#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

#TastyThursday spotlight on @PhillipsSeafood #HappyHour + #BloodyMaryMeals = OMG ,so good!

Summer for Baltimoreans means two things. Humidity and steamed crabs. Both were in abundance last week when we visited Phillips at the world famous Inner Harbor. We dined alfresco on their pier “Crab” deck adjacent with their regular restaurant.

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We started off by enjoying a few of their happy hour specially prices drinks, like white Sangria! We also enjoyed a half dozen of oysters that they harvest themselves. Their Happy Hour $4 cocktails and specially priced apps run Mon-Fri between 4pm and7pm.

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Some friends and family joined us for what can only be described as the worlds most incredible Bloody Mary. It was delicious and came in a HUGE Quart sized glass container.

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While that by itself was amazing, it was what the bloody mary was topped with. Steamed crabs, steamed shrimp, chicken wings and potatoes !! You read that correctly. Phillips calls this their “Crab Feast Bloody” !! Enough for the whole table !!

It is quite a production and comes balanced like a tightrope walker in fish netting and all !! The waiter assured me it would not fall over , just be careful taking it all apart ! All heads on the deck turned once folk saw this gargantuan meal of a bloody mary making it’s way to our paper topped picnic table !!

My 5 year old didn’t know what in the world to make of this “meal”.
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It was amazing. The crabs, shrimp and chicken soon began to dissappear as did the perfectly boiled potatoes. Slowly the bloody mary level starting to drop also !! My mom simply LOVES Bloody Mary’s and she was a big part in assisting in it’s demise !!

Hot weather, Hot Crabs and Ice cold Bloody Mary. THAT ,my friends is what summer is all about.

Next trip to Phillips, try something new, something big, something HUGE . Try the Crab Feast Bloody !

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Follow this link and you can buy a small can of their famous seafood seasoning at a great price https://www.amazon.com/Phillips-Natural-Famous-Seafood-Seasoning/dp/B00H3TE19W/ref=sr_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1473261349&sr=8-2&keywords=phillips+seafood

Ready, Set, CRACK ! @PhillipsSeafood #phillipsseafood

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Ready Set ..CRACK..with those 3 words we commenced being the origin of the sweetest sound in the world. The cracking of the crabs. Not just any crabs, but the world famous Chesapeake Bay Blue crabs. Where was all this cracking taking place you ask? At the world famous Phillips Seafood restaurant at The Power Plant in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor http://www.phillipsseafood.com/locations-and-menus/baltimore

This venerable mainstay has been serving up the crustaceans at the Inner Harbor for over 30 years. First at the original Harborplace pavillion, now they are right on the other side of the Inner Harbor at 601 E.Pratt Street. It was a beautiful warm summer afternoon when we arrived. Diners can choose to sit inside for a full service restaurant experience or sit on their amazing outdoor section on a actual pier that juts out from the mainland. This section is for a unique steamed seafood al fresco experience. We also witnessed their curbside delivery service of large crab orders ! We chose to sit outside.

On the pier they actually have full size commercial steamers where your order is steamed fresh. I’m talking mussels, clams, shrimp and of course the star of the show..CRABS !! Our server Jeanette was affable and bevy of information. She has been with the Phillips family for a number of years. I say “family” because Phillips is still family owned. But more importantly I say family, because Jeanette advised that is how they treat their employees. In a world where employees feel neglected and treated as a simple commodity she said they not only recognize their employees for superior work but they also do annual events for the employees as well. Phillips knows that a company with happy employees is a company that succeeds.

We started with some cocktails. We tried their award winning Bloody Mary and also the Blue Margarita. Both we incredible. Now on to the food !

First up were the steamed mussels pot. Large and perfectly steamed. They came with farm fresh corn and potatoes. Next up was the crab mac and cheese and jumbo pure lump crab cakes. All jumbo lump, no filler. both were incredible. The cheese and crab combo was sublime. The crab cake was incredibly delicious!

All of a sudden a steaming hot paper bag showed up on our table. It could only mean one thing..CRAB TIME !! We unceremoniously dumped them out on the classic paper wrapped table tops. The unmistaken pungent goodness that “smells like Baltimore” filled the air. Heaven had arrived. Although I am a native Baltimorean I had Jeanette show us step by step how a blue crab is taken apart. It is second nature to those of us born here but to the novice it can be quite intimidating and confusing. She obliged nicely and the pics show each step! Dessert was offered but who I am kidding , there was room for none. We left Phillips smiling as if in love again for the first time. I may no longer live in Baltimore, but thanks to Phillips, Baltimore will always live in me.

Next time in Charm City, go to Phillips and tell em’ SOBESAVVY.COM sent ya !

Enjoy the pics of that great afternoon.

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Enjoy this photo slideshow from my delicious dining experience !

Photographs of @Cirque in #Baltimore ! Sneak Peek #varekai #cirquedusoleil @MdScienceCenter @PhillipsSeafood

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It’s Cirque time in Baltimore!!

Ten years after Cirque du Soleil Varekai debuted in Baltimore under the Big Top, it’s back from Wednesday, July 8 to Sunday, July 12 at the Royal Farms Arena.  

On Tuesday July 7, 2015 Cirque du Soleil invaded Downtown Baltimore for some fun around town photo ops.
SobeSavvy.Com was there to experience the excitement with the characters and snap some photographs at the sneak peek events!

WHERE: Maryland Science Center &
Phillips Seafood Restaurant (Baltimore)

WHAT:  Special blogger and media meet & greet at the Maryland Science Center with the publicist and two characters (including Skywatcher, the mad scientist and ingenious inventor) from the show! Afterwards, Cirque du Soleil Varekai gets a Taste of Baltimore Phillips Seafood Restaurant.

It was a great opportunity to learn more about the show and get some personal time as well as awesome photos with the characters!!  

Public guests received ticket discounts and a chance to win a family four pack of tickets for the Wednesday showing.

Enjoy these photgraphs/videos from the events and check back here for my #soDMVsavvy recap of Opening Night performance of Cirque du Soleil Varekai !

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