As one of the largest (and oldest) cities in America, Baltimore is a destination that I’ve wanted to visit for years. So when a business trip brought me to Washington D.C., I decided to extend my stay so that I could make the quick train ride up to the idyllic, historic city of Baltimore, Maryland. I only had a day and a half in Baltimore before I had to fly back home, so I knew I had to make the most of every minute of my stay. Fortunately, I was able to quickly book a great last minute hotel room in Baltimore through HotelTonight while I was on the train, so I headed straight to my hotel to check in when I arrived in Baltimore. I dropped off my bags and wasted no time before heading out to explore the city.
Since my hotel was located near Baltimore’s picturesque Inner Harbor, I took a nice, leisurely stroll around the vibrant waterfront to get an immediate feel of the city. Right away, I realized that the Inner Harbor was a hotspot for tourists, as it is picture-perfect and also boasts some of the city’s main attractions, including museums and an aquarium. However, I also discovered that plenty of locals take advantage of the area’s beauty and its pedestrian-friendly waterfront for running, biking and even just relaxing and soaking in the fresh coastal air.
After my mid-morning stroll in Inner Harbor, I decided to head to another waterfront neighborhood to grab some grub. Canton, located just east of downtown, was once a factory neighborhood settled by Polish immigrants in the late 1800s. Now, this trendy, quaint neighborhood is home to trendy shops, restaurants and pubs, so it was the perfect spot for a midday meal. After lunch, I decided to explore the charming streets of Canton, which are lined with traditional Baltimore brick and formstone houses. I ended my walk in Patterson Park, one of the country’s largest urban parks, where I strolled along the boardwalk and enjoyed the beautiful Baltimore weather.
This neighborhood is located just north of downtown Baltimore, so it’s easily accessible by public transportation. Mount Vernon embodies the culture and the history of this city, and I could have easily spent all afternoon admiring the perfectly manicured gardens and beautiful architecture. This area is home to the country’s very first monument to George Washington, as well as many museums, most of which are housed in historic, grand mansions. As a history buff, I felt an immediate connection with this neighborhood, and I would have visited every museum in the area if I had more time. I felt as if I had stepped back in time to the colonial era as I walked through Mount Vernon, and I know that when I return to Baltimore in the future, this neighborhood will be one of my very first stops.
I’m a sucker for good Italian food, which is why I didn’t hesitate for even a second when some locals told me to check out Little Italy for dinner. This lively neighborhood is home to over a dozen authentic, family-run Italian eateries, and that night I got to indulge in some heavenly pizza, pasta and tiramisu. I can definitely say it was some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had. Spending time in Little Italy was a treat, and not just because of the food. The authenticity and energy of the neighborhood is something you don’t find in every city, which is why I consider this Baltimore neighborhood one of the best Little Italy neighborhoods I’ve been to. Fortunately, Little Italy was in walking distance to my hotel, so I was able to get in a nice nighttime walk after gorging on all that delicious homemade Italian food.
Before catching my train back to D.C., I decided to take one last stroll along Baltimore’s waterfront. This time, though, I walked through Federal Hill, the neighborhood that arguably boasts the best view of Baltimore’s skyline. This neighborhood is steeped in history, as it was the spot where residents witnessed the “bombs bursting in air” over Fort McHenry in 1814. There are plenty of cute shops and restaurants in Federal Hill, so I stopped into a quaint café and grabbed a coffee before heading to the train station.
To be honest, there’s no way somebody can experience all that Baltimore has to offer in just a day and a half, but you can still get a great feel for this historic waterfront town in a limited amount of time. I was lucky enough to be able to extend my East Coast trip so that I explore a bit of Baltimore, and I know my last minute trip wouldn’t have been as hassle-free or as convenient without the help of HotelTonight.