From your downtown or Federal Hill hotel, begin your day by heading east to Locust Point, and get a hearty breakfast at Harvest Table . Then, walk a few steps north, to the waterfront promenade of the Tide Point complex, for a great view of Fell’s Point and the city.
Head back to Fort Avenue, and then due east by car (or on foot, if you’re feeling energetic) for about a mile to the Fort McHenry National Monument , where Baltimore ’s stout defense turned back a British invasion fleet during the War of 1812—and led Francis Scott Key to pen “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
You can see where the flag that loaned its name to the song was created at Little Italy’s Star-Spangled Banner Flag House .
Nearby are two attractions that showcase the roles played by African Americans in Baltimore ’s early history: Right next door is the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture , and in Fell’s Point, the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park .
And the Phoenix Shot Tower  is where molten lead was dripped into perfect spheres, creating “shot” for U.S. troops in the 19th century.
Continue your tour of Baltimore  history and culture at the Baltimore Museum of Art  in Homewood, then sample some regional cuisine on the wonderful patio at the BMA’s restaurant Gertrude’s .
After dinner, head to Mount Vernon for a performance (symphony, opera, play, or musical). Grab post-show dessert at the Brass Elephant  restaurant’s opulent upstairs bar, The Tusk Lounge , or take the elevator up to The 13th Floor  in the grand old Belvedere building nearby for a commanding view of the city at night.
Start your day like a local at Jimmy’s Restaurant  in Fell’s Point. The legendary diner is a favorite of neighborhood lifers, politicians, businessmen, media people, and tourists alike.
Then head west (it’s a two-mile trip that’s very walkable) to the Inner Harbor. You’ll see the giant neon Domino Sugars sign  (looming across the harbor; it’s in Federal Hill, but the best view is from Fell’s Point (it’s even more impressive at night). This is still a working harbor, so you’ll see cargo ships and tugboats churning past sailboats and yachts as you walk.
Head for the National Aquarium in Baltimore , where you can wander through the Australia exhibit and take in the dolphin show (and morning animal feedings). Grab a crustacean-rich lunch at Phillips Harborplace .
The Inner Harbor isn’t all about the thrill of the new: There are several great historic attractions here as well. Climb aboard the U.S.S. Constellation , a Civil War–era warship. The Baltimore Maritime Museum  isn’t an actual museum; it’s a quartet of historic vessels (including a WWII-era submarine) and a lighthouse around the Inner Harbor.
Then walk back east along the marinas and the waterfront to Harbor East, the city’s newest neighborhood. Go shopping at an upscale boutique like South Moon Under . Treat yourself to an opulent, truly Italian dinner at Cinghiale .
Upgrade your outfit a little and head to the warm, stylish Pazo  in Harbor East for some wine and tapas. Or head to Little Italy for drinks and dessert, choosing from a wide variety of classic Italian restaurants, from something casual like Sabatino’s  to more special-occasion like Aldo’s .