As a visitor in Maryland, I find spending time in Baltimore affords good food and many touristy things to do such as the Science Center, the Aquarium, Oriole Park and historical sites such as Ft. McHenry. America’s first Cathedral, the Baltimore Basilica is downtown, along with the Washington Monument and the Poe house (home to Edgar Allen Poe). Downtown is full of landmarks such as the Lexington Market located at 400 Lexington St . which was first opened in 1782 (www.Lexingtonmarket.com) and is filled with vendors selling fresh foods and wares, eateries, and jazz music performed by locals. All great to go see alone, with family or with a group.
However, this writer finds the Water Taxi a most enjoyable way to spend a day, maybe even a weekend – heck, even longer as there is a ‘frequent floater’ pass for folks staying in the city for an extended period.
Baltimore’s Water Taxi (www.thewatertaxi.com) is open year round weather permitting. There are are 4 different taxi routes with 17 different stops in all. Your purchase of a ticket and surrendering your hand for a “stamp” allows you to get on and off at all stops as much as you want throughout your day. All the of routes are well marked and if you are researching in advance via your computer/internet you will be able to outline just where you might want to head first, and which taxi to catch. The taxi operators are super when it comes to answering questions, (and explaining procedures and routes) to help you get to the right taxi stop.
Through the summer months the taxi’s arrive at the designated taxi landings every 18 to 20 minutes and each landing is well marked with a large sign and the boat captains watch closely to see if anyone is waiting to be picked up, so be sure and stand close to the sign.
The four routes are divided in such a way that the tourist can hop on and off different taxis and be able to experience most of what the harbor area has to offer in a day. The taxi route to Ft. McHenry goes between the Fort and Fells Point so you can combine history and good food, what’s better than that? On each taxi route there are many quaint taverns and restaurants to take a break and sip beer or wine while watching the waters of the Chesapeake. Add a crab cake or pizza and life is truly good! Another route stops at the Gateway to Little Italy, the Star Spangled Banner Flag House and a number of really good eateries such as the Della Notte featuring Italian cuisine with homemade pasta and fresh breads baked on-site. All of the routes offer a variety of sight seeing stops,– and remember, you can get on and off the taxi as much as you want with your ticket and hand stamp.
Another selling point of the water taxi is something called the “Letter of Marque Ticket”. This is a replica of the license giving the Privateer ship during the War of 1812 authorization to legally raid British vessels within the harbor area. Privateer ships were allowed to raid the ships keeping any bounty for profit. With your ticket on the water taxi comes your Letters of Marque, providing many discounts at area merchants. What a deal! Fun water taxi ride, food, drink, and discounts!
The website, www.thewatertaxi.com has many more details outlining the routes, seasonal times, merchants and special discounts being offered to taxi riders, so check it out.
Coming to Baltimore should require a spin on the water taxi! Children are always welcome with parental supervision and note that there are life jackets easily accessible. The taxi’s are only run during good weather – a little thunder or rain and the boat stops till it clears.
The only thing left to say is come to Baltimore and experience all the city has to offer for the whole family, and come soon!