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Baltimore Hotel would you pick (and places to see)

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With the hope that I can cruise by the end of the year, what hotel would you recommend for someone to book the night before a cruise in Baltimore. I have a cruise in December for my wife, my daughter, and myself, but I have no idea what hotel to book or where to go. Any recommendations for hotel, places to see?

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We have stayed at a number of hotels in Baltimore but have decided that our best experience is with Best Western Plus, 5625 O'Donnell Street, Baltimore, MD  21224 (410-633-9500).  It is an old hotel and there is nothing fancy about it at all.  If you're looking for something stylish and in a hot part of town, choose something else.  But it has a "cruise and stay" package where you can stay there the night before the cruise and leave your car there.  They have an enormous parking lot and we have never had a problem with security.  There is a restaurant in the restaurant that is good, not great.  The cruise and stay package includes a shuttle to and from the port, which is excellent.  We enjoy going to Fell's Point on the evening of our stay and enjoy fresh seafood.  It is a short drive from the hotel but definitely not walking distance.  Our last stay was December 2018 and the rate was $159.99 with a total cost of $184.49 with taxes, etc.  This was Christmas week so I don't imagine it gets any higher than that.

There are plenty of hotels to choose from.  We have stayed downtown, at the waterfront, and everywhere in between and just feel that being able to leave our car at the hotel and the price meet our needs the best.

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If you would rather stay downtown, in the Inner Harbor area.... there are multiple choices, for example, The Hyatt Inner harbor, The Sheraton (both are right next to one another and are on the side of the harbor nearest Camden Yards).  But since you said, you'd be there in December, you could go to a Raven's game if you so choose.

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We've stayed at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor which is right next to Camden Yards and had a great stay.  We ate Irish food at Tir Na Nog Irish Grill & Bar at Inner Harbor which is right next to the Top of the World Observation Tower, the USS Torsk WWII submarine, and the National Aquarium all at Inner Harbor.  In the other direction of the hotel (by University of Maryland) was Edgar Allen Poe's gravesite at the Westminster Church Cemetery. Just up the street from there is the Lexington Market which is an inside market that's been around since the 1700's.  It's got a lot of food stalls and delis.  We ate crabcakes at Faidley's which are so good and the size of a softball.  We didn't have a car and we were able to walk everywhere even with our son who was about 10 at the time. If we had more time in Baltimore, I would have liked to visit Fort McHenry which inspired the Star Spangled Banner.

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Fort McHenry is a good place to visit, good views of the area from there. In that area Barracudas, LP Steamers, and Little Havana are great places to go eat. 

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2 hours ago, CFL said:

We've stayed at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor which is right next to Camden Yards and had a great stay.  We ate Irish food at Tir Na Nog Irish Grill & Bar at Inner Harbor which is right next to the Top of the World Observation Tower, the USS Torsk WWII submarine, and the National Aquarium all at Inner Harbor.  In the other direction of the hotel (by University of Maryland) was Edgar Allen Poe's gravesite at the Westminster Church Cemetery. Just up the street from there is the Lexington Market which is an inside market that's been around since the 1700's.  It's got a lot of food stalls and delis.  We ate crabcakes at Faidley's which are so good and the size of a softball.  We didn't have a car and we were able to walk everywhere even with our son who was about 10 at the time. If we had more time in Baltimore, I would have liked to visit Fort McHenry which inspired the Star Spangled Banner.

+1 for the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor! I spent a wonderful pre cruise day and a half there last December.Plenty to do and see; all walking distance and I still left great restaurants and cool things to do on the table.

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If you aren’t tied to a particular chain I’d check out the Royal Sonesta Inner Harbor. They have some great suites at reasonable rates. My daughters favorite part is that they have bathtubs that are absolutely huge. It’s right across from a Harbor Place and near the aquarium and science center. If you’re a Marriott guy check out the Marriott Harbor East, it’s in the Harbor East area with great restaurants and just blocks from little Italy. 

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There is a bed and breakfast that we love, we look forward  to sailing out the MD port because we will be staying there - Rachael’s Dowry. I get so weary of all the corporate hotel chains that look alike these day, this is an amazing change with very personalized service.

 It’s practically next door to the stadium in a beautiful and historical neighborhood, it is close to the casino and everything else downtown, and the inn keeper Linda is friendly and gracious. We stayed with her the first time on a trip where a conveyor belt breakdown in Atlanta caused quite a delay in four pieces of our luggage – it was a nightmare. When we got there, very late and still without bags, we found that she had gone to the store and gotten us tooth brushes, razors, etc to help us. Truly, an amazing stay and a lovely host.

https://www.rachaelsdowrybedandbreakfast.com

We had reservations for a NE/CA cruise in June that has been cancelled. I hate that we now won’t get to stay there (I like it enough we had a deposit there for more than a year to insure our reservation).  Even more I truly hate that this hoirrible illness is so badly hurting the small travel-related businesses 😞

 if you ever stay, tell her the McBee’s said hello! 😊

 

6ECBBE6D-52EE-4CF5-B66F-337CCDA5AD85.jpeg

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On 5/1/2020 at 10:07 PM, bobroo said:

+1 for the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor! I spent a wonderful pre cruise day and a half there last December.Plenty to do and see; all walking distance and I still left great restaurants and cool things to do on the table.

