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1/2 day stay in Baltimore

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
275 posts
489 reviews
1/2 day stay in Baltimore

We will be arriving in Baltimore (BWI airport) and would like to take a few hour sightseeing tour of Baltimore before heading to Washington D.C. (don't know what hotel yet in Washington). Thinking of doing the bus/trolley sightseeing tours which will tour us around the city and I believe by Edgar Allan Poe's grave (which I understand is near Lexington St Market). We definitely want to spend some time at the grave. Does anyone know if the bus tour stops here, or just drives by. Also, is this area safe? And if we just took a taxi from the airport to this area, can we easily get another back to Washington D.C.? Also, how far is Baltimore airport (BWI?) or the downtown area from Washington D.C. main area? We may decide to go straight to a D.C. hotel and travel to Baltimore. Sorry for all the questions...never been to Washington or Baltimore.

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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61,685 posts
48 reviews
1. Re: 1/2 day stay in Baltimore

"Thinking of doing the bus/trolley sightseeing tours which will tour us around the city and I believe by Edgar Allan Poe's grave (which I understand is near Lexington St Market). We definitely want to spend some time at the grave. Does anyone know if the bus tour stops here, or just drives by."

What bus tour are you referring to?

"And if we just took a taxi from the airport to this area, can we easily get another back to Washington D.C.? "

Sure. You can walk to any of the nearby hotels and grab a taxi. Although if you do this, what are you planning on doing with your luggage?

"Also, how far is Baltimore airport (BWI?) or the downtown area from Washington D.C. main area?"

It would depend on your final destination, but 30-35 miles is a good estimate.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
275 posts
489 reviews
2. Re: 1/2 day stay in Baltimore

It's a trolley tour from www.baltimoresightseeingtours.com. Don't know if it's a hop on/hop off; if so, great. As for the luggage, you're right, we'll each have a small piece of luggage we can roll behind us. Going on a bus or train with luggage is pretty common, at least in Chicago.

So are you saying that there are a few hotels very close to the Lexington St Market/Edgar Allan Poe grave where we can hail a taxi to get to our D.C. hotel? Didn't know if the EAP grave was in an isolated area or not. But, thank you for your reply, IrishFan. I plan on calling the trolley tour co. soon and will find out the specifics. I am gathering all info to plan a detailed itinerary for our 10-day upcoming trip to New England/Wash. D.C. By the way, any ideas for a fabulous crab or lobster lunch? Heard Maryland has fantastic crabcakes and seafood.

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for Baltimore
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898 posts
79 reviews
3. Re: 1/2 day stay in Baltimore

Wow. $24 for a bus ride through Baltimore. That's steep. If you want to be guided and hear what a bus story teller wants to say then that sounds like the thing for you. Here's a few transport ideas that may help save a buck (Baltimore is cheap because we find so many free things here).

First. If you are staying near the light rail you can get on the train for $3.60 all day and it has a terminal at BWI. So take the train right downtown.

…maryland.gov/services/…LRMAP209.pdf

Your trolley bus tour through Baltimore sounds nice but if don't mind a self-guided tour you can take the new downtown Charm City Circulator where you are going for free. It's a brand new service and hasn't really caught on yet but it's tourist-centric. We rode it for the 1st time on Valentines Day and the bus driver gave the ladies candies. The bus is virtually empty because not many people know about it.

charmcitycirculator.com/content/route-maps

**Take Note** Only the Orange line is running so far. But it may be going where you are talking about.

Check stop #216.

Univ.of MD Medical Center-W. Baltimore St. & N. Greene St.

It's only 2 blocks from Edgar Allen Poe grave.

But if your going be aware that you are on the west side and out of the tourist protector. Poe did not live in the finer parts of town and didn't die there either. But if you are city-smart you will have no problem. There's a lot of foot traffic around there due to the VA hospital and U MD medical.

But that being said, come enjoy the city. There's high end goodness and edgy grittiness to check out too. If you come in fall October 7th is his death day and it gets pretty eerie there. The place has a truly unique vibe no matter when you go though. Lotta energy around there for better or worse.

http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=13136087495607028192&q=Edgar+Allan+Poe+Grave+loc:39.290161,-76.623641&hl=en&ved=0CA4Q2QY&sa=X&ei=VxZ7S57MBomMygSc2cGHBQ

Maryland
Level Contributor
37 posts
56 reviews
4. Re: 1/2 day stay in Baltimore

If I only had 1/2 day in Baltimore (or any other city), I would opt for a guided tour bus - it would give me all the information, show me all the basic points of the town and give me a general overall view.

If I had more than 1/2 day, I would definitely opt for the free shuttle downtown, and slightly warmer weather. Baltimore is an walking town, great architecture, evolving neighborhoods and over 300 yrs of history all crowed in side by side. There are guided and non-guided walking tours that one can find online.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
275 posts
489 reviews
5. Re: 1/2 day stay in Baltimore

Thank you all for your comments. I am pleased to be visiting your city if not for just a 1/2 day. Note that we (2 women) will be carrying our small luggage with us until we get to our Washington D.C. hotel. (Unless there are other options, like going directly to Washington D.C. and taking a commuter train (?) to Baltimore). Also, would appreciate any neat restaurants specializing in either lobster or crab, very informal dining is preferred for lunch. Since Baltimore is virtually unknown to us, I would prefer a guided walking or trolley tour to familiarize us with the city. Again, thank you all very much.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for Sacramento, Puerto Vallarta
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6. Re: 1/2 day stay in Baltimore

I sped read the responses but I go to Baltimore twice a year to visit my kids. We also often go from BWI to DC on the MARC.

