Baltimore Travel Guide
Baltimore Travel / Zoo Travel / Zoos / Animal Travel / Animals / Penguins / → All Tags
There's no denying it: Penguins are cute. Really cute. And the fact that Maryland Zoo in Baltimore has recently opened up a cool new penguin exhibit really has us giddy with excitement. Each one of the winged inhabitants in this African penguin habitat has donned their Sunday best to receive visitors to their new home. (We suppose that's easy, when you're always wearing a tux.)
Named Penguin Coast and resembling a seaside ice shack, the exhibit's main viewing area offers a way to watch all 60 birds. Since the exhibit's unveiling in November, these feathered friends have been frolicking in 185,000 gallons of water — when they're not showing off on one of the rocks made for sunning, that is. While the majority of the critters are not young, there are a few baby penguins that swim back and forth, as intrigued by the human visitors as we are by them.
Whether you call it Charm City, The City of Firsts, Ravenstown, or Monument City — something that should be on any itinerary during a trip to Baltimore is crab! When it comes to indulging in quintessentially Baltimorean fare, the small crustacean is at the top of our list. Baltimore crabs are kind of world famous.
Frankly, it's almost impossible to venture anywhere in the city and not find crab on a menu. One of the most common ways to taste the seafood is by choosing crab cakes, but beware, not all are created equal. We'd recommend a splurge on a lump crab cake that features hand-picked crab meat and little to no filler, like breadcrumbs.
Right in the Inner Harbor sits Phillips, a touristy hot spot for seafood that serves up one of the heartier cakes we had while visiting. While it was delicious, we'd eschew the $42 price tag in favor of a more local flavor (at market price) by noshing over at Fells Point, where the hip locals eat. Thames Street Oyster House and Kooper's Tavern are on our short list.
The city of Baltimore is recovering from a long day and a night of violent riots that erupted after the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died after suffering a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. But while the violence in downtown has calmed down for now, the city is still on edge.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and ordered National Guard Troops to assist the city police in preventing further riots. The NY Times reports that a weeklong curfew has also been imposed from 10pm to 5am starting tonight.
The Visit Baltimore site has updated its Important Visitor Information page about the riots and the curfew but has said to check Baltimore Police's website for more current information. Which really means following the police on social media for the most immediate updates.
One good question was brought forth by this FlyerTalk member who wondered if the curfew applied to traveling to and from the airport. Actually yes, it does. The Balitmore Sun reports that the curfew means "people may not be out on the road unless they are driving to or from work or have a medical emergency."
Currently, flights to and from Baltimore are not affected, however, last night's baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox was cancelled. According to the NY Times, if the tensions persists, tonight's game may also be postponed or moved into nearby Washington, DC.
As for visitors who are in the city right now, there are a wide-ranging observations from Business as Usual in some parts of town to National Guard sightings and of course, fear and concern about whether more rioting is still to come. Here are a few reactions on Twitter:
House of Cards might be set in the high stakes world of Washington D.C., but the series is actually filmed on location in Baltimore. Here's a look at where you can eat, stay, and be entertained in Frank and Claire's world.
Where to Eat:
During the first and second season of House of Cards Frank frequented Freddy’s BBQ Rib Joint but, unfortunately, Freddy's doesn't really exist. So, if you're in Baltimore and want some authentic BBQ Chaps Pit Beef is the next best thing.
If you want to check out another HOC hotspot, try Werner’s in downtown Baltimore. This diner was featured in the first season and the third season as one of Doug's many meeting places.
Airport News / Airports / BWI / Tech Travel / Travel Tech / → All Tags
The creative and clever award has to go to the officials over at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, as they’ve taken something useless and turned it into something useful. We all know that payphones have now become part of history, but that does leave banks of telephones that need to be turned into something else.
That’s where the airport comes into things, as they’ve taken the pay phone spaces and turned them into charging stations for all your mobile devices. All in all three pay phone spots have been transformed at the airport, and that means less need to crouch on the floor trying to find an outlet over here or over there.
How To Get Tickets To / Sports Travel / Preakness / Maryland Travel / Horse Racing / Events / → All Tags
California Chrome might just be the most famous horse in the whole wide world right now, and if you would like to check him out in person the Preakness is coming up. As the second leg of the Triple Crown the race is scheduled to go down on May 17 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
Getting to it is a little bit easier than the hoopla surrounding the Kentucky Derby, but by no means is it any less of a good time. The cheapest tickets can be had for just $70 per person—plus taxes and fees—and that even gets you access to the event’s InfieldFest, which features performances from Lorde, Nas, and Frank Walker and Glenn Morrison—among others.
