Travel Guide: The Perfect Layover in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Awhile back, Russ and I took a small trip to the North Pole. You may have read about our experience North in our Iceland Travel Guide. On our way there, we managed to stop in Baltimore for an afternoon on the East Coast! So many of us traveling from Texas across the pond have to make a stop somewhere along the coast and the Charm City is a heck of a place to start an epic journey.

With the Inner Harbor being only a short drive/train ride from BWI, you’ve got a few hours to kill. Take a walk into the beginnings of our great nation and let the harbor be your playground for the day. Our layover was about 9 hours, which at first, seemed daunting but we managed to pull off a full day of feasting on fresh seafood, sipping on Natty Bohs and exploring the cobblestone streets of one of America’s first ports.

Top 5 Things You Should Absolutely Do while Visiting Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

5. Head to the National Aquarium or Ripley’s. Both are out of this world and a super easy way to spend an afternoon killing time. I loved the jellyfish exhibit. Added bonus, options for lunch in every direction of the bay. You name it, they’ve got it. Head down to Fells Point and grab yourself a Crabcake!

4. Best Breakfast? Get fat. Go get doughnuts and Zeke’s coffee at Diablo Doughnuts. Go nuts, get the Unicorn Fart. You know you want to. The dude pictured below is pretty awesome, too. He’s the owner and the last time we were visiting Baltimore while on a Girls’ Trip, this fella hooked us up with stickers and sat and talked with us while we tried the box variety. Best surprises? Captain Chesapeake and Maple Bacon were some of the group favorites.

3. Make time to take a gander at the U.S.S. Constellation. Our country has built some pretty amazing ships and this one is impressive to say the least. This sail-only warship is the last of its’ kind built by the United States Navy. The price of admission is $5/adult and $25/family if you want to spend some time in the Museum.

BALTIMORE-9

2. Head to the last place Edgar Allen Poe was seen alive, The Horse You Came In On Saloon. Legends tells it that ole Eddie died from consumption right on the street outside this infamous saloon. His picture still hangs above the bar alongside about a million Jack Daniels bottles. Grab a Natty Boh (local favorite beer, aka National Bohemian) and listen to the live music from the saddle you sit in.

BALTIMORE-2

1. Go get a lobster roll at Thames Street Oyster House. I’m not kidding. This is the #1 thing you should do while visiting the Harbor. It was the best thing I have ever eaten. I dream about it sometimes. I know it’s $25. I don’t care. Spend that moolah and get yourself the best damn sandwich you are ever gonna have. Or get the crab cake, because it’s bomb too.

lobster

 

Travel Guide: Lake Murray & Turner Falls, Oklahoma

Hey guys! It’s been awhile since I put out a Travel Guide so I figured I would let you in on our mini sort-of staycation in Ardmore, OK. Just a little under 2 hours north of Dallas-Fort Worth, this spot would serve as our anniversary getaway (3 Years Y’all). Mr. Norris and I recently made our way into Okie country to check out the scene at Lake Murray and boy am I glad we did. With its’ Caribbean-like waters and newly-renovated cabins, we felt like we had escaped to our own private oasis.

After settling into our cabin, we made our way down to the docks to sign up for the sunset cruise that evening. For $12, this seemed like an easy excuse to get out on the water. After feeding a few carp and one koi fish from the docks, we made a point to walk around the resort property. Cozied up to the shoreline is the 28 million dollar recently renovated resort. It has clean lines, an industrial feel and the landscaping makes the property stand out in all the right ways. This would be a fantastic setting for a wedding or even a family shindig!

After heading to a swim beach (Marina Beach) to toss the football around and listen to a little Bluegrass on the Beats, we set up our camp for the night and headed out to grab a quick bite before the boat trip. Every search kept leading us back to Cafe Alley and what a treat. The service was perfect and the setting was in this restored warehouse full of rustic charm. The staff had great recommendations and the manager even stopped by our table to make sure we enjoyed our meals.

