If you’ve never been to Baltimore before, it’s high time you paid this Maryland gem a visit. Here are five good reasons to make Baltimore your next travel destination.

1. The food

Baltimore was named runner-up in Zagat’s Top Food Cities of 2015 and it’s no wonder. In Baltimore, you’ll find everything from comforting, hearty fayre to fine dining. Head down the harbor to sample the catch of the day. You’ll enjoy a delicious meal and fabulous views. Food is celebrated here, and you can attend events, such as food festivals, throughout the year. If you’re a foodie, and you’re eager to embark on a culinary journey during your stay, join a city food tour.

2. The scenery
Baltimore is famed for its green spaces. Yes, you’ll find all the skyscrapers and bustling financial districts you’d find in other major cities. But you’ll also discover that there are plenty of tranquil parks to escape to after a hectic day of sightseeing. The Cylburn Arboretum is a highlight. This stunning urban park is bursting with color, and it boasts a series of themed gardens. Visit in the spring to catch sight of the beautiful blossom in all its glory.

3. The festivals
You’ll never get bored in Baltimore. There’s so much to see and do and there’s a festival of some kind happening almost every month. Whether you’re into music, art, dance or sport, there’s something for everyone. Look out for details online and sign up for mailing lists to get the latest information and book tickets.

4. The sights
There’s plenty going on in Baltimore, and you’ll find it easy to create a packed itinerary. Watch the Baltimore Ravens in action at the M&T Bank Stadium or cheer on the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park. Indulge in some culture with a visit to the Baltimore Museum of Art or the Walters Art Museum. Catch a show at the Hippodrome Theater. Or take a trip back in time at the Reginald F Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture.

5. The weather
Usually, the weather is mentioned as a selling-point when you can enjoy year-round sunshine. The beauty of Baltimore weather is that affords you the opportunity to enjoy distinctive seasons. The winter is cold, and you may be greeted with swathes of powdery snow. The fall and spring are mild with unpredictable conditions, and the summer is warm and sunny. You may not be guaranteed clear blue skies. But sometimes, it’s refreshing to experience the different seasonal changes.

If you’re thinking about going on a road trip or you’re looking for inspiration for your next US city break, why not consider Baltimore? There’s a vibrant blend of contemporary city living and rustic tradition. The influence of the sea port has not been forgotten, and the harbor is a stunning place to enjoy a delicious meal and a well-earned drink. There are hotels to suit all budgets and plenty of sights and attractions to keep visitors of all ages busy.