Baltimore History Self-Guided Driving Tour

From
USD1700

Free cancellation

A full refund will apply if you cancel more than 24 hours before the activity start time.

Guide LanguageEnglish
Good To KnowE-voucher
16 reviews

About

Cruise Baltimore and learn all about its rich history from the comfort of your own car with this self-guided audio driving tour. This app-based tour works with your smartphone to send you on a sightseeing route, aided by a live GPS map. Drive past sites like the USS Constellation, Fells Point, and Baltimore City Hall while listening to riveting tales of Baltimoreans such as Frederick Douglass and Edgar Allen Poe.

Highlights

Explore Baltimore from your car with this self-guided audio tour
Visit more than two dozen sites and learn their fascinating histories
Great value since multiple people in the same car can listen at once
Take the tour whenever you wish–the audioguide will never expire

Itinerary

Your tour of the historic, bustling city of Baltimore begins at the Baltimore Visitor Center. Get ready to experience all the culture and history of a city that has been home to all sorts of important figures like Frederick Douglass, Edgar Allan Poe, and lots more!
Note: This 10+ mile-long tour covers the essentials of Baltimore in 2-3 hours.
The first part of the city you'll see is the Inner Harbor, the hottest tourist destination in the city.
At the Baltimore Harbor, you'll get up close and personal with some of the oldest ships in the country!
The harbor's main attraction is the USS Constellation. This three-mast ship predates the Civil War, and was actually used to chase down and apprehend vessels illegally carrying enslaved prisoners!
Next is the National Aquarium, home to over 20,000 sea and land creatures. If you're looking for the perfect family-friendly activity, you'll find it here!
Beyond the lighthouse, you'll find one of Baltimore's strangest attractions: Mr. Trash Wheel. This innovative device helps keep the harbor clean and looks good while doing it!
This park is dedicated to honoring African-American maritime history. It gets its name from renowned abolitionist Frederick Douglass and pioneering unionist Isaac Myers. Both men worked at the shipyard that once operated here at different times.
Old-school watering hole in a Colonial-era building, offering drinks, pub fare & live music nightly.
Originally founded as an independent town in 1763, Fells Point still retains much of its historic appearance. Back in the days of Frederick Douglass, this was home to a large number of free and enslaved African Americans. Many of them worked at the ship port like Douglass, and the cheap houses here were all they could afford.
You might already be familiar with Frederick Douglass’s abolitionist work, but did you know he was also a staunch advocate for women’s rights? Douglass believed “Right is of no sex, truth is of no color.”
In 1848, Douglass attended the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. Here, he met Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and committed himself to their cause. While touring the country advocating for abolition, Douglass also began arguing for women’s rights. He called for all Americans, no matter their race or sex, to be granted the right to vote.
Your route takes you next past the National Katyn Memorial, a striking and somber monument with some fascinating history.
It’s hard to miss Baltimore City Hall, that regal structure just ahead.
Shortly after its completion, this was the site of a violent altercation between two Baltimore politicians. In 1883, James Busey and William Harig, both democrats, got into a heated political argument just outside the city hall. Harig, punched Busey. The two brawled, then sprang away and simultaneously drew pistols. Both men began firing wildly, but Harig’s aim was much better than Busey’s. Four bullets hit Busey in the chest, killing him. Constables arrived and arrested Harig for murder.
This pillar ahead is Baltimore’s Washington Monument. It might remind you of another Washington Monument… a slightly more famous one in a little town called D.C. Believe it or not, though, this isn’t actually a copycat! In fact, this was the very first major monument to honor George Washington. The architect, Robert Mills, just liked the design so much he decided to use it again in D.C.--only much bigger, of course.
In the 1930s, this gravestone started seeing a mysterious visitor. On January 19th, Poe’s birthday, a man appeared at the marker wearing all black, a wide-brimmed hat, and a white scarf to hide his face. He poured himself a glass of cognac and toasted Poe’s grave. Then he left three roses and the unfinished bottle and disappeared. The man returned the following year, and the year after that. The so-called “Poe Toaster” arrived at odd hours, usually under cover of darkness, and fled before anyone could discover his identity.
You'll arrive next at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park, dedicated to the two historical heavyweights in its name. Here, you'll learn all about these important figures and how they forever changed the fight for civil rights in America.
After that is the oldest saloon in the US, the Horse You Came In On Saloon. In addition to having some serious character of its own, this was also a beloved drinking spot of Edgar Allan Poe... and his ghost supposedly still frequents the joint!
The route heads into Fells Point next, probably the hippest neighborhood in all of Baltimore, and also one of the oldest.
This fort, built to defend Baltimore’s precious harbor, took the brunt of the naval assault in 1814. As 19 British warships approached, Major George Armistead told his 1,000 defenders to prepare for the fight of their lives. No sooner had the men taken their positions than the bombardment began. Cannons roared and sent cannonballs crashing into the fort. Luckily, the fort had recently been reinforced, and the cannonfire did little to damage it.
Francis Scott Key was so moved by the sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry that he scribbled a poem on the back of a letter he had kept in his pocket. This poem would later become the national anthem. Here is the original text of that poem, just as Key wrote it on that fateful morning:
Then you'll pass Douglass Place, home to several homes built by Frederick Douglass. Here, you'll hear the rest of Douglass's riveting story, including how he went from an enslaved shipwright to one of the most important figures in American politics.
Let’s return to Edgar Allan Poe. See that big brick hospital off to your right? That’s Church Home and Hospital, the site where Poe drew his last breath. Poe’s death remains mysterious to this day, but here’s what we know about it:
In September of 1849, Poe boarded a train in Richmond bound for Philadelphia. He was supposed to meet a poet in Philadelphia to do some editing work, but he never showed up. For some reason, he never made it to Philadelphia at all, and nobody knew his whereabouts for the next week.
Off to the right here, a little way down North Paca Street is the Mother Seton House. It’s most famous for being the temporary residence of Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born person to ever be canonized as a saint.
Seton was born in New York City in 1774 to an Episcopalian family and lived there for most of her youth. When her husband fell gravely ill with tuberculosis, however, she moved with him to Italy’s warmer climate for his health. It proved to be a fateful decision because it was in Italy that Seton discovered Catholicism. Her husband died shortly after the move, and she dedicated herself to her newfound religion.
Baltimore City Hall is next, and it's pretty hard to miss! You'll definitely want to snap a few photos of this regal, Napoleonic structure.
Beyond that is Baltimore's Washington Monument. This pillar might look familiar, because it was designed by the very same architect behind DC's iconic Washington Monument.
After that is Edgar Allan Poe's grave, which has for decades been the site of a strange ritual conducted by a mysterious individual whose identity has never been determined. Learn all about the enigmatic Poe Toaster here!
Even if you're not in town for a game, you'll certainly want to stop by Oriole Park, where countless baseball greats have made their names.
More educational activities can be found at the Maryland Science Center, one of the oldest scientific institutions in the country.

