It’s a long chol hamoed and there’s time to venture out of the area. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor offers lots of attractions and there’s kosher food nearby!
Compiled and Photographed by: Sarah Einhorn
With no Shabbos during this Chol Hamoed, it just begs for an overnight trip. Since many places are either not open after the summer season and even more places are closed due to Covid-19, I thought of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore as a nice idea for an overnight Chol Hamoed trip. Alternatively, if you are not up to an overnight trip, Baltimore can be visited just for the day since it is not too far. The Inner Harbor is only a 20 minute drive from minyanim and the Seven Mile Market, the large kosher supermarket.
When we went, we enjoyed a delicious Chinese dinner at David Chu China Bistro (near the Seven Mile Market.) The food was very tasty and extremely well priced. Having a Jewish community and kosher food so close by is an extra benefit when taking a family trip. There are also plenty of hotels in the Inner Harbor area to choose from.
I found the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland to be an intriguing place. On the one hand, it is a tourist attraction with many activities that draw visitors from all over. On the other hand, the neighborhood is quite low class with many homeless people roaming around and collecting at intersections.
We visited the harbor for two days. There really was a lot to do and we didn’t get to do everything. We went on the Water Taxi, to the Top of the World Observatory, the National Aquarium, War Ships, and Fort McHenry. We didn’t get to the Science Museum, Ripley’s Odditorium and the Maryland Zoo. Most places we visited when we went to the Inner Harbor had reopened after closing due to the Covid[19 Pandemic. The only place we went to that hasn’t is the War Ships. It is advisable to check if advance reservations need to be made and what the Covid policies are.
Approximate Distance from:
Brooklyn Bridge: 3 hours, 10 minutes
Lakewood: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Monsey: 3 hours, 35 minutes
Top of the World
I love checking out the local observation buildings. Doing so always offers another view of an area. Top of the World Observation Level is on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center, a pentagon shaped building. Since there aren’t many (if any) tall buildings in the vicinity, Top of The World offers views of Baltimore’s urban center as well as view of the beautiful Inner Harbor.
The World Trade Center also houses a memorial for the 911 attack on the World Trade Center in Manhattan. There are remains of the Manhattan World Trade Center outside the Baltimore building and up on the observation level there is also a display memorializing the attacks and the victims.
The World Trade Center is located right in the Inner Harbor and is in close proximity to many other attractions.
401 E. Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
From Memorial Day to September 30, regular hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 10am to 6pm, Friday from 10am to 7pm, Saturday from 10am to 10pm and Sunday from 11am to 6pm.
From October 1 to Memorial Day, regular hours of operation are Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 6pm, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 7pm and Sunday from 11am to 6pm.
$6 for adults
$5 for seniors (60+) or military with ID
$4 for children 3-12 years old
Free under 3
The last ticket is sold a half-hour before closing.
The National Aquarium is large and modern in design. The Aquarium is divided into 3 sections: the Australian Exhibit, the Dolphin Area and the main exhibition area.
The Australian Exhibit is really grand. The 35 foot waterfall in the Australian exhibit is visible from the outside of the building through the glass windows. The waterfall is only the beginning of the genuine looking Australian Exhibit. There are many interesting animals including the Australian Freshwater Crocodile, the Broad Shelled Turtle, the Gouldin Finch and many other animals.
The Dolphin Discovery area houses seven bottlenose dolphins. Visitors can watch training sessions and enjoy the playful mammals.
In the main section visitors can touch Jelly Fish in the touch tank, and view many types of fish. The Shark alley is interesting and the rain forest has a genuine feel.
The Aquarium is one of the main attractions in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore. It is a lovely place to visit but a little pricey.
In-building capacity has been limited to 25% of total occupancy to ensure proper social distancing between staff and guests can be maintained. Building capacity is being managed by timed ticketing. In order to have the best experience, we are asking all guests and members to reserve their timed entries ahead of time.
As always, stroller use is not allowed inside the Aquarium. In order to maintain proper safety and social distancing protocols, our stroller check and guest locker area has been temporarily closed. A small, on-site parking area for strollers is available for self-park, but space will be limited.
In accordance with CDC guidance, all guests 2 years of age and older are required to wear a proper face covering while on the Aquarium’s campus. Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth, be secured with ties or ear loops and fit snugly against the face. All guests are subject to a non-contact temperature check* prior to entry. Guests who present with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be able to enter the Aquarium. Any already-purchased admission will be refunded.
501 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202
Check the website for the hours during the month you want to visit:
Children (3-11): $24.95
Seniors (65+): $34.95
Children 2 and under free.
Baltimore Water Taxi:
The Baltimore Water Taxi is a fun and convenient way to get from one attraction to another at the Inner Harbor. It is also an enjoyable way to just relax on the water.
The boats have two main routes. The Water Taxi stays within the Inner Harbor and stops near the main attractions. It is a 1 hour ride, round trip. Tickets can be purchased on the boat (with credit card only)
At Fell’s Point, visitors can transfer to the Harbor Connector boat (included in price) and enjoy going out of the Inner Harbor and into the open water.
We arrived at the Inner Harbor in the afternoon. The first day we took the water taxi around just to see the area. We then extended our tickets for an additional $5 and came back the next day when we had more time.
We took the Harbor Connector to Fort McHenry and had a great time enjoying the museum and learning about the history of the Star Spangled Banner. When we were done, we took a boat back to where we parked.
Covid Update: Baltimore Water Taxi has returned! The water taxi is operating limited service on weekends (Saturday/Sunday) only from 11am-6pm. Vessels are operating at a limited capacity with additional safety protocols for the safety of our guests and crew. Face masks are required to ride the water taxi. Harbor Connector Commuter Services has returned! HC1 (Maritime Park-Locust Point) and HC3 (Federal Hill-Pier Five) are operating Monday-Friday, 6am-8pm. Canton service is temporarily unavailable.
The Water Taxi can be boarded at:
The Harbor Connector can be boarded at:
Water Taxi Hours:
Harbor Connector Hours:
Mon–Fri: 6am –8:00pm
Price for One Day-Unlimited Rides:
Adults/Seniors – $10 per ride
Children (3-12) – $8 per ride
Check online for additional options:
We took the Inner Harbor water taxi to Fort McHenry. In addition to its historical significance, Fort McHenry is set on a beautiful green area with walking paths alongside the water. The grounds and the museum building are free to visit, while the historic area of the park, the fort, there is a $15 charge for anyone over the age of 15.
We did not have a lot of time. We only visited the museum and saw the outside of the fort. The museum was interesting and educational. The displays explained the history of Fort McHenry and how it played a big role in the battle against the British in 1812. Fort McHenry is especially well known for inspiring Francis Scott Key to write the national anthem: “The Star Spangled Banner” – originally entitled “Defense of Fort McHenry”. The video shown in the museum gives visitors a feel of what went on during that famous battle.
Covid Update: The Fort’s visitor center, Star Fort, & restrooms are closed due to health concerns related to COVID-19. The Fort’s grounds & parking lot are open for recreational visitors, 9AM-5PM. There are no on-site public programs or visitor services at this time.
2400 E Fort Ave
Baltimore, MD 21230
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The entrance fee to the historic area of the park is $15.00 for adults 16 years of age and older; children 15 and younger are free. This fee provides the visitor with a 7-day entrance permit to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Since Fort McHenry is a National Park. Fourth graders and their families are free (at every national park) if they are signed up for the Every Kid in a Park program: https://www.everykidinapark.gov/