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Baltimore Inner Harbor to DC - without a car; with luggage - suggestions?

Baltimore Inner Harbor to DC - without a car; with luggage - suggestions?

Old Sep 17th, 2014, 11:36 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2013
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Baltimore Inner Harbor to DC - without a car; with luggage - suggestions?

Hi folks - I realize this question has been asked previously - but some responses seem dated. We'll be staying in the Inner Harbor area for a few nights in late March 2015 before spending time staying in DC. We are flying in/out of BWI. I'd rather not spend $ for a car rental in either city, however - I'm perplexed on how to get to DC and back w/out one. The Metro option seems a bit intimidating to me - further I don't know about struggling with luggage on & off buses to get to stations from the lodging in each city... or even if you can take suitcases on the metro. Searching car rentals - seems you have to rent at an airport for one way rental - or I'd have to rent for a full week when I don't need to - and don't want the expense. Am I missing other options? Thank you in advance ...
jilllovestravel is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2014, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Penn Station (Amtrak) at 1500 North Charles St. Baltimore has Baggage storage. There may be a small charge. If you take your luggage to Washington, the luggage storage at Union Station is expensive (by the hour).
The time for a trip from BAL to WAS on a Northeast Regional is 40 to 50 minutes. Return to Baltimore to pick up your luggage and then take the next Regional back to BWI (12-15 minutes).
The fare if you buy in advance from BAL-WAS is $12-16/passenger.
The fare from BAL to BWI is $11/passenger.
There are 30+ trains per day running between New York and Washington. There is no reason to ride an Acela for a lot more just to save 4 minutes between Baltimore and Washington.
I think the Circulator bus runs between the Inner Harbor and Penn Station but I don't know about carrying luggage. A taxi to the station may be your best bet.
In Washington a major Metro station is down the escalator from the Amtrak Union Station.
tomfuller is online now  
Old Sep 17th, 2014, 12:17 PM
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Wow... thanks Tomfuller for the information. I am a traveler, yet typically not in "big city" areas. That coupled with getting older (recently retired) ....

We are not leaving luggage anywhere, we're staying in DC for 5 nts following 4 in Baltimore. I may look into Amtrak, and cabbing it as necessary. I googled the Super Shuttle, and the reviews were not too hot.
jilllovestravel is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2014, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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"or even if you can take suitcases on the metro."

Of course you can.

"The Metro option seems a bit intimidating to me"

Metrorail doesn't go between Baltimore and DC.

MARC train is also an option.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2014, 12:25 PM
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What's "spending time in DC"? A day trip or some nights?

