Worth spending 1 day in Baltimore?

Old Mar 10th, 2010, 05:22 PM
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If you've got a car at BWI and you're driving to Baltimore and you don't go to G&M (it's on the way) you're missing the best crabcakes anywhere. The place isn't fancy and the crabcakes aren't cheap but they're the best (I may have mentioned that already).
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 09:44 PM
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lol, smetz, what a memory! Best raw oysters anywhere I dare say!
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 03:50 AM
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In your defense, ncounty, I may have embellished a bit about the Natty Boh tall boy!
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 05:03 AM
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Agree that crabcakes at G&M are far superior to the ones at Lexington market. There is a great Italian deli right across and a bit down from Lexington Market, Trinacria, 406 N Paca St. They have fabulous Italian subs and they make their own bread which is to die for.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 09:48 AM
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Thanks, all, for the good info! Looking forward to an enjoyable day in Baltimore. When I first proposed spending a day in Baltimore, my DH thought it was too preposterous and mocked it by singing the line from Hairspray "Good morning, Baltimore..." Hope Baltimore will prove him wrong.

Another question for all the Baltimore/D.C. experts here: Two options for car rental and dropoff:

1) Rent in BWI and drop it off next day by 10:30 a.m. in D.C. central, near Foggy Bottom metro--close to our hotel in D.C. Cost $75. (How bad is the traffic going to D.C. on a weekday?)

1) Rent and return to BWI. $45. Take public transportation to D.C. (Foggy Bottom metro station) with 2 carry-on luggage. Is it a big hassle? How to go about this?

Thanks!
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 11:49 AM
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Traffic into DC mid week would not be great, but not horrible. The ride into DC could be ok as you're on the cusp of rush hour, but then again if its raining or there is an accident, it could be pretty bad.
I assume that each of u has a carry on and that wouldn't be problematic on public transportation. U could use esclators and elevators so no steps involved. Public transportation would involve the shuttle from the car rental to the train station at BWI, the train (Amtrak or Marc line) to Union Station, getting on the Red line at Union Station in the direction of Shady Grove and transferring at Metro Center to either the Blue line in the direction of Franconia or the Orange line going towards Vienna and getting off @ Foggy Bottom. Non rush hour fare (after 9:30 am) would be $1.45. Don't know what the Amtrak or Marc train from BWI costs. So it's up to you if u want to save some money and take public transportation. It's definitley doable and depending upon traffic that morning could be quicker.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 02:40 PM
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Thanks, yestravel, for your useful response! I've also posted it explicitly to see if there's any other opinions.

Thanks again!
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 03:55 PM
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I second (third) the G+M restaurant rec near BWI.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 04:37 PM
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I'm not a connoiseur of crab cakes. What makes a good crab cake?

Looks like I have to try out G+M.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 06:49 PM
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Lots of tasty crabmeat and little fillling. People like different seasonings. G&M's are large crabcakes with huge chunks of crabmeat and barely any filers. You can get them broiled or fried.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 07:50 PM
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How dangerous is Baltimore? We are traveling with a 3-year old to BWI in June-July and will be continuing to Washington, DC. We will be renting a car at BWI, so I've been thinking of stopping in Baltimore to visit the National Aquarium. My only knowledge of Baltimore comes from watching "The Wire" on HBO...
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 04:18 AM
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RainyDay, I can understand how you feel, but Baltimore is really not significantly worse than any other major city in the US, including Washington DC. The Wire is fairly accurate, but it reflects life in poor drug ridden areas of the City, and it could have been filmed in Anacostia in DC, or in similar neighborhoods in any city. If you want to go to the National Aquarium, the first thing you'll notice is that it looks nothing like the scenes you've seen in The Wire, and you'll feel quite comfortable there. Your 3-year old will probably enjoy it more than anything in DC.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 04:51 AM
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smetz is exactly right. The Aquarium is in the heart of the tourist area in Balto. Lots of people everywhere een a fair number of police milling about. Its really fabulous and your 3 yr old will love it. A slight warning -there is a 4D movie that was great, but many young children were crying and scared from it and had to be taken out from the movie.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 05:15 AM
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I saw 4D this summer. It was so funny; I didn't know what to expect. The kid behind me started crying and then my niece who was 6 started crying. I think it was a chain reaction. I told her to sit on my lap and then she stopped. She and my other niece didn't like it too much at the time.

The jellyfish exhibit, which I think is permanent and pretty new, was really awesome. Those things are so cool.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 05:46 AM
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I agree with smetz about Baltimore as well. I think The Wire is filmed far off the tourist center.

To the OP, I would personally probably just keep the car and pay the extra 30$ to return it in DC..... and I'm pretty frugal. If you need to justify it, there are 3 train rides and transfers involved and there are at least 2 of you so cost per person is only $15 extra for avoiding that hassle.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 03:33 PM
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Hi Rainyday09

When I lived in Baltimore, visiting The Inner Harbor (where the Aquarium is) felt like I'd landed in a cross between a shopping mall and an amusement park on the water. So, no, it's nothing like "the Wire". In fact, whenever I would be there, I never really felt like I was in Baltimore at all... but rather in a bubble of suburbia; the area where suburbanites and tourists felt safe milling about in large groups.

In truth, I found the Inner Harbor very generic and didn't interest me much (although the Aquarium has an extensive collection of aquatic life that you might enjoy). While not exactly "the Wire"-like areas, I tended to prefer the areas of the city with more character: Mount Vernon, Lexington Market, Federal Hill (Cross Street Market especially), Hampden, taking the #3 bus ... Fell's Point, while it has a tourist draw being on the water taxi line, still feels more "Baltimore" to me than does the Inner Harbor.

Have fun... visiting the Aquarium you have nothing to be concerned about... Daniel
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 07:04 PM
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DW, an insightful comment, and one with which I agree. If you don't mind, I could add some additional background. The inner harbor area was historically an industrial seaport which began to decline in the 1950's, and was very nasty for a number of years. The area was eventually converted into a park during the late 1960's/ early 1970's. I began going there in the late 1970's, when my wife and I were first married, and it was really nice - all green space with a brick promenade around the harbor. The area was the scene of all the ethnic festivals held in Baltimore through the summer, and it was just a really enjoyable place. It also seemed more connected to Federal Hill on the south side of the harbor, since it was all parkland. Harborplace - the two retail pavilions - was developed by The Rouse Co. in 1980, and not without dispute - lots of people wanted the park to remain, myself included. Around the same time, land was dedicated for the Maryland Science Center and the National Aquarium. At first, Rouse wouldn't allow any national chains in Harborplace, only local businesses, but that didn't last. Now you're right, the retail area is very generic, but the museums, including the science center, aquarium, and The Constellation, are excellent. And, I have not been to any city in the US, that has as nice a waterfront area as Baltimore. I live outside of the city now, but my wife and I go in often for dining & entertainment, and we tend to go to areas that you liked - Mt. Vernon, Fells Point, Canton, Federal Hill, etc. But all nice neighborhood areas are new at some point, and I'd say that the Inner Harbor has done a pretty good job of getting established over the past 30 years, and it will probably mature very nicely in the future.
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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 12:12 AM
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When we went to Baltimore and DC we also squeezed in a parade morning at Annapolis. I don't remember exactly how far this was, but we went "on our way" to DC and were thrilled with the area.
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 02:19 PM
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Where to hangout in Baltimore at night? Somewhere safe and happening? Not looking for bars, but a nice and safe place to stroll around. Inner Harbor?

Thanks!
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 02:21 PM
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I would think the Inner harbor and Fells Point.
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