Author Topic: Baltimore Maryland?  (Read 7998 times)

luigi49

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Baltimore Maryland?
« on: December 15, 2015, 03:49:46 PM »
I have a business trip to baltimore and was wondering if you guys can tell me how to get around the city. I will be there for 4 days.  Should I rent a car?  My employer is not paying for rental car.   I would like to go to washington DC as well.  Since I am frugal I was wondering if I can leave my car someplace to avoid the parking fee.   

maco

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2015, 03:52:50 PM »
There is a lightrail system. Getting to DC from Baltimore would likely mean taking the MARC or Amtrak, depending on if you're talking about weekend or weekday. MARC is the commuter train for people who live in Baltimore and work in DC.

luigi49

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2015, 05:11:50 PM »
There is a lightrail system. Getting to DC from Baltimore would likely mean taking the MARC or Amtrak, depending on if you're talking about weekend or weekday. MARC is the commuter train for people who live in Baltimore and work in DC.

Should I rent a car for sightseeing in DC?

Dee18

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2015, 05:41:53 PM »
You do not need a car to sightsee in DC.  You'll be better off without one.  But if you'd  like the sight of the monuments at night it might be worth a cab ride tour if those.  Everything is accessible by metro and walking and the system is easy to navigate.

mozar

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2015, 06:12:44 PM »
You might want to get a car to drive around Baltimore
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 01:28:48 PM by mozar »

SuperSaver

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2015, 06:29:57 PM »
Hi! I live in Downtown Baltimore (a few minutes walk to the Inner Harbor or Mount Vernon depending on which direction I head).

Do not rent a car.  A lot of the downtown/Inner Harbor/Fells Point/ Harbor East/ Federal Hill area and Mount Vernon (the cultural/historic/artsy area) is walkable. There is also the free shuttle called the Charm City Circulator (CCC) that runs in many directions. http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/

Parking can be expensive- often $6+ for the first 15minutes-1hour. Avoid taxis, they tend to be ruder and overcharge.
I recommend Uber for Bmore and DC. They will pick you up and drop you off where you need to go like a taxi, you use a smartphone to order one and pay so you won't need cash. They have different levels of cars (I use Uber X which costs $5 - $9 for a ride typically- it bases price off distance, etc. Some Uber Levels have a $25 minimum or so because fancier cars are driving you around). I can give you a promotional code if you have never used it before. It would give you a free ride up to $20 for your first ride (and then I would get a free ride for referring you).

The MTA lightrail runs North to South/ South to North from BWI to Hunt Valley and is $1.80 I believe for a one way pass. It's less than $4 for an all days pass or so.

The subway runs East to West (and West to East). It is dirty but useful. It uses the same ticket you use for a bus or lightrail so its easier to swap from one to another. Buses run all over but in nearly two years I've only paid to ride a bus once since everything is so walkable or I can get to it easily via Lightrail or CCC.

The Marc train runs on the Amtrack rails but is waaaaay cheaper. It runs from Camden Yards in Downtown Baltimore to Union Station in DC and back of course.

If you want to park your car somewhere safe and cheaper I recommend not parking in the touristy areas. I can suggest one in my area that's good. It cost $6 on Saturday and $6 on Sunday. But $21/day Monday-Friday. I am sure other people can recommend parking garages based on where you are staying hotel wise (a lot of hotel garages are $35/day if you are staying downtown).

Let me know if you need a list of restaurants based on price, cuisine or atmosphere. :) Or free things to do in the city!!!

aspiringnomad

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2015, 09:03:12 PM »
There is a lightrail system. Getting to DC from Baltimore would likely mean taking the MARC or Amtrak, depending on if you're talking about weekend or weekday. MARC is the commuter train for people who live in Baltimore and work in DC.

Should I rent a car for sightseeing in DC?

