First-Timer’s Guide to Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, MD View All ItinerariesNever been to Annapolis before? You’re in for a treat! America’s Sailing Capital welcomes you with open arms and a host of possibilities. So much to do, so little time, so let’s get started! Annapolis City Dock at Sunrise Day 1 Welcome to Annapolis! If you’ve driven into town, park your car at Gotts Court Garage. It’s right behind the 26 West Street Visitors Center. Be sure to stop in and talk with our information specialists. They’ll provide you with maps and information for your journey. Just Add Water To get your feet wet – literally – head to City Dock. It’s the heart and soul of Annapolis, a place to see and be seen. It’s also your gateway to North America’s largest estuary – the Chesapeake Bay! Hop aboard the Harbor Queen for a 40-minute cruise, complete with a narrated overview of the Annapolis Harbor and the U.S. Naval Academy. Food for the Journey Chances are the Chesapeake Bay breezes have stirred up your appetite! If so, you’re in the perfect spot to remedy the situation! Turn in any direction at City Dock and you’ll find great restaurants to choose from. From soul food at Iron Rooster, to oysters on the half shell at McGarvey’s, to oyster shooters at Middleton’s Tavern, to outside dining with your dog at Federal House (complete with a pet menu), City Dock offers a smorgasbord of dining options to satisfy even the heartiest of appetites. If you’re not sure where to begin, head to the Annapolis Market House and order at the counter. Then, find yourself a favorite seat among the high-top communal tables to enjoy your lunch, mingle with the locals and meet new friends. U.S. Naval Academy No visit to Annapolis is complete without a tour of the U.S. Naval Academy. From City Dock, it’s a quick walk to Gate 1 of the U.S. Naval Academy for a tour of the “Yard.” Tours depart from the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center seven days a week. If you’re 16 or older, you’ll need to present government issued photo Identification. If you’re visiting from another country, your passport will do the trick. While on the Yard, you’ll visit the third largest dormitory in the world, see the crypt of Revolutionary War-era naval hero John Paul Jones, and visit Memorial Hall where men and women who have given their lives in defense of our nation are honored. The Naval Academy chapel is steeped in history. A piece of that history will be changing soon with the replacement of the chapel dome. The green patina dome that graces Annapolis’ skyline is being swapped out for a new red copper-colored dome. It will take twenty years for Mother Nature to transform the red into the green patina that’s been the subject of many a picture and painting for more than 100 years. Perhaps the biggest attraction at the Naval Academy is the midshipmen themselves! When the formal tour is through, stick around to visit the Naval Academy Museum, home of the famous Gallery of Ships, home to one of the world’s finest collections of warship models from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The Rogers Ship Model Collection is another not-to-be missed display. It includes 108 ship and boat models of the sailing ship era dating from 1650 to 1850. Dining Chesapeake Style You’ve put in a pretty full day! How does a relaxing dinner sound? Restaurants serving up nature’s bounty dot the more than 500 miles of shoreline that weaves its way throughout Annapolis and the surrounding countryside. Dozens of restaurants offering international cuisine and the best of the Chesapeake Bay’s bounty await you in settings from the simple to the sublime. Good Night! Whether you’re in the mood for a bed and breakfast, a historic inn, or a modern luxury hotel, it’s easy to find just what you’re looking for in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Sleep well. A full day awaits you tomorrow! Day 2 Morning Don your sneakers early and hit the brick-lined streets of historic downtown Annapolis. Feeling patriotic? Head to Chick & Ruth’s Delly and join in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance (8:30 a.m. on weekdays and 9:30 a.m. on weekends). Love fresh baked goodness? Head to Baker’s & Co. In the mood for no frills casual? Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge serves up a hearty breakfast in an eclectic setting. Looking for a good cup of coffee? Where to begin? There are so many wonderful options! Tour Annapolis If you want to learn about all there is to do and see in Annapolis, a Discover Annapolis Trolley Tour is a great way to begin! Prefer to walk? Colonial Tours of Annapolis and Watermark’s Four Centuries Tours of Annapolis guides can show your around town Colonial style. If you prefer, take a customized tour aboard an Annapolis Urban EvenTours electric eCruiser. Tours begin at the 26 West Street Visitors Center. Maryland State House When your overview tour is through, you might want to take a self-guided tour of the oldest State House in continuous legislative use in the nation. The Maryland State House is also the only State House that has also served as our nation’s Capitol. That’s right! Annapolis was our nation’s first peacetime capital! The Continental Congress met in the Old Senate Chamber from November 26, 1783 to August 13, 1784. During that time, George Washington came before the Continental Congress and resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the Treaty of Paris was ratified, officially ending the Revolutionary War. Afternoon You got a taste of City Dock yesterday. Today, it’s time to dive deeper into Annapolis’ maritime past – and present – with a trip to the Maritime Republic of Eastport! You can walk there or board a water taxi at City Dock and take a five-minute ride across Spa Creek (aka the Gulf of Eastport!) and find yourself in a whole new world! A host of yellow Maritime Republic of Eastport flags will welcome you. Technically, you’re still in Annapolis, but don’t try to tell Easport residents that. They seceded from Annapolis on Super Bowl Sunday 1998, and they’re not going back! Your water taxi will drop you off at Restaurant Row just in time to grab lunch at a waterfront restaurant (Carrol’s Creek), a favorite Eastport dive (Davis’ Pub), one of the top twelve sailing bars in the world (Boatyard Bar & Grill). Enjoy rooftop dining at Blackwall Hitch or stroll along Severn Avenue and choose from among a host of other dining options. Annapolis Maritime Museum You’re in the Maritime Republic of Eastport “zone” now. So, stay with it and take a short garden-filled walk to the Annapolis Maritime Museum. You’ll be glad you did! Full of personality, the museum is in the old McNasby oyster packing plant. Not surprisingly, you’ll learn about oyster harvesting on the Chesapeake Bay then and now. You’ll also learn what you can do to help improve the quality of the Chesapeake Bay. But there’s more! The expansive pier provides a spectacular view of the Bay in all its glory. If you visit in the summer, you’ll want to return on a Thursday night for the museum’s Tides and Tunes summer concert series – laid back, locals driven, music and food and fun with the Chesapeake Bay as a breathtaking backdrop! Schooner Woodwind By now, you’re wishing you had planned to visit Annapolis for an entire week! There’s so much you want to do – and getting out on the water again is at the top of your list! How about a two-hour sailing cruise aboard a 74’ wooden schooner that was featured in the movie, The Wedding Crashers? You can do it! Just walk back into downtown Annapolis or take the water taxi to the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel. There, you’ll board the Schooner Woodwind for a public sail that will bring you back in time for a leisurely dinner. Day 3 Wake up sleepy head! You have places to go and things to do before you head back home with a host of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County memories! Morning You’ve spent the last two days strolling along the brick-lined streets of our “Museum without Walls.” After breakfast, we invite you to set foot inside two of the attractions that help chronicle the history of the Old Line State. Banneker-Douglass Museum Located in the former Mt. Moriah African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Banneker-Douglass Museum is Maryland’s official museum of African American heritage. With over 12,000 items in its collection, the museum documents, interprets and promotes African American history and culture – particularly in Maryland. Its permanent exhibit, Deep Roots, Rising Waters, documents African American history in Maryland from 1633 to the present day. You’ll learn how Frederick Douglass, Benjamin Banneker, Harriett Tubman, Matthew Henson and other Maryland-based African Americans have made lasting changes for all Americans. William Paca House and Garden Now that you’re familiar with the significant contributions African Americans from Maryland have made to our nation, you may want to learn about Marylanders who helped birth a nation. A tour of the home of Declaration of Independence signer William Paca is an excellent place to begin. Located just a short walk from the Banneker-Douglass Museum, the 1763 Georgian Mansion with its reconstructed two-acre 18th-century pleasure garden provides an insight into the life and times of colonial America. Afternoon You can’t leave empty handed! Before heading home, be sure to check out some of the one-of-a-kind shops and galleries along Main and West Streets, State Circle and Maryland Avenue. If you have the time, the shops of West Annapolis are a 20-minute walk from downtown Annapolis. Westfield Annapolis Mall and the Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole are a short car drive away. Safe Journey Home! We look forward to seeing you again soon!