#TravelTuesday Where to Go: @BaltimoreMD – My 5 Fave #InnerHarbor Spots #FamilyTravel

Baltimore is one of our favorite cities to visit as a family.

Why ?

It’s a great place that ends up pleasing almost everyone who has ever visited there. Waterfront fun, world class restaurants and attractions play a big part in it’s charm

Our recent visit centered around the Inner Harbor and all it has to offer.

Baltimore‘s Inner Harbor

Here are my 5 favorite places to stay~eat~play with my family while visiting downtown Baltimore: 

Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor East 

The Hyatt Place Hotel was our base camp for our stay. Located in the trendy Harbor East area, Hyatt Place is situated perfectly to access all the Inner Harbor has to offer. Superb bedding, modern and chic style are everywhere, but it is their superior customer service and local knowledge that sets them apart from other choices. Their breakfast is awesome and they have a great room service menu to boot!

To see a more in depth hotel review, read here.

National Aquarium

My little one LOVES fish and all things in the ocean so The National Aquarium was a easy choice.

Within walking distance from Hyatt Place you will find one of the world’s greatest aquariums. Opened in 1981, this structure houses an impressive array of fish, shark and coral reef species. It’s open design allowed us to view all sorts of sea animals while at different levels of the building. Rays and sharks. Jellyfish and giant groupers. My daughter just LOVED the Dolphin tank. They have many interactive kid sized exhbits. She even put on a puppet show ! Most of their viewing windows are low enough for her to see at eye level. The rain forest was simply amazing. I don’t want to give away too much, but let’s just say keep looking carefully in the trees and you will be surprised

Phillips Seafood

Blue Crabs are THE quintessential Baltimore summer food so what better place to go then Phillips Seafood Restaurant.

Walking distance from the Aquarium sits world renowned Phillips. They have an over water crab deck open for diners in the summer, so we indulged in crabs and shrimp right over the water. My daughter loved seeing the ducks swim by to say hello. Their kids menu is much more varied than most places. They had everything from grilled salmon to clam strips. Stellar service matched the laid back cuisine.It lived up to it’s iconic reputation.

We recently did a “Tasty Thursday” feature of this restaurant , as seen here. Check out this photo slideshow of some of the deliciousness we enjoyed on the crab deck at Phillips Seafood Baltimore!

Baltimore Water Taxi

We also wanted to get ON the water and there’s no better way than to buy a daily ticket on The Water Taxi. For just $14 you have on and off rights all day long. The Water Taxi stops at various popular destinations throughout the Inner Harbor area. We embarked at Fells Point and went on a short cruise to Fort Mchenry.

*Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine 

Fort Mchenry was the decisive battle that decided the War Of 1812. That battle inspired our national anthem. We toured the grounds and the cannons. You could still feel the weight of history here. We also witnessed some folks in historic dress telling visitors about the rich history of the Fort.

We caught the Water Taxi back to Fells Point to transfer on another boat. The warm breeze on the ride was a welcome relief from the summer heat ! Next stop was for Harborplace on the west side of the harbor. Besides being a major restaurant and shopping destination, Harborplace also has some entertaining attractions.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Baltimore

Located in the HarborPlace, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium Baltimore was a fun and fascinating entertainment spot. It is Filled with artifacts and interactive exhibits. My little one spent extra time in their kaleidescope dancing mirror area ! Hubby tried to measure up to tthe world’s tallest man !

After some window shopping off we went again on the Water Taxi back to Fells Point. An easy walk back from there back to the Hyatt Place for some well needed rest. Baltimore is a great place with so much to do. Until next time

Go to Baltimore.org and discover more about the exciting things you can only see and experience in “Charm City”. We love the Inner Harbor and hope you get a chance to visit some of our faves !

BTW…Baltimore has had a rough last year and seems to be bouncing back . This T-Shirt just exemplifies how I feel about this port City. Hope you feel the same way too https://www.amazon.com/Idakoos-Baltimore-Cities-Sleeve-T-Shirt/dp/B01KOUL45U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1471824436&sr=8-2&keywords=keep+calm+and+love+baltimore

Recap #SpringTravel to @BaltimoreMD for @LightCityBmore

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In February, we visited Charm City to explore the “Romantic Side of Baltimore” (read more here) and learned about the upcoming Light City Baltimore and immediately made family travel plans to return in the Spring. Since we enjoyed our stay at the Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor East during our last visit, we knew that it would be the perfect location to walk to shops, restaurants and also most of the BGE Light Art Walk during the festival. When we arrived early Friday, we were thankful that staff was able to expedite check in and allow us to lounge in the cafe area until our room was ready. My 4 yr old immediately relaxed on the bed and tuned into her favorite TV show on the flat screen TV.
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After we settled a bit, we visited the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture to learn how to start a Family Tree. Read our interview here with the Resource Center Manager, Lisa Crawley. We then parked our car and decided to explore this walkable city and head over to the HarborPlace, located in the heart of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Along the way we saw some of the Light Walk attractions and other installations by day. My daughter really enjoyed playing music on the oversized instruments and playing in the sound garden found in the Kiddie Light City area.
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We had lunch at Phillips Seafood Baltimore because you can’t visit Baltimore without having some Maryland style seafood! See (here) why this is one of my favorite places to dine. Speaking of favorites, the LUSH Cosmetics store which was also walking distance from our hotel,  has natural skin care and bath & body products great for the entire family. Our room at the Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor East had a bathtub, so my daughter and I made it a point to go on a little Bath Bombs shopping spree at the LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics store, Harbor East location. Manager Mandee and her staff were very knowledgeable of the products and made it a very pleasant shopping experience. If you have any questions, like/follow them and ask via Facebook page . They are very responsive and provided great customer service both on and offline.
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The Light City Baltimore Festival each night started at 7pm. It was a unique event featuring art, music, and culture -combined to showcase the city of Baltimore via light! On the first night it rained a bit but we were able to enjoy some of it Friday/Saturday. This free, family-friendly event was the nation’s first large-scale, light, music and innovation festival. Be sure to mark your calendars for Light City round two in March 2017! Check out this Visit Baltimore video clip of what to expect : https://youtu.be/K66hToPGvVI