If nights, just hop an amtrak to DC and then from Union Station back to BWI.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2014, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Amtrak is by far your best choice. A bus would be the second choice, but since Amtrak actually stops at BWI, it seems a no-brainer to me. But realize that tickets are significantly cheaper when purchased more than 30 days in advance (but not this far).
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2014, 08:50 PM
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You can and many people do carry luggage on the Washington DC Metro. I did it before my very first Amtrak trip in October 2001.
My cousin dropped me off at a Virginia station and I sat at my gate for many hours waiting for the first train of the day to New York.
I hope that you consider hotels near Metro stops outside Washington DC. The downtown hotels seem a bit overpriced for a 5 day stay. There are some good hotels right near BWI as well.
People flying out of Reagan National often take the Metro directly to and from the airport.
Cars can be rented at Union Station and at Reagan National to go to sites outside the city like Mt. Vernon.
tomfuller is online now  
Old Sep 17th, 2014, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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I would try to arrive and leave DC outside of rush hours. While you can always take luggage on the metro, it can be packed during rush hours making it difficult to deal with luggage. If you aren't comfortable using the metro you can take the amtrak or MARc train from Baltimore to and from DC. Once in Dc you could take a cab to your hotel.
yestravel is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2014, 10:05 PM
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How much luggage are we talking about here? Of course, you can take it on the metro, but if you have a lot you may want to look for elevators rather than escalators. But this sounds like a short trip.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2014, 01:47 AM
Join Date: Sep 2014
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If you're looking for visiting DC for the museums and other historical places, you should be in DC during the morning time, and book yourself a sight seeing tour.
emilyfrew is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2014, 03:22 PM
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There is no rule about luggage not being allowed on the metro (this isn't a silly question, it isn't in some cities, like Mexico City). The limitations are your stamina, metro stations can have a lot of stairs and sometimes the escalators or elevators aren't working. Mostly they are, but I hope you are talking about a 22-24 inch suitcase at most. And sometimes it is difficult to even get on yourself in rush hour, so avoid rush hours if at all possible, and there shouldn't be a problem. Rush hours in DC last a long time, also, so if you are doing this 10 am to 4 pm, you should be fine, or after 7-8 pm or so.
Christina is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 09:30 AM
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I have done this exact trip a few times. When I arrived in Baltimore I took a cab from the airport to my hotel just because it was easy. Your hotel may have a shuttle. When I left Baltimore for DC I took the MARC train from Penn Station. The fare for the MARC was $12. From the Inner Harbor to Penn Station I suggest a cab. It is a distance and up hill. My last trip was 5 years ago and the fare was about $10. I traveled during the week. However, I am not sure if the MARC is an option on the weekend. If I remember correctly, it does not run on the weekend. It was very easy to get luggage on and off the train. The train drops you at Union Station in DC. The Metro is right in the same station. Getting luggage on and off the Metro is also very easy. As others have said just do not travel during rush hours. I usually use the 22-24 suitcase and a small duffle type bag.

When returning to BWI the train drops you just outside the airport. There is a shuttle to the terminal.

Just a few suggestions. I enjoyed the American Visionary Museum in Baltimore. In DC I recommend The Woodley Park Guest House. It is out by the zoo but a very enjoyable place to stay.
gardendiva is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 09:41 AM
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Correct - the MARC does not run on weekends.
yestravel is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 09:41 AM
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Meant to add, you can take the Amtrak trains on weekends. They are a bit more expensive then Marc.
yestravel is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 11:46 AM
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There are two MARC lines between Washington and Baltimore. The Penn Line runs from Perryville, north of Baltimore to Washington DC Union Station and serves Baltimore Penn Station. There is now (limited) weekend service on the Penn Line between Baltimore and DC. The Camden Line operates from the Camden station in Baltimore (right in the Inner Harbor near the baseball stadium) to Union Station in DC. The Camden line does not operate on weekends.
SPQR is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 11:59 AM
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MARC's Penn line now runs on the weekend. That is the MARC train the OP would take to Union Station in DC.

Here is the schedule:

obxgirl is online now  
Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Great to know about MARC. Sorry for posting out dated info. hate that!
yestravel is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2014, 03:26 PM
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We used the MARC train. I will say that the metro in DC was a challenge for us and we are big train travelers. We ended up taking a cab back to Union station the morning of our flight to get back to BWI. We were staying in Dupont Circle and it was 10.00. Well worth it with luggage. You might consider that. We paid 8 from the Lincoln Memorial one night to get back. I thought that was very reasonable and our feet loved it.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2014, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Jill....ur plan works...no car needed...fly into BWI train , cab uber to Baltimore..best to stay in Harbor East area..walk around inner harbor (tourist trap) ..Fells Point ,Canton, Harbor East...sign up for uber if u want to get around ..lots to see and do 3or 4 nites is perfect...for DC take the MARC train from Baltimore to DC ...you'll take it to Union Station in DC..safe area..walk to the Capitol and Supreme Court , Library of Congress plus a ton of other things to see...I would stay in that area it's called Capitol Hill ..from the train station u can walk to a number of good hotels..Union station is grat for shopping as well and right there is all of your transportation u need to get around the city...again use uber as ur cab at night...when you leave DC get back on the MARC and take it right to BWI..ull have a great time..lots of walking but that makes it fun especially sitting down with a couple cold beers
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