Historic Hotels by the Sea

It’s hot in Baltimore. Fry-an-egg on the sidewalk, bake-cookies-in-your-car hot. The kind of hot where historic travel girl likes to sit in her office, and daydream about…the ocean. Or the Gulf. Or any body of water bigger than the water cooler right outside her door.So, this morning I thought I’d daydream about some of the best historic hotels I’ve visited on the water.

The Hotel Del Coronado (or Hotel Del, as the locals like to call it) was the inspiration for Oz in Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz series, and it is as magical and fanciful as the Emerald City (the residents are somewhat taller). Just looking at the red spires against the blue sky makes me feel like Marilyn Monroe…even if I don’t Like It Hot (hey, some do, some don’t). http://www.hoteldel.com/.

Congress Hall in Cape May is as stately as the Del is whimsical. With its seeming thousands of white columns lining its tall porches, Congress Hall makes me feel small, and my problems feel smaller. A nice lemondrop martini from their chic bar doesn’t hurt, either. http://www.congresshall.com/.

Because historic travel girl’s budget doesn’t always allow for the constantly dropping dollar, it’s nice to find a bit of European elegance in nearby British Columbia. The Fairmont Empress is refined without being snooty, and the view of the Inner Harbor is sparkling and perfect. Just like the mimosas at breakfast. www.fairmont.com/empress.

Gumbo tastes good, even on a hot day. And it tastes the best at the Hotel Galvez, right on the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston, Texas. Last time I stayed was Mardi Gras 2007, and I could watch the parade on Seawall right from my hotel room. If I had thought ahead, I could have ordered gumbo as well. The Galvez has a new spa this year…that might even trump the gumbo for me.

Sigh. Back to work.

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