Welcome to the Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Baltimore, a city guide for meeting professionals. Planning meetings in Baltimore is great, because Baltimore is easily accessible by plane, train and highway and is within driving distance of more than one-third of the nation's population. Proximity to New York, Washington, DC and Philadelphia make it a prime meeting destination as much as its sparkling Inner Harbor.
The Washington/Baltimore Metropolitan area is served by three major airports: Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) in Maryland, Washington Dulles International Airport, in Northern Virginia, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington County, VA. It is also a stop on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.
Largest among the city's convention venues, Baltimore Convention Center is within walking distance of several Baltimore event venues, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards Overhead walkways link the convention center to the Inner Harbor, fine-dining venues and nearby Baltimore attractions. With 300,000 square feet of exhibition space, 50 meeting rooms, and a 36,672-square-foot ballroom, the Baltimore Convention Center has the facilities to accommodate large and small groups. The Center is close to public transportation for easy access by MARC Train to Washington, DC or Baltimore's Light Rail to the Baltimore International Airport (BWI).
Hotel venues in Baltimore abound by the convention center and by the scenic Inner Harbor. Baltimore's biggest hotel is the 757-room Hilton Baltimore, which is connected to the convention center via an enclosed, climate-controlled pedestrian walkway. It contains 62,000 square feet of meeting space, including the 25,000-square-foot Key Ballroom. Also near the Convention Center is Kimpton Hotel Group's Hotel Monaco Baltimore, located in the city's former Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Headquarters. The 202-room property has six meeting rooms, the largest of which has capacity for 170 people. The 195-room Royal Sonesta Harbor Court has 11 meeting spaces, the largest of which can host 250 for dinner, as well as a seventh-floor rooftop garden and restaurant. In the Mount Vernon Cultural District, the 104-room Wyndham Baltimore Peabody Court is housed in a converted 1920s Renaissance-style building and features 3,536 square feet of meeting space. Meeting properties in the Inner Harbor include the 337-room Sheraton Inner Harbor, which features more than 10,000 square feet in 17 meeting spaces: the 620-room Renaissance Inner Harbor, with 31,000 square feet in 21 rooms; and the 488-room Hyatt Regency, with 44,000 square feet; 228-room Marriott Inner Harbor, with 5,000 square feet; 730-room Marriott Waterfront Hotel, with over 48,900 square feet; and 256-room Four Seasons, with 20,595 square feet.
Higher learning institutions including Johns Hopkins University, Loyola College, Maryland Institute College of Art, the Peabody Institute, Sojourner-Douglas College, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Morgan State University, Towson State University and University of Maryland, Baltimore County, draw meetings of their own, but offer conference facilities to all.
Baltimore also offers many special event venues for parties and receptions. The city's wealth of museums and attractions includes the Baltimore Museum of Art, three miles north of Inner Harbor. It contains 90,000 works of art, including the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum offers several event spaces including the 1884 Baldwin Roundhouse with capacity for more than 1,500 for a standing reception and 450 for a seated dinner, the 6,400-square-foot Outside Pavilion, and a 1,200-square-foot, multi-purpose room. Located at the base of historic Federal Hill, the American Visionary Art Museum has been awarded both national and international awards for its aesthetic appeal and design. With a magnificent architectural backdrop, it is a wonderful setting for a cocktail reception or seated dinner. Docked in Baltimore Inner Harbor, the USS Constellation lets up to 250 visitors explore four levels with areas including the original captain's cabin, gun deck, officer's quarters and galley. In conjunction with the pier, the venue can accommodate up to 600 visitors.
Situated in the heart of the eastern seaboard, Baltimore is most well known for its revitalized Inner Harbor. The city was founded in 1729 and became independent from Baltimore County in 1851. Initially a working-class port town, leading industries are now medical, biotechnology, higher education, defense contracting, technology, and finance. Baltimore was the second city in the U.S. (after New York City) to reach a population of 100,000; it was the second largest city in the nation until 1860.
The Baltimore Inner Harbor is the heart of Baltimore with many notable attractions including the Hard Rock Cafe, several seafood restaurants, and numerous bars and clubs. The Inner Harbor is also home to Baltimore's most popular attraction, the National Aquarium, which draws more than 1.6 million visitors a year, many from DC and other Maryland suburbs. Street performers are also common around the harbor in season. Although most everything you will want to do and see while visiting the Inner Harbor is within a short walking distance, you can also explore the Harbor by Baltimore Water Taxi, harbor cruise, paddle boat, trolley tours or the fast and free Charm City Circulator hybrid buses.
