Captain John Smith explored the Chesapeake Bay in 1608. Twenty four years later, King Charles I of England granted a charter for Maryland to Cecil Calvert, also known as Lord Baltimore. Maryland was named in honor of Henrietta Maria, queen consort of Charles I. The boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania in the north was not surveyed until the 1760s when Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon established the line. Maryland ceded land to form the District of Columbia in 1791.
A legislative act was passed in 1729 to create the city of Baltimore. In the 1760s, the population began expanding rapidly, and the American Revolution spurred even more economic and physical growth that ultimately made Baltimore a leading supply center. Baltimore sits right on the Chesapeake Bay, which produces more seafood than any other body of water of comparable size. Today, Baltimore’s port ranks second in the nation for most foreign tonnage.
Any tour of Baltimore starts with the Inner Harbor, Baltimore’s showpiece revamped in the late 1970s. Harborplace, a three-acre retail, dining, and entertainment complex, anchors the Inner Harbor. Other attractions include the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, World Trade Center, Power Plant Live! (Baltimore’s premier dining and entertainment experience featuring restaurant row, pubs, comedy and night clubs), and the Tall Ships. Across the water you might be able to see Fort McHenry.
Baltimore Fast Facts
Population: 777,184 (4th largest city on the East Coast) Elevation: 33 ft
Area: 81 sq mi
Nicknames: “Monument City,” “Charm City,” “B’more”
More About Baltimore’s Neighborhoods
Downtown includes City Center, the Inner Harbor, West Side, and Camden Yards. This is the core of Baltimore City. Camden Yards is home to both the Baltimore Orioles (Oriole Park) and the Baltimore Ravens (M&T Bank Stadium). City Center includes historic Charles St. and its famous Market Place that is home to many businesses. West Side includes University Center, home to the University of Maryland Medical Center and R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center
Immediately east of downtown is Little Italy known now for its over 20 amazing restaurants and dessert establishments in a 12 square block area. It is within walking distance from Fell’s Point, Camden Yards, and the Inner Harbor. Borders include Pratt St. to the north, Eden St. to the east, the Jones Falls Bulkhead to the west, and the Inner Harbor to the south. How to get there: Follow Pratt St. east past the Inner Harbor until you reach Albemarle St. Make a right.
Just past Little Italy is Fell’s Point, a historic waterfront community once the chief Colonial shipbuilding center that is now known for its craft and antique shops, coffeehouses, restaurants, great pubs, and nightlife. Fells Point is bounded by Gough St. to the north, Caroline and Chester Streets to the west and east, respectively, and the Chesapeake Bay to the south. How to get there: Follow Pratt St. east past the Inner Harbor. Make a right onto President St. Turn left onto Fleet St. and then take a right onto Broadway. Head south until you hit the Market Square.
Mount Vernon, one of the city’s loveliest neighborhoods, is a National Registry Historic District Its chief feature is a park of shrub-lined lawns and flowerbeds, laid out in the form of a cross. The 178-foot tall monument to George Washington stands at the Park’s center. Mount Vernon is also home to the Peabody Institute, the Walters Art Gallery, the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Charles Movie Theatre. How to get there: Follow Pratt St. east towards the Inner Harbor. Take a left on Charles St. and head north until you hit the Washington Monument. Amtrak’s Baltimore Penn Station and Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Campus are both slightly farther north on Charles St.
If you drove to the conference, we recommend parking and leaving your vehicle until you are ready to depart. Driving around and parking in Baltimore can be confusing and costly. We strongly recommend walking, taking a taxi, or utilizing public transportation. Baltimore is a very walkable city and the host hotel is conveniently located close to most attractions - just be sure to walk in groups and stay in well-lit areas.Many attractions on the Inner Harbor as well as some of the neighborhoods of note in Baltimore are served by a free shuttle service. Learn more on our Transportation page.
Coming Early? Staying Late?
