By Hope S. Philbrick
At dinner with friends one night, our friends revealed that they’d be going to Baltimore, Maryland in a few days.
“Eat dinner at Aldo’s!” I said, and then went on and on about the restaurant in Baltimore’s Little Italy neighborhood. Years earlier, I’d visited the city on assignment for a culinary article and rushed around with various hosts tasting as much as possible. It got to a point where I couldn’t eat more than a few bites of anything that was put in front of me, which happens after eating all day for a few days in a row. I’ve never recovered from the disappointment of having to walk away from plates of food at Aldo’s—it was that good.
My husband, upon hearing that story for the umpteenth time, said, “I’ve never been to Aldo’s.” And so we planned a quick weekend getaway to Baltimore.
Unfortunately, our transportation was delayed eight hours, so our quick trip turned out to be even briefer than we’d anticipated. Yet still fun. Though a longer visit to this city is in order, heed our advice to make the most of a short stay in Baltimore.
Welcome to Baltimore, Maryland!
Check into the Lord Baltimore Hotel, a customer-oriented member of Historic Hotels of America.
Walk to B&O American Brassiere for creative cocktails and American fare.
Return to Lord Baltimore Hotel and ride the elevator up to Skybar, the rooftop bar with dramatic views of the city.
Walk to Miss Shirley’s Café in Inner Harbor. Locals and visitors alike are lured to this restaurant by dishes like crab and fried green tomato eggs benedict and coconut cream-stuffed French toast.
Tour Historic Ships in Baltimore. Five floating relics so significant they’ve been dubbed national historic landmarks are parked in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. One ticket and you can stroll aboard all of them: the 1854 Sloop-of-War USS Constellation, the last all-sail warship built by the U.S. Navy; the WWII submarine USS Torsk; USCGC Taney, launched in 1936, the last surviving warship afloat today from the attack on Pearl Harbor; the Lightship Chesapeake, once one of the most modern and capable ships used by the U.S. Lighthouse Service; and the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, built in 1855, the oldest surviving screw-pile lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay. Walk the decks and discover answers to questions you didn’t know you had.
Bite into a lobster roll at Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls. Take your pick among several different types of lobster rolls—that’s right, there’s more than one style!
Continue touring any Historic Ships you’ve yet to board.
When ready, stroll over to the National Aquarium Baltimore’s leading attraction. Housing more than 16,500 aquatic animals, its mission is to “provide transforming experiences that encourage people to enjoy, respect, and protect the aquatic world.” Educational exhibits like “Jellies: Oceans Out of Balance” explain science in a way that is easy to understand plus offer steps we can all take to help improve the health of ocean waters.
Return to Lord Baltimore Hotel to relax and refresh before dinner.
Enjoy dinner at Aldo’s Ristorante Italiano. Whatever you order at Aldo’s, it’s bound to be the best you’ve ever tasted—even if you recently toured Italy. Splurge on wine from Italy—we recommend something from Arnaldo Caprai—and order a combo of pastas in order to sample as much as possible.
Linger over dinner. Return to the hotel at your leisure. If you can manage to squeeze a cocktail nightcap into the itinerary, you’re a stronger (younger?) person than us because after an indulgent dinner at Aldo’s we were ready to pass out, happily.
Depart Baltimore with plans to return. There are more than 130 attractions to visit! Plan to visit Babe Ruth’s Birthplace, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, the National Museum of Dentistry, The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, and more!
- The Baltimore Harbor Pass can save you money when visiting some of the city’s most popular attractions. The pass includes:
- National Aquarium
- Top of the World Observation Level
- Maryland Science Center
- CHOICE OF American Visionary Art Museum OR Port Discovery Children’s Museum
- CHOICE OF Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum OR Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
Baltimore is easy to navigate on foot. But you can also hop onto the Charm City Circulator, a free service running hybrid shuttle buses on different routes from early morning to late night seven days a week.
In 2009 it was officially designated a National Heritage Area in recognition of its distinctive natural, cultural, historic and scenic resources. Baltimore tells a unique American story. What more could you expect of the home of Edgar Allen Poe?
– Photo Credits: city skyline courtesy Visit Baltimore, remainder © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. Thanks to Lord Baltimore Hotel for hosting our stay. Thanks to Visit Baltimore for attractions admissions.