Exploring Downtown Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore’s LIGHT CITY

April 2018

When you think of Baltimore, what do you think of? Some would say danger, some would say busy, and many would call it “home.” I am, of course, referring to the city of Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States. My first experience in the inner harbor in Baltimore was one of excitement and nostalgia.


I originally decided to travel to Baltimore because I wanted to go to the National Aquarium. I love the ocean and am passionate about marine and aquatic conservation, so I wanted to see what the aquarium was like. And… I highly recommend visiting! It is $40 for a regular ticket, but considering how much it costs to upkeep a giant aquarium and run conservation efforts, I felt like it was well worth it.


During my visit at the National Aquarium I saw a giant sea turtle, stingrays, sharks, and plenty of fish. They have a rainforest greenhouse where there are sloths, monkeys, and brightly colored birds! My favorite animals to see (and to photograph!) were the dolphins and jellyfish. Dolphins are no surprise because everyone loves dolphins. From their soulful eyes to their quirky habits, dolphins are easy to love. My appreciation for jellyfish came as quite a surprise since I thought I was terrified of them, but I really appreciate the way that they look through camera.




After I spent three hours or so at the aquarium, I wandered into Hard Rock Cafe. I hadn’t been in one in years. My waiter was so sweet and I ordered a delicious cauliflower burger with grilled squash and zucchini on it — yum! I highly recommend.

While inside the cafe, the hostess asked if I was going to the Lights City Festival, which I knew nothing about. I Googled it and thought that it looked interesting enough to stay until the parade started. Why not? I didn’t have anything else to do except go home. It was supposed to be a big celebration and I thought that the lights would look beautiful (I love Christmas lights in the winter!!).


So I wandered around the inner harbor to kill time until the parade started. I walked down to the shops, on the piers, people-watched. My favorite time was when I just sat on the edge of the walkway and watched the sunset over the water. It was finally a warm day so I basked in the sunshine and listened to the ocean. The salty sea breeze does something to me that I can’t explain. It feels like home. It made me miss my family and friends back home even more. My little brother would have absolutely loved the aquarium and the Lights City Festival, and my entire family always enjoys a day near the ocean. I texted them all and told them that I wished they were there and I loved them.

At one point in the evening I waited 30 minutes (!!!) in line for ice cream and sat to watch the harbor again while I devoured it.

The sun finally set and it was time for the parade. There were so many people that it was challenging to take decent pictures of those in the festival. Marching bands, dance troops, and clowns walked past. People on bikes with lights hanging from some kind of contraption strolled by pedestrians as a part of the parade. Giant parrots, dragons, and other birds were held high above the festival-goers heads.


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Once the parade was finished, it was a nightmare trying to get back to my car. There were so many people and families trying to get away that I was surrounded on all sides by people, shuffling forward. Finally at my car, pedestrians would jump out from the sidewalk and it took me an hour to get home.

But besides the traffic and thousands of people, I truly enjoyed my trip to Baltimore. It is an exciting city with lots of interesting people and things to do. If you’re ever near the inner harbor, it’s worth a stop!

All photos displayed in this post were taken by Emmalee Mauldin and are completely unedited.


Thank you for reading! Have you ever traveled to Baltimore or the Light City Festival? Did this post make you want to visit? Let me know and like this post!




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