An Annapolis Race-cation
Summer time in Annapolis is an amazing time to visit – between it’s title as the Sailing Capital of the world, to the amenities that it’s bay-side location has to offer – Annapolis is surely a place you’ll want to stay for an extra day or two pre or post-ZOOMA.
Having lived here for almost four years now, I’m constantly talking up my adopted hometown, and while I “get” that Annapolis is close to DC – everyone I know always comes to go to DC and never for Annapolis. It’s alway just “day trip” material. Not so my friends. I lived in DC, and I get it – all the monuments, and touristy get ups, but stick around Annapolis and you’re sure to fall in love with our Historic, waterfront community.
Here’s my list of favorite places to take out of town family, my favorite go-to eateries, and some pretty great shopping joints. If you’re running Zooma in May, stay for an extra day or two, enjoy our town and maybe, just maybe, pop into DC for an afternoon if you have time.
Where to go/What to see
Take a Water Cruise
The most touristy “to do” Annapolis bucket list item but necessary. These cruises are anywhere from 40-90 minutes around the Chesapeake Bay, Spa Creek, and the Naval Academy – learn about the history and see the scenic Annapolis shoreline on one of these fun cruises.
Tour the Naval Academy
Annapolis is home to the United States Naval Academy where officers are trained. Historically, the Naval Academy is home of Revolutionary War naval hero John Paul Jones’ crypt. You can visit the Naval Academy Museum with exhibits on naval history, take a guided tour, or grab lunch and see the parade at noon. Visitors should enter at Gate 1 off Randall Street and bring a government issued ID to access the Yard.
Maryland State House
Walk around State Circle, and take a self guided tour through the oldest State Capital in the nation. Not to mention, the Maryland state house was the first peacetime Capital of the United States. See, you don’t need to go into DC to see the Capitol, you can see the original!
Catch a game at Camden Yards
Just a short trip up Interstate 97 to Baltimore, lies the home of the Baltimore Orioles – Camden Yards. Lauded as one of the more beautiful ballparks in the US, grab some pit beef, a Natty Boh (a Baltimore-based brew) and wear your orange and black and root, root, root for the home team.
Where to eat
West @ the Loew’s
The host hotel of ZOOMA, West Kitchen and Tavern is home to an amazing happy hour and some amazing, local and seasonal share plates. Try the oysters, the fried green tomatoes and ask about the seasonal pizza.
Vin 909 is by far my favorite place in town. They’re known as a wine bar, but don’t be fooled. They have seasonal, and local fare and a pretty great craft beer menu. It’s a hidden gem, located on Bay Ridge Avenue in Eastport a little off the beaten path. Share an appetizer and a pizza, I’d make a recommendation but I can’t choose just one (also the menu changes so frequently, it probably wouldn’t be the same as the last time I went!)
The Point Crab House
If you’ve got a car – heck, take a cab – to this way off the beaten path crab house located on the Magothy River in Arnold, MD. Located next to a marina and behind a residential neighborhood, this joint is ripe with outdoor seating. Share a bucket of crabs – after all, that’s what Maryland is known for and sip on an orange crush. You’ll never want to leave. Not into crabs? That’s cool – try the pulled pork tacos.
Where to shop
Annapolis Towne Centre
Located in Parole, a short 5-10 minute drive from downtown Annapolis, the Towne Centre is a shopping hub in Annapolis with high end shops like Lululemon and Anthropologie, you can also grab some travel essentials that might have been forgotten at Target or grab a meal from the beloved hot food bar at Whole Foods. Be sure to stop in at Bin 201 the local wine store in the Towne Centre for the friendly and knowledgeable staff who always offer a tasting to whatever they have open.
Village of West Annapolis
West Annapolis is one of my favorite places in Annapolis. I know them best for the amazing street festivals they put on (Cinco de Mayo, Oktoberfest..) but there are some great boutiques hidden in this tiny neighborhood. Check out One Petticoat Lane – a high end consignment shop, and grab a margarita at the Mexican Cafe!
Main Street Annapolis
Lined with dozens of kitschy boutiques, and locally owned restaurants – hit up Lilac Bijoux or Lulu’s for statement and unique jewelry pieces, or hit up the Sperry store or Pink Crab is you’re looking for a preppier look.
Our little town has so much to offer – both inside the city limits and surrounding areas – stick around and take in all of the tastes and sights that Annapolis has to offer!
Heidi is a professional marketer and writer, volunteer coach and runner. After a collegiate hiatus from her high school running days, Heidi dusted off her sneaker when she signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon in 2007 for relief from cubicle instigated claustrophobia. Amid her training on the streets of DC and later Annapolis, she began the blog Life in Pink as a way to chronicle her quest for balance and a healthy lifestyle. Now, her journey to a happy and healthy lifestyle has the challenges of parenting. When she’s not training, you can find her volunteering with Junior League, coaching for Girls on the Run or enjoying the simple pleasures of life with her husband and son around Annapolis.