Optional Activities

SIGHTSEEING TOURS

Saturday, June 19, 2021
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Sightseeing Tour Brochure
Sightseeing Registration Form

Sightseeing Tour 1: Pirates and Patriots

Discover why Baltimore was once considered a “nest of pirates” and how a group of patriots helped end the War of 1812 and inspired our National Anthem. Visit the Flag House where Mary Pickersgill and a group of six women hand-stitched the flag that inspired The Star-Spangled Banner. A stop high atop Federal Hill will offer a breathtaking view of the Inner Harbor and city skyline. At Fort McHenry you’ll stand on the same ramparts as the American defenders did over 200 years ago. A Water Taxi ride across the harbor will take you to the historic maritime community of Fells Point where the fast clipper ships were built. Then enjoy lunch in a local restaurant.

Sightseeing Tour 2: In the Footsteps of Freedom Seekers

As home to legends such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Billie Holliday, Carmelo Anthony and Thurgood Marshall, Baltimore has a rich African American Heritage. Tour the Reginald Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, take a walking tour of Fells Point, where Frederick Douglass spent his formative years, visit the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum and enjoy a southern cuisine inspired lunch at the award-winning Miss Shirley’s as seen on the Food Network.

Sightseeing Tour 3: Taste of Baltimore Food Tour

Get a taste of Baltimore’s diverse cultural influences. Take a tour of the American Visionary Art Museum, full of works by self taught artists, to whet your palate. Then head to nearby Cross Street Market for a plethora of international and local cuisines. A stop at Phillip’s Seafood is a must to learn the art of crab picking-Baltimore’s favorite food. Then top it off with a rye whiskey tasting at the award winning Sagamore Spirit Distillery.

Sightseeing Tour 4: Nevermore Baltimore

Explore the city that inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s macabre writing. Visit the home he lived in with his wife, stop at the Pratt Library to see the extensive Poe literary collection, toast the bard with brandy at his grave at Westminster Hall, see the place where Poe spent his final hours and conclude with lunch in historic Fell’s Point.

Sightseeing Tour 5: Baltimore Is Full of Ships

Visit the Historic Ships in Baltimore within the Inner Harbor and learn about the amazing history behind each ship, then sail with Hornblower Cruises & Events for a relaxing brunch cruise while taking in the sights and neighborhoods of the historic Baltimore Inner Harbor.

Sightseeing Tour 6: O, Say Can You See!

Travel back in time to 1814 when Baltimoreans were defending the city against the British, fighting to keep their freedom. Join “Francis Scott Key” as he helps you imagine Baltimore when the British threatened our country – from the top of Federal Hill to see the smoke rising from Washington DC, to the Star-Spangled Banner House as the flag was being stitched. Board Cruises on the Bay by Watermark’s Poe-inspired “Raven” for a narrated lunch cruise out to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine to see the fort from the perspective that inspired the penning of our national anthem.

Sightseeing Tour 7: Eco-Excitement, Spirit of the Waterfront

Learn what steps Baltimore is taking to make the Inner Harbor swimmable and fishable. Begin with a brief walking eco-tour of the Inner Harbor Waterfront to see Baltimore’s own Mr. Trash Wheel, oyster farming, wetlands and other special initiatives led by local organizations to improve water quality. Then enjoy a visit to the National Aquarium followed by a scrumptious lunch.  

Sightseeing Tour 8: Play Ball!

Calling all baseball fans. Baltimore is home to baseball legends Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken jr. and is home to he Baltimore Orioles. Take a tour of Camden Yards, one of the country’s most beautiful ballparks, tour the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum and then enjoy lunch at a local brew pub near the stadium.

Sightseeing Tour 9: Baltimore: Destination Innovation

Baltimore is a hub of American innovation. Start with a tour of the B&O Railroad Museum where the first mile of commercial track was laid in America. Next, fast-forward to the space age with a visit to the National Electronics Museum, a museum dedicated to displaying the technological advances of our nation’s defense through radar and satellites. Then get an inside look at Guinness’ experimental beers at the only Guinness brewery in the United States the science of brewing beer with a tour and lunch at Guinness Open Gate Brewery.

Sightseeing Tour 10: Zoo and Brew

What’s the “brew haha” in Baltimore? A fabulous, fun zoo and a vibrant craft beer scene. Join us on a behind the scenes tour of America’s third oldest zoological park spanning 135 acres, including the award-winning African Penguin Exhibit. Then experience more Baltimore history one pint at a time in Hampden, a funky mill town neighborhood with several craft breweries. Sample local beer and tour one of the breweries and enjoy lunch onsite.