For those spending some extra time in Baltimore either pre- or post-conference below are a few of the dozens of attractions in and around the city.
EMS Points of Interest
Baltimore City Fire Department - John F. Steadman Fire Station - Located at the corner of W. Lombard and S. Eutaw Streets, the Fire Station is one of the largest in the United States housing over 15 active pieces of apparatus and a shift of 21 employees. The station opened on September 11, 1973 and is named after beloved Deputy Chief John F. Steadman, a 27 year veteran of the Department, who died while giving a report to the fire board on March 7, 1940.
Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems - Located at 635 W. Pratt St., MIEMSS coordinates the statewide EMS network that includes volunteer and career EMS providers, medical and nursing personnel, communications, transportation systems, trauma and specialty care centers, and emergency departments. Within MIEMSS is the Emergency Medical Resources Center (EMRC) that coordinates consultations between medic units and hospital physicians and the System Communication Center (SYSCOM) that coordinates all State Police Med-Evac missions.
The R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center - R Adams Cowley is considered the father of trauma care and gave the world the concept of the Golden Hour. Only a few blocks from the hotel, the Shock Trauma Center is one of the world’s only stand-alone trauma hospitals and is dedicated to treating the severely injured and employing groundbreaking research and innovative medical procedures with one goal in mind - saving lives. It is the core element of the state’s emergency medical system and serves as the state’s primary adult trauma clinical resource center.
Ft. McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine - Location where Baltimoreans defeated the British in 1814, inspiring Francis Scott Key to write the “Star Spangled Banner.” Also see the Flag House and Star-Spangled Banner Museum (844 E. Pratt St.)
2400 E. Fort Ave; (410) 962-4290
Baltimore Civil War Museum - The restored President Street Station, built in 1849, was first a stop on the Underground Railroad. On April 19, 1861 it became the site of the first casualties of the Civil War. Also see the U.S.S. Constellation - the last surviving ship of the Civil War, and the last all-sail ship built by the U.S. Navy - located at Pier 1 in the Inner Harbor.
Baltimore Museum of Art - The museum holds the second largest publicly displayed collection of Andy Warhol’s work. Other artists whose works on display include van Gogh, Renoir, Matisse and Picasso - to name a few. 10 Art Museum Dr; (443) 573-1700
Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum - Visit the Babe’s home, which celebrates his Baltimore roots and displays his boyhood bat and other artifacts. It is also the official repository of Orioles team memorabilia. Also see Sports Legends at Camden Yards (301 W. Camden St.) 216 Emory St; (410) 727-1539
The Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad Museum - Featuring a large collection of locomotives that visitors are welcome to climb aboard and inspect. 901 W. Pratt St; (410) 752-2490
Maryland Science Center and IMAX Theater - Exhibits include Dinosaur Mysteries, Newtown's Alley, Cells: The Universe Inside Us, Your Body: The Inside Story, and Life Beyond Earth. Current IMAX features include Beavers, Journey to Space, and Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West. 601 Light St; (410) 685-5225
The National Aquarium in Baltimore - 501 E. Pratt St; (410) 576-3800
Food, Dining and Night Life
For dinner, we encourage you to venture out of the hotel and grab a bite in either the Inner Harbor or PowerPlant Live areas. If you desire to explore farther, head to Little Italy or Fells Point. Group up with another squad and eat together.
Discounts at Local Venues
NCEMSF Conference Attendees are eligible to receive discounts at various area restaurants and entertainment venues through Visit Baltimore's Show Your Badge program. For a listing of participating restaurants and venues, please see the pdf Show Your Badge brochure (324 KB). To receive these discounts, present your NCEMSF Conference ID Badge at the venue. Please note:
- Your badge must be presented at the time of purchase.
- This discount is not valid with any other coupon or reduced price offer.
- This discount is not redeemable for cash or gift card purchase.
- Applicable taxes paid by bearer.
- Certain restrictions may apply to individual restaurants.
Consult with staff at each venue for any limitations that may apply.