Are you ready for some football?! There’s still a few months before the first official kickoff, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t time for a sneak peek. Training camps are set to do their thing later this month, so if you’ve always wanted to check out the scrimmages and practices now’s the time to start planning:
It seems like just yesterday that we were overindulging in chicken wings and processed cheese while watching the Super Bowl, and when our snacks finally ran out it was the Baltimore Ravens who came out on top as the season’s champions.
The team is a lot different this year, as some players have headed elsewhere while others have headed off to the golf course—we’re looking at you Ray Lewis. Quarterback Joe Flacco is back for another season, and he’s making the big bucks—like really big—to lead his team in 2013. We’re not so sure they’ll be back in this year’s big game, but we’ll just have to wait and see how the season shakes out.
Now that the Kentucky Derby is in the rearview mirror and the mint juleps have worn off it’s time to look forward to the Preakness Stakes. We’re just shy of two weeks away from the ponies doing their thing in the second leg of the race for the Triple Crown, so now is as good time as any to start planning to check things out in person.
This year’s race is scheduled to do its thing at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on May 18, and if you want to see things in person rather than on television—you’re in luck—there’s still tickets available. There’s way more options from which to choose when compared to the Kentucky Derby, as you can even get access to the Preakness InfieldFest featuring performances by Pitbull and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
If you’re looking for a good time we’d probably recommend the $70 Infield Mug Club tickets, as it includes all you care to drink beer. Just be sure to watch the cash in your wallet, as we don’t want you to bet it all on the long shot.
Super Bowl Travel / Parades / Baltimore Travel / Sports Travel / Super Bowl XLVII / Football Travel / → All Tags
The Super Bowl is now over and in case you missed this year’s big game we’ll fill you in on what went down. The Baltimore Ravens won the first half of the game, then came Beyoncé, after that the lights went out, and then the San Francisco 49ers kind of won the second half.
It’s the final score that matters, so when it was all said and done the Ravens came out on top—final score 34 to 31. Now that the game is over—and since you’re not quite ready to start nursing that hangover—it’s time to join in on the victory parade.
Today is reserved for interviews and even more celebration, but the Baltimore Ravens are ready to hit the streets tomorrow—that’s Tuesday, February 5. The party is set to start doing its thing at 11am outside of City Hall, and then things will make their way through the city before ending at the team’s stadium. To us it sounds like the exact route is still being somewhat finalized as of Monday morning, but if you make your way to Baltimore we are fairly confident that you’ll be able to check out some of the action.
Train Travel / Train Stations That Still Got It / Baltimore Travel / Amtrak / Architecture Travel / → All Tags
Like usual, most good things come from New York. We kid, we kid...but really the beautiful Beaux Arts Pannsylvania Station in Baltimore was actually designed by a New York architect, Kenneth MacKenzie Murchison. The impressive buildingwith its clock-fronted facade and impressive interior stained glass skylightswas opened in 1911 and miraculously still serves quite a slew of regular Amtrak trains; trust Wikipedia to have a list of them.
Though we could have easily popped down to Baltimore on a train from NYC, we instead chose a BoltBus one time, which actually also arrived just a block or two away from the station, proving Penn Station's continued dominance as a hub of transportation on the east coast.
TV Travel / Airlines / Southwest / Airports / Travel TV Shows / Reality TV Travel / Airport News / BWI / → All Tags
If you're passing through concourse A or B at Baltimore/Washington International Airport this week, you may find yourself in front of a camera crew.
TLC is expected to begin filming a new untitled TV show about the inner workings of BWI's largest carrier, Southwest, today. The new series will follow BWI's expansion and the day-to-day drama that happens behind the scenes at Southwest.
"It's a good opportunity to showcase BWI and the region," said Jonathan Dean, airport spokesman. "With BWI as one of Southwest's largest markets, it makes sense to shoot it here," he added.
Airport News / BWI / Airports / → All Tags
Your next trip through or to Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport might just be a little more enjoyable, as airport officials are headed to the ATM to withdraw some cash for a major airport upgrade. In total, the plan is to spend like $100 million on renovations and updates, as the airport continues to gain passengers each and every month.
With all the travelers passing through the airport there’s a need to get bigger and better before it’s too late. Expansions will take place over the next 18 months—at least that’s the plan. New stuff includes moveable walkways connecting Concourse B and Concourse C, so you’ll never have to hustle off to your gate again. There’ll be more bathrooms, better gate areas, and they’re promising around 8,500 square feet of new shops and restaurants.