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Where to Stay in Baltimore
The most convenient and popular area for Baltimore visitors is the Inner Harbor, where you can enjoy days worth of activities by just exploring the boardwalks and neighborhood on foot. By being mindful of special promotions and off-season rates, you can often find cheap hotel deals in Baltimore in the heart of Inner Harbor, steps away from the National Aquarium, Baltimore Museum of Industry and Power Plant Live, a pedestrian-friendly nightlife district. It’s all framed by the Baltimore skyline and the ship-filled harbor itself, which is a stunning sight on a clear-weather day.
Just beyond the borders of the Inner Harbor area are several other easy-to-access neighborhoods where you can find quality accommodations in somewhat less-touristy settings. Head east on the waterfront boardwalk along the north side of the harbor and you’ll venture into Little Italy, a perfect place to stop for excellent pizza or pasta. Next comes Harbor East, with its collection of boutique hotels, and finally Fells Point, the former site of Baltimore’s original seaport and current site of a thriving bar scene. If you keep going east, you’ll mostly find commercial office buildings, but there are more hotels in the Canton neighborhood on the other side.
Baltimore Hotel Tips
Several of the finer hotel chains have locations in Inner Harbor, and these include some of the best hotels in town. Their rates are generally competitive, but the few most luxurious properties charge appropriately higher prices for their accommodations. The entire north side of the harbor is dotted with charming independent hotels from Inner Harbor through Fells Point, and there are even several B&Bs along this stretch. You may find some of the best deals in the immediate harbor area by comparison shopping among these local hotels. Another place to seek out discounts for weekend trips is Downtown Baltimore, just northwest of Inner Harbor. These hotels generally cater to business travelers and sometimes offer lower weekend rates.
Baltimore Hotel Recommendations
Perhaps the most exclusive hotel in Inner Harbor is the Intercontinental Harbor Court, which is well-recognized for its gracious service and destination dining. Even the standard rooms are quite large, and the suites are more like furnished apartments. The hotel is positioned right at the edge of the harbor, but many rooms don’t have excellent waterfront views, so you’ll want to take a trip to the 24-hour rooftop fitness center that overlooks the whole area. A less expensive but still very comfortable Inner Harbor alternative is the Courtyard by Marriot Downtown/Inner Harbor, situated near a handy water taxi stop.
If you’d rather stay closer to the historic seaport of Fells Point, the Admiral Fell Inn is full of character. Segmented into separate buildings, many of them historic, the inn fits right in with the colonial settings.
Farther east, in the Canton neighborhood, the Inn at 2920 is a small but luxurious B&B with competitive nightly rates. While it’s a long walk from the big attractions of Inner Harbor, Canton is a quiet area, and the nearest water taxi stop is just a few minutes away.
If the harbor isn’t really your scene, you can stay in the Mount Vernon neighborhood just north of Downtown, near the original Washington Monument. The Peabody Court Hotel is a famous, historic and luxurious choice situated near all of the Mount Vernon museums.
Unless you anticipate traveling all over Baltimore during your stay, you’re probably best off not renting a car after your flight to Baltimore arrives. Parking near the harbor is notoriously difficult, and a large share of the biggest tourism draws can be easily accessed on foot or via public transportation. The promenade surrounding the harbor provides a fun, scenic path through Inner Harbor, Little Italy and Fells Point, but you should also consider taking the water taxi. 24-hour unlimited ride passes are cheap, and they’ll take you anywhere you want to go among the hot spots in the harbor. You can also jump on Baltimore’s very inexpensive light rail trains operated by the Maryland Transit Administration, or MTA. Camden Station, the busy stop next to Oriole Park, is close to many Inner Harbor hotels.
If you pass on renting a car at the airport, you can easily hail a cab there or take one of the more affordable shuttles that go to all Downtown and Inner Harbor hotels. You can also hop on the MTA and ride down to Camden Station if you’re traveling with light bags that you don’t mind carrying around.