Sightseeing Tour 11: Taste of the Waterfront

Enjoy a morning of walking in wonder exploring four of Baltimore’s waterfront neighborhoods-the Inner Harbor, Harbor East, Harbor Point and Fells Point. Food stops will be made in each area; stories shared, and time will be provided for a bit of shopping. Then return to the Inner Harbor by water taxi.

Sightseeing Tour 12: Baltimore Inner Harbor Sightseeing Lunch Cruise

Don’t have the time for a full sightseeing tour? Join us on this 45-minute sightseeing cruise, Enjoy a box-lunch as you take in the story of the revitalization of the Inner Harbor of Baltimore.

Sightseeing Tour 13: Food for Thought in Fell’s Point

Begin with a short walk to the Inner Harbor and then board the water taxi and sail to Fells Point while enjoying guided narration of the Baltimore waterfront. Here on foot, explore a storied maritime neighborhood that spans 250 years. Hear tales of the Star-Spangled Banner, Frederick Douglass, and Kevin Planck of Under Armour and more while visiting markets and restaurants to sample local foods. Then finish with a beer tasting at a tap house.

PRE-FAM TOURS

Wednesday, June 16 – Friday, June 18, 2021
Eligibility | All Registered Tour & Bus Operator Delegates
Cost | Included but Limited to First Come, First Registered

FAM Tour Brochure
FAM Registration Form

Pre-FAM Tour 1: Explore the Underground Railroad on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Henry Highland Garnet are some of America’s most influential and notable abolitionists and were all born in close proximity on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The entire shore lies along the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay, which meant that in the antebellum period, Marylanders’ lives revolved around the water – and that connection still remains strong today. We invite you to visit the places that bring the Underground Railroad to life. Anthony Cohen, noted historian, author and explorer of the American past, will lead this tour and provide thoughtful insight as you journey the Underground Railroad. You’ll experience notable stops along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Scenic Byway. At the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, you will see exhibits of her role as a conductor on the Underground Railroad and her work as freedom fighter, humanitarian, leader and liberator. Visits will include the Bucktown Store, where Harriet displayed her first public act of defiance against slavery; Linchester Mill, an 1800s era mill that provided fertile yet  dangerous ground for those slaves seeking freedom; and the Webb Slave Cabin, a hand-hewn log cabin, where JameWebb lived with his enslaved wife and their four children. Then discover places that helped shape Frederick Douglass into the abolitionist, leader, writer, orator and the great thinker he became. Experience the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and the developing Frederick Douglass Park, overlooking a wide bend in Tuckahoe Creek. At the Henry Highland Garnet School, you’ll learn the story of Isaac Mason.

PARTNERS: Caroline County Office of Tourism, Dorchester County Tourism, Kent County Office of Tourism & Talbot County Office of Tourism

Pre-FAM Tour 2: Southern Maryland-Where Time & Tide Meet

Immerse yourself in Southern Maryland charm and hospitality. Travel back in time to walk in the footsteps of important historical figures including Native Americans, missionaries, colonists, revolutionaries, assassins, spies, slaves, merchants, farmers, arsonists and everyone in between. In Calvert County, you will experience the Chesapeake Bay Railway Museum that showcases the interesting history of the railway line, depot and former amusement park. The Calvert Marine Museum features paleontology, maritime exhibits and live, local Chesapeake Bay aquatic life including fish, seahorses and two adorable otters onsite.  In St. Mary’s County, visit Historic St. Mary’s City, a living history museum on the site of Maryland’s first capital.  Decades of research are the foundation of the living history exhibits assembled across the landscape, along the water’s edge, and amongst the old farms and plantations. If more modern history is what you’re looking for, explore the Patuxent  River Naval Air Museum, the only naval museum dedicated  to aviation research, development, testing and evaluation.  In Charles County, you will see Port Tobacco, the 17th century  town that was one of the nation’s largest international seaports  prior to the American Revolution, and the Thomas Stone NHS,  a tobacco plantation with a five-part colonial mansion and  19th century farm buildings. The tour will conclude at the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House, home of the doctor who set John Wilkes Booth’s leg after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  In addition, sip and savor your way through three days of delectable local cuisine.

PARTNERS: Destination Southern Maryland (Calvert County Tourism, Charles County Tourism & Visit St. Mary’s)

Pre-FAM Tour 3: Historic Sites & Savory Bites

A culinary and historic tour full of intriguing stories and savory dishes. Learn about unique medical innovations from the Civil War, sample local craft brews, organic roasted coffee, some famous Maryland crab, and indulge in afternoon tea at a historic mansion.  At the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, tour the home of the first American-born saint, see the original 1770s farmhouse and the beautiful basilica. In Frederick, take in elements of “Docs & Hops” with visits to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Monocacy National Battlefield and Creekside Brewery Experience.  Discover how coffee is sourced and produced to make the perfect cup of joe on a roastery tour at Mayorga Organics.  Then, it’s off to the C&O Canal, often described by many  historians as one of the finest canal features in the United  States; and the National Capital Trolley Museum, featuring  exhibits on streetcar history and a display of historic trolleys.  This tour is sure to leave you craving more!

