Baltimore Stories and Tips

The Philly Connection

Wanna know a cheaper way to get from the West or Midwest to Philadelphia or Washington? Here’s what I do:

* Buy a cheap Southwest Airlines ticket to Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

* For another $1.35, take a light rail train to the Pratt St. (Convention Center) stop and have dinner at City Lights or another of the superb seafood restaurants along the Inner Harbor.

* Take the light rail, bus or Metro to Penn Station, then take the first Amtrak train that comes along to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. Your Amtrak ticket will be honored on a commuter train from there to Philadelpia City Center.

You obviously can’t do this if you work until 5 p.m. But if you have a free afternoon, you’ll have a more varied travel experience, enjoy a waterfront dinner instead of airline food, and probably save enough money to make the roundabout itinerary worthwhile. This alternative is especially attractive when other airlines are matching Southwest’s fares.

You don’t HAVE to visit downtown Baltimore to enjoy the city’s cheaper airfares. There’s a free shuttle bus from the airport terminal to the nearby BWI Amtrak station. Service is reasonably frequent to Philadelphia and Amtrak service to Washington is supplemented by MARC commuter trains. For Amtrak schedules, click on this web address: .

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