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Baltimore tours and excursions

Baltimore tours

Boat tours

For cruises of the harbour area and Chesapeake Bay, a key tourist attraction in its own right, contact Baltimore Spirit Cruises. It offers a range of lunch and dinner cruises and Inner Harbor sightseeing tours. If you have kids in tow, you can set sail on a pirate ship with Urban Pirates. Though the water taxi (www.baltimorewatertaxi.com) is more of a shuttle, it's a cheap, convenient and enjoyable way of viewing the harbour.

Spirit Cruises

Telephone: +1 866 312 2469.
Website: http://www.spiritcruises.com/baltimore

Urban Pirates

Telephone: +1 410 327 8378.
Website: http://www.urbanpirates.com

Walking tours

Guided tours of the Baltimore National Heritage Area depart from the Baltimore Visitor Center between April and October. The Heritage Walk connects historic landmarks and museums in the Inner Harbor, Little Italy and Jonestown. The Historic Fell's Point Trail explores the city's shipbuilding heritage. The Mount Vernon Cultural Walk takes in architecture and institutions along the Charles Street National Scenic Byway, including the Walters Art Museum and the Peabody Institute.

Tel: +1 410 878 6411.
Website: https://www.nps.gov/balt/planyourvisit/guided-walking-tours.htm

Baltimore excursions

Frederick

In 2002, Frederick was designated as one of America's ‘Dozen Distinct Destinations' by The National Trust for Historic Preservation. Founded in 1745, it's famed for its well-preserved 18th- and 19th-century architecture. Quaint boutiques, good restaurants and civil war battle sites ensure plenty to keep you occupied. One of its most fascinating attractions, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, offers insight into 19th-century medicine and Civil War innovations.

Tel: (301) 600 2888 or 1 800 999 3613.
Website: http://www.fredericktourism.org

Ellicott City

First settled in the 1700s and tucked up against steep hills, some 16km (10 miles) southwest of Baltimore, Ellicott City is an old mill town on the banks of the Patapsco River. It's a popular excursion for Baltimorians, offering a taste of small-town Maryland. The self-guided Ellicott City Historic Walking Tour, including houses of worship, homes and museums is obtainable from the Howard County Tourism Visitor Information Center, 8267 Main Street.

Tel: (410) 313 1900.
Website: http://www.ellicottcity.net

Annapolis

Annapolis is the USA's sailing capital, home to the US Naval Academy. It has a multitude of museums, original colonial-style homes and a lovely waterfront. George Washington resigned his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army at the State House, set upon a hill overlooking the city. 

Tel: (410) 280 0445.
Website: http://www.visit-annapolis.org

Washington, DC

Travel the 56km (35 miles) to see the country's capital: the White House, Capitol Hill, the Smithsonian Institution Museums, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Sample the bohemian Adams Morgan district or wander through Georgetown, the best place for high-end shopping, pretty architecture and endless cafes. Pop over the river to visit Arlington Cemetery or take a cruise down the Potomac for a duck's eye view of the city.

Tel: (202) 789 7000.
Website: http://www.washington.org

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Inn at 2920

This hip urban bed and breakfast lies in Baltimore's trendy Canton neighbourhood, a short stroll from the waterfront. It's more mini boutique hotel than traditional B&B, featuring exposed 19th-century brick walls and contemporary, individually designed rooms. A hot breakfast is included, with options such as French toast and creamy blueberry bread pudding.

Days Inn Inner Harbor Hotel

This 250-room high-rise is just three blocks from the Inner Harbor and is close to the Convention Centre. It offers a fitness centre, heated outdoor pool, business centre, lobby bar and Harbor Grill restaurant, serving hearty American fare. Rooms are smart, comfy and contemporary.

Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore

Contemporary style meets traditional elegance in this grand hotel overlooking the Inner Harbor. Cosy guest rooms are well appointed and spacious. For extra space, book a suite with separate living room. You can dine in Explorers' Restaurant & Lounge, and enjoy an indoor saltwater pool and fitness centre.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore

There's something of a beaux-arts feel to this hotel, with marble staircases leading up form the grand lobby. The actual building has been around for more than 100 years, but this belies the modernity of the property, which is sleek and chic. Even the entry-level rooms are of a nice size, and the suites are enormous.

Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel

This contemporary hotel features soothing earth-toned décor, good conference facilities, a fitness centre and all the in-room services you would expect from the Marriott chain. Seafood dishes are especially good at Watertable restaurant. The hotel is conveniently attached to the attractive Gallery mall and has lovely harbour views.

The Ivy

The luxurious accommodation in this 19th-century Mount Vernon mansion aims to give you the feel of staying in the home of a wealthy friend. Nine characterful rooms and suites are fitted out with cosy four-poster beds and sleek bathrooms. Curl up with a book in the library, tinkle the piano or dine in the upscale Magdalena bistro.