PARTNERS: Visit Frederick & Visit Montgomery

Pre-FAM Tour 4: D.C. Days & National Harbor Nights

Maryland provided the land for our nation’s capital and provides a great opportunity for guests to visit by day.  Then, stay the night at National Harbor, with four diamond accommodations and amazing Potomac River views, and see the area’s newest attractions.  During the day, explore what’s new in Washington, DC,  while you visit exciting and novel attractions, including:  Museum of the Bible, International Spy Museum, National  Museum of the United States Army, National Law Enforcement  Museum, National Museum of African American History  & Culture and Artechouse.  At night, unwind and celebrate magnificent Maryland evenings. A special event at TopGolf, a ride on the Capital Wheel, and dinner at one of National Harbor’s finest restaurants will have you wanting more.  Then, finish off your night by relaxing at the incredible Gaylord Resort National Harbor.  A great way to see all of the latest sites near our nation’s capital.

PARTNERS: Experience Prince George’s, Visit National Harbor & Mid Atlantic Receptive Services         

POST FAM TOURS

Wednesday, June 23 – Friday, June 25, 2021
Eligibility | All Registered Tour & Bus Operator Delegates
Cost | Included but Limited to First Come, First Registered

FAM Tour Brochure
FAM Registration Form

Post FAM Tour 5: From Beach to Bay-Taste of the Shore

Cross over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge for an adventure from shore to shore. From tranquil waterways and scenic farmlands, to a national seashore and a favorite beach, this tour will have you anticipating summer. Experiences focus on two of the shore’s staples – water and agriculture, mixing in the excitement of gaming and a glimpse of the wild ponies.  Receive a warm Eastern Shore welcome and an opportunity to explore the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, home to a variety of non-releasable birds of prey, and the Salisbury Zoo, the best little free zoo in North America.  Later, explore the world’s largest decoy collection at the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, and dine on locally produced craft beer and wine, Perdue chicken, fresh oysters and Smith Island Cake.  At the Assateague Island National Seashore, you’ll enjoy a drive through this barrier island park, known for its migrating wild horses and sandy beaches. Then, enjoy the amenities of a fourdiamond resort hotel with views of the Ocean City Boardwalk and Atlantic Ocean.  From lump crab cakes to oysters on the half shell, Maryland is known for its fresh and flavorful seafood. Here you’ll savor the delicious cuisine on Kent Island, the evolving food scene of Berlin and a sampling of local faves in Salisbury.

PARTNERS: Ocean City CVB/Tourism, Queen Anne’s County Tourism, Wicomico County Tourism, Worcester County Tourism

Post FAM Tour 6: Transportation West-National Road and the C&O Canal

Stretching 184.5 miles from Washington, DC to Cumberland, you’ll experience a portion of America’s first federally funded highway, established to broaden trade, improve communication and further the country’s expansion to the west. You’ll also learn about the new C&O Canal National Historic Park Visitor Center.  As you travel the Historic National Road Scenic Byway to Western Maryland, your guide will share stories of the byway and the various Main Street communities along the way.  You’ll explore the arts, breweries, world-class restaurants, and historic downtowns that grew from the Maryland towns situated along these two marvels of innovation.  You will see the National Road Museum, the Roads & Rails Museum and browse the shelves at Nora Roberts’ Turn the Page Bookstore. At the C&O Canal NHP, see the recently completed restoration project at the Cushwa Basin including the stabilization of the Conococheague Aqueduct. In season, visitors can ride boats across the aqueduct and through a working canal lock.  After two days and nights of the sights, sounds and tastes of these historic towns, you’ll be ready to plan a return trip.

PARTNERS: Visit Frederick, Visit Hagerstown & Star-Spangled Tours

ABA FOUNDATION AFTERGLOW

Monday, June 21, 2021
9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Eligibility | All Registered Delegates
$50 Advance Tickets/$60 Onsite

The annual ABA Foundation Afterglow is a fundraiser for the ABA Foundation and supports the motorcoach, travel and tourism industry through scholarships and research programs.  Join the fun and don’t miss one of the best parties of the week!

BUS WORLD NORTH AMERICA

Bus Operators interested Busworld North America must register separately.

All current ABA associate (product and services members) are eligible to exhibit at ABA’s Marketplace. The Marketplace Networking Floor is focused on travel and tourism products/services. Product and service members with a focus on the motorcoach industry should consider exhibiting at Busworld North America for greater access to motorcoach, transit, corporate and school bus Buyers.