Mike’s Travelogue: Raven’ about Baltimore

May 13, 2023, 4:13 PM | Updated: Aug 29, 2023, 2:46 pm


A trip to Baltimore doesn’t need to be limited to Charm City. (Alaska Airlines)

(Alaska Airlines)

SPONSORED – Here’s the thing about going to Baltimore…it is really close to Washington D.C. In fact, its airport is called Baltimore-Washington (BWI) because it serves both cities. So if you want to see Seattle play football in Baltimore this November, remember that you can see everything the nation’s capital has to offer and still be in Maryland on gameday. That means you can see the Washington and Jefferson Monuments, Lincoln Memorial, White House and Smithsonian on a trip to Baltimore.

If you’ve taken the “My First Trip to D.C.” already, here are a few other spots you might want to check out, especially with kids. The International Spy Museum is amazing (just ask my daughter!). You can attempt to complete a secret mission while checking out the history of spies, handlers, gadgets and gadget makers. Even better, you’ll learn some of the techniques that let spies stay secret.

And if you enjoy that, try taking a tour of the FBI headquarters. You need to request a visit at least four weeks before your visit, but it is worth your time to learn how the bureau works and see their labs in action. This was my favorite sight in D.C. as a kid and its only improved since then.

When you think of the Smithsonian, you might not consider the National Portrait Gallery but you should. It’s a great way to learn not only our history but about the important folks who created it.

So a trip to Baltimore doesn’t need to be limited to Charm City. But once you’re in town, there are a few things you need to do.

If there is one figure most closely associated with Baltimore, it is Edgar Allen Poe. He is so famously connected with the city that the football team bears the name of one of his most famous works. You can visit his house (which has a museum), his gravesite, his statue, and a few pubs that were important to his life. That includes the Horse You Came In On Saloon, which may have been the last place he was seen alive.

In addition to reading some of his famous works, I recommend The Poe Shadow – an excellent piece of historical fiction by Matthew Pearl that focuses on the mystery of Poe’s death but also takes the reader throughout his city. It’ll get you psyched for the trip!

In the last 20 years, the most common reference for Baltimore has switched from one great writer (Poe) to another: David Simon who created and wrote The Wire for HBO. Fans (of which I am one) can take a few different guided tours of sites from the show or can follow the itinerary set forth on Wikitravel.

The Inner Harbor is the central tourism locale which features the aquarium, the science museum and many of the historic warships that make up an incredible trip. It’s also where you’ll find the two great stadiums: Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium. By mid-November, Camden will be closed for the season but try to get back to see a game there when you can. It was the first of the modern ballparks to incorporate a retro design and unique, asymmetrical features that have kept it among the league’s best to this day. It is definitely in my top five ballparks that I’ve visited.

There is some great food in the area too and that starts with the local delicacy: Maryland blue crabs. You tend to think of these as a summer treat, but the season lasts through November and often the biggest clams of the season are near the end. Locust Point Steamers is known for their huge platters which cover all of the East Coast delicacies. If you are willing to travel, there are tons of options along the Maryland shore.

Baltimore has the usual hotels at all price points, but for something different, look at the Sagamore Pendry. It is on the water and looks more like a gilded age museum than a hotel. Beautiful rooms, marble bathrooms and spectacular views set it apart.

Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium
Stadium Food: Pratt Street Hoagie (pit-beef sandwich with crab, lettuce, onions, cheese and more)
Seattle haunt: Nope

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