STAYCATION: a vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.
One of the great things about living in PA is that there are so many places to travel to without having to get on a plane.
A few weekends ago, hubby and I rented a car and off we went to Baltimore, Maryland. We had been to Baltimore before, but this time we went with the pure intention to sit back and enjoy everything that Baltimore has to offer. No specific agenda besides eating great and spending time together. This time, we had the distinct pleasure of being hosted by Sagamore Pendry Baltimore and Visit Baltimore for a trip that showed up more than we actually knew about this wonderful city.
During our trip, we discovered some great finds, and I’m here to share some amazing highlights of our trip with the Baltimore travel guide in the typical fashion of my two-part destination travel mini-series.
For today’s post, I’ll share where you should stay and where you should eat.
W H E R E T O S T A Y
SAGAMORE PENDRY BALTIMORE
For this trip to Baltimore, we stayed at the Sagamore Pendry.
Located in the historic district of Baltimore, the Sagamore Pendry sits right along the bay. Driving up the cobble-stoned road, you can see the hotel is in the prime destination for a relaxing trip. It’s location is in walking distance to a number of shops, bars, restaurants, and stores – so no need to move your car once you have checked-in for your stay.
The hotel gave us the pure essence of that staycation feel. It was a homey place that had us feeling close to the historic atmosphere of Baltimore while giving us the comfort that you yearn for when taking a trip.
Upon checking in, you are greeted by the valet who gather your things and escort you to the check-in. At check-in, we were offered the signature drink of the day and given a password that we could use if we wanted to head over to the bar and get the drink spiked with the Pendry’s signature whiskey. Now, as tempting as that was, it was a little too early for our drinking habit to kick in, so we put that on hold and held off on the whiskey until later.
There was plenty of time for that.
The hotel is exquisite. From the lobby, to the elevator, and then all the way to your room. You are provided with a luxurious feel. It make us feel like where shouldn’t have been anywhere else but on this vacation in Baltimore staying at the Sagamore Pendry.
We stayed in a corner king suite with an amazing view of the bay. If it wasn’t the middle of winter, I would have lived on that patio enjoying the view and the cool breeze whipping through my hair.
One of my favorite aspects of the room, was the bathtub. As soon as I walked in, I made a plan to take a nice relaxing bath in that bathtub. It was great for late night bath, but I know it would have also been amazing for a morning one that I could have looked out over the bay in as I laid comfortably in the bathtub.
If you’re like me, the one thing that you also want to make sure of when planning to stay at a hotel is the comfort of the bed. And I’m here to let you know that he bed was super comfortable. I actually pulled up the sheets to check the brand of mattress just to see which brand I need to purchase next when hubby and I move into our first house.
The spacious room gave us both the ability to get ready for each day without being in each other’s way. And it was homey enough that we actually spent a good amount of time sitting in the room when we needed a quick break in between activities.
W H E R E T O E A T
When you head to Baltimore, you have to eat the seafood even if you don’t like seafood. I mean, I’m a person that really only eats salmon and shrimp, but when I go to Baltimore, I know I can try a variety of different seafood without feeling like I’m going to go home with the feeling like my stomach is going to implode.
Our first stop when we arrived in Baltimore was to Loch Bar.
Loch bar is a class Maryland seafood house located along that harbor that features a vast menu of craft bear and cocktails, sandwiches, entrees and a raw bar.
The modern aesthetic of the restaurant gives you the feeling of being in a luxurious place without it being so overwhelming that you feel like you really don’t belong there. The menu items are not too overwhelming and are arranged in a way that pinpoints the exceptional pairs and which one is preferred for the season. Along with the food, the drinks were what were to be celebrated. There was a whole menu for the crushes that Baltimore is famous for, and a set menu for the delicious specialty of Loch Bar. We also had the privileged of trying one of their specialty drinks that was made just for the Valentine’s Day that had passed – a whiskey that they had aged themselves and made into a drink that both hubby and I could not walk away from.
Our fabulous waiter, Michael Stone, went far beyond our expectations and gave us not only prime service, but an experience that my husband and I will never forget. Michael shared with us some of the ways that they prepare their foods, the history of the restaurant and share with us one special thing that I am not going to spoil, because you need to go to Loch Bar yourself and experience it first hand. It is a must. All you have to do is go and ask for the shot from the hoof. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Rec Pier Chop House
For breakfast, hubby and I only have to travel down the elevator to go to another one of our dining destinations and that was the Rec Pier Chop House located on the main floor of the Sagamore Pendry hotel.
Of course because I like to take my good old time getting ready, hubby and I didn’t make it to exactly breakfast, but made it down in time for brunch. Which is, of course, the best meal time of the day.
We were treated to a delicious brunch where hubby feasted on a delectable and well-made waffle, while I enjoyed the eggs benedict made with crab because what else would I have while in Baltimore. Our meal was finished off with an espresso flavored tiramisu that I fully enjoyed – even with me being a person who does not like coffee or the taste it at all. But this was so well made that it actually electrified my taste buds.
The Food Market
One of the next top places that I highly recommend you visit is the Food Market on W. 36th Street.
To keep the trend of Baltimore going, this restaurant also provided me with a dish that I actually enjoyed that I wouldn’t typically eat on any other occasion. But before I get there, let me introduce you to our prime dinner location.
The Food Market provides its guests with comfort food that is sure guaranteed to make you feel right at home in the modern-industrial designed space. During our visit, we were able to sit right next to the opened kitchen to see how the dishes are prepared and how each dish is freshly made with a unique touch that is brought right to your table.
Now, back to what they hooked me on at this hidden gem. I am not one for brussel sprouts – you can ask my sister. She loves them but I despise them. That was until I came to the Food Market. Their appetizer of brussel sprouts melted din my mouth, and the only reason I didn’t finish them thee was because I wanted to save them for later so I had a delicious late night snack. Hubby and I both enjoyed meals that made us feel warm inside, but the Food Market gave me the best ending to an overall perfect weekend, and that was the dessert that they recommended for us to eat before left.
The blondie that they served us was so good that it made me want to head back to PA and “smack my grandmama”.
Thank you to Visit Baltimore and Sagamore Pendry for hosting us on this trip. Thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.