Optional Activities

Your registration fee is inclusive of many activities.  However, there are several optional activities that are available first come-first registered or fundraisers which require a separate registration.  You may purchase tickets in your Marketplace Passport or with Marketplace registration.

SIGHTSEEING TOURS

Saturday, January 30, 2021
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Registration to open on September 23.

Sightseeing Tour 1: Pirates and Patriots

Discover why Baltimore was once considered a “nest of pirates” and how a group of patriots won 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.” At Fort McHenry take part in a flag ceremony. Drive past other sites that were part of the history like Hampstead Hill and Federal Hill and walk around Fell’s Point where the famous Baltimore 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 Holiday, Carmelo Anthony and Thurgood Marshall, Baltimore has a rich African American Heritage. Tour the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, take a tour of Fell’s 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 Phillips 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: Holy Cannoli: The Spiritual Side of Baltimore

Honor the spiritual side of Baltimore, birthplace of American Catholicism and home to the state’s third oldest synagogue. Tour the Lloyd Street Synagogue and the Jewish Museum, just a few blocks from Baltimore’s Little Italy, where you can enjoy coffee and cannoli at Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop, a Baltimore institution for more than 60 years. Next explore the Baltimore Basilica, the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in America, then visit St. Mary’s Spiritual Center and end with a delicious deli lunch locally.

Sightseeing Tour 6: Oh, Say Can You See!

Travel back in time to 1814 when Baltimoreans were defending the city against the British, fighting to keep their freedom. See the historic battle through the eyes of Francis Scott Key, starting at the top of Federal Hill where smoke could be seen rising from Washington D.C., to the Star Spangled Banner House where the flag was being stitched, then to Fort McHenry National Monument where the bombs burst in air and over the ramparts he watched, inspiring the Star-Spangled Banner poem which would become our national anthem. At the Maryland Historical Society, see the original manuscript of the poem and enjoy lunch at a nearby local restaurant.

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

Learn what steps Baltimore is taking to make the Inner Harbor more 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 the water quality. Then enjoy a special group tour of the National Aquarium followed by lunch.  

Sightseeing Tour 8: Play Ball!

Calling all baseball fans. Baltimore is home to baseball legends Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken, Jr., and is home to the Baltimore Orioles professional baseball team. Take a behind the scenes tour of Camden Yards, one of the country’s most beautiful ballparks, tour the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in the home he grew up in 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.  

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 on site.  

Sightseeing Tour 11: Power, Passion, Prohibition and Jazz

The neighborhood of Mount Vernon is where the powerbrokers of the early 20th century lived and partied. Explore the haunts of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. See the Eubie Blake Cultural Center to learn about Baltimore’s jazz history. Visit the visually stunning Peabody Library, see Baltimore’s largest townhouse–the Engineers Club–and the Walters Art Museum before enjoying lunch locally.

Sightseeing Tour 12: Annapolis By Land and “Sea”

Immerse yourself in the history of Annapolis, Maryland’s state capital and the former capital of our country. Tour the interior of the Maryland State House with 1700’s perioddressed guides. George Washington awaits with his resignation speech as you tour the oldest capital in continuous use. Then ride a coach though the streets as you see prominent homes, historic architecture and a WWII Memorial scenic overlook. Next a walking tour of the United States Naval Academy takes you out to “sea” as you visit the chapel and crypt of John Paul Jones and feel the history and splendor of one of the nation’s elite service academies. Enjoy a boxed lunch on the bus for your ride back to Baltimore.  

Sightseeing Tour 13: Food for Thought in Frederick

Frederick, a quaint town just outside Baltimore, has become a favorite for foodies and is the home of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Enjoy a brief tour of the museum followed by time to explore the food shops along Market Street. Walk along beautiful Carroll Creek, then enjoy an early lunch before the ride home.

PRE-FAM TOURS

Wednesday, January 27 – Friday, January 29, 2021
Eligibility | All Registered Tour & Bus Operator Delegates
Cost | Included but Limited to First Come, First Registered

FAM Downloadable Brochure

FAM Downloadable 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 Flying Dog Brewery, Maryland’s largest craft brewery.  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, February 3 – Friday, February 5, 2021
Eligibility | All Registered Tour & Bus Operator Delegates
Cost | Included but Limited to First Come, First Registered

FAM Downloadable Brochure

FAM Downloadable 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

Post FAM Tour 7: Stagecoach to Motorcoach-Traveling the Old Post Road

This tour will take you from the Upper Chesapeake Bay to the Brandywine Valley. You’ll travel through the ages of our region, from historic mills, charming small towns and manor homes to modern day destinations. This tri-county region was a bustling transportation route during the colonial era and beyond. Wares and travelers arrived at and departed from our ports then traveled along our dusty roads.  Begin your journey along the Old Post Road, where stagecoaches once transported travelers to and from their destinations.  Explore historic waterfront towns, such as Havre de Grace, the Decoy Capital of the World, where you’ll see the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum and the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum. In the Town of North East, experience shops filled with gifts, fashion, antiques, and specialty foods surrounded by award-winning local restaurants along a friendly main street.  Step back in time at Hagley Museum and Library, the historic DuPont Company’s impressive black powder complex and the first DuPont family home, gardens and office in the United States. Next, see the colonial capital of Delaware in New Castle. This captivating town founded in 1651 is steeped in history.  Along the way, enjoy delicious regional dining, including a crab feast, colonial fare, and more during your Old Post Road adventure. Try your luck at Hollywood Casino, visit Fair Hill International, and see Chesapeake City, a 19th century village along the banks of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.  Even our country’s founding fathers often rode their steeds along our Old Post Road. Today, our shared transportation route is I-95, offering easy access to our fabulous regional attractions.

PARTNERS: Cecil County Tourism, Visit Harford and the Greater Wilmington CVB

ABA FOUNDATION AFTERGLOW

Monday, February 1, 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.