Escape from Chicago to Baltimore on a budget | Hoodline

Have you visited all of the major sites in the nation's capital, but overlooked the surrounding cities you might have flown into? Baltimore, Maryland, might be the prime spot for your next visit to the Washington, D.C., area.

Baltimore itself is a historic city, the second-largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic and at one time the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the U.S. Famous residents have included Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Billie Holiday and Babe Ruth.

Today, Baltimore is also home to Johns Hopkins University and its world-renowned hospital. Maryland blue crabs fill the local crab shacks, along with some of the trendiest culinary destinations, like the bakery behind the Food Network's "Ace of Cakes." Baseball fans will find the Baltimore Orioles in their iconic ballpark at Camden Yards.

Fortunately, there are plenty of relatively inexpensive flights between Chicago and Baltimore, at least according to travel site Skyscanner.

Here's a list of flights, hotels, restaurants and local attractions in Baltimore to get you started.

(Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. Links included in the articles may earn Hoodline a commission on clicks and transactions. Prices and availability are subject to change.)

Flight deals to Baltimore

Currently, the cheapest flights between Chicago and Baltimore are if you leave on January 8 and return from Maryland on January 11. Spirit Airlines currently has tickets for $132, roundtrip.

There are also deals to be had in February. If you fly out of Chicago on February 6 and return from Baltimore on February 9, jetBlue can get you there and back for $142 roundtrip.

Top Baltimore hotels

To plan your accommodations, here are two of Baltimore's top-rated hotels, that we selected from Skyscanner's listings based on price and customer satisfaction.

The Baltimore Marriott Waterfront (700 Aliceanna St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking to treat yourself, 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. Other attractions include the National Aquarium and the shops at Harborplace. The hotel is directly connected to the Baltimore Convention Center via an indoor walkway.

Featured Baltimore restaurants

Baltimore has plenty of top-notch dining options. Here are a few of the most popular, according to Skyscanner.

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.

"Chef Chad's menu is to say the least, stunning," wrote visitor Charles. "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 10 reviews.

The restaurant offers a wide selection of seafood, sandwiches, Greek specialties and authentic Italian and American cuisine.

Vaccaro's Italian Pastry Shop (222 Albemarle St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking for a solid place to grab some coffee and dessert, plan to visit Vaccaro's Italian Pastry Shop.

"Vaccaro's is famous among both locals and visitors," wrote Daniel. "Located in the heart of Little Italy in Baltimore, patrons flood in to have lunch or pickup a tasty treat with a warm beverage."

Featured local attractions

To round out your trip, Baltimore offers plenty of popular attractions worth visiting. Here are a couple of top recommendations, based on Skyscanner's descriptions and reviews.

Wockenfuss Candies (6831 Harford Road)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Start off at popular destination Wockenfuss Candies, which is proud to be one of the oldest candy makers in Baltimore. It's a family-owned business that is now in its fifth generation of candy making.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards (333 W. Camden St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Then, spend some time at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Pope John Paul conducted mass here in 1995 to an audience of 50,000. Religious experiences of a different sort, like that an Orioles fan will experience if the team ever makes it to the World Series again, are more the norm here, though. The Baltimore Orioles have called this retro-style baseball stadium home since it opened in 1992.