Charles Street Church in Baltimore, Maryland

Charles Street Church in Baltimore, MarylandPhoto by: Jacqueline Munoz (Stock Exxchange)

Hello, and thanks for joining us today at the Disabled Travelers blog. By now, Spring has sprung pretty much wherever you are, and I for one am thankful for it. In this visit, we’ll be exploring access guides and vital info for handicapped travelers in the wonderful city of Baltimore, Maryland. Only a short journey from Washington D.C., Baltimore is famous for its Inner Harbor area and also boasts a great array of museums, concert halls, and other cultural staples to choose from. It also has a lively seaside atmosphere that offers world-class marinas and aquariums.

Whether you’re coming in from D.C. or flying in directly, you’ll want to know about Baltimore-Washington International Airport. There’s a good third-party source here, and the official accessibility page is here. Disability services include lift-equipped buses and public telephones set up to serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Once you’re out and about, the Maryland Transit Administration operates the local light rail service and is also involved with buses, trains, and subways. There’s a wide range of services for disabled riders, and that page also links you to vehicle-specific accessibility info throughout the transit system.

The real draw for travelers in Baltimore is the Inner Harbor. This is where many of the greatest restaurants, hotels, and attractions are found; but don’t think it’s “just” for tourists, as the locals are in on the act too. For an idea of what’s in store, just glance over the Inner Harbor page at Visit Baltimore. Dinner cruises through the harbor are popular. For wheelchair accessible cruise ships, check out the Inner Harbor Spirit. The Spirit is one of the best-known ships in the Inner Harbor, but any local hotel concierge can help you find out if a vessel is suitable for you.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore is one of the most wheelchair accessible, handicap-friendly attractions we’ve seen at Disabled Travelers. It does get extremely crowded, particularly on the weekend, so you might want to plan to visit early (it typically opens at 9 a.m.) but once you’ve mastered this little inconvenience, you’ll find the grounds and exhibits easy to navigate and enjoy. The Aquarium offers a full access guide and map as well as a brief overview. There are services for those with vision impairments, deaf guests, and visitors requiring mobility impaired access. This even includes specially trained tour guides and plenty of features like extensive Braille, assistive listening devices available on request, and much more.

Looking for high culture? Baltimore won’t disappoint you here either. The Baltimore Museum of Art is one of the region’s top institutions and has an amazing collection of paintings, sculptures, and other fine works dating from the 19th century to today. Like the National Aquarium, BMA welcomes its handicapped guests and offers assistive listening devices, ASL interpreters, sculpture touch tours; basically, any option you can think of to help you get the most of your day. The museum and its gardens are fully accessible to wheelchairs and have roll-in restroom facilities on the first floor.

If you’re willing to use mass transit, then basing yourself in Baltimore is a good way to stay out of the crowded, and sometimes less friendly, D.C. area. There are plenty of wheelchair accessible hotels in the Inner Harbor and throughout the city. If you love the waterfront, you’re sure to enjoy the Admiral Fell Inn Hotel. There’s also the Hilton Garden Inn, the Baltimore Hyatt Regency offering 28 accessible rooms, and Days Inn Baltimore, among many others.

Hope you enjoyed the Baltimore tour! Stay tuned for more in the DC area and beyond; and, as we always do, adventure on!


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