Whatever you do, don't rent a car. Check out the Circulator for getting around near the monuments and in the neighborhoods. If the weather remains mild, DC has one of the most extensive bikeshare systems in the country and bike lanes everywhere:

https://secure.capitalbikeshare.com/map/


HazelStone

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2015, 07:46:59 AM »
Do not rent a car for DC. You will be driven insane and parking is expensive. Driving in Baltimore is bad enough, and as already mentioned, there are decent alternatives to driving. The road system in Baltimore and Maryland in general is really poorly done. Their traffic and civil engineers should have been flogged. A couple of the ramps for I-95 in Baltimore are rather scary as well. But I'm afraid of heights. The tight turn angles don't help.

Don't get me started on the drivers in this benighted town.

brokescientist

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2015, 08:07:55 AM »
Go to Harry Attman's and eat a giant sandwich.


maco

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2015, 08:37:41 AM »
There is a lightrail system. Getting to DC from Baltimore would likely mean taking the MARC or Amtrak, depending on if you're talking about weekend or weekday. MARC is the commuter train for people who live in Baltimore and work in DC.

Should I rent a car for sightseeing in DC?

Whatever you do, don't rent a car. Check out the Circulator for getting around near the monuments and in the neighborhoods. If the weather remains mild, DC has one of the most extensive bikeshare systems in the country and bike lanes everywhere:

https://secure.capitalbikeshare.com/map/
The Capital Bikeshare station by my office has disappeared. I thought it must've been taken down for the winter. Then again, there's construction nearby, so maybe the bikeshare stations are normally there year round?

And yeah, no driving in DC. Cars are for taxi drivers and the suburbs.

Britan

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2015, 03:16:49 PM »
Whatever you do, don't rent a car.
Driving in DC (and Baltimore) is a NIGHTMARE. Don't do it!

In and around Baltimore you have:
1. Charm City Circulator (FREE!) http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/
2. Lightrail (Can get you to/from BWI reliably, and to points north) http://mta.maryland.gov/light-rail
3. Subway (pretty useless actually unless you are going to the Hopkins Med Campus)
4. Your feet! Certain areas (Mt. Vernon to Fed Hill; inner harbor to Fell's Point) are pretty walkable.


MARC can connect you to DC. I think it's $8 each way. It also runs from Penn station (Baltimore) on weekends now. http://mta.maryland.gov/marc-fares

In DC, public transit abounds!

Britan

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2015, 03:41:00 PM »
Oh and for fun and (mostly) free things to do in Baltimore, consider:

1. The Walter's Art Museum (https://www.thewalters.org/)
2. Visit the burial place of Edgar Allen Poe
3. Go inside the Washington Monument
4. While you're there, visit the Peabody library, one of the most beautiful libraries in the world (http://www.peabodylibrary.org/)
5. Take the Banner Line (Charm City Circulator) to Fort McHenry (http://www.nps.gov/fomc/index.htm)
6. Walk around the inner harbor. It's very pretty and a good place to people-watch. They have ice skating there now, and you can sometimes find performers doing little shows at the Pratt/Light st corner

For places to eat, there are some grocery stores though not many, depending on where you are (a Whole Foods in Harbor East, for example), but there are a lot of great restaurants, especially up and down Charles street in Mt. Vernon.

It's a very under-rated city, and, imho, way better than DC. (;

Josiecat

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2015, 03:57:53 PM »
Eat lots of yummy crabs. 

TomTX

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2015, 04:51:35 PM »
There is a lightrail system. Getting to DC from Baltimore would likely mean taking the MARC or Amtrak, depending on if you're talking about weekend or weekday. MARC is the commuter train for people who live in Baltimore and work in DC.

Should I rent a car for sightseeing in DC?

NO.  I was just in DC for a business trip with no car. Was fine.

All the common sights in DC are walkable around the Mall (the Smithsonian Castle and Hirschhorn garden next door are open by 8:30, everything else is 10AM. Most Smithsonians are open until 5:30, most other stuff closes earlier. I really liked the modern art installations in the Renwick, and the 3 art museums behind the Castle. Don't look like much from the back garden because they are mostly underground.

