On one day next month, Baltimore residents and tourists alike can be chauffeured around on guided bus tour to explore many of the city’s commercial neighborhoods.
Visit Baltimore, the city’s tourism agency, is offering the bus tours for Tourism Day on Saturday, May 6, to get more people out and around the city. The event is part of National Tourism Week, which runs from May 7-13.
According to Al Hutchinson, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore, more than 84,000 Baltimore residents are employed in tourism-related positions, and the local tourism industry saves each household roughly $660 in annual tax contributions.
“Tourism is a vital part of not only Baltimore’s economy, but also its community,” said Hutchinson in an emailed statement. “Baltimore’s iteration of National Tourism Week is all about shining a light on our neighborhoods through our free hop/on-hop/off bus tour.”
(He also noted the agency has planned a tourism-focused job fair for Tuesday, May 9, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development.)
The tours on May 6 will be carried out in “loops” starting at 10 a.m. and running until 5 p.m., with rides overlapping routes at certain points. Each will range from about an hour to an hour and 10 minutes and have a tour guide to narrate the journey.
The routes will dip into west Central, South and Southeast Baltimore, but won’t stray too far from the central neighborhoods of the city. The first will begin in the Inner Harbor and thereafter head to Harbor East, Fells Point, Highlandtown, Patterson Park, Jonestown, Mount Vernon and back to the Inner Harbor.
The second will run from the Walters Art Museum in Mount Vernon to Station North, the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum on North Avenue, the Baltimore Museum of Art on Charles Street, two stops in Remington, one in Hampden, another in Druid Hill Park and then to Historic Pennsylvania Avenue before heading back to the Walters.
The third will go from Historic Pennsylvania Avenue in Druid Heights to Lexington Market, Pigtown, the stadiums (Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium) and Horseshoe Casino, Federal Hill, Fort McHenry, the Inner Harbor and back up to Pennsylvania Avenue.
One of the best parts of all of this is it’s free. Plus, many of the stops will coincide with stuff happening around town that day, namely:
- The American Visionary Art Museum’s traveling, chaotic Kinetic Sculpture Race (click here for a map);
- The Baltimore Wine and Food Festival in the Inner Harbor;
- FlowerMart 2017 at the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon;
- The Maryland Film Festival in Station North;
- and Free Comic Book Day at Atomic Books in Hampden.
Rides are free, but will be first-come, first-serve. Riders can hop on and off wherever they please.
For more information and to plan your Tourism Day expedition, check out Visit Baltimore’s map.
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