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A few last minute questions before visiting B'more

Grantham, UK
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A few last minute questions before visiting B'more

Hi - I am visiting Baltimore for 6 nights, arriving from the UK this coming Weds evening (21st May) and flying back overnight on the 27th/28th. I am principally coming over to watch Baseball, will be staying at the Hampton Inns near Camden Yard and have tickets for the first two Orioles games already booked, with a view I will buy the rest when I get there. The dates mean the first two days I will have the daytime free, the next two days I will have the evening free and then it is Memorial Day Monday, the O's are not playing and I was thinking about going to DC to see the Nationals (just to visit their ballpark really). My flight back on the 27th doesn't leave til 21.30 so I pretty much have the full day on the Tuesday too.

So, a few questions are popping into my head, it would be helpful if anyone had any insight...

1) What is relatively cheap shopping (clothes shopping) like in B'more? I ask because the weather is a bit unpredictable, so figured I wouldn't pack too much but buy some stuff whilst over there. Are there any outlet malls or even good shopping streets within striking distance of the Inner Harbour? Every website focuses on the harbour, restaurants, bars, baseball etc, but very little mention of whether there are decent shops/malls centrally. I won't be hiring a car.

2) If I do decide to go to DC for a game on Memorial Day, I understand that there are only regular trains running. Should I be buying a ticket online before I arrive, or will it be fairly straightforward booking a train when over there? Or should I ditch the whole DC idea on that day due to the parade attracting crowds etc?

3) Everyone majors (understandably) on safety when talking about B'more. I don't intend to stay in the Inner Harbour area all the time during my stay, but am I correct in saying that getting to places via the circular bus or the light rail during the day should be fine, and if I find myself a distance from the hotel after dark, a cab will be the best option? I don't want to feel that I'm staying in some sort of closed compound whilst there, and do want to get a flavour of local life.

4) I know there are no official 'The Wire' tours, but is there a safe way of checking out a number of locations used for the show? To be clear - I'm not looking to peer at local people living in poverty, I am most interested in the locations used - if that makes sense?

5) My plane touches down in BWI at about 8pm Weds. Given it will take some time to get through the immigration/passport control, I will look to get the Light Rail to my hotel (if my calcs are right, I'm getting off on Pratt Street, and walking a block past the Hilton to the Hampton). Will the light rail be safe at this time of the evening, or am I better off getting a cab?

Sorry for so many Q's

Dave

Curitiba
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1. Re: A few last minute questions before visiting B'more

Hello Dave,

Sorry not being able to answer all of your questions, I lived in Baltimore 3 years ago for 4months only.

Well, I guess the little mall at inner harbor is the only place for shopping if you are not willing to go to Towson by bus, which would take you at least 45min each way. Im not sure what kind of clothes you are into, but if I remember of any other place to shop I will let you know.

Is it only you? I believe you should be fine walking around your hotel and from and to inner harbor and the surrounding area. Just be sure not to go to dark corners and be aware of people around you, all the advice you could give to any people anywhere in this planet. I believe you will know where not to go when you are walking. Stick to the major streets and you will be fine. Also, a cab to your hotel wont be that expensive, I would choose this option for being faster and safer (I dont think walking at night is 100% safe in any city, though I was quite a stupid teenager when I lived there and used to walk home after work for 1h at 2am from Aliceanna St up to Penn Station and nothing ever happened to me).

Im not sure about the trains nor the Wire.

Btw, if you llikebeers go to Max Beer, for Breakfast go to the Blue Moon and the best pizza in town come from the Orioles takeout. XS cafe and City Cafe are some nice places too, you can go there with the Circulator which is a free bus, just make sure too keep an eeye on its schedule.

Baltimore, MD
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2. Re: A few last minute questions before visiting B'more

Transportation is going to be your major obstacle. The US just doesn't have the public transportation options you have in the UK.