Going beyond the harbor brings a wealth of entertainment possibilities. Eat fresh crabs and listen to live jazz at Lexington Market, enjoy all-you-can-eat cannolis at the desserts-only restaurant Vaccaro's in Little Italy, take a walk through 80,000 tulips at Sherwood Gardens in the spring, see the art of ancient Mesopotamia at The Walter's Art Museum and much more.
Baltimore is rich in history, which is apparent in its over 300 separate neighborhood districts, including a deeply rooted African-American culture. Today, landmarks like the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the Great Blacks In Wax Museum, the Lexington Market, Frderick Douglass- Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum, and Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture keep this story alive.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Baltimore has four distinct seasons, with warm weather prevailing from April through October. Winters are relatively short and typically consist of more rain than snow. Summers bring heat, humidity, and often afternoon thunderstorms. March through May and September through November-the spring and the fall-are the best times to visit Baltimore. Daytime highs average from the 50s through the 70s during these months. The seasons are tempered by the presence of the Appalachian Mountains in the northwest, which block snow and precipitation from the Great Lakes region, and by the Delmarva Peninsula to the southeast, which protects the city from tropical storms coming in by sea.
Baltimore Convention Center
In the heart of a renewed downtown, the Baltimore Convention Center features 300,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space. Fifty meeting rooms accommodating up to 1,600 people can be found on the third floor; the fourth floor offers a 36,672-square-foot ballroom with a 28-foot ceiling and built-in, state-of-the-art sound system. The space can be divided into four sections to provide versatility. A spacious foyer for pre-function gatherings, complete kitchen and catering facilities are also located on the fourth floor. Terraces, including the new Green Roof, wrap around the building offering excellent views of the cityscape and harbor.
The Baltimore Convention Center is only eight miles from the airport and is located conveniently between Baltimore's Inner Harbor and Oriole Park. The Center is close to public transportation for easy access by MARC Train to Washington, DC, or Baltimore's Light Rail to the Baltimore International Airport (BWI).
Directly connected to the convention center by Skybridge is the 757-room Hilton Baltimore, the city's biggest hotel. The 20-story hotel connects to the convention center via an enclosed, climate-controlled pedestrian walkway. It contains 62,000 square feet of meeting space. Also connected to the convention center by skywalk is the 488-room Hyatt Regency Baltimore offering 40,000 square feet of function space, and 337-room Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel, which can accommodate meetings of up to 1,000 guests.
Baltimore is served by three major airports: Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) in Maryland, Washington Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington County, Virginia.
Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)
Approximate taxi fare: $35 USD
Just 15 minutes from downtown, BWI served 22 million passengers in 2011. Recently completed expansions and improvements resulted in 12,000 new parking spaces; new concourses and pedestrian bridges; moving sidewalks; a wider road in front of the terminal; and a monorail-style system connecting the airport, parking garages and the Amtrak/MARC Station.
BWI's car rental facility is off-site, and can be accessed by a 10-minute free shuttle service. The shuttle stop is on the lower level of the terminal. Currently eight national chains provide service at the car rental facility: Avis, Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty. Manual and automatic vehicles are available for rental.
BWI boasts 350 nonstop departures with an average of 632 arrivals and departures per day. Airlines serving BWI include Southwest Airlines, AirTran, American, Delta Airlines, US Airways and United. Daily nonstop international service is offered to many destinations such as London, Toronto, Montego Bay, Bermuda, Mexico and the Caribbean. BWI is the proud recipient of the Best Concession Program Award presented by Airport Revenue News.
Airline carriers serving Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)
Amtrak's 5th busiest station, Penn Station serves more than 855,000 passengers each year. Baltimore is a major stop for Amtrak's high-speed Acela service. The MARC commuter train provides easy transport to and Washington, DC.
Baltimore's Light Rail and Metro systems carry passengers from the city to outlying hotels in addition to the BWI airport. The Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) operates bus, Metro Subway, Light Rail and MARC train services.
There are two motorcoach-friendly unloading locations in the city. Please adhere to the following loading, unloading and parking instructions to make your visit as seamless as possible. Note that unattended and illegally staged coaches are subject to street violation fines up to $102.