Lots of reasonably priced food just north of Pennsylvania Avenue, couple of blocks off the mall.

Warning: Lots of reconstruction of the lawns on the mall, so plan your crossovers accordingly and many are blocked off.

chasesfish

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2015, 05:23:02 AM »
Mass transit and Uber.  Just don't use Uber to get from Baltimore to DC, there's a number of rail options.  DC's mass transit system is really easy to navigate

use2betrix

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2015, 05:57:58 AM »
If you do take a Amtrak from Baltimore to DC purchase your ticket ahead of time. Doesn't have to be days or weeks but at least online like 12 hrs before.

We took the rails from Philly to NYC last year and the tickets were $90 per person to get there at the gate. Would've been around $45 if purchased the day before. We purchased online for our tickets back right away and they were half as much.

StarBright

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2015, 07:57:42 AM »
Jumping in to second Britan's awesome suggestions of free stuff to do.

You can make a really wonderful Saturday of the Mount Vernon neighborhood: Walters, the GW monument, Peabody library and now the Mount Vernon Marketplace has opened for cool artisan food. If you are in the area in the evenings and like classical music there are also generally lots of free student performances at Peabody Conservatory. Nearby, Old St Paul's church has a wonderful choir and also a lunch recital series (free).

and FWIW - Mick O'Shea's has the best Monday night burger deal in town: Burger, Fries and a pint for 8 bucks.

Enjoy- Baltimore is a wonderful city!!! - former Charm City Resident and still frequent visitor :)

aspiringnomad

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2015, 09:36:35 AM »
There is a lightrail system. Getting to DC from Baltimore would likely mean taking the MARC or Amtrak, depending on if you're talking about weekend or weekday. MARC is the commuter train for people who live in Baltimore and work in DC.

Should I rent a car for sightseeing in DC?

Whatever you do, don't rent a car. Check out the Circulator for getting around near the monuments and in the neighborhoods. If the weather remains mild, DC has one of the most extensive bikeshare systems in the country and bike lanes everywhere:

https://secure.capitalbikeshare.com/map/
The Capital Bikeshare station by my office has disappeared. I thought it must've been taken down for the winter. Then again, there's construction nearby, so maybe the bikeshare stations are normally there year round?

And yeah, no driving in DC. Cars are for taxi drivers and the suburbs.

CaBi is open year round and only closes during the biggest snowstorms. I know because I used it to commute 5 years ago every day in the winter when the system first opened and before it became so popular that it was impossible to get a bike after 8:30 am. Bikeshare led me to buy a commuter bike, so I now use the system less, but it's still a great option for non rush hour use.

loyalreader

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2015, 11:55:48 AM »
When you find out where you are staying in the city, let us know and we can tailor your itinerary towards a car-less trip, although many great suggestions here. There are a lot of good breweries in Bmore if you are into that thing.

To expound on why you shouldn't drive to DC - the original planners designed the city to keep foot traffic (i.e. soldiers) from being able to easily reach the center of the city. Driving in DC is an exercise in frustration and should be avoided at all cost. A lot of the areas that you would want to see are very walkable. Same goes for Baltimore...

KittyFooFoo

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2015, 12:31:12 PM »
3. Subway (pretty useless actually unless you are going to the Hopkins Med Campus)

Don't take the subway.  It goes through some *rough* areas (Upton/Penn North)

aspiringnomad

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2015, 07:16:49 PM »

To expound on why you shouldn't drive to DC - the original planners designed the city to keep foot traffic (i.e. soldiers) from being able to easily reach the center of the city.

DC is full of urban legends, but this is the first time I've seen this one. Do you have a citation? The city is laid out in a grid with broad diagonal avenues cutting through it. From what I've read, the designer, Pierre L'Enfant intended to make the city (and the Mall in particular) accessible to all. Of course, he probably didn't envision cars and the subsequent rush hour gridlock that would take over downtown, but it's still an easy place for walkers to get around.

