For all the travel channels with far-flung correspondents showcasing the ease of jaunting off to Barcelona, Beijing, or Bucharest, there is another travel trend we feel patriotically drawn toward: the rediscovery of our own great cities.
The first stop, with this week's Escape, is Baltimore. Get a one-night stay for two in a King or Double Room, Sundays through Thursdays, at the whimsical Pier 5 Hotel in the heart of the redeveloped Inner Harbor ($182). You'll also get a welcome bottle of wine and next-day breakfast for two, plus access to Crabby Hour, a crab-cooking demo with complimentary wine and beer.
Once a hub for sugar processing, shipbuilding, and steel working, Baltimore's Inner Harbor is now the city's cultural center, buzzing with shops, restaurants, and bars. Take it all in from your room, which boasts views of the harbor or the city as well as all the standard amenities (wireless Internet, TV with movies, and more).
Start your stay with a visit to the National Aquarium, situated right next to the hotel. According to Forbes Traveler, this seven-story, glass-pyramid-topped fish tank is one of "America's top aquariums, featuring north of 16,500 animals."
For dinner, make reservations at one of the city's best restaurants—Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant are both conveniently attached to the hotel. Both dish up time-honored American-style cuisine in an upscale yet down-to-earth atmosphere.
Afterward, hop on the Baltimore Water Taxi at Pier 5 and take in views of the harbor. The boat makes 17 stops around the bay; you'll want to hop off at Fell's Point, which locals claim is packed with more bars per square mile than anywhere else in the country.
Whether you cruise the waterfront promenades on foot or hop from spot to spot by boat, you'll have plenty to discover (or rediscover) during 24 hours in this—one of many around our great nation—renaissancing city.
PAID VALUE EXPIRES ON September 5, 2020
PROMOTIONAL VALUE EXPIRES ON August 7, 2013
Pier 5 Hotel
One-Night Stay for Two in a Standard King or Double Room, Sundays to Thursdays; Breakfast for Two; Crab-Cooking Demo with Wine and Beer; and Bottle of Wine
- from $182