3 Days, 2 Nights in Baltimore
Day One, Night One
We arrived in Charm City just in time to take in the spectacular view at the Top of the World Tower, the world's tallest 5 sided building located in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Then to Little Italy and our favorite restaurant, Amicci's for dinner. Authentic red gravy Italian in a casual family friendly atmosphere-nothing could be better! For dessert we walked down the street to Vaccaro's for Italian cookies and Gelato. Our hotel - the Marriott Inner Harbor on Eutaw Street-an ideal spot for families visitng the city (because they LOVE kids and even greet them with kisses (Hershey's chocolate kisses that is!). The hotel is the perfect launching pad for all of the attractions featured in this story.
Day Two, Night Two
The girls and I headed out early to explore the Inner Harbor and Federal Hill. Our first stop was the Babe Ruth statue at Camden Yards. We explored the courtyard of famous Baltimore ballplayer numbers outside the Sports Museum and then continued our walk through the Inner Harbor area to Federal Hill. We climbed the stairs to the top of Federal Hill. It was a beautiful morning we played kickball with a group of local kids at the top and played in the playground and sandbox that is primarily for toddlers. For breakfast in Federal Hill, our favorite spot is Spoons, just a short walk away. Spoons is a comfortable family friendly coffeehouse with plenty of comfortable sofas, and seats, (there is even an area with toys and an easel for the kids).
After a delicious breakfast we walked over to the other side of Federal Hill to the American Visionary Art Museum. This art museum is absolutely one of our favorite art museums in the country. We have visited many times and each time the kids are delighted by the exhibits they remember as well as the new exhibits on display. They love the wood structure outside for climbing and photo ops for mom and dad. The mirrored walls of the building and displays are fun as well. The mechanical puppet theatre is a winner everytime. We spent several hours at the museum (and awesome gift shop) before heading back down to the Inner Harbor festival. We have visited waterfronts in many US east coast cites like Boston, New York and Philadelphia and without a doubt, without a hesitation, without any question, Baltimore is the best, hands down, end of discussion. It is an awesome assortment of great family attractions, fun restaurants, festivals, and colorful, fun, happy people. It was hot, we had walked a lot, so what else would we do but grab some of the best frozen custard in the country from Barker's Frozen custard and enjoy the bustling festival taking part during our weekend visit.
Two other must visit attractions in the Inner Harbor area are the National Aquarium and Maritime Museums which is composed of several stops (including a ship, a submarine and a light house) all in the inner harbor. For a late afternoon snack on our walk back to the hotel we stopped at the Nest on Pratt Street sports bar. This is another family friendly restaurant in a city full of family friendly eats. Down time in the hotel for the next several hours before we headed to Thai Arroy for dinner and some of the best Thai food we have ever eaten. Although this is primarily an adult oriented restaurant, the staff was kind and well trained to assist our family and girls with the menu with suggestions and plenty of attention. It was a delicious dinner and a late night.
Havre de Grace
The girls wanted to go swimming early in the morning and since the Marriott does not have a pool the hotel made arrangements for us to swim at a nearby hotel. Then back to the Marriott for a breakfast buffet deal that left us considering having more children. The full buffet, including omelet bar and waffle bar was only $3.95 for the kids, great value for great food, perfect before we headed out to the Orioles game at Camden Yards. Spring is the perfect time to visit Baltimore, especially when the Orioles are in town. Camden Yards is a special ballpark. It has something for everyone and it has set the gold standard for current stadium design and amenities. We particularly love Boogs BBQ and hanging out near the bullpen where you can get really close to the pitchers warming up. The bleacher seats are also fun and a great value. If the O's aren't in town there is still an opportunity to visit the park with a tour.
On the way home we stopped off at a small town we have been visiting for years called Havre de Grace. Our destination was the restaurant the Tidewater Grille smack in the center of town and located right on the water. We have always found the service a bit spotty here but the food has always been fresh and delicious. We were surprised by the scope of the newer style menu; we had liked the smaller one pager we used to order from. The service was suspect as usual, but the food was still good, the atmosphere terrific and it's been our tradition for years so we will probably stop by again on our next visit to Bawlmer.