Here are a few pics of what we saw during the evening:
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Another attraction we enjoyed during our stay was the National Aquarium . You can arrange for tickets prior to going with the hotel concierge. Skip the line and just redeem voucher at Will Call…how convenient! If you are looking for family fun during your Baltimore stay, this is a must see place. Check out this video of their stunning jelly fish exhibit: https://www.instagram.com/p/BDtKlqkCXJl/

We ended our short but sweet weekend on a high note by dining at Wit & Wisdom for their Sunday Brunch. It is located in Harbor East as well at the Four Seasons Hotel. We had a wonderful view of the water and it was a delicious experience ! Read our full brunch review here and see why you should treat your tastebuds to a visit to this restaurant your next visit to Baltimore!

All in all, great family memories made during our Spring Break to the Charm City!

#Travel to @BaltimoreMD , enjoy the charm of #CharmCity and Fall in Love with #Baltimore ! #visitBaltimore @HI_InnerHarbor @MDScienceCenter @NatlAquarium @BmoreWaterTaxi ~Recap by #SobeSavvy .com #soDMVsavvy #soTravelsavvy

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I had the great fortune of being born and growing up in Baltimore, Md. There are bigger cities. There are smaller cities. But there is NO city more quintessentially American than the city of Baltimore. It’s not even close. Baltimore is literally the seam in our nation. Birth of the Star Spangled Banner. It is where north meets south. It was where slavery and freedom existed. Unique indeed. It is a great port city. Proud of our blue collar reputation. Ethnic neighborhoods abound. Sports is in our soul. From Johnny Unitas and Cal Ripken to Ray Lewis. Festivals more than one can count. The only person who has ever disliked Baltimore has never visited there. Yea, I am biased. I am from Baltimore. Everything here starts from the city center and radiates outward. This city center is where I went back home to spend a beautiful early fall weekend to get out enjoy as many of my cities attractions that locals sometime take for granted.

The Holiday Inn on Lombard street http://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/baltimore/baldt/hoteldetail was a fantastic base camp for the weekend. One block from Pratt Street and within walking distance to both Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Stadium where the Ravens play. Hospitality at it’s best. Their Eden West restaurant also lets kids eat free for breakfast, so what’s not to like !

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Here are just a few examples of things we had fun doing last weekend:

The National Aquarium http://www.aqua.org/ . Opened in 1981, it has consistently been ranked as a top aquarium in the nation. The National Aquarium, Baltimore, features a living collection of more than 20,000 fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and marine mammals living in award-winning habitats. In summer 2013, the Aquarium opened Blacktip Reef, a breathtaking exhibit replicating an Indo-Pacific reef and featuring more than 700 animals, including a school of blacktip reef sharks.

My family had an amazing time there. So much too see and experience. The huge open pool full of sharks, giant turtles and fish was magical. My four year old especially loved the jellyfish exhibit and the dolphin tanks the most. The aquarium floorplan slowly leads up to the roof their iconic rainforest sits. There was an elusive sloth that we searched and searched for but alas eluded us ! What a magnificent place that reinforces the natural wonders of our oceans.

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The Maryland Science Center http://www.mdsci.org/ on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has interactive exhibits combined with the state-of-the-art Davis Planetarium that was opened to the public in June 1976. The addition of a new atrium lobby in 1986, and the very successful IMAX Theater in 1987, stimulated annual attendance.A major expansion and renovation of the entire facility was completed in May of 2004. New exhibitions were added on all levels as well as the addition of a permanent hall showcasing dinosaurs and earth sciences, and a dedicated gallery for housing temporary exhibitions. Upgrades to the IMAX Theater introduced 3D film technology and improvements to the physical plant updated and enhanced visitor amenities and services. Today, as it has been in the past, the Maryland Science Center continues to focus on remaining a vital community resource and economic development engine now and in the future.

Entering the MD Science center was instant education. Education in the most fun hands on way possible. A huge portion of the complex was interactive hands on experiments. Whether it was generating electricity with handlebars or letting my little one use her hand to break up a tornado, we simply never ran out of things to do and learn about. Without a doubt our favorite part was playing a paleontologist in their dinosaur/fossil area. What a blast! We can’t wait to return to this gem.

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Although on a nice day you could get alot of excersize by walking around the entire harbor area or you can take the water taxi. It has stops near all the major attractions in and around the harbor. From Fells point and Harbor East to harborplace and more. http://www.baltimorewatertaxi.com/ A great way to travel around the harbor and a scenic trip for sure !

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A person can only be from one place. I am lucky that MY place is Baltimore. Come to visit this fall and fall in love..with Baltimore !

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