1) The Inner Harbor East 9between harbor and Fells Point) has some nice shops but they are upscale, not out. Towson also has a huge upscale mall. http://mta.maryland.gov/bus-route-listing-key The best outlet shopping would be at Arundel Mills which is close to BWI airport. bwiairport.com/en/…mta

2) You should be able to take the MARC commuter train to DC. Weekend service is available on the Penn Line http://mta.maryland.gov/marc-train

3) Baltimore is as save as any other large city. Use your street smarts.

4) I am not aware of any current Wire tours. The Circulator is an excellent (and free) way to see the city http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/

If you are a sports fan go to the Sports Legends Museum outside of the ballpark. Check Cross Street Market for MD crab cakes at Nick's. If you like contemporary Art, go to the Visionary Arts Museum at the foot of Federal Hill. Tell us what you like and we can make suggestions.

Falls Church...
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3. Re: A few last minute questions before visiting B'more

Double check to see if the MARC train is running on Memorial Day. It may not be, in which case you might have to abandon the DC idea.

It's been a while since I watched the wire but you could see a lot of where the season two characters lived near the Locust Point terminal. It's an area that's south of Federal Hill beyond the Inner Harbor.

I found this as well, the area I'm talking about is in the "SOUTH" area.

http://wikitravel.org/en/The_Wire_Tour

Ellicott City...
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4. Re: A few last minute questions before visiting B'more

One easy to visit location from the wire is Orlando's gentelman's club. The scenes there were filmed at the lovely Ritz Cabaret in Fells Point! (Corner of Broadway and Eastern Ave)

Maryland
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5. Re: A few last minute questions before visiting B'more

1) Can't say downtown Baltimore has the best reasonably shopping but if you want cheap you could go to Eastern Ave past Patterson Park for some relatively safe shopping that will be cheap. No circulator so either a cab or city bus will have to do. Try to grab lunch at DiPasquale's if you make it that out way. Also, you might find something in Fells.

2) DC should work just make sure the MARC is running or you'll be at the whim of AMTRAK. Parade should not be an issue.

3) You should be fine in most touristy type places - just don't be stupid.

4) A couple of Wire places would be Lexington Market (from Season 1 - urban market but reasonably safe); the strip joint on Broadway just north of Fells Point (can't comment much since I've just seen it from the outside); shots of City Hall and the Harbor (from Season 2). Maybe hit a neighborhood bar in Locust Point (season 2) and have a Natty Boh.

5) As long as the Light Rail is running, you should be fine but you may want to cab it just for peace of mind.

Hit the Farmer's Market for Sunday Brunch (closes at sellout around noon - either get Baltimore's best burger or a pit beef from the folks at Chap's - Wire reference - with horseradish, onions and BBQ sauce - heaven); and the SOWEBO if you are feeling adventurous (http://www.soweboarts.org/festival.html) - I'll be at both. I think you can take the Circulator to the SOWEBO which is a true Baltimore experience (nice to see the white folks playing with the black folks occasionally). Might be a tough make with the O's since they are playing a day game.

Lastly, if you have some time go the Avenue in Hampden (not the easiest with public transportation) for a stop at Bazaar (my new favorite store) and some shopping. Grab the Where magazine from your hotel with a decent map and visit the American Visionary Art Museum and maybe Fort McHenry.

Bethesda MD
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6. Re: A few last minute questions before visiting B'more

Although it's been a remarkably cold winter hanging over into spring, we're pretty firmly warmed up now. Given that you're from the UK, I think you're VERY unlikely to encounter weather around memorial day that you can't handle without emergency clothes shopping, and I also think that without a car, spending your time shopping for the sake of bringing clothing home won't be worthwhile. Your best option for emergency clothes shopping would be to purchase something team-related from a memorabilia street hawker outside one of those games. There's essentially a mall at Union Station in DC, but it's on the pricier side.

Maryland, USA
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7. Re: A few last minute questions before visiting B'more

The light rail runs twice an hour from BWI Airport to the city so you could be standing around waiting for a while if you miss a train by a few minutes. Otherwise, it would be safe and very cheap...$1.60 USD.

8. Re: A few last minute questions before visiting B'more

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