Baltimore, Maryland is a vibrant city situated along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay about 180 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. It is a major tourist destination in the Mid Atlantic region of USA near Washington, D.C. Named after Lord Baltimore in the Irish House of Lords, the city has a flourishing population of more than 650,000 with a rich cultural heritage.

The major tourist attraction is the Inner harbor. This historic seaport is an iconic landmark and perfect blend of the old with the new. The breathtaking view of the waterfront is simply amazing and the docks and streets surrounding the inner harbor houses hotels, museums, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues.

The new Inner harbor is now home to the Harborplace, an entertainment center and the National Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world. Port Discovery Children’s Museum, and the World Trade Center of Baltimore are also located around the basin.

Baltimore is famous for its outstanding fresh seafood. From the nearby Chesapeake Bay come blue crabs, oysters, striped bass and other delicacies. Other Maryland seafood comes the Atlantic coast, including sea scallops, lobsters, sea bass and other fish.

Fishing is a popular pastime at Baltimore. Fishermen target striped bass, known in Maryland as “rockfish”, as well as fish such as croaker, spot, white perch, flounder and bluefish.

Rockfish are the un-disputed icon of Chesapeake Bay fishing. Anglers chum, live bait, troll, jig, cast artificial lures and fly fish for rockfish. The beautiful fish range from schoolies of 16 inches to monster fish that may weigh 50 pounds are more.

Croaker or “hardhead” are commonly caught in the bay waters near Annapolis. The fish get their names because of the “croaking” noise the make when removed from the water.

Panfish such as Norfolk spot and white perch are caught near the city. Both species are fun to catch and suitable for anglers of all ages. These delicious fish are caught around the bay bridge, in creeks and around oyster beds.

Anglers seeking spot or perch use standard 2 hook rigs, using small hooks and small pieces of bait. Popular baits include bloodworms, shrimp, clam and synthetic bloodworm type baits.

Other water activities include crabbing. Enthusiasts use trotlines, traps or dipnets to catch blue crabs, which Baltimore and Maryland in general is famous for. The delicious shellfish are then steamed whole and the meat separated out. Crabmeat can be eaten as is or made into crabcakes, soups or other dishes.

Baltimore does not experience the extremes of weather change that occur in other parts of USA. The weather is relatively mild and the best time to visit is from April to November. The city is well connected by road, air and sea. From Washington DC it is less than one hour north on Route 95. Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) is only a half-hour drive south of downtown.

Moving inside the city is easy and loads of options like light rail system are available. Water taxis are a unique and interesting option. The taxis transit the harbor and offer unique views of the Baltimore skyline.

By: John C. Banks

About the Author:

The author is an outdoor enthusiast, web designer and owner of several outdoor websites including Fresh Seafood, Nautical Art and Chesapeake Bay.

maryland

Albania is one of the first Christian countries of Europe. As a result it is the original place of the Western European civilization. Albania is located on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea, with Serbia to the north, Macedonia to the east and Greece in the south. You can say it is a little bigger than Maryland. It is around 100 km from Italy from the Strait of Otranto. Albanian nun Mother Teresa is no doubt the most famous Albanian women in the world of today.

It is worth discovering Albania which many people consider the last concealed corner of Europe. The mountains here are a breathtaking setting to a rugged coastline. It has got a very rich architectural inheritance as a result of 2,000 years of rule by the Greeks, Romans, Italians and Turks. It makes a wonderful holiday spot with its Mediterranean climate and warm people. You can find a daily link by ferry from the port of Durras to Bari, Italy.

The per capita income of Albania is maybe the lowest in Europe. However it is improving with its economic integration into European Union markets. Many holiday makers rent holiday villas and find them a great way to spend their vacations in Albania.

You will need a passport for your holiday with a validity of six months or more. You don’t need a visa; an entry stamp will be issued at the point of entry which is valid for a stay of up to 90 days for a fee of ten Euros. You can get more information at the Albania Embassy for the most current visa information.

It is generally the people who live nearby are the ones who prefer to visit Albania than to go on a holiday to a country they don’t know much about. Every year thousands of holiday makers make day-trips from Corfu to see the extraordinary archaeological complex at Butrint. People who have visited Italy a number of times can make a trip to Albania.

But there is just no reason you can not make Albania your main holiday destination. The country is full of interesting things to see and places to visit, and the best part is it remains unspoilt by tourism. In case you are planning a trip to Albania, it will be a good idea to visit Tirana. The museums in the capital city have the best of the country’s archaeological and historical inheritance. You will also be able to travel all over the country from hare.

You may find the major roads in Albania in a very poor shape but are being improved as the economy grows. There are buses through out the day between major cities and they are a good way of exploring this wonderful country.

Albania has beautiful old cities, lovely beaches, spectacular mountains, and fascinating archaeological sites. Its people are loyal and hospitable, its flora and fauna varied and rare, and its food and wine are delicious. The place is stunning and cheap, people are friendly and Southern Albania is breathtaking. Many holiday makers to Albania choose to rent holiday villas and use them as a base to explore this great country.

