This is the first of a series of what to do if for some AWFUL reason you’re alone and stranded in a city for a couple of days. Whether you missed your flight, or that wedding that you were planning on attending got cancelled at the last minute (better they find out BEFORE the wedding than after), there are times when you find yourself in a strange city with no idea where to stay or what to do.
Today we’re stranded in BALTIMORE, MD on Earth Day. From LEED certified hotels to farm-to-table restaurants there is so much to do, see and eat in this historic city and this visit has mother nature as it’s inspiration.
- The Inn at the Black Olive – This LEED Platinum Building is one of the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly buildings in the world. It includes a gourmet market, three floors of 12- suite boutique rooms and a rooftop restaurant.
- Hilton Convention Center – The hotel’s 32,000 square feet living green roof is the largest in the city. The roof, slightly bigger than the Baltimore Ravens football field, extends both the east and west building. In addition to providing a haven for birds and other wildlife, the green roof will provide many other benefits for the environment, the city and the hotel.
- Fairfield Inn & Suites – Baltimore’s first “green” hotel. It marks the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified hotel in the city and one of several green Marriott hotels planned companywide over the next five years.
- Homewood Suites – The Homewood Suites by Hilton® Baltimore hotel recently introduced EarthPact, an extensive sustainability initiative which includes an Energy Management Plan that sets comprehensive guidelines for sustainable business practices.
- National Aquarium – The National Aquarium was recently named the first Maryland attraction to be part of the Maryland Green Travel program. The statewide program recognizes tourism businesses committed to improving their operations in order to reduce their environmental impact. In other “green” efforts, the Aquarium installed a green roof on the top of the 4-D Immersion Theater and it has replaced its iconic neon wave on the south side of the building with an energy-efficient LEED, a light source that is expected to cut the energy use associated with illuminating the wave by 70 percent.
- Cylburn Arboretum – Considered Baltimore’s largest public garden, Cylburn Arboretum is 207-acres of green space featuring gardens, tree collections, historic buildings, and over three miles of woodland trails. Experience nature firsthand, by visiting the Nature Museum, and attend programs and events to learn about Cylburn and the natural world.
- Spoons Coffee Café – Spoons is the first restaurant in Maryland to be certified green by the Green Restaurant Association. The restaurant received the certification after the founders, Deborah Cogan and Bernard Kayes, made permanent, eco-focused changes to the business.
- Woodberry Kitchen –Chef-restaurateur Spike Gjerde’s Woodberry Kitchen is a farm-to-table restaurant housed in a 19th-century foundry and aims to include locally sources, organic materials in everything from the food to the to-go boxes. An open-kitchen with a wood-burning stove turns out fresh bread and the menu is divided into fun categories like snacks, oysters, salads and small plates, supper and more.
- Joe Squared – From its nationally award-winning coal-fired square pizza and 17 varieties of risotto to its long rum list and eclectic beers, Joe Squared appeals to all ages and has developed its own herb garden.
- Jack’s Bistro – Jack’s Bistro is committed to using only superior, fresh ingredients, including many organic and natural products whenever possible which they obtain from their rooftop garden that yields herbs and micro greens.
- Baltimore Green Week (April) – Baltimore Green Works (BGW) hosts Baltimore Green Week, a week-long series of programs focused on promoting environmental awareness and best sustainable practices in and around Baltimore.
- Tour Dem Parks, Hon! (June) – Carroll Park; annual bike ride held the second Sunday in June. Riders get an up-close view of regional parks like Carroll, Patterson, Clifton and Druid Hill, as well as some quietly tucked away gems.
- Under Armour Baltimore Running Festival (October) – This annual marathon’s scenic course takes participants throughout Baltimore’s diverse and historic neighborhoods. The Under Armour Baltimore Running Festival has received official certification from ReSPORT on the greening of their event. Some of the green initiatives include: recycling and composting of waste, leftover food, apparel and footwear recycling.
- Elite Fitness Tours – Combines group fitness and tourism, by providing participants an unforgettable workout from a cultural perspective. The elite trainers will take you on a tour through some of Baltimore’s most renowned historical destinations including the Inner Harbor, Federal Hill and Mount Vernon.
- Inner Harbor Promenade – Walk more than seven miles of uninterrupted waterfront promenade.
- The Baltimore Heritage Walk – Baltimore’s first pedestrian trail. It is a three mile free walking tour, connects 20 historic sites and museums in a compact area that spans four city neighborhoods including: Inner Harbor, Little Italy, Historic Jonestown and City Center.
- Mount Vernon Cultural Walk – A three mile walking trail connecting more than 20 cultural attractions on the gentle hills north of the Inner Harbor. Stroll along Charles Street, once considered the “Fifth Avenue of the South.” Encounter America’s first Roman Catholic cathedral, beautiful Mount Vernon Place, the world’s first public monument to George Washington, and the birthplace of modern philanthropy.
- Baltimore’s Gywnns Falls Trails – One of the nation’s longest urban trails spanning more than 15 miles and 30 neighborhoods in west and southwest Baltimore with parklands, unique urban environmental features, cultural resources and historic landmarks.
- Star Spangled Trails – Explore this system of guided and self-guided walking, biking and driving routes to encounter inspiring stories of our nation’s heritage.
- Charm City Circulator – Fast, frequent, green and free…that’s the trademark of downtown Baltimore’s shuttle bus system. The free shuttles runs every 10 minutes from early morning to late night, seven days a week, so it is easy for visitors to hop on and off to shop, visit a museum or attraction, browse around one of our many historic neighborhoods, or eat at one of Baltimore’s amazing restaurants.
- The Altcar Program at the Maryland Science Center, the nation’s first all electric hourly car-sharing and rental service, is yet another way to easily maneuver around town. The altcar fleet is powered by 100 percent electrically charged lithium-ion battery technology, which means whipping around downtown requires no gasoline and creates zero emissions. The Science Center is also planning a green roof.
To learn more about what to do in Baltimore, visit www.baltimore.org.