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Festival travel: Escape from Newark to Baltimore for Artscape

Planning an escape to Baltimore this summer? You still have time to build your trip around Artscape, the largest free arts festival in the nation.

Scheduled for July 20-22 this year, Artscape brings together visual and performing artists, along with food, crafts and kids' activities. It averages 350,000 attendees each summer in Charm City. While you're there, check out the rest that Baltimore has to offer, from nightlife and history to sports and museums.

It’s more doable than you think. According to travel site Skyscanner, there are plenty of flights from Newark to Baltimore in that time frame, and the prices aren't too shabby.

So if you're looking for a change of scenery, here are some deals to put on your to-do list. (Prices and availability are current as of publication and subject to change.)

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Cheapest Baltimore flights

The cheapest flights between Newark and Baltimore are if you leave on July 18 and return from Maryland on July 23. Spirit Airlines currently has tickets for $218, roundtrip.

There are also deals to be had later in July. If you fly out of Newark on July 19 and return from Baltimore on July 22, Spirit Airlines can get you there and back for $257 roundtrip.

Top Baltimore accommodations

To plan your stay, here are some of Baltimore’s top-rated hotels, according to Skyscanner, that we selected based on price, proximity to things to do and customer satisfaction.

The Baltimore Marriott Waterfront (700 Aliceanna St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking to splurge on top quality, consider The Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. The hotel has a 4.8-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $179.

Set in the heart of Baltimore, this hotel is close to the Pier Six Concert Pavilion and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, as well as the American Visionary Art Museum. Additional attractions include the USS Constellation, the Fell's Point pub district and the shops at Harborplace.

The Hilton Baltimore (401 W. Pratt St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

There's also the 4.4-star rated The Hilton Baltimore. Rooms are currently set at $135/night.  

This downtown Baltimore hotel is located adjacent to Oriole Park at Camden Yards and very close to the USS Constellation, the Hippodrome Theatre and M&T Bank Stadium. The hotel is directly connected to the Baltimore Convention Center via an indoor walkway.

Home2 Suites by Hilton Baltimore Downtown (8 E. Pleasant St.)

If you're looking for an inexpensive place to stay, there's Home2 Suites by Hilton Baltimore Downtown. The 4.4-star hotel has rooms for $71/night.

"Very modern, spacious rooms and comfortable, beautiful furniture," wrote visitor Melissa. "There are so many wonderful long-term stay options in Baltimore as far as amenities and design, but for those that really want to be in a neighborhood, this is where it's at!" 

Featured Baltimore restaurants

If you're looking for a popular spot to grab a bite, Baltimore has plenty of excellent eateries to choose from. Here are a few from Skyscanner's listings to help you get started.

The Food Market (1017 W. 36th St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

One of Baltimore's most popular restaurants is The Food Market, which has an average of 4.8 stars out of five reviews on Skyscanner.

The Food Market's website says it specializes in "approachable, serious comfort food," with a menu offering small plates such as tacos and fried oysters and large plates of crab cakes, shrimp, duck and roast beef.

"Chef Chad's menu is, to say the least, stunning," wrote visitor Charles. "The service is great."

G&M Restaurant (804 N. Hammonds Ferry Road)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Another popular dining destination is G&M Restaurant, with 4.7 stars from 11 reviews.

G&M Restaurant features Greek, Italian and American cuisine and boasts of serving "Maryland's best crab cakes."

Reviewer RAWarren wrote: "This family-style restaurant is humongous. The full-service bar has a decent selection of beer and cocktails, but most people are here for the crab cakes, day and night."

Nick's Fish House (2600 Insulator Drive)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Also worth considering is Nick's Fish House.

Located on the water offering spectacular views, Nick’s Fish House and Grill has indoor and outdoor seating and serves steamed-to-order blue crabs, fresh sushi, grilled steaks, burgers, seafood, including jumbo lump crab cakes, and bountiful sandwiches.

"It’s right by the water, so the best part is the view. If the weather’s nice, try to get a table outside," wrote Laura.  

Featured Baltimore attractions

Not sure what to do in Baltimore, besides eat and drink? Here are a few recommendations, provided by Skyscanner.

Wockenfuss Candies (6831 Harford Road)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

The top-rated visitor attraction in Baltimore, according to Skyscanner, is Wockenfuss Candies, which is one of the oldest candy makers in Baltimore.

Wockenfuss Candies marked a century in business in 2015. The family-owned business is now in its fifth generation of candy-making.

"Expect dark chocolate Oreos, dark chocolate pretzels and dark chocolate everything," wrote visitor John.

The American Visionary Art Museum (800 Key Highway)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Then there's The American Visionary Art Museum, which hosts shows organized by theme, rather than by artist, and strives to step out of the accepted art canon displayed at many American museums.

The United States Congress unanimously voted to make the American Visionary Art Museum "the official national education center, repository and museum for self-taught, intuitive artistry."

Visitor Kelly wrote, "This museum is a temple of unabashed creative energy unlike anywhere else in the state."

Maryland Science Center (601 Light St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Finally, spend some time at The Maryland Science Center, which features interactive exhibits that focus on physics, marine biology and astronomy.

In addition to exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to the potential for life outside Earth, the museum features a planetarium and an IMAX theater. 

"Great interactive and educational place to bring the family out to! They have some of the coolest hands-on installations here," wrote visitor Justin.


This story was created automatically using flight, hotel, and local attractions data, then reviewed by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.