Baltimore, Maryland might not seem like an obvious spot for a family getaway, but this much-maligned port city is full of beautiful surprises. There are attractions and sights for kids and parents alike, spread around Baltimore’s 250+ neighborhoods (yep — you read that right!).
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Getting to Baltimore, Maryland
Though Baltimore is an easy drive from New York, taking the Amtrak from Penn Station (a 2.5-hour journey) is also a great option with little travelers. If you’re riding during the day you’ll be able to spot the Gunpowder, Susquehanna and mighty Delaware Rivers from your train window.
Where to Stay
We stayed at Staybridge Suites, in the heart of the Inner Harbor area. Converted from an old bank, Staybridge has a Wes Anderson feel, and a whimsical elevator kids will love to ride! Staybridge has all the comforts of home, including free laundry amenities in the basement — always helpful if you’re traveling with little ones! There’s also a fitness center and a fully-stocked kitchen. The hotel rooms are super-spacious, and if you’re getting away from the city on a weekday, make sure to take advantage of the Happy Hours every Monday to Wednesday where you can enjoy complimentary food, wine, and beer.
How to Get Around
Baltimore is an easy city to get around. The Charm City Circulator is a free bus service that stops at most must-see areas. It is quick, reliable, and clean, and a great way to see some of the city while sitting down.
Another fun way to get around is to take a water taxi across the Inner Harbor and the West Channel of the Patapsco River.
The National Aquarium is a must-do for families, with $39.95 for adults, $29.95 for children ages 3-11, and free admission for children 2 and under. You’ll have access to all exhibits and daily presentations.
Historic Ships in Baltimore
The Baltimore Maritime Museum is home to an impressive collection of ships and maritime exhibits. Kids will love learning about the history of the vessels on display.
American Visionary Art Museum
The American Visionary Art Museum is filled with art curated by “visionaries” and is really breathtaking, not to mention Instagram-worthy!
The current exhibit “Secret Life of Earth” runs through September 2020 and is an homage to our planet. The museum has a lovely outdoor garden with a life-sized chess board to enjoy. Children age 6 and under get in free.
The Sagamore Spirit Distillery
The Sagamore Spirit Distillery is a short drive from the hotel and is open for guided tours. You can touch and see the inside of barrels used to store whiskey, and there are lots of things to see, smell, touch, and taste. There’s a big lawn outside for running around before or after your tour.
Make Your Own Candles
A fun and original activity in another area of town is candle making at KSM Candle Co. The candles you will make are soy-based — lasting longer and using less energy to melt, and ethically sourced from American farmers. You’ll get to test, choose and mix your own scents, and then mix and pour your wax.
Or Try Some Macarons!
Another fun activity is macaron making at Sacré Sucré Pastry Studio. With technique and recipes learned straight from French master pastry chefs, the owners of this shop have perfected their art, and given it their own little twist. Small batches ensure freshness — be sure you make it there early in the day!
Check out this fun tool to find which neighborhoods would be the best fit for you and your family!
Where to Eat
Cross Street Market in the Federal Hill neighborhood, dates back to the 1800s and is filled with stalls selling burgers, tacos, poke bowls and all the street food you could desire. Be sure to head to The Sweet Shoppe, for a sugar high!
The Rye Street Tavern in the Port Covington neighborhood is right in front of the Sagamore Spirit Distillery and will be a hit with all ages. There are cocktails made with whiskey from the Distillery, and their hot sauce is aged in Sagamore’s old barrels. The menu is huge and sure to please picky palates.
The Food Market in the Hampden neighborhood is within walking distance of Inner Harbor and specializes in high-end comfort food.
The Choptank is located in the newly renovated Broadway Market in the hip Fells Point neighborhood. The Choptank is a classic fish and crab restaurant serving traditional Maryland cuisine, and their outdoor terrace (heated in colder months) is great for families.
Our stay at Staybridge Suites Baltimore – Inner Harbor was complimentary, but all thoughts and opinions are our own. All images are our own unless otherwise indicated.