Baltimore's Charm City Circulator encompasses a fleet of 21 free shuttles traveling four routes throughout the city: the Green Route from City Hall to Fells Point to John Hopkins; the Purple Route from Penn Station to Federal Hill; the Orange Route from Hollins Market to Harbor East; and the Banner Route from the Inner Harbor to Fort McHenry. Used by residents, tourists and students alike, the Charm City buses are intended to reduce congestion and provide a reliable, eco-friendly option for public transportation.
Hours vary by day and season. Shuttles arrive every 15 minutes at designated stops.
The City of Baltimore has opened a new motorcoach parking facility adjacent to the B&O Railroad Museum. The secure, 24-hour facility features a drivers lounge, complete with vending machines, Wi-Fi, and television for the comfort of drivers. The facility may also be used for shuttle buses and semis for conventions and tradeshows. Information is a available from Visit Baltimore.
Due to Baltimore's relatively tight-knit structure, certain areas of the city can be difficult to access by bus or rail. As a result, taxis are a viable option. Taxis can be booked by telephone, hailed on the street and found in taxi waiting areas such as the Inner Harbor and the airport. Good locations to hail a taxi are at South Charles and Cross streets in Federal Hill, at Light and Pratt streets in the Inner Harbor and at Thames and Broadway streets in Fells Point. Yellow Cab Downtown Cab are two of the main operators.
Most street taxis in Baltimore operate on a metered rate (fare charged by the minute) instead of a flat rate (fare charged by all taxis from one set location to another). Taxi drivers and hotel staff can give an idea of approximate cost based on recent fares to main tourist destinations. An average fare within the city is $7-$10, depending on your destination.
The water taxis stop at 17 different landings including various locations in the Inner Harbor, Fell's Point, Little Italy, Canton and Fort McHenry. Buy an all-day, unlimited-use ticket on-board any water taxi for about $12 for adults and $6 for children, and enjoy dozens of discounts in the neighborhoods serviced by the water taxi.
The Port of Baltimore's easy access terminal is located 200 yards off I-95, the terminal is the ideal drive-to port for the mid-Atlantic region. The May through November cruise season offers fun-filled cruises to the Caribbean and Bermuda, as well as a New England/Canada excursion.
Bike rentals are offered at Light Street Cycles located at 1015 Light Street; however, the facility is not open on Sunday. Children's bicycles and accessory items can also be rented, such as vehicle racks, child trailers, and cycle luggage racks. Bike Baltimore offers an alternative option to Light Street Cycles. Located at 1001 Fell Street, it provides both bike rentals and cycle tours.
Photo Credit : Visit Baltimore
Check Out Visit Baltimore’s Hot Dates & Win a FREE Crab Feast
Big conference? Medium meeting? Small corporate retreat? Come on down. Baltimore has the space you need at a price you want. See our list of available dates at the Baltimore Convention Center. You can also inquire about special hotel offers and promotions available throughout the city.
Plus, if you're among the first 10 meeting planners to book a 2012 or 2013 meeting with over 3,000 total room nights, we'll treat you to a free crab feast for up to 200 people.
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Explore Ideas at Sheraton Baltimore City Center
Meetings at Sheraton Baltimore City Center allow relationships to develop beyond the boardroom. Bring the best minds together in our flexible meeting space. Our exceptional conference facilities, along with our prime downtown location and proximity to the Baltimore Convention Center, make our conference rooms perfect to host any meeting. With over 30,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and over 700 guest rooms, our venue can accommodate conferences from 1,000 people or more, to an intimate meeting of just a few.
Plan your next conference for meetings held by December 31, 2013 and select from benefits such as Bonus Starpoints®, Accelerated Room Policies, or Special Credits.
B’more SUCCESSFUL. B’more CONNECTED. B’more FUN!
Meet and celebrate at the Hilton Baltimore, the city’s premier conference and convention hotel. With over 60,000 square feet of flexible function space, 757 luxurious guest rooms and suites, and fine dining, our AAA Four Diamond hotel has everything you need for a great meeting or event in a setting that showcases Charm City’s heritage and hospitality. Choose from two ballrooms and 27 meeting rooms, all with cutting-edge technology——and make your session a home run by welcoming your guests in our spectacular pre-function space overlooking Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Interested in placing a promotion? Call Cvent for information on advertising opportunities at 1-866-318-4358.