Baltimore for the bored

For students stuck on campus, the city is a gold mine

By Tahsin Khan

Senior Staff Writer

tkhan3@umbc.edu

It’s true, we are not a party school. In fact, we turn into a ghost town on the weekends. Nevertheless, students should stop complaining about how there is nothing to do and take a trip to Baltimore.

A common issue that discourages students from visiting Baltimore is safety. However, this should not prevent you from exploring the city. Going with a group of friends is always a good idea. But, if you decide to be a lone wolf, there are many areas of Baltimore that are tourist-friendly.

Da’Kuawn Johnson, a sophomore majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology who is also a Baltimore native, said, “Baltimore is like any city. If you go to the wrong place at the wrong time, you could find yourself in a bad situation. It all boils down to common sense.”

Another concern of students is transportation. Simple solution: use the MTA. Not only is it more affordable with all-day passes at $3.50 per person, it is also faster than using personal cars.

“I am a huge fan of the public transit system here, because it is so much less expensive than parking in downtown Baltimore,” adds Johnson. Public parking in the garages, which have hourly fees ranging from $9-12, are not worth it.

There are two reasonable ways to get from UMBC to Baltimore. The first option is using the UMBC Transit Downtown Lines, which operate every day except Sunday.

The second option is to use the Light Rail. With the Baltimore Highlands Station less than 6 miles from campus, this is the fastest route taking only 9 minutes to get to Baltimore.

Is it worth all this effort to explore the so-called Charm City? Definitely. There are numerous places and activities that are entertaining and fit in a student’s budget.

For sports enthusiasts, watching the Orioles play at Camden Yards is exhilarating. During the regular and postseason, every Friday is “AT&T Student Night”. Students just have to present a valid school ID and they can purchase a ticket for $7.

Another famous Baltimore attraction is the National Aquarium. The exhibits are simply amazing and you will be awed by the diversity of life. Although tickets are quite expensive at $34.95 per adult, on Fridays after 5PM, tickets are only $18.12. According to a representative at the aquarium, this price will decrease further after October 10th.

Baltimore has lively music venues which host all types of artists. Pier Six Pavillion, Ram’s Head Live!, and Baltimore Soundstage are some of the more famous sites. The ticket prices can even start from as low as $5.

The Inner Harbor and Fell’s Point are rich with culture, museums, historic sites and delicious restaurants. A distinctive aspect of Fell’s Point is its cobblestone roads bordered with brick buildings. It presents a traditional and friendly vibe to tourists.

Nothing is more stunning than the breath-taking view of Baltimore from the top of Federal Hill. It is best to go there an hour before sunset. All you have to do is sit on the benches and see Baltimore slowly transform into a magnificent city of lights.

    So, get up and out of your dorms – Baltimore is an incredible city and you are bound to find something that will make your experience memorable.