By: Andrew Gibson

About the Author:

Andrew Gibson is MD of Direct Holiday Bookings. It has holiday villas, ski chalets and self catering holiday apartments to rent on line as a holiday home rental. To see an example of holiday villas have a look at Holiday Villas

southern maryland

Which is the best route into Ocean City?   

Ocean City is a peninsula; surrounded by the inlet at the southern tip, the bay on the west, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. You can enter Ocean City by crossing the Route 50 Bridge, by crossing the Route 90 Bridge, or through Delaware via Route 1.  

Coming across the Route 50 Bridge brings you into the heart of downtown via a 2 lane highway. Here you will find the typical hustle and bustle of a resort community, with bathers, boardwalk visitors and automobile traffic all vying for their turn at the road.  

Crossing further north at the Route 90 will bring you into Ocean City at 62nd Street. Here you will find low to mid-rise hotels and condos on the Ocean side and a mixture of condos, low-rise hotels and commercial facilities on the bay side. There will be less traffic but keep in mind that Route 90 is a single lane highway with no option to pass.  

For visitors from the north, entry into Ocean City is best accomplished via Route 1. Here you will enter Ocean City at the northern end, which has the least amount of traffic. You will find low-rise hotels and condos on the Ocean and along Coastal Highway and homes and low rise hotels and condos on the bay side, with commercial facilities lining both sides of Coastal Highway.  

Where should I stay? (Click here for map)  

This is a loaded question with no answer being the same for everyone. Let’s start by breaking Ocean City into 4 areas.  

Downtown; this for my purposes will include everything from the inlet north to 27th Street. This includes the entire length of the boardwalk. Choose this area if you like to be in the middle of the excitement. Boardwalk shops and entertainment are open until midnight or later during the summer season and is right at your door. Staying in this area is best for the young or the young at heart. It is also ideal for families with teens that feel their children can go off exploring on their own. The boardwalk is well lit and maintains fairly heavy foot traffic until late at night. My personal recommendation is the HOTEL MONTE CARLO located at 216 N Baltimore Ave.  

South Center; this for my purposes will include everything from 28th Street to 84th Street. This area includes low to mid-rise hotels and condos on the ocean and bay with commercial facilities lining Coastal Highway. You will also find some good deals on hotels and condos on and around Coastal Highway. Keep in mind that Ocean City is not that wide in most areas so walking to the beach is not a major ordeal. I consider this area to be the best mixture of convenience and quiet for most families. The QUALITY INN OCEANFRONT hotel located on 54th Street is well suited for families and couples alike and is only 1/2 mile from the convention center.  

North Center; this for my purposes will include everything from 85th Street to 118th Street. This area is the same as South Center except hi-rise hotels begin lining the ocean. From 100th Street to 118th Street the ocean is virtually lined with hi-rises. For those singles, couples and families that like to be pampered with room service, saunas, etc., this is your area. On the bay side you will find townhouses for larger families, many with your own boat dock. Large families, families sharing a vacation, and boaters will find the largest selection of rentals in this area. The CAROUSEL RESORT HOTEL & CONDOMINIUMS is located ocean front on 117th street. A little history for those new to the area: the Carousel was the first hotel built on the north end of Ocean City, it was built by Bobby Baker (a reputed member of the ("mob"). Needless to say everything is here, including an indoor ice skating rink, a deli, an ice cream shop, indoor and outdoor pools, jetted tubs, room service and much more. Other than a trip to the boardwalk there’s not much reason to leave the complex. This is probably my favorite hotel in Ocean City and worth a visit even if you don’t stay here.  

North; this for my purposes will include everything from 119th Street to the State line at 146th Street. This area resembles South Center except it is less congested with several homes on the bay side. Walking to a restaurant or store is less likely in this area. For those guests that like to be in a quiet area yet close to the "action" this is the best choice for you. Hotels in this area are not as plentiful but a good choice is the FENWICK INN.

Special recommendation; just before entering Ocean City from Route 50 you will see the Francis Scott Key Motel on your right. This hotel is located on 14 acres and has plenty of room for children (of all ages) to play. The indoor pool is used by many local families in the off season for birthday parties. There is plenty of shopping nearby and even has it’s own restaurant and bar. No need to drive into Ocean City, a free shuttle is available during the season that runs every hour from 10:00am to 10:00pm.  

As you can see there is something for almost everyone in Ocean City. I don’t believe you will be unhappy with any of the areas, but offer this guide as a general outline of what each area offers for those guests not familiar with Ocean City.  

We hope you enjoy your visit and encourage you to contact us with your personal recommendations on hotels, restaurants, and any other things you would like us to post to help other visitors plan their vacation.

By: Frank Keller

About the Author:

Ocean City, Maryland – I’ve been traveling to Ocean City for over 40 years and now live here. My name is Frank Keller and I’d like to share my knowledge of the area with everyone interested in visiting or living here. Come visit our site for more articles and a vast variety of interesting things to do and see.

southern maryland