$50 a Day in Baltimore, Maryland

iStock_000018697193Small1They call it the Charm City for a reason. While Baltimore doesn’t typically rank atop lists of popular tourist destinations, the city has a lot to offer without the tourist traps that plague many of American’s higher profile cities. It’s a casual town of passionate sports fans, blue-collar seafood, and diverse neighborhoods. And, unlike many big cities, a visit to Baltimore doesn’t have to set you back hundreds of dollars every time you step outside your hotel. In fact, here’s our guide to a full and exciting day in Baltimore – for under $50.00! First things first – hit up your hotel’s continental breakfast and coffee bar before you hit the road. Every penny counts!

Money Left: $50.00

Your day begins at one of many light rail stations around the city, where you’ll pick up a day pass (two will cost $7.50). In Baltimore, the light rail is the best way to travel north and south through the city without a car, allowing you to stop in and explore dozens of the area’s unique locales. Look for a hotel within walking distance of a light rail stop – the easy access to Baltimore’s downtown areas will really open up your options. Staying just outside the city may save you some additional money.

Money Left: $42.50

Got your light rail pass? Good. Now hop on the train and take it to the Centre Street light rail stop, and walk the few blocks over to the Walters Art Museum. Good news – admission is free! Browse galleries full of 18th century American art, artifacts from Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, and classics from the Renaissance. You can spend hours at the Walters without seeing everything, so consider taking advantage of the self-guided audio tours. The museum does operate a small café in case you get hungry for a snack, but don’t eat too much, because lunch is just around the corner!

Money Left: $42.50

Alright, you just did a lot of walking, and we’re sure you’re ready to sit down and get some food in you. If you’re looking for something nearby that won’t require another light rail ride, let us suggest Mugshots Café. Just a few blocks east of the museum, Mugshots serves a full menu of delicious barbeque, caffeinated beverages, and even liquor (if you’re up for it). The relaxing vibe, and a healthy dose of espresso, will help you get replenished and ready for the next stop on your Baltimore adventure.

Money Left: $18.00

Now that you’re back on your feet, it’s time to get back on the light rail for the Choose Your Own Adventure portion of the trip! You can either take the train back to your hotel and rest up for the evening’s activities, or head down to the Convention Center stop, where you can then walk over and explore Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The Inner Harbor is home to dozens of shops, restaurants, and The National Aquarium. We didn’t make room for these in today’s budget, but a little window shopping never hurt anyone!

Money Left: $18.00

Once the sun goes down, take the party over to Baltimore’s famous Power Plant Live! area – a sectioned off block of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. In the summer, Power Plant offers a FREE outdoor concert series every Friday night – and let’s be honest, if it’s not summer, you’re probably not visiting Baltimore in the first place! After the show, it’s up to you if you want to use your dinner money on some drinks at the bar, but we recommend following our plan. We won’t let you down!

Money Left: $18.00

Back to the light rail! Take the train north to the Mt. Washington Village stop, where you can peruse eclectic shops and see a different part of town as your budget savvy night comes to a close. We recommend grabbing an extra large pizza from Mt. Washington Pizza and Subs, one of the city’s best-kept secrets. It’s not much to look at, but the pies are top notch!

Money Left: $6.00

You’ll notice we conveniently left just enough money in the budget for a nightcap – whether you want to grab a beer at the hotel bar or pick up a six pack on the way to your room. If you’re in Baltimore, we suggest National Bohemian (or Natty Boh, as the locals call it). There’s nothing like a sip of crisp, ice-cold beer to cap off a terrific night in a terrific city.

Money Left: $0.00

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