Baltimore, Maryland is a fantastic city filled with great restaurants, hotels, and easily accessible transportation. What’s even more great is the Baltimore National Aquarium that offers its visitors a great experience with a beautiful design and educational exhibits. We decided to take a trip to Baltimore, Maryland to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We are beginning to get into the habit of visiting a new aquarium around the country during this time of year. Since the Baltimore National Aquarium was only about two and half hours away from us in New Jersey, we thought it’d be the perfect destination for our mini vacation!
1. The Exhibits at Baltimore National Aquarium
The National Aquarium includes a variety of exhibits, including Amazon River Forest, Atlantic Coral Reef, Australia: Wild Extremes, Blacktip Reef, Dolphin Discovery, Jellies Invasion, Living Seashore, Maryland: Mountains to Sea, North Atlantic to the Pacific, Shark Alley, Surviving Through Adaptation, and Upland Tropical Rain Forest. My personal favorites was the Blacktip Reef and Jellies Invasion. Below are a few shots that I took during the trip!
2. The Heaps Of Education at The Baltimore National Aquarium
We loved how the Baltimore National Aquarium offered a lot of opportunities to educate the public, especially children, about the world’s oceans and creatures that live in them. For example, they had a table set up that gave you clues and had you search for specific items spread across the table, all with a touch screen. They then gave you facts about the clues. It was so engaging that we spent almost 15 minutes there! Another exhibit showed it’s viewers the electrical distribution of a freshwater eel as it swam pass the aquarium glass. They even have an app that gives you information about the animals, exhibits, parking, prices, etc.
3. The Hotels Around Baltimore
There are so many hotels around the Baltimore National Aquarium to choose from, even if you’re on a tight budget. We stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco located near the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. The room we stayed in was about $150 for the night. We stayed in the Monte Carlo Suite with a beautiful city view.
If you sign up for the Kimpton Karma/IHG Rewards Club, the hotel give you a discount on your booking. They also have a tendency to give you an upgrade upon arrival!
Have you ever dreamed what it would be like to have a giant adult bubble bath? Or are you more of a romantic? We have been looking for a hotel with a large bath for quite some time now. And, being as we’re both in our 20s, why not try to have two kinds of bath times…romantic and then fun?
For Valentine’s Day, I decided to surprise David with chocolate covered strawberries, his favorite package of team and pretzels, and his favorite drink, Faderade (a combination of vodka and Gatorade). We then decorated the bathroom with rose petals and scented and unscented candles to give the bathroom a real romantic appeal.
If you’re interested in doing something special like this for your special someone, David got these affordable rose petals off of Amazon. We also got unscented candles that were meant to burn for a short period of time and then be thrown away. We liked these because they’re small, portable, and easy to get rid of!
Later that night was when we really turned into 5 year olds. A few days before our trip, we made the impulsive purchases of Crayola Bathtub Fingerpaint in 5 colors and Mr. Bubble’s Foam, all of which were made for SAFE bathroom play. We definitely indulged in this a bit too much…
4. The Food In The City
If you’re anything like us, we LOVE food. We love food to the point where if we don’t get enough of it, both of us get cranky (…or should I say hangry). For dinner before our visit to the Baltimore National Aquarium, we decided we wanted to just enjoy each other’s company and the beautiful hotel room. We got delivery from a Turkish restaurant called Cazbar. David had the lamb Shish Kabap and I had the lamb sandwich. Later that night, we ventured to RA Sushi. They offered a happy hour 10pm-close, so we did our best to order off that menu.
On our way back from the Baltimore National Aquarium on Sunday, we decided to hit up a local place around the Inner Harbor for our dinner. It’s basically a Chipotle, but with pizza, called Blaze Pizza. Whoever thought of this idea must’ve been a genius because it was delicious! We both got our own customizable pies.
5. The Transportation In the Area
Baltimore was a super easy place to navigate around with the help of Uber/Lyft. Most rides were between $4-$6, making it a super cost effective way to travel, especially if you were traveling with friends around the city.
If you haven’t used Lyft before, use my promo code, shelby32179, to get Lyft credit!
One mistake we did make was the parking. We wound up paying over $40 for parking, which was not necessarily in our budget. I’m not too sure if there are other parking garages in the area that offered cheaper overnight parking, but if you are planning a trip to Baltimore, I’d highly suggest looking into that before your arrival!
6. The Quietness Around The City
We are from the New York City area, so we’re used to a lot of hustle and bustle. In other words, NYC is very loud and busy, all of the time. Sometimes, I forget that there are so many other cities out there that are the complete opposite of the “city that never sleeps”. Baltimore was still very much like a city, but not as busy. You didn’t feel like you had to watch where you walking like you’d constantly have to do in NYC. I also loved the older architecture!
7. Our Overall Thoughts About The Baltimore National Aquarium
I have been to a number of aquariums and so far the Baltimore National Aquarium is my favorite in the area. I loved how much of an experience they created for their guests. The building was very well designed, as well. For example, they started you above a large aquarium, where you looked down on the animals. Then, it led you into rooms with many different exhibits. If you choose to go upstairs, there’s a tropical forest with various amounts of endangered birds, plants, and a sloth if you can spot him. If you go back downstairs, you eventually come to the infamous Shark Alley. The beautiful design combined with their unique use of elevators and music.