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Why is Baltimore not on your itinerary?

  • Sailing is to get away from the rat race, not closer to it.

    Votes: 5 20.8%
  • Too much risk of crime or theft.

    Votes: 4 16.7%
  • The entertainment and/or dining options don’t interest me.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Transient dockage is too expensive.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Shoreside transportation is too difficult or expensive.

    Votes: 2 8.3%
  • Too few places to anchor and/or securely land a dinghy.

    Votes: 4 16.7%
  • The seawater pollution is unappealing.

    Votes: 1 4.2%
  • Too much commercial vessel traffic.

    Votes: 1 4.2%
  • Too much recreational vessel traffic.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other – mention in comments.

    Votes: 7 29.2%

Poll: Baltimore as a Destination

10556 Views 113 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  Group9
Despite having a lot of shoreside diversions and almost certainly the best concentration of excellent dining options within a quarter mile of the water anywhere on the Chesapeake, Baltimore’s harbor seems to consistently punch below its weight as a cruising destination.

For people who bypass Baltimore, I’m curious what keeps you away and would appreciate if you could respond to the poll with the reason that best aligns with your own feelings. While I don’t have anything personally to gain by seeing Baltimore become more “yachtie,” IMHO there’s no inherent reason why it couldn’t or shouldn’t be on par with Annapolis as a sailing town.
1 - 3 of 114 Posts
I think part of Baltimore's problem is location. A good percentage of the boats within range for a weekend visit are further south and would have to pass Annapolis to get to the Patapsco and then Baltimore is a long way up.

Each potential visitor will weigh that along with whichever of the options of your poll that apply for them.

Personally, the attractions for me outweigh the rather unattractive waterfront and concerns about crime. Its been a few years since I visited but thought the slip rates were fairly reasonable compared to Rock Hall or St Michaels for example. However, the marina also was a bit rough in terms of amenities.

Anytime someone asks about cruising north I suggest they consider Baltimore as a port of call.
The areas where those riots occurred were not the areas that any tourist or boater is going to go anyway. In fact, in some of the news photos of riot cops you can see boarded up windows in the background…but those windows have been boarded up for years!

I haven't gone to the Inner Harbor on purpose in quite a while, but Harbor East (right next to the Inner Harbor) has a bunch of very nice bars and restaurants. And of course there's Camden Yards and Ravens Stadium. All within walking distance of the city docks.
I walked from the Inner Harbor area, through Harbor East to Fells Point (dinner time) and back (well after midnight) and if that area strikes you as "safe" your definition of "safe" is different than mine. If I had been alone with my wife instead of a group of 10 or 12 guys, I would not have felt safe at all even during the pre-dark walk to Fells Point.

The riots, despite occurring some distance from Inner Harbor, have served to remind potential visitors, that Baltimore has a large contingent of the population willing to commit crime, and potentially violent crime at the drop of a hat.

I retract my previous support of visiting by boat, unless you make use of cabs for transport any time after dark.
I hate to say it, but it's very easy to get tired of Annapolis.
How many frigging eateries and tourist shops can you visit in a weekend?
Cheap crap, made in China. The same inventory in most of the shops.
Annapolis isn't "bad", it's just limited.

Chestertown is larger, and has retained more of its authenticity.
Oxford is small, quiet, clean and quaint, yet not uncivilized. It's fascinating from a historical perspective.
I agree that after a couple of visits there is not that much of interest shoreside in Annapolis unless you are taking guests.

However, there are few places better for boat/people watching than the mooring field at Annapolis. They have it all, big boats, little boats, racing boats, cruising boats, home made dinghies, kayaks to SUP's, you can see it all from your cockpit in the lower mooring field.

I can easily spend a weekend there never feeling the need to leave the boat.
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