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2015, 07:33:45 AM »
Advice really depends on where in Baltimore you'll be but assuming downtown, nearly everything worth seeing the first time you go is right there. Easy walking distance, decent bike infrastructure but I don't think I've seen bike rentals on past trips.

If you're further out, driving in Baltimore is not a nightmare - I don't get this comment. It's nowhere near as bad as many other big cities. DC, however, does suck. The only reason I drive in DC is that my ILs have some weird hatred of mass transit and insist on driving. The bike share in DC is year round. At least it was in the past.

If you squeeze DC in, focus on only a couple places. It's easy to spend a whole day in just one of the museums, at least for me.

TomTX

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2015, 09:59:05 AM »
Advice really depends on where in Baltimore you'll be but assuming downtown, nearly everything worth seeing the first time you go is right there. Easy walking distance, decent bike infrastructure but I don't think I've seen bike rentals on past trips.

If you're further out, driving in Baltimore is not a nightmare - I don't get this comment. It's nowhere near as bad as many other big cities. DC, however, does suck. The only reason I drive in DC is that my ILs have some weird hatred of mass transit and insist on driving. The bike share in DC is year round. At least it was in the past.

If you squeeze DC in, focus on only a couple places. It's easy to spend a whole day in just one of the museums, at least for me.

Half of the NGA is closed for renovation, and Freer will be closing mid-January for renovation.

PhrugalPhan

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2015, 10:54:29 AM »
Another thing that hasn't been mentioned is there are so many speed traps in DC its insane.  Drivers have started to learn where many of them are and to fix this decreasing revenue problem DC is in the process of adding over 100 more.  It simply isn't safe for your pocket book to drive in DC.  Use public transportation or let someone else take the risk of driving there.

TomTX

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2015, 11:50:30 AM »
Another thing that hasn't been mentioned is there are so many speed traps in DC its insane.  Drivers have started to learn where many of them are and to fix this decreasing revenue problem DC is in the process of adding over 100 more.  It simply isn't safe for your pocket book to drive in DC.  Use public transportation or let someone else take the risk of driving there.

DC city government is pretty adversarial to everyone else. The slogan on the official DC city license plates is "Taxation Without Representation."

maco

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2015, 04:13:51 PM »
Another thing that hasn't been mentioned is there are so many speed traps in DC its insane.  Drivers have started to learn where many of them are and to fix this decreasing revenue problem DC is in the process of adding over 100 more.  It simply isn't safe for your pocket book to drive in DC.  Use public transportation or let someone else take the risk of driving there.

DC city government is pretty adversarial to everyone else. The slogan on the official DC city license plates is "Taxation Without Representation."
To be fair, that slogan is related to a bid for statehood. It's saying "hey Congress, you keep taxing us, but we STILL don't have voting representation within you!"

maco

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2015, 04:14:58 PM »

To expound on why you shouldn't drive to DC - the original planners designed the city to keep foot traffic (i.e. soldiers) from being able to easily reach the center of the city.

DC is full of urban legends, but this is the first time I've seen this one. Do you have a citation? The city is laid out in a grid with broad diagonal avenues cutting through it. From what I've read, the designer, Pierre L'Enfant intended to make the city (and the Mall in particular) accessible to all. Of course, he probably didn't envision cars and the subsequent rush hour gridlock that would take over downtown, but it's still an easy place for walkers to get around.
I've heard it before too, with the addition of gun turrets in the centers of the traffic circles.

aspiringnomad

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2015, 09:56:16 PM »
Another thing that hasn't been mentioned is there are so many speed traps in DC its insane.  Drivers have started to learn where many of them are and to fix this decreasing revenue problem DC is in the process of adding over 100 more.  It simply isn't safe for your pocket book to drive in DC.  Use public transportation or let someone else take the risk of driving there.

