Where can a couple of Northeast girlfriends getaway for some quirky museums, rich history, eclectic food, funky shops and an energized nightlife? Baltimore. Let the cobblestones charm you, but don’t let them fool you. This city’s personality is anything but old or colonial.
Fran Capo, TravelingAdventureMom and I were on a mission to see as many girlfriend getaway-worthy places as we could in two days. We took Amtrak to Baltimore Penn and stayed at Pier 5, a funky hotel with whimsical, almost Disney-esque decorations with royal purples, complementary yellows, lots of light and murals. My favorite touch in my room was the floor lamp because it added warmth. I was not too keen on the wrap-around ledge even though it was brightly painted. Just looked like a great place for dust to collect and although the hotel was clean, it wasn’t immaculate.
On weekends, the hotel offers different mixers. We missed Crabby hour on Friday with famous Maryland crab cakes and the chocolate fountain on Saturday. We had already been so well fed that we did not feel like we missed out.
Where to Stay
Pier 5 is part of a group of hotels owned by Meyer Jabara Hotels, which also owns Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn brands as well as several independent hotels. In Baltimore, the company owns three distinctly different properties all located in the Inner Harbor Pier 5, The Admiral Fell Inn – a B&B style hotel rich with history and its own ghost tour — and Brookshire Suites, a great family style hotel. As a guest in any of the hotels, you can gain access to the activities hotel in all the group’s hotels. You also get use of the free shuttle bus that makes the loop between the hotels.
We checked out all of them and arrived at The Admiral Fell Inn just in time to catch the end of a wonderful historian sharing ghostly tales. The rooms there were not spooky in the least, in fact the paneled walls and richly decorated rooms gave it a homey, warm feel. The Brookshire offered a separate living room which makes the suite attractive for families with kids. At Brookshire, breakfast is free and there were plenty of people at the happy hour when we walked in. We agreed that Pier 5 was the right choice for a girlfriend’s getaway, Admiral Fell Inn for a romantic weekend and the Brookshire for a family trip.
We found everything we could want at the Inner Harbor: good shopping, restaurants, waterfront, water taxis, live entertainment and nightlife. This summer, Baltimore will add a people mover (yet to be named) to cart people around the inner harbor area. Until then, Pier 5’s shuttle is the next best thing.
The MJH group of hotels in Baltimore is the only place to buy VIP entry tickets, an all-access ticket (includes dolphin show and 4D theatre) and gift shop discount. The company also offers the Ultimate Inner Harbor Experience that saves tourists money with one pass and price.