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Federal Hill Park, Baltimore

4.6
#3 of 11 in Historic Sites in Baltimore
Historic Walking Area Historic Site
Federal Hill Park is a 10.3 acres park located in Baltimore, Maryland on the south shore of the Inner Harbor. The park is a signature Baltimore landmark and offers visitors one of the best views in the city. The Federal Hill neighborhood is named for the prominent hill that is bounded by Key Highway to the North, Battery Avenue to the West, Warren Avenue to the South, and Covington Street to the East. Baltimore city acquired the hill in 1880, establishing it as a city park.HistoryJohn Smith’s HillThe first Anglo Saxon to discover Federal Hill Park was the celebrated English Colonial Settler Captain John Smith (1580-1631). In June 1608, Smith sailed from Jamestown up the Chesapeake Bay for a 19-day journey that ended with a voyage up the Patapsco River. It was there that Smith reported seeing "a great red bank of clay flanking a natural harbor basin." Early Baltimore settlers referred to this area as "John Smith’s Hill".The FederalistIn May 1788, Baltimoreans paraded through the streets to celebrate the State of Maryland’s ratification of the United States Constitution. The parade featured a 15-foot model of a fully rigged sailing ship named the "Federalist" that was to be installed atop John Smith’s Hill. The day turned into quite a celebration; the thousands of celebrants were treated to "untold quantities" of grog, toddy, beef, ham, and cheese, financed by leading Baltimore business scions. Revelers were having so much fun that they opted to slide the Federalist down the hill and launch it from the Inner Harbor to Annapolis. This celebration was so legendary that Baltimoreans renamed ‘John Smith’s Hill’ in tribute to the party boat. Hence the origin of the Park’s name: Federal Hill.
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Where to stay in Baltimore

For quick and easy access to practically all of Baltimore's major attractionswhile on holiday, follow the example of most tourists and stay near the Inner Harbor neighborhood. Few cities boast such a well-defined tourist district, it shouldn't come as a surprise that all the major chain hotels in the city are located right in this busy neighborhood. If you prefer to stay in a quieter area offering a bit more local character, consider one of the city's outlying districts, offering affordable accommodations and plenty of dining and shopping options.
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4.7
  • Stumbled on this hill that overlooks the bay and city. It's a fun climb to the top where there is a play area for kids and people looking over the city. Very relaxing.  more »
  • We loved walking up this hill and seeing the skyline and view of the Inner Harbor. It was very beautiful. We went early in the morning and it was very peaceful. I wouldn't miss going here and taking i...  more »
  • While in Inner Harbour in Baltimore we took a walk on the Promenade and noticed this huge hill area to our right. We decided to add points to my wife Fitbit by venturing, WOW!... GREAT VIEWS of Harbor...  more »
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  • It's a nice layed back type of park with a nice size playground dead smack in the middle of the park. Plus it over looks the inner harbor wit a perfect and beautiful view cause the park is literally on a huge hill. I recommend this park
  • Great views of the city. Very safe and nice place to go for a stroll or a jog.
  • Very relaxing on a sunny day with the right amount of breeze. Sight line is unbelievable. Take a book. Walk around. You literally standing in the middle of history on this hill
  • Had such a beautiful view! And shares its historical context. I could sit there and stare at the water all afternoon (if it wasn't so cold out that day lol).
  • Great location for a morning run. Federal Hill provides a spectacular view of Baltimore's Downtown skyline.