I love Baltimore. I'm a tourist there. I hope my experience will help. There are tons of questions from the OP, so it's difficult to answer.

I get off at BWI and take the light rail and go downtown and get off at the Camden Yards station and then hit the Visitor Center. I live outside San Francisco (a mega-tourist town) and you need a week in my city to see everything. Same with Baltimore.

Toadsoup --- what do you really want to see? From your message, it appears you are most interested in Edgar Allen Poe's grave. I've been to Baltimore 12 times and have still not been to his grave (though I have a BA in English, so I should go) thus not sure what to tell you about that.

There is much to see and do in Baltimore, but 1/2 day is not much to do/see anything. If you really want to see Poe's grave, just get a taxi from BWI and go there.

If you are arriving in BWI and taking the MARC to DC, it's not that far. We did it several times recently, into Union Station. An hour? But, it sounds like you might want to finalize some arrangements (such as what you want to see and where you're staying) before people here can give you best information.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
275 posts
489 reviews
7. Re: 1/2 day stay in Baltimore

We will be arriving at BWI in the early afternoon and want to take a city tour and my daughter (also an English major) wanted to see Poe's house and/or grave. We will have small luggage with us and will be staying in Washington D.C. that evening. So, love to see the city sights, have a nice seafood lunch, and head on to Washington D.C. to meet up with friends. Just wanted to know the best way to accomplish this all in the limited time we'll be in Baltimore. I definitely want to take the best advise of everyone who commented to create a detailed itinerary, esp. since there are a few other cities involved. We are starting in Salem, Boston, and Providence area with the last leg of our trip going to Washington D.C. (2-1/2 days) via a 1/2 day "layover" in Baltimore. I will contact the city trolley tour office closer to October to see exactly what areas they go by and if needed, take a taxi to the Poe sights, etc. Sounds like a great idea to take the MARC to D.C. and we'll do that. Thank you all for your lovely comments and I know we'll have a great time in your city.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for Sacramento, Puerto Vallarta
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8. Re: 1/2 day stay in Baltimore

Toadsoup --- a few more things to think about. As mentioned, I'm only a regular tourist to Baltimore. I don't live there. The information Gravitron gave you is something to think about.

You mentioned possibly coming back to Baltimore, when you are in DC, as opposed to trying to see the city (and the EAP sites) in a half-day. Believe me, I go to Baltimore twice a year (Spring and Fall) for a week, and there is so much to do and see that your head will spin.

Also, that trolley tour you mentioned says it is 90 minutes and it leaves at 11am and 1pm from the (incredible) Baltimore Visitor Center. If you are arriving at BWI (Southwest Airlines?) in the early afternoon, you won't be able to get downtown, via either Light Rail or Taxi in time for the trolley tour.

You are correct that the area has the most incredible seafood/crabcake fare. I can't recommend any of the ones around the Inner Harbor or downtown as I haven't tried them. I save my crabcake appetite for G&M and Timbuktu (near the airport). Locals could advise you. There are plenty.

On the MARC train (which is a commuter train between Baltimore and DC'): It is very convenient and inexpensive but they don't like luggage aboard (the conductor chewed out a guy sitting near us, who had two big bags) so make sure your luggage is small and that you could put it in your lap. Also, the MARC doesn't run on week-ends. I highly recommend the MARC for getting from BWI (or Baltimore Penn Station) however. From BWI to Union Station in DC, it takes about 35-40 minutes. Get there earlier though, to buy your ticket.

Here's a thought ---- it appears you already have your flight. If you are arriving at BWI in the early afternoon, think about just heading to MARC (at the BWI Amtrak station) and going to DC and checking into your hotel.

Enjoy DC that afternoon/evening, and come back to Baltimore to see the EAP sites and others (spend a FULL day) and then you wouldn't have to haul your luggage around Baltimore. If you're staying near Union Station in DC, that would be so easy.

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
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12,372 posts
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9. Re: 1/2 day stay in Baltimore

TS

IMHO, it is a tremendous waste of time and energy to take public transportation from the airport to Baltimore, find the trolley tour, stop by a grave and then find the transportation back to Washington DC all while carrying luggage, however light.

Nothing will go like clockwork, there will be much wasted time waiting for subways, light rails and trains.

Baltimore is worth visiting and if you had a car then the hourlong trip into Baltimore will be 15 minutes and you could park by the tour, etc.

Although, not exactly the same, it would be like landing at O'hare, heading into Chicago for 1/2 a day and then heading to your actual destination- Rockford. You get the general idea.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
275 posts
489 reviews
10. Re: 1/2 day stay in Baltimore

I appreciate your comments, however, I am reluctant to drive in a city I am unfamiliar with. Wonder if I can just rent a limo for 2 or 3 hours with a guide that won't cost me more than $200, then taxi it to Washington D.C. by 6 p.m. for my hotel and a nice dinner. Would that be more appropriate? If I spent an entire day in the city, that would be a different story, and who knows, we may decide to do that and leave for D.C. in the morning.

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