SNG Destination Spotlight: Baltimore©

Spotlight:  Baltimore

Since the redevelopment of the Inner Harbor of the late 1970's, Baltimore has established itself as an American success story and a major travel destination.  Today, more than over 25 million travelers each year plan vacations to Baltimore for its world-famous seafood, sporting events, historical attractions, museums and other attractions.  The multitude of interests and city's friendly people have led to Baltimore being dubbed the Charm City.  The summertime is a beautiful time of year with the beauty of the Inner Harbor and Chesapeake Bay.  The Port of Baltimore serves as a homeport with Royal Caribbean and Carnival ships sailing itineraries to Bermuda, the Caribbean, the Bahams, New England and Canada. Amercian Cruise Line paddlewheeler, Constellation, travels the Bay from the harbor of Baltimore, to Yorktown, Williamsburg, and Jamestown, known as the "Historical Triangle."    The BWI Airport is just ten miles away from the port, while the BWI Amtrak Station is adjacent to the airport with each a shuttle bus away to the cruise port.   

Just a few blocks from the waterfront is home to Baltimore's sports scene.  The Baltimore Orioles baseball stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is in close proximity to the two-time Super Bowl Baltimore Ravens home, M & T Bank Stadium.  In the sporting world, Maryland is known for being the first state in which thoroughbred horses were bred in America.  Laurel Park which hosts the "Second Jewel of the Triple Crown", the Preakness Stakes, is just a half hour drive from downtown Baltimore.  The historic thoroughbred race also as known as,  "The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans" - symbolic of Maryland's State Flower, was first run in 1873. 

At Baltimore's Inner Harbor, tourists and locals alike explore the restuarants, shops, attractions, and musuems that make up this seaport tourist attraction.  One of the more popular locations to use wheelchairs and mobility scooters in Baltimore at the Inner Harbor is the National Aquarium.  From fish and amphibians to birds and reptiles, the Aquarium boasts more than 16,500 animals.  The Aquarium is fully wheelchair-accessible.  It also provides Reserved Accessible Seating to its shows, a companion Accessibilty Guide and Map that shows a wheelchair route, an Express Entry, and on the first Saturdays and first Sundays of the month, mobility challenged visitors may enter 30 minutes prior to the Aquarium open to avoid the crowds.  For guests who are deaf and hard of hearing, the Aquarium provides Assistive Listening Devices, Presentation Scripts and two Deaf Awareness Days where sign language interpreters are onsite interpreing presentations, shows and animal encounters.  For guests who are blind and visually impared, the Aquarium provies an Audio Wireless Tour, Braille Tour and a Touch Bag of Tactile items representing animals in the exhibits.  Other interesting attractions at the Inner Harbor are Harborplace which is a festival marketplace with retail outlets and restuarants, the Maryland Science Center and the American Visionary Art Museum, both of which are wheelchair accessible as well as Fort McHenry National Park which is close proximity with its Vision Center and majority of the Fort accessible.

Baltimore is known for its Blue Crabs with Chesapeake Bay being the East Coast's main source for the crabs.  The city has become a hub for the crab industry.  The Blue Crab is different than other crabs due to its growing conditions and type of estuary the Bay provides.  Maryland Blue Crabs offer a depth of flavor and delicate texture unlike other crabs.  The season starts around April and lasts until the colder weather arrives, typically November.  The seasonality of the Blue Crab adds to its appreciation.  Marylanders prefer to steam Blue Crabs in a mixture of water, beer, rock salt and Old Bay Seasoning.  The city, including Harborplace and Fells Point, is filled with restuarants serving crab cakes, soft crab sandwiches and especially the Blue Crabs which are eaten on old newspaper covered tables with the meat extracted with wooden mallets.  

Special Needs Group is pleased to provide service to those cruising out of Baltimore.  In addition, SNG can also provide hotel pick-up and delivery at the start or close of a cruise or a land-based vacation in the Charm City.  For more information, please visit us at www.specialneedsgroup.com.