Inclusions

Great value: One purchase per car, not per person. More affordable than bus or guided tours!
Easy-to-use app: download Action’s Tour Guide App onto your phone
Perfect narrator: nothing can beat listening to a great voice. Proven with tons of rave reviews!
Offline maps: no signal, no problem! Works perfectly without cellular or wifi.
Comprehensive route and stops: See it all, miss nothing, leave no stone unturned!
Go at your own pace: Start anytime, pause anywhere, enjoy breaks for snacks and photos freely!
Hands-free: audio stories play on their own based on your location. Easy to use!
Engaging storytelling: Uncover unique tales, history, and facts for a memorable journey!

Exclusions

Attraction passes, entry tickets, or reservations

Additional Information

  • Public transportation options are available nearby
  • Suitable for all physical fitness levels
  • How it works: Once you book a tour, you’ll get a text/email with instructions. Download the app (while in good wifi/signal) and use your unique password to access your tours. To begin touring, go to the Starting Point and launch the app. The audio starts automatically. Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience. Please note that no one will meet you at the starting point.
  • Good value: Purchase only one tour for the entire vehicle instead of taking the bus and paying for each person. You will see a significant saving. Connect your phone to car speakers by a wire or bluetooth. Enjoy the tour by listening together as you drive.
  • Flexible Schedule: Once the app/tour is on your phone, you can use it any day and at any time. You can use it over multiple days. And, also use it on your next trip here. This tour never expires.
  • Preview the tour: You can use it before the trip at home (highly recommended), use it during the trip, and use it after you come back.
  • Don't miss a thing: You will get everything with the app - a complete itinerary, travel tips, professionally narrated audio stories, story script, images, videos, deep dives, hidden gems, exciting locations, recommendations for hikes, adventure, activities, treks, and stop-by-stop direction.
  • Private tour: You can use it in your car or rental car. No worries about groups or crowds. Start the tour app on your phone. And it will direct you step by step. You can stop for as many breaks as you like. Take a break for Instagram photos, and take a break for lunch/snacks. Go on a hike. The tour will wait for you and start when you start again. You can even do the tour over multiple days. Go at your own pace.
  • Easy to use: The stories play themselves as soon as the GPS is activated. It requires no use of your hands at all. You can get HELP by calling, chatting, or emailing any time of the day.
  • Offline: There is no need for a cell signal or Wi-Fi while touring. App’s GPS map works offline.
  • Expiration/go again: The tour will last for the rest of your life on your phone. It is available for use on any day of your next trip.
  • Use pictures for a photo book: Create a photo book using clean (no crowd) app images of each spot to make a memorable trip. All the photos and the correct sequence is ready in the app for you to use.
  • Social media: Share clean (no crowd) images with friends/family.
  • Devices supported include iPhones with iOS 13 & above, Android phones with version 9 & above and all cellular-enabled tablets & iPads.

Guide Languages

  • English

Cancellation Policy

  • A full refund will apply if you cancel more than 24 hours before the activity start time.

  • No refund is possible if you cancel less than 24 hours before the activity start time.