One-of-a-kind attractions and one-of-kind experiences combine to make Baltimore a top destination along the historic Eastern Seaboard.
“Our city is host to hundreds of must-see attractions that only exist in Baltimore, such as Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, the American Visionary Art Museum, The National Aquarium and The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, to name a few,” said Eric Masterton, director of tourism at Visit Baltimore. “Tour operators will find our front-line hospitality professionals extremely well-engaged and group friendly. If you haven’t been to Baltimore in the last five years and experienced our urban renaissance, your groups are missing out.”
Visit Baltimore has developed several new, one-of-a-kind experiences for group tours. These offerings get groups beneath the surface, behind-the-scenes and hands-on, meeting the locals and discovering the story. Activities range from the art of Neapolitan pizza making and the science of wine to a journey into the beginnings of the American railroad and an investigation into the legacy of Edgar Allan Poe.
“We began offering experiential tours to provide something special for our visitors and to provide a way for our attractions and restaurants to offer something unique and spectacular,” Masterton said. “These tours can be difficult to maintain, but our members do a fantastic job with them. I highly recommend the experiential packages — it outperforms all others.”
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, which defended Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812 and stopped a British advance, is a must-see when visiting Baltimore. Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and amateur poet, was so inspired by the fort’s defenders he composed “The Star-Spangled Banner,” originally entitled “Defense of Fort McHenry.”
Group members will gaze in wonder at the extensive collection of locomotives and rolling stock at the B&O Railroad Museum, known as the Birthplace of American Railroading. A variety of tours are offered for groups, including seasonal train rides aboard the Mile One Express that travels along the first commercial mile of railroad right of way laid in America.
“We also recommend a group dining experience at one of our new upscale food markets,” Masterton said. “Of course, a trip to Baltimore isn’t complete without a ride on a Baltimore Water Taxi to fun neighborhoods and attractions.”
Baltimore is a huge sports city and has been home to legends like baseball slugger Babe Ruth, swimmer Michael Phelps and NFL quarterback Johnny Unitas.
With two pro teams and stadiums right in the heart of downtown, groups can easily experience professional football and baseball in state-of-the-art venues. In the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens play home games at M&T Bank Stadium.
The home field for the storied Baltimore Orioles is Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The ballpark opened in 1992 and was an instant classic.
“The history and culinary scene are also a big draw for groups,” Masterton said. “This blend of sports, history and culinary makes Baltimore a must-see destination.”
Visit Baltimore assists with itinerary development, hotel room proposals, attraction group pricing, motorcoach parking and welcome bags.
Preparing for ABA
Visit Baltimore plays host to the American Bus Association Marketplace in 2021. Masterton said the city’s attractions, restaurants, theaters and tour providers are revving their engines to show the masses what group tours are all about.
“Baltimore grows every year with new buildings, new experiences, new restaurants and more,” Masterton said. “Our improved water taxi system, free Charm City Circulator bus system, scooter and bike rentals make getting around that much easier. Of course, Baltimore is also an extremely walkable city, and groups always love exploring at their own leisure.”
For more information call 410-659-7090 or go to baltimore.org/group-travel.