I have lived in Annapolis, Maryland about 20 years and I think it’s one of the greatest places in the world. It has something for everyone – especially in summer. With Memorial Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to plan a trip to the Capital of Maryland.
Annapolis is geographically convenient for many modes of travel. It is easily driveable and is within a day trip drive of several states. You can fly into one of three airports – Baltimore-Washington International being the easiest and closest, followed by Reagan National and Dulles. You could also arrive by boat as Naptown (as we locals refer to Annapolis) is perfectly surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay.
Anyway you get here – just get here. The weather tends to be warm and sunny – prefect for a tour by water on Watermark Cruises or by pirate ship with Pirate Adventures of the Chesapeake. If you’ve always wanted to learn to sail, look no further than Annapolis Sailing School or J World. Or you can enjoy a free show of amazing color as jibs fly in the breeze during Wednesday night races.
The United States Naval Academy is a must-see. The visitor center offers a free mini-film about the academy that is quite good. You can walk around the Naval Academy “yard” as it is called as long as you have a valid ID. There are some good tours but I also recommend taking a long stroll along the sea wall – great for exercise and enjoying a view of the Chesapeake Bay/Severn River. There are also naval parades often which are open to the public. Don’t forget to see the crypt of John Paul Jones – the ‘father of our navy’.
City dock has much to offer with free outdoor concerts, delectable restaurants of all kinds and some good shopping. Don’t forget Maryland Avenue, an historic street with many places to enjoy.
In case you didn’t know, Annapolis was the Capital of the United States at one time and is where George Washington resigned his commission. You can enter the Maryland State House free of charge, just don’t forget a valid ID. It really is a beautiful building and in fact it is the oldest one in the country in continuous legislative use.
While you are there walk along the beautiful campus of St. John’s College – a tiny but beautiful institution founded in 1696 as King William’s School.
If you’re looking for nightlife there is Ram’s Head (one of my favorite places with a great happy hour and lovely garden) with famous headliners and so many good local artists at bars and restaurants around town. There are also outdoor concerts 5 days a week at beautiful venues like Quiet Waters Park and City Dock. The Friday night series at Annapolis Towne Center is one of my favorites!
If you like festivals you’re in luck! Annapolis is jam-packed with festivals and events. Just to name a few – First Sundays on West Street, Irish Festival at the Fairgrounds, Eastport-a-Rockin, (A GREAT) Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks, Maryland Avenue Festivals and so much more!
Throw in one of the best malls in the state; lots of museums; great parks; beaches; great hotels, B&B’s and houses in which to stay – and a proximity to Baltimore and Washington, DC – WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR IN A DESTINATION?