8 great things to do in Annapolis

Loews Annapolis stained glassMy wife and I were fortunate to be included in the #DCTravelBlogger group hosted by the Annapolis Visitor Bureau this past weekend. Our 24 hour visit included a stay at the luxurious Loews Annapolis, which featured this amazing stained glass window in our 5th floor lobby.
This list of 8 great things to do in Annapolis is my curated list as a result of several visits.

8 Great Things to Do in Annapolis

1. Water. Heck yeah, I can create a separate post of 8 Great Things to Do in Annapolis just on the water. Rent a kayak or SUP. Go fishing or crabbing. Take a boat tour on Harbor Queen. Ride on a classic schooner. Walk the plank and shoot water cannons from a pirate ship. Learn to sail at a sailing school. Ride the water taxi (only $3 across to Eastport, $8 maximum). Sail on a private sailboat (OK, you have to know someone). Swim. Water ski. Windsurf or kite surf. Eat, drink, sun bathe. Hmmm, maybe enough for two 8 great things to do in Annapolis on the water posts.Sailing on Chesapeake Bay from Annapolis
2. Navy. Speaking of water, there is also no denying that Annapolis is a Navy town. While the US Naval Academy is guarded, there are some public entrances and attractions. The easiest and most popular is probably the John Barry gate along Prince George Street near the City Dock area. Commodore Barry was the founder of the US Navy and there is a memorial to him just inside the gate. The nearby visitor center has a short film on the history of the US Navy and Naval Academy, poignant displays, and a gift shop. The Admissions Office is on the second deck (upstairs level) if you want to scare — I mean encourage — your children. Worship services and three dining options and are available to visitors. Public tours cost $10.50 per adult.
US Naval Academy, photo by USNAPrep.com
3. Sailing Hall of Fame. It certainly makes sense that America’s Sailing Capital hosts the National Sailing Hall of Fame. Personally, I like to visit Halls of Fame to be inspired by persons who excel at their passion.
4. Ice Cream. The only time I did not see at least several dozen people in line at the Annapolis Ice Cream Company was Sunday morning — before it opened. Walking around, I spotted several other ice cream shops. Did I try any? NO! Obviously I must return to Annapolis.Kilwins Ice Cream Annapolis
5. Irish Pubs. Our #DCTravelBlogger group was treated to lunch at Galway Bay Irish Pub and sampled their Irish egg nog — try it around the year-end holidays! Walking around town that afternoon and evening, I said, “there’s another Irish pub” more than I expected. I did not count but, while researching, found four other Irish pubs (and other non-Irish pubs) and one Irish store. Annapolis also hosts an Irish Festival in July.Galway Bay Annapolis egg nog
6. History. OK, did you know that Annapolis was the first Capital of the United States of America? For 9 months at the end of the American Revolution, Congress met at the Maryland State House and Annapolis is considered the first peacetime capital of the new nation. History oozes from every brick. Visit historic St. Anne’s Church — whose congregation included two Declaration of Independence signers and Francis Scott Key (he wrote the Star Spangled Banner), the cozy alleys, pre-Revolution taverns, and historic homes.Annapolis historic district marker
7. Winery. Visiting a winery in Annapolis was a pleasant surprise. Our wine flight tasting at Great Frogs was accompanied by local artisanal cheeses, fruit, and marcona almonds. The port wine was my favorite and is sold in cool one quart maple syrup glass containers. I cringed at the $50 bottle price but, you know what, I should have bought one. When I return for my ice cream adventure, I intend to buy a bottle. Save me one, Andrea (and say hello to my cousin, Finn!).Great Frogs wine tasting Annapolis
8. People Watching. Ego Alley, a narrow stretch of water off Spa Creek near the Annapolis City Dock, is among the places to see and be seen. In case it is not obvious, boaters and yacht owners show off their craft along Ego Alley, especially on brilliant weekend days. Pusser’s Caribbean Grille is a remarkable location (along Ego Alley) for a meal, snack, or drink. Walking around town, mainly along Main Street, on Saturday night and Sunday morning, we saw countless youngsters dressed in their finest white Naval uniforms. Almost all had “Class of 2019″ on their name tags, indicating that they are incoming freshmen. Good luck to the new midshipmen! Lots of action can be found near the Alex Haley and Kunte Kinte memorial at City Dock. When the crowd is heavy, at least two balloon men are making balloon animals for kiddies of all ages. Buskers (street performers) further congest the already crowded area.
Have you been to Annapolis, Maryland? What suggestions do you have for play, do, see, eat, and drink?

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