My niece, sister-in-law, and I decided to make an impromptu trip to Washington DC to see the Cherry Blossoms bloom through the Capitol. We spent only one day in DC, and most of our trip was spent in Baltimore, Maryland. Once we settled in, we found some gems and fun things to do in Baltimore!
We arrived in Baltimore late Thursday night and went to our hotel. I will be transparent because some travel bloggers make traveling seem like it is all rainbows and unicorns and all parts of traveling are glamorous.
Our trip did not go as planned, but we made it a point to have a great time and take in the new state.
I always stay in Marriott branded hotels. I feel they are clean, consistent, and fair on my pocketbook. I booked a Marriott brand hotel in downtown Baltimore. I got a fantastic rate, and it was close to the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore.
The picture looked beautiful, and the reviews seemed ok. We just needed somewhere to sleep, right? Wrong.
We arrived late at our hotel. We checked in, and it smelled like marijuana everywhere. I even had to look up if marijuana is legal in Maryland, which it is not.
The hotel gave us a room that smelled so horribly bad of smoke and marijuana, and we asked to switch. People came in and out while we waited, smelling like weed. We get to our room, and it is filthy. Just nasty and gross and smelled horrendous.
I am not going to put this Marriott’s name out there for the simple fact that I have never been disappointed in a Marriott. It’s a great brand that I love consistently, and they never disappoint.
We toughed it out, asked to check out, and explained why. They allowed us to leave, and I again booked a different Marriott in Fells Point, Baltimore. Much better, and I highly recommend it if you are planning a trip to the Baltimore area. We felt safe, and the rooms were spacious, the rate was fantastic, and it was near the better part of Baltimore with shopping, the harbor, Little Italy, the aquarium, and great food.
This hotel was also near the Amtrak and Marc station to get to Washington DC within 50 minutes.
Baltimore, Maryland is a 50-60 minute ride by train to DC; you can easily go into Washington DC for the day, see everything and go back to Baltimore.
We flew into Baltimore to go to DC because the flights were significantly less than flying directly into Reagan Airport in Washington DC. Our flights from Dallas only cost $115 round-trip vs. $538 to DC. I found these flights using Skyscanner is how I find really great flights for my budget.
We took the Amtrak from Penn Station in Baltimore to DC. You can find the schedules for Amtrak and do not be intimidated by it, and it is easy to find the schedule, jump on and head to a whole new city. It was easier than I thought.
Once we moved to the new hotel, we started having some fun. The hotel was located near Fells Point, Baltimore, and it was so cute and had a fantastic vibe and restaurants.
Hotels in Baltimore
- Sagamore Pendry Baltimore (luxury) Beautiful pool overlooking the harbor, one of the most beautiful restaurants in the lobby I have ever seen. Right on Thames Street, which has pubs, shops, and restaurants. This simply is a beautiful hotel.
- Courtyard Marriott Inner Harbor (mid) This is where we stayed after our unfortunate incident at the last hotel. This a clean, comfortable, consistent hotel. Located near Fells Point, the Aquarium, great restaurants, the harbor, Little Italy.
- Hotel Indigo An upscale boutique hotel in the Mount Vernon neighborhood in the epicenter of Baltimore culture. Near museums and historical landmarks, it is a stunning, vibrant hotel with delicious craft cocktails.
Top Things to Do in Baltimore
- The Aquarium
- Take the Amtrak to Washington DC
- Fells Point, Maryland
- Little Italy
- Inner Harbor
- Edgar Allen Poe House
- Mount Vernon Historic District
- Visit Graffiti Alley (above), A hidden urban alley, to take some pretty vibrant photos. To find the location, google “Graffiti Alley Baltimore” google can take you to it.
- The historic Pastel Rowhomes in Fells Point. Just be respectful of the residence that actually lives there. Google 717 S. Ann Street, Baltimore, Maryland. This was my favorite spot in Baltimore, then head to brunch on Thames Street.
Where to Eat Baltimore-and I recommend them all, especially the ice cream!
Little Italy, Baltimore–Baltimore’s Little Italy is only about two blocks, but it’s an enchanting, charming little street with twinkling lights at night and restaurants that treat you like you are family. There are mom & pop restaurants that are quaint, cozy, and feel like home.
We visited the Star-Spangled Banner House, then headed to Little Italy to Joe Benny’s, where I felt the guys running it were my long-lost Italian brothers.
Joe Benny’s 313 S High Street Baltimore, Maryland 21202. The food was delicious. I had the “plain and simple” pizza made on fresh focaccia, which was a first for me, and I loved it. My niece a huge meatball sub on fresh rolls (the best meatballs on the block.” Marjorie, a stiff whiskey drink and bruschetta.
Taharka Brothers Ice Cream in Broadway Market. After we had pizza in Little Italy, I had a sweet tooth. We walked a bit back down to Fells Point in search of ice cream. I found Taharka Brothers on Yelp, and I am so glad I tried it. One of the best ice cream cones I ever had, hands down. I got the Graham Honey cone. I can not explain the flavor, but the honey graham swirl in the ice cream is sugary, sweet, and addicting.
Blue Moon Cafe 1621 Aliceanna St. Baltimore, Maryland 21231. A quaint little restaurant in a blue refurbished house. Friendly service, strong coffee, amazing whipped cream, and wonderful French toast. I had the Capitan Crunch French Toast! I always appreciate beautiful food!
Miss Shirley’s Cafe 750 E. Pratt St. Baltimore, Maryland 21202. Popular restaurant near the harbor. Great for getting a bite to eat and heading to the aquarium across the street. Everything, I mean everything in this restaurant, looked amazing.
We waited an hour and a half for a table only because Baltimore during our trip is at 50% capacity and it’s a very popular brunch restaurant. If you go on a Saturday or Sunday, expect to wait but it was worth it. I got the peach and brown sugar donuts (drool) and white chocolate blueberry pancakes. The portions are huge so come hungry.
Tips for Baltimore
- Rent a Lime Scooter, download the app. It is so much fun to zoom around Balitmore. This is actually the best mode of transportation!
- We used UBER A LOT, more than I thought. Walking a lot in Baltimore is going to happen, and have an extra fund for scooters, bikes, and UBER if you cannot rent a car. If you do rent a car, parking may be pricey and hard to find parking.
- Stay near Fells Point. I do not suggest staying in the downtown area. I am honest. I felt safe in Fells Point, and I loved the area and the vibe.
- I suggest staying at the Courtyard Marriott, Hotel Indigo, or Sagamore Pendry, directly across from all the pubs, restaurants, Farmers Markets in Fells Point, and right on the Harbor. When I go back to a football game, I will stay at one of these hotels. The Sagamore was on a quaint cobblestone-lined street, where entertainment and history combine.
- Baltimore smells like weed. I am not going to sugarcoat it. You can expect it. You may or may not be offended, just a simple heads up.
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