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Federal Hill Park, Baltimore

4.6
#3 of 11 in Historic Sites in Baltimore
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.
Federal Hill Park is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our international travel planner, Baltimore Edition.
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Federal Hill Park Reviews
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487 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Quickly run up the hill or walk the path. At the end of the Harbor but nice view overlooking everything.  more »
  • With all the places that you can go in Baltimore’s inner harbor, Federal Hill is often overlooked but it’s a great place to spend an afternoon. There’s a beautiful view of the harbor and if you were l...  more »
  • This park has always been a favorite of our family. It offers the most iconic views of the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, which we enjoyed seeing today. You might think that this is a small park, but it e...  more »
Google
  • With an awesome view like this, what's not to love? The best parking options are usually around the American Visionary Art Museum. If you park on that side of the park, you can avoid all of the stairs and instead take the paved pathway uphill and around to the top of the hill. Great spot for the whole family - can enjoy a nice picnic and let the kids play at their huge playground, while enjoying the gorgeous view of the Inner Harbor. Great spot for fireworks too on 4th of July and New Years - however, the crowd is not exactly family friendly during those events.
  • This park is fantastic. If you are in Baltimore around Inner Harbor, don't miss it! The only caveat being the weather. If it is too cold, wet or windy look for another plan. On a nice day, I doubt there is a better spot to relax and take in the view.
  • Wonderful views of the inner harbor. Nice place for evening photos. Cute neighborhood around it to explore. Get ready for lots of steps!! it's a good climb to the top.
  • This is a great place to climb up to and just relax, have a picnic, or toss a Frisbee around. There is a playground up top for younger children and its gated in for safety. It overlooks the harbor, great view.
  • Fantastic views of Baltimore. The playground is pretty nice. This is my kids’ favorite place to go in Baltimore. We’ll pay $$$ to go to some museum or something, but all they really want to do is go to Federal Hill, Which is free!

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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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