level. For no cost, you can lounge in the green spaces in West Shore Park and watch gleeful children splash in the adjacent water jets play area. Take in a free film about the city at the nearby Baltimore Visitor Center. You can’t miss Federal Hill, which rises above the south side of the Harbor.

The surrounding neighborhood was one of the first areas of residential urban renewal in Baltimore and remains a coveted zip code. Shops, charming streets and the historic Cross Street Market are worth a temporary detour off the promenade. Water taxis tickets are $10 for adults and are good for unlimited rides to all harbor destinations for the entire day. Hours and stops vary by season. Posted signs and taxi operators can provide details for that day. In high season (May until early September) water taxis operate from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.