While the Baltimore Orioles were making their improbable push for the playoffs last September, my wife and I decided to take in a tension-filled game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
We showed up 30 minutes before first pitch. We left immediately after the game.
And we missed so much.
During my five years as the features writer for the Times, I've made dozens of trips to Baltimore to see what Maryland's largest city has to offer.
Even though it's tempting to simply head to the city for an Orioles game and return, don't make the same mistake my wife and I did. Take advantage of Baltimore. Relish what's available.
Here are a few budget-friendly suggestions to make the most out of your next visit to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Suggestion 1: Arrive early and visit Camden Station
Why it's worth it: Geppi's Entertainment Museum and the Sports Legends Museum are both located in Camden Station, which is mere footsteps from the ballpark. Geppi's offers a nostalgic trip down pop culture's memory lane. The Sports Legends Museum is crammed with memorabilia from area sports teams.
Details: Both museums are located at 201 W. Camden St., Baltimore. Geppi's admission: $10 for general admission, $9 for seniors, $7 for students. Legends admission: $8 for general admission, $6 for students, $4 for students.
Suggestion 2: Don't forget the sculptures
Why it's worth it: Last year, the Orioles unveiled bronze sculptures of the six team mainstays who have had their numbers retired: Frank and Brooks Robinson, Earl Weaver, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken. Nothing says "I'm an Orioles fan" quite like a Facebook profile photo of you by the Cal Ripken statue.
Details: Orioles Sculpture Park is located beyond the bullpens in centerfield. They are free to visit, of course, with the price of admission.
Suggestion 3: Go to
the Museum of Industry
Why it's worth it: The Baltimore Museum of Industry is roughly a 15-minute drive from Camden Yards. Located off Key Highway, the museum is in a picturesque spot along the Inner Harbor. Current exhibits include a tribute to the Maryland Lottery and the industrial revolution.
Details: The museum is located at 301 W. Camden St., Baltimore. It is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. $12 for general admission, $9 for seniors, $7 for students. http://www.thebmi.org.
Suggestion 4: Learn about the Babe
Why it's worth it: Hall of Fame slugger Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore. His birthplace is now a museum complete with artifacts from his playing days. The museum is just three blocks from Camden Yards and near many parking decks near the stadium.
Details: The museum is located at 216 Emory St. Follow the baseballs painted on the sidewalk to the museum. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for students. http://www.baberuthmuseum.org.
Suggestion 5: Cheap
eats near Camden Yards
Why it's worth it: Sure, Boog's Barbeque is an Orioles Park mainstay. But for those on a budget, there are several inexpensive chain eateries near Camden Yards. A California Tortilla is located just a few blocks away. Same goes for a Potbelly Sandwich Shop.
Details: Potbelly Sandwich Shop is located at 519 W. Pratt St. next to the University of Maryland Medical Center. California Tortilla is located at 300 W. Pratt St.
Suggestion 6: Get a bird's eye view from the top
Why it's worth it: It costs $25 to reach the top of the Empire State Building in New York City. To get a bird's eye view in Baltimore is considerably cheaper (try $5 or less). The Top of the World at Baltimore's World Trade Center offers a panoramic view of the city from 27 floors up.
The details: Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. World Trade Center, 401 W. Pratt St., Baltimore. $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students. http://www.viewbaltimore.org.