Pimlico Race Course, 5201 Park Heights Ave., 410/542-9400,
On the third Saturday in May, Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course  is host to the middle jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown (the first is the Kentucky Derby; the last is the Belmont Stakes). For the week before the race, Baltimore  hosts all sorts of parties, events, festivals, and other activities for the tens of thousands of visitors who descend on the city for pre-race fun.
Hot-air balloons fill the skies, and it seems like there’s a hospitality tent on every patch of ground around the Inner Harbor. Race day itself brings traffic on I-83 to a halt as the throngs head for Pimlico (the infield alone groans under the beer-sodden feet of some 104,000 people), and the evenings usually see bars and restaurants filled with tired, sunburned folks.