Earlier this year, you likely began making summer plans. Some of those plans may have included concerts, trips to the beach, festivals, and other common summertime activities. With the spread of COVID-19, however, it’s likely many of those plans have changed. While you may not be able to participate in standard summer activities this year, there are still many fun and exciting things going on in Baltimore.
Staying Safe This Summer in Baltimore
As Baltimore slowly begins to reopen, you’ll want to be equipped with the most up-to-date information when it comes to venturing outside your home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have information regarding how to handle running errands, personal and social activities, using transportation, visiting parks and recreational facilities, and more.
It’s important to remember that, in general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer those interactions are, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading. If you decide to engage in public activities, you’ll want to protect yourself and others by wearing a face covering and maintaining six feet of distance between you and others.
Let’s take a look at how Baltimore has responded to COVID-19 and what the next few months could look like as we begin to reopen.
The City’s COVID-19 Response
On March 30, the State of Maryland issued a “Stay at Home” executive order to mitigate the spread of the virus. As time passed and infection rates slowed, however, the order was lifted and Baltimore began managing its own reopening with a three-phase plan. As of June 19, the city has entered phase two. This means that while residents and visitors are still encouraged to wear face coverings and maintain six feet of distance from others, personal services, pools, recreational establishments, religious facilities, retail establishments, malls, and indoor and outdoor sports gathers can result at a maximum of 50% capacity.
As businesses begin to reopen, they must take additional measures to ensure the safety of their employees and consumers. Per Phase 2, those requirements include the following:
- Frequently cleaning high-touchpoint areas
- Performing temperature checks on every employee
- Implementing policies regarding staff returning home if ill
- Implementing temperature checks for all patrons entering the premises, if possible
At this time, it’s unknown as to when we will move into Phase 3. If the summer brings a continued decrease in cases of the coronavirus, more activities may resume in the following months.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen major changes in how we navigate around our city. If you utilize transportation through the Baltimore City Department of Transportation, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the changes they’ve made, so you know what your options are for getting where you need to go.
In the event you’re taking the bus, you will need to wear a face covering. The Maryland Transit Administration has added trips to certain service scheduled in an attempt to better serve riders and reduce the number of riders on any one bus.
Both the Light Rail and Metro Subway are now operating on a Saturday schedule Monday through Friday. This was done in an effort to ensure essential workers and health care professionals have transportation options when they need them most.
If you choose to walk or bike to your location, remember to wear a mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines. If you’re driving to your destination, be on the lookout for pedestrians and drive slowly through areas with heavier traffic.
Staying in Baltimore: Accommodations and What to Expect
If you’re planning a summer trip to Baltimore and are looking for accommodations, you’ll need to be aware of the potential COVID-19 implications. Hotels in Baltimore were allowed to reopen in Phase 1 of the Mayor’s plan, assuming they had appropriate safeguards in place.
The CDC recommends using options for online reservations and check-in, mobile room key, or contactless payment. When you contact a hotel to inquire as to their safety precautions, ask if all staff are wearing face coverings at work. You’ll also want to look for extra prevention practices like plexiglass barriers at check-in counters and physical distancing signs in the lobby. Ask the hotel if it has updated policies about cleaning and disinfecting rooms.
You’ll find that many facilities have closed fitness centers, spas, and evening socials. If a hotel is still offering breakfast services, it’s likely it will be a to-go option, as buffets are shutdown. Some facilities have also suspended shuttle service, so you’ll need to plan ahead for your transportation needs.
No matter where you’re staying in Baltimore, it’s important to remember what you need to do to protect yourself and others around you. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip and make the most out of your experience in our city.
Outdoor Dining in Baltimore
While indoor dining is now an option at limited capacity throughout the city in Phase 2, you may still feel more comfortable dining outdoors. In addition to that, some locations are still limiting their services to carryout, delivery, and outdoor dining. If you’re looking to grab a bite to eat, we’ve compiled a list of the best restaurants in Baltimore that are currently offering outdoor seating.
- Avenue Kitchen and Bar. Located in the heart of Hampden in Baltimore City, Avenue Kitchen and Bar features American food and drinks with Mexican, South American, and Mediterranean flares. They are open for outdoor and indoor seating.
- Blue Hill Tavern. The Blue Hill Tavern is still offering carryout in addition to four tables for outdoor dining. This upscale dining resto-lounge offers New American fare in Brewer’s Hill.
- Brass Tap. Featuring over 150 craft beers and a festive pub menu, Brass Tap is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for outdoor dining.
- Claddagh Pub. The Claddagh Pub opens its outdoor dining area and courtyard at 5 p.m. and features traditional Irish dishes as well as American dishes. Carryout is still available.