DC city government is pretty adversarial to everyone else. The slogan on the official DC city license plates is "Taxation Without Representation."
To be fair, that slogan is related to a bid for statehood. It's saying "hey Congress, you keep taxing us, but we STILL don't have voting representation within you!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z4j2CrJRn4



luigi49

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2015, 03:39:11 PM »
I finally found out where I am staying.  It is at baltimore inner harbor mariott.  Can you guys tell me how late can I sight see at DC so that I don't miss the train back to downtown  baltimore.   Is it possilbe to see the house of congress, white house and maybe the monument in one day?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 03:44:57 PM by luigi49 »

pbkmaine

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2015, 04:15:30 PM »
The sights are all close to one another, and the DC Metro (subway) Red Line goes to DC Union Station, where you can catch a train to Baltimore at pretty much any hour.  Just bring up Google Maps for DC attractions and look at the schedules for MARC ( local, slower, cheaper) and Amtrak ( city to city, faster, more expensive) trains from DC Union Station to Baltimore.


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maco

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #30 on: December 26, 2015, 11:52:48 AM »
I finally found out where I am staying.  It is at baltimore inner harbor mariott.  Can you guys tell me how late can I sight see at DC so that I don't miss the train back to downtown  baltimore.   Is it possilbe to see the house of congress, white house and maybe the monument in one day?
You can walk past the White House (stand on Pennsylvania Avenue and go "yep, that's a big white building over yonder behind that fence") and through the monuments easily in one day. You can wander around the Congress office buildings as long as you don't have any pocket knives, mail, etc.

You will not get a tour of the White House aside from using Google Street View. The lead time to schedule tours was, a few years ago, over a year, possibly 2.

You can get a tour of the Capitol Building from the Capitol Visitor's Center or through your member of Congress's office. Lead time varies. Capitol Visitor's Center might be more historically useful, according to friend who used to work in a Congressional office. If you did that in the morning, then you could do the walking tour of monuments and walk by the White House afterward.

TomTX

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2015, 11:29:47 AM »

To expound on why you shouldn't drive to DC - the original planners designed the city to keep foot traffic (i.e. soldiers) from being able to easily reach the center of the city.

DC is full of urban legends, but this is the first time I've seen this one. Do you have a citation? The city is laid out in a grid with broad diagonal avenues cutting through it. From what I've read, the designer, Pierre L'Enfant intended to make the city (and the Mall in particular) accessible to all. Of course, he probably didn't envision cars and the subsequent rush hour gridlock that would take over downtown, but it's still an easy place for walkers to get around.
I've heard it before too, with the addition of gun turrets in the centers of the traffic circles.

Unless they're dug in/heavily bermed the positions as they currently exist would be wide open for artillery positioned in the traffic circles to be taken out by any invader.

Besides, just by existing the traffic circles are a huge barrier to any invader ;)

TomTX

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Re: Baltimore Maryland?
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2015, 11:34:03 AM »
I finally found out where I am staying.  It is at baltimore inner harbor mariott.  Can you guys tell me how late can I sight see at DC so that I don't miss the train back to downtown  baltimore.   Is it possilbe to see the house of congress, white house and maybe the monument in one day?
You can walk past the White House (stand on Pennsylvania Avenue and go "yep, that's a big white building over yonder behind that fence") and through the monuments easily in one day. You can wander around the Congress office buildings as long as you don't have any pocket knives, mail, etc.

You will not get a tour of the White House aside from using Google Street View. The lead time to schedule tours was, a few years ago, over a year, possibly 2.

You can get a tour of the Capitol Building from the Capitol Visitor's Center or through your member of Congress's office. Lead time varies. Capitol Visitor's Center might be more historically useful, according to friend who used to work in a Congressional office. If you did that in the morning, then you could do the walking tour of monuments and walk by the White House afterward.

If you're going to the White House anyway, visit the Renwick (Smithsonian's modern art installation museum) - since the installations are big, you can do it in as little as 30 minutes. Located across Pennsylvania avenue, a bit West (don't cross any other streets though)