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.
Through careful city planning and cooperation between public and private investors, Baltimore has entered the ranks of America's "comeback cities" in recent years. Its downtown business district has been transformed into a mecca of sparkling new hotels, retail centers, and office buildings. But Baltimore has not wholly exchanged its traditional working-class image for high-technology polish. Many of its urban renewal programs focus on the preservation or renovation of historical buildings and neighborhoods amidst new construction. For example, its wildly popular Oriole Park at Camden Yards offers state-of-the-art amenities in a turn-of-the-century style baseball stadium. Nicknamed the "charmed city," Baltimore has become a top tourist destination.