I would probably avoid the Hilton Baltimore, along with the convention center it’s currently being used as a field hospital. 
 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.baltimoresun.com/coronavirus/bs-md-baltimore-field-hospital-20200323-vbmgjpohwff2hm54l2mvmkivqe-story.html%3foutputType=amp

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We have stayed at the Best Western 2 times. They have a free shuttle that will take you to the Inner Harbor area. The room we had you can see the port and the ship out the window. The shuttle to the port was quick and easy.

 

 

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Oh, just an FYI --- for those sailing out of Baltimore on Grandeur or Enchantment ..... be sure to look for this buoy, it marks the location of where Francis Scott Key was when he wrote the Star Spangled Banner.  It's always fun to spot.  To give you an idea, look off the Port side of the ship (as you're leaving the port), just before going under the Key Bridge (the first one you go under)

FSK Bouy.jpg

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There is a courtyard marriott that was just built across the highway from the cruise terminal: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bwics-courtyard-baltimore-downtown-mchenry-row/  

As someone that lives in Baltimore city (yellow star is the neighborhood where I live and the red star is the terminal in relation)

Capture.PNG.0ad1d336f2314441b3c066583b4ff58f.PNG

I will say McHenry Row would be my best recommendation. I have no idea what the situation for parking your car would look like, but if we are talking about ease of access to the port and being situated right off of I95 (and only 15 min away from BWI airport, you cannot go wrong). It is also right next to a Harris Teeter shopping center so you can easily grab any last second needs.

If the ease of getting to the port is not for you, I would echo some other suggestions of staying in Harbor East. There are a bunch of different hotel options ranging from the four seasons to a hilton garden inn. Total time to the port (with no traffic) would be right around 10-15 minutes. The good thing about this location is it is centrally located to a bunch of unique baltimore neighborhoods. Little Italy, Fells Point, Canton, etc. And Harbor East, a neighborhood within itself has a variety of restaurants and shopping.

But being partial to my neck of the woods, I would say you cannot go wrong in Federal Hill & Locust Point. I think someone already called out LP Steamers (seafood & crabs), Little Havana (cuban), Barracudas (New American Tavern Grub). These are all great local spots within walking distance of the courtyard. Also in the complex as the hotel, they have variety of different food options as well. If you venture a little further in the neighborhood (maybe a 5 minute uber) you get to Federal Hill where there is a brand new market where they every type of food vendor, coffee shop, butcher, etc. Very cool place just visit even if you do not plan to eat there: https://www.crossstmarket.com/. Within this whole area there are a bunch of food and bar options. My recommendations would be Wayward Smokehouse (before 10pm - turns into a big going our bar) or 101 Deli Bar. Not in that main drag of restaurants, my two other picks would be The Outpost (New American Tavern Grub - my favorite restaurant) or Hersh's (italian).

As far as things to do, there is the fort & the Ravens (if they are playing). Knowing it's going to December, kind of limits any outdoor site seeing (although Baltimore weather is unpredictable). There is Fed Hill Park, which gives you pretty much a 360 view of the city and harbor. There are a bunch of museums and what not, none that I would say are a must see. I am big on walking the city and seeing all the little historic neighborhoods. Also, to throw another idea out there, if you are into it, Baltimore has pretty big craft beer scene with a variety of different breweries. I would say to try to check some of those out if you are interested in that.

- Diamond Back (their tap room is right next to the courtyard as well)

- Checkerspot (location is also in federal hill, about a 5 minute uber away)

- Monument (located across the harbor in Canton)

- Union (located in Hampden - my recommendation, and favorite beer)

- Guinness open gate brewery (Helethorpr, MD - probably 15 minute uber)

 

Now I am a huge Baltimore guy. Love this city. Been here (including college) for over ten years. I will say, downtown "downtown" Baltimore is something you won't be missing out on if you decide to visit/book a hotel else where. So places like the Hilton I would advise against. Not because it isn't safe or anything, I think you will fall into the tourist traps and not really get to see and enjoy the 'real' parts of the city.

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19 hours ago, rshov said:

I would say you cannot go wrong in Federal Hill & Locust Point.

Federal Hill was amazing.

A few years ago I went to a conference in Baltimore and stayed downtown. Nothing special.

Then I walked to Federal Hill and it was such a fun place to be. Lots of restaurants, nightlife and history.

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