December 1, 2013
In central Maryland, near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, lies a city full of history and maritime enjoyment and pride. Annapolis, Maryland, known as the “Sailing Capitol of the World,” offers a host of cultural activities, social events, and intellectual wonderment, and is the home of the U.S. Naval Academy. With warm, humid summers, mild winters, and a population of about 38,000, Annapolis is an ideal place to visit.
Consisting of three regions — Annapolis City, Annapolis Baltimore, and Annapolis Country — Annapolis has much to offer in terms of dining, lodging, and entertainment. The countryside offers the Chesapeake Bay shoreline and a chance to delve into American history. Annapolis-Baltimore hosts social entertainment at the Maryland Live Casino and shopping the Arundel Mills Mall. The city boasts of its waterfront, as well as the City Dock. Finding something to do in this maritime city is just a matter of preference.
Travelers wishing to get the full experience of the bay’s food will want to visit Mike’s Crab House. Located on the banks of the South River, this waterfront restaurant serves crab and other seafood in the Chesapeake Bay Tradition. Spacious and decently priced, Mike’s is the perfect place to enjoy seafood, while also enjoying the live music that the restaurant frequently offers.
For a more lively and fast-paced dining experience, head over to Ram’s Head Tavern. Styled after a historic English pub, this restaurant is an ideal place to enjoy happy hour. For those looking to be more relaxed, Rams’ Head also has fireside dining, as well as outdoor dining on a Wisteria covered brick patio. Ram’s Head is open 365 days a year.
All along the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis offers more than just your traditional hotels and motels. During the summer, families have the option to stay directly on the Chesapeake at Boat & Breakfast: Schooner Woodwind. The hotel/boat departs four times a day for two hour sails, including a sunset sail. Rooms are private and breakfast overlooking the harbor is provided.
For those who would rather stay in a standard hotel, there are many to be offered. The Annapolis Marriott Waterfront Hotel has all the amenities of a traditional hotel, while still offering the view of the beautiful harbor. Located directly on the water in the heart of downtown, this hotel is minutes away from local attractions and allows easy access to the water and all of its enjoyments.
Things to See and Do
Within the different regions, Annapolis provides a wide variety of activities and entertainments to keep you and your family busy during your visit. For history lovers, there is Capital City Colonials. Colonial-style dressed characters guide tourist throughout Annapolis, highlighting the history, architecture, and culture in the following locations:
• Annapolis Food & History Tour
• Historic District 101
• Women of Annapolis
• Washington’s Resignation
• The Jonas Green House
• The Sands’ House
• Colonial Gossip
• Grand Houses
Tours are offered to the general public, as well as group tours, church group tours, military history buff tours and un-tours.
Visiting with the kids? Then stop by Chesapeake’s Children Museum. Offering both indoor and outdoor activities, this is the perfect spot to bring children for a day of fun. Indoor activities include the Bay Window, which hosts live aquatic and land animal, as well as the Express Yourself visual art workspace. Also, indoors are the Everything Under the Sun NASA exhibit, Body Works human body replica, and the Center Stage impromptu musical and dramatic productions. On the outside, the museum offers a Nature Trail, Underground Railroad Trail, garden spaces and an outdoor classroom. The museum hosts several workshops and events throughout the year that may fill up quickly, so registrations are recommended.
Those who want to relax out alone or add some excitement to their trip will appreciate the SJ Koch Duffy Luxury Party Boat Rentals. With hourly or weekly rentals for a variety of boats, you have many options to explore, while acting as captain of your boat. Paddle boats and kayaks are for those wanting to tour the Naval Academy or just enjoy the waterways or regular boats for those who want to enjoy the night with friends. For added fun, stop off and enjoy the summer festivals offered on the dock every Sunday.
Photos courtesy of visitannapolis.org