Baltimore is the little, big city in the center of Maryland. At just a short drive from Washington DC, Philadelphia, Delaware and Virginia, even New York, Baltimore is the perfect day trip destination with varied activities when all you have is 24 hours.
The centrally located Inner harbor area was once the main port of entry for America’s burgeoning immigrant population. Today, it’s full of restaurants, shops and seasonal activities such as the Chessie paddle boats which line the shore.
Can’t miss sites should include the National Aquarium and Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium, which is full of strange things like the “Coughin’ Coffin” made of cigarettes. The Aquarium is a true gem in the heart of the city and while it can no longer host dolphin shows, the friendly mammals swim up close in giant tanks. Don’t miss the jellyfish room and the rain forest too!
Shoppers will find the typical array of chain stores like Forever 21 and H & M department stores, sprinkled with a mix of souvenir and candy shops. You could waste the day shopping but why would you want to when the same shops are likely in your own backyard?
We had lunch at Bumba Gumps where the young staff was friendly and full of Forrest Gump trivia and the New England Clam Chowder wasn’t half bad. It sits at the harbor’s edge and offers outdoor dining on a sunny day with a view of the city’s historic ships and the charming and very red, Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse.
If your stay is longer than a day and you need a place to hang your hat, The Hyatt Regency Baltimore is convenient to the Inner Harbor and has the best fried calamari at its mezzanine level bar. Pair it with a margarita and then work off the calories in the hotel’s state-of-the-art gym or rooftop pool. If you’re lucky enough to book a room on the 12th floor or belong to Hyatt’s Gold Passport Club, an added perk is the free breakfast and all-day drinks and snacks inside the recently renovated, 12th floor Regency Club. Membership has its privileges!
Baltimore is great for day trippin’ whether you’re flyin’ solo or grabbing a weekend getaway.