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Baltimore

Baltimore likes to celebrate: Arrive on a sunny May Wednesday and take part in the old-fashioned Flower Mart. Listen to schoolchildren sing. Line up for a crab-cake sandwich or a local treat known as a "lemon stick."

Or come in midsummer and walk around Harborplace, where you'll wonder what the party's for. But it isn't a party: It's just Baltimore having a good time. On a wintry night when it looks like the city has wrapped itself in a blanket and gone to bed, head east to Power Plant Live, historic Fells Point, or the newly redeveloped Canton, and you'll find hot crowds and cool music.

Baltimore celebrates in its historic sites, its endless array of parties and festivals, and its grand museums and neighborhood shops. Picturesque old neighborhoods like Federal Hill, Mount Vernon, Fells Point, and Canton make Baltimore an ever-more-popular tourist destination.

"Charm City" has welcomed visitors since 1729. Founded as a port and shipbuilding town, manufacturing has always had a big role in this city. General Motors and Bethlehem Steel have been a part of the East Baltimore landscape for decades. Domino Sugar's sign dominates the Inner Harbor. More recently, Baltimore has welcomed a new wave of service industries and nonprofits. Tourism plays an ever-increasing role in the city's economy, and a laid-back population welcomes its visitors with a friendly "Hi, hon!" in the unique Bawlamer accent.

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