- Hair of the Dog. This neighborhood sports bar is open for carryout and outdoor seating. They are asking people to wait to be seated.
- Italian Disco. This Italian restaurant and bar features a retro twist. They are currently open regular hours and have outdoor seating.
- Kooper’s Tavern. Featuring some of the best burgers in Baltimore, Kooper’s Tavern is open for outdoor seating, limited indoor seating, and carryout.
- Ledo Pizza. Featuring pizza, jumbo wings, and salads, Ledo Pizza is open for carryout and outdoor dining daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Maximon. Home to some of the city’s best South American cuisine, Maximon is open for regular hours with outdoor seating available.
- Papermoon Diner. The Papermoon Diner has been serving the Baltimore community since 1994. They are currently offering outdoor seating, curbside carryout, and delivery. Reservations are recommended.
- Papi’s Tacos. Located in Fells Point, Papi’s Tacos is currently serving a limited menu with outdoor seating and carryout. Reservations are required.
- Samos Greek Island Grill. Outdoor seating is available a Samos Greek Island Grill’s Canton Crossing and McHenry Row locations.
- The Choptank. The Choptank features classic fish and crab dishes in the historic Fells Point. They are currently open for regular hours with outdoor dining options.
- The Point. The Point is currently offering outdoor seating at 5 p.m. Friday and brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular dining is available until midnight and reservations are required.
- Silks Canton. At Silks Canton, they are still featuring their full menu. They have outdoor seating, with a walk-up waitlist starting at 5 p.m. Free delivery is being offered in Canton.
Remember that no matter where you choose to dine, it’s important to respect facilities’ COVID-19 policies. You’ll be able to enjoy your meal and the restaurant will be able to continue to provide for their community and support their business.
What to Do in the City During COVID-19
If you’re looking for activities to do with your family and friends this summer, the city has a number of events lined up. Some of the classic attractions, like the zoo, are open and ready to safely allow visitors. If you’re looking to have some fun at home, there are a number of virtual summer programs and events happening regularly in the next few months. As always, you also have a variety of outdoor recreational activities to choose from.
- The Maryland Zoo. The Maryland Zoo reopened to the public on June 27. Certain indoor spaces, like the Tundra Buggy and Chimpanzee Forest, are still closed. Visitors can purchase tickets online and have to follow a one-way path through the zoo. Masks are mandatory at the main gate entry, gift shop, and concessions stands; however, masks are not required for visitors throughout the entire zoo. They are still recommended.
- B&O Railroad Museum. The B&O Railroad Museum reopened on June 25. Patrons are asked to wear masks, maintain a safe social distance of six feet from other visitors, and utilize the hand sanitizing stations around the campus.
- Baltimore Museum of Art. While all of the inside galleries are still closed, the museum’s outdoor sculpture gardens are open, weathering permitting. Admission is free.
Virtual Summer Programs and Events in Baltimore
- Ronn McFarlane, lutenist: Live Streaming Concert. On July 1, Grammy-nominated lutenist, Ronn McFarlane will perform a virtual concert. Tickets are $5.
- K. Blue presents BLM Trio: Live Streaming Concert. On July 3, BLM Trio will showcase music dedicated to the universal movement of Black Lives Matter. Tickets cost $5.
- Goucher College Young Writer’s Camp. This year’s writer’s camp will be run virtually from July 6 to July 10. Students who participate in the camp will study various genres of creative writing, virtually explore the campus, and participate in an intensive personal essay writing workshop.
Getting Outdoors This Summer
- Go on a bike trip. There are a number of great cycling adventures to be had in Maryland. You can experience the broad canal running beside the Potomac River or cut through one of Baltimore’s famous urban parks. Some of the most popular trails include the Great Allegheny Passage Bike Trail, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and Fort Washington Park.
- Visit a state park. If you’re looking to spend time outside while learning about Maryland’s extensive state history, you can visit one of Maryland’s state or national parks. Two of the most popular are Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg and Assateague Island State Park and National Seashore in Berlin.
- Experience bird watching. Situated in the geographic middle of the Atlantic Flyway, Maryland is perfect for bird-watchers. During the summer months, you can experience twilight bird sounds and nesting waterbirds.
Wishing You a Fun, Healthy Summer From Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC
As Baltimore continues to take steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to do your part in keeping yourself and those around you as healthy and as safe as possible. That, however, doesn’t necessarily mean remaining cooped up inside all summer long.
With a variety of safe activities and events to participate in, you can find something to do with your family and friends as often as you’d like.
The personal injury lawyers at Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC are proud to represent Baltimore’s citizens when they need it most. We hope that everyone has a healthy and fun summer while making the most of what our city has to offer.