From Baltimore to New York, the road never ends
The car is gassed up, my bags are packed and I’m ready to hit the road. I hope you’re not tired because we have a lot of miles ahead of us. I’m going to begin at our closest destination, Nationals Park, home to the Washington Nationals baseball team.
It opened in 2008 and seats about 41,500. It fits very well into the Southeast Washington neighborhood, near the Navy Yard. The infield dirt comes from Maryland and the field consists mainly of Kentucky Bluegrass. It was designed after the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. The deepest part is of course in center field at 402 feet. It is an excellent place to watch a game. One of the features is the 4,500 square foot scoreboard. Single game tickets start as low as $10.00.
Okay here we go to western Maryland, to Allegany County, and stopping at the Rocky Gap Resort and Casino. It is actually located in the town of Flintstone. This is Maryland’s newest and smallest casino. But remember not to judge accomplishment by size alone.
The casino opened in May and has 558 slots and 10 table games. The casino is smoke free, though they do provide an outdoor smoking area. The gaming area is quite comfortable and easy to navigate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been lost in one of the larger casinos located in our general area.
There’s no doubt this is a most welcome addition to the county. It provided jobs for many people and will hopefully provide revenue for the county as well.
One of the really neat features of the property is that it’s situated on a man made lake; you’ll be struck by its beauty as you drive in.
There is also a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, a conference center, restaurants and nearby beach on the lake.
From the Beltway and I-70 it took me two hours. From 70 west go to 68 west and follow the signs.
Let’s head north and visit Lancaster, Pennsylvania. By this time I’m a bit exhausted so a good night’s sleep is in order. For that I checked into the Double Tree by Hilton Lancaster, located at 2400 Willow Street Pike. It’s surrounded by a par three and four golf course. There are 185 rooms including 30 suites. This is a perfect spot for families.
Some of the amenities, besides golf, include tennis, basketball, a pool and water playground, Cafe 2400 for all meals and on Saturdays they offer a complimentary three hour bus tour of Lancaster and those great Amish farms.
There are various packages from which to chose, be it golf, honeymoon or amusement parks (Dutch Wonderland and Hersheypark).
The average summer rate is about $159.00. I especially like the fact this hotel is locally owned. One member of the family is always on premise. (doubletreelancaster.com)
Okay time to get back on the road. And we’re on our way to Atlantic City. I wanted to stop by the Steel Pier because I heard good things are happening there. There was a time when it was one of the country’s top attractions where big names performed. But time marched on and over the years this iconic pier has undergone many changes, including being closed.
But thanks to the New Jersey natives who bought the pier in 2011 (William and Anthony Catanoso), it is open for business and is doing quite well this summer.
One recent piece of news is that in early 2014 a giant wheel, I’m talking 200 feet with gondola like cars, will provide tremendous views of the hotels, ocean and boardwalk during its 20 minute ride. There are currently about 25 rides, 20 games and 16 food outlets. On the ocean end is a stage for live performances. When in A.C. give the Steel Pier a look. It’s located across from the Taj Mahal.
Speaking of Atlantic City, there is currently a very active campaign to promote activities other than gaming. The Atlantic City Alliance has launched a season’s long promotional plan to highlight such things as the museums and shopping. For one thing Ripley’s does have a museum right on the Boardwalk.
Cordish has developed a very nice shopping area off the boardwalk behind Caesar’s. The beaches are very clean and big, with lots of room from the boardwalk to the ocean. The beach patrol takes care in maintaining the upkeep of the beach. By the way, on the outside of Boardwalk Hall every night at dusk there’s a free laser light and sound show.
Our final destination is New York. It’s been a few years since I last saw Lady Liberty and since she has been through so much in the last two years, I thought a visit was necessary. After a massive clean up due to destruction brought on by Hurricane Sandy, she re-opened her island and doors on July 4th. To get an up close visit just hop a ferry from Battery Park. While down in Lower Manhattan walk by the location of the Freedom Tower, the skyscraper replacing the World Trade Centers. You’ll be amazed at its design and height.
If you take a bus into New York from any of the Baltimore companies, most likely you’ll be dropped off on or near Times Square. Your first stop should be the Visitors Center at about 45th Street. Everything you’ll want to know about New York will be found there, including a video. Pick up brochures, ask questions and be on your way.
I could go on for pages listing all there is to do here, but space limitations mean I can only list a few. There’s always a Broadway show. Stop by the Tickets Booth on Times Square and try to get some discounted tickets. You can go in any direction from Broadway and you’ll soon run into something exciting.
Suggestions you say, okay how about Central Park, the New York Library, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Macy’s, Saks, 5th Avenue, Radio City, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a subway ride anywhere, like to Chinatown, Chelsea, Greenwich Village or one of the boroughs for a real adventure.
Enjoy yourself, but please don’t miss the bus home. Here’s one last and most important point, when the bus driver says we’re leaving at 6 p.m., he means it. If you arrive at 6:05 you better start looking for another way back.
Okay, I have to now find the Lincoln Tunnel to the New Jersey Turnpike and find my way home. Thanks for coming along.
Eddie Applefeld is a Baltimore native and a graduate of Towson University. He has been in the broadcasting profession for over 30 years. Currently he is the Promotions Director of WCBM radio. Before that, he was part of the Rouse & Company show on WQSR, host of a cable TV show called Dining Out and adjunct instructor at Towson.
His past accomplishments include being named a finalist in Baltimore Tourism’s Employee of the Year Program and winner of Toastmaster’s Speaker of the Year contest. He was also twice a heartthrob for the American Heart Association’s gala fund raiser.