I had the Cook Shack Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Iron Skillet Cornbread….ummm let’s just say that delicious is an understatement. Russ had the Mustard Crusted Pork Chop with Apple Onion Compote and the Mac n Cheese. We left with a piece of the famous Carrot Cake to have by the fire later that night. It was smothered in candied pecans and I am still thinking about it.  Here’s a look at their dinner menu.

We made it back just in time for our Sunset Cruise with Lake Murray Watersports. Larry, our driver and owner of the recreation facility near the resort, gave us an inside look at the lake that was created in the 1930s. His establishment, which is located a short walk from the resort, is open to any and everyone looking to get out on the water. You can rent kayaks, canoes, jet skis or sign up for a round of mini golf. For a small fee, the kiddos can go jump on trampolines or take a ride down the slide in the bay.

Larry took us out on the crystal clear water for about an hour and half . We had the opportunity to view Tucker Tower, a geological museum, and the Nature Center. We got a first hand look at Lake Murray’s famous “floating cabins” and Larry even took us for a short ride around the marina to check out some of the fun houseboats that are docked there. We ended our ride on the pontoon boat by watching the red sun set over the west end of the lake. After stoking the campfire and then shortly thereafter devouring the carrot cake, we decided to hit the hay!

Day Two, we woke up bright and early and started en route to nearby Davis, Oklahoma. Our plan was to spend the day at a natural attraction known as Turner Falls. Just a short 20 minute drive north of Ardmore, this leg of our journey was a piece of cake.

After winding through a plethora of roads into what can only be described as a canyon of sorts, we made it to our destination. After parking the car, we started our trek to Dr. Collings’ Rock Castle. Built in the heart of the Arbuckle Mountains during the Great Depression, this castle is believed to have been part of a bigger plan for a dude ranch  but due to the sign of the times, the building has remained an abandoned tourist attraction.

After snapping a few photos of the castle, we made our way down to the 77 foot waterfall that stems from Honey Creek! It was a sight to see from far away but as we made our way closer, I was in awe. How could I have not known about this place? I could only imagine how beautiful it must be in the fall when all the leaves are changing colors. We swam for a long while before deciding to find a spot to settle down for lunch. We had packed sandwiches and lemonade for a small picnic by a creek though there were lots of options for food to purchase on the property.

TURNER FALLS 08.17-36

After lunch, we jumped in the car and decided to take a ride around the campgrounds. We wanted to see the aerial view of the falls and maybe even hike a few trails. We headed out on Butterfly Road and we managed to get a birds eye view of the stream system that feeds into the waterfall and the aerial view of the water going over the edge of the rock face. There were caves and rocked paths that would make for the perfect engagement shoot. Just saying!

Before we headed back in the direction of Dallas-Fort Worth, we snuck in some time at the Blue Hole.  There were slides, diving boards and a huge swimming hole for everyone who was hanging in the park to enjoy! I am happy to sat that our $12 admission fee was well worth it!

Our last stop was on our way out of the canyon. We made it to the overlook to grab a few pictures before I realized that people were zip lining over the falls. How neat, right? Has to be expensive, right? Nope, for $12, I braved the ridiculous heights for an amazing view of this part of south-central Oklahoma. My stomach felt like it was in my throat but it was totally worth it. Kind of like a rollercoaster.

After hanging hundreds of feet in the air, we jumped in the car and began our trek back to Dallas-Fort Worth. We stopped at a QuikTrip on the way and grabbed ourselves a few Red Box movies to enjoy on the couch later that night.

TURNER FALLS 08.17-65

It really was the perfect getaway. We got to get out of town for a few days and make it back in time to throw our laundry in the washer, order some pizza and relax on the couch! Watching the sun set over the plains of Oklahoma during our drive back wasn’t half bad either! We are really looking forward to heading back here in the fall! Stay tuned!

Guess what guys? In just a few short days, Russell and I are headed out on another adventure. This time we are heading to Yellowstone National Park! If you have got recommendations or suggestions, please feel free to comment below! Don’t forget to check back for more Travel Updates!