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BALTIMORE TOURISM GUIDE / TOURISM IN BALTIMORE

Share your experiences on tourism issues throughout Baltimore. Discuss in this forum about the right places to discover.


BALTIMORE TOURISM GUIDE / TOURISM IN BALTIMORE

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Postby Baltimore Info » Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:58 am

BALTIMORE TOURISM GUIDE

About 14 million people visit "Charm City" each year, lured by Baltimore’s warm hospitality, modern conveniences, and long list of attractions.

First stop, the Inner Harbor. Almost everyone starts a visit to Harborplace, a festive market place with shops, eateries and plenty of activities.

If you like fine art, try the Walters Art Gallery or the John Russell Pope-designed Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA). The Walters has a world-famous collection of Egyptian artifacts, medieval armor and Faberge eggs, while the BMA has the second-largest private collection of Andy Warhol works in the country. On the other hand, if you want eclectic you have a choice of a dental museum, a light bulb museum and the American Visionary Art Museum.

When you have sports on your mind, watch a Johns Hopkins lacrosse game, or see the Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame at Johns Hopkins University, next to Homewood Field. Or, for pro sports, there's the American League's Baltimore Orioles and the NFL's Baltimore Ravens, the Baltimore Blast soccer team and the Baltimore Bayrunners of the International Basketball League. There's also an outdoor ice rink, and horse racing at Pimlico, noted for the annual Preakness race, the second in the Triple Crown of thoroughbred competition. Golf and tennis are not far away, and, of course, there are plenty of water activities to enjoy, whether you want to spend some time in a paddle or pedal boat scooting around the harbor or on a cruise complete with meal and entertainment.

Be sure to save time to visit the Babe Ruth Museum and take a tour of Camden Yards.

Within the city are fine restaurants representing just about any style food you want, from Italian to Greek to Afghan to the native favorite, crabs.

Great entertainment is available in a variety of venues, from productions at the Morris A. Mechanic Theater to concerts under the stars at the Harborplace Amphitheatre. For a real treat, go see the Baltimore Symphony at the Lyric Opera House or visit the world-renowned Peabody Institute.

Entertaining children seems to be a specialty of the area, with the Port Discovery Children's Museum leading the list of activities. Spend some time at the National Aquarium or the National Science Center. The Baltimore Zoo in Druid Hill Park offers a children's area where they can walk on lily pads and climb inside a tree.

If history is what you craved, look no further, for you have everything from Ft. McHenry to the B&O Railroad Museum at Mount Clare, the first railroading system in the country. Visit the U.S.S. Constellation, the only surviving Civil War-era naval vessel and all-sail warship built by the Navy, the U.S.S. Torsk and a floating lighthouse. There are 15 maritime-related historical sites in the city, and you can purchase a pass to see all of them.

One of Baltimore's most noted attractions is its ethnic festivals. Baltimore was a major immigration centre, second on the East Coast only to New York. Even if there isn't a festival when you're planning to visit, don't worry. You can still visit Little Italy’s bocce ball courts, St. Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church, and Greek Town as well as other ethnic neighbourhoods.

For a spiritual experience, stop by the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption, the first Roman Catholic cathedral in the U.S., or visit the Jewish Museum of Maryland, home to the 1845 Lloyd Street Synagogue, the first in Maryland.

As to scenic views, you can't do better than Federal Hill or the World Trade Center's 27th floor observatory, atop the tallest pentagonal building in the country, both at the Inner Harbor.

Try the Eubie Blake National Museum and Cultural Center, Planet Hollywood, the Baltimore Street Car Museum, the Great Blacks in Wax Museum, and the Baltimore Public Works Museum.

If antiques are more your style, visit Baltimore's antique row or the many boutiques around town that offer gently used apparel, furniture, knick-knacks, sea-faring gear, jewelry and just about anything else you could desire.

Transportation into and out of the area is a breeze with easy access to the Interstate and BWI (Baltimore Washington International Airport) just 10 miles south of the city. Washington's National and Dulles airports are also within an easy drive. Amtrak serves the airport and downtown Baltimore, and a Light Rail and subway system augment the train service. For additional transportation options, consider the trolley or the water taxis. They’ll get you to 35 attractions and five different neighbourhoods.

Wherever you go, be prepared to be called “Hon (pronounced to rhyme with bun). It’s the locals’ way of making you feel at home.

If you want to include a Washington D.C. day trip in your schedule, it's an easy ride 40 miles down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, or you can hop a MARC train (weekdays only), +1 800 543-9809, or catch an Amtrak train at the recently renovated Penn Station, +1 800 USA RAIL (+1 800 872-7245). Annapolis, another popular tourist spot, is even closer to Baltimore, and accessed via I-97, just south of Baltimore, off I-695.

Philadelphia is just 90 miles north of Baltimore. It's another colonial city rich in art, sports, and great food, if you get tired of crabs. Take Amtrak, or drive north on I-95.
Baltimore Info
 
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