Top 8 Things to do in Annapolis, Maryland.
Lately, I have been obsessed with all the places the United States has to offer us. This beautiful country has one of the many worth-visiting destinations to go to (and no, I'm not talking about New York. Sex and the City already took care to show us everything). I'm taking about the surprising and never old-fashioned Annapolis, Maryland.
Known as "the Sailing Capital of the World," Annapolis is a dream for anyone who loves history or sailing. Although it would be impossible to list all the places you can visit in Annapolis, I've pulled together a list of the top 8 things you can do in this beautiful capital. Keep reading and don't forget to send me a postcard! (Or tag me on an Instagram post, do people still send postcards?)
1. Visit the U.S Naval Academy.
The U.S. Naval Academy is one of the most visited attractions in Annapolis by tourists for a reason. It's one of Annapolis' longest standing institutions that has been training officers for the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps since 1845. One of the first things I noticed when I visited Downtown Annapolis was how many midshipmen were walking around in their starched uniforms, so I had to visit the Naval Academy! I took one of their guided tours that provides an up-close glimpse of what life as a midshipman is really like and loved how breathtaking the campus was. I would also recommend checking out the "noon meal formation" and enjoying a concert by the Naval Academy band. You can't leave Annapolis without visiting this place!
2. Get out on the water.
Annapolis is surrounded by four rivers and more than 400 miles of shoreline, making the sailing community one of the most passionate in the nation. From stand-up paddleboarding to taking a sunset cruise, there are dozens of water activities that Annapolis offers. As a born and bred Californian, Annapolis felt like home! I would definitely recommend hopping aboard the Schooner Woodwind for a sail.
Have a free day in your itinerary? Enjoy an afternoon of yachts and cocktails at Ego Alley. This narrow channel is in the historic heart of Annapolis, where it connects with the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. You can spend your day watching the numerous boats around Ego Alley or if you prefer, go to the Marriott Waterfront Hotel and order one of their delicious cocktails. Or maybe two, no one will judge. You do you, girl.
3. Buy a boat at the United States Sailboat Show.
It's a special event where all the sailors around the world come together to exhibit the most beautiful boats that your eyes will see in the Annapolis Dock. And it's also an excellent opportunity to take a look at a boat if you've been wanting to treat yo'self since most of them are for sale.
4. Spend a relaxing afternoon at the Quiet Waters Park.
In this beautiful Annapolis park, you can rent kayaks, enjoy outdoor concerts, or just take a hike to relax with nature and some really gorgeous scenic views. This is the perfect way to spend the afternoon without spending a ton of money (like you would if you decided to impulsively buy a boat).
5. Get your history buff on at the Maryland State House.
If you have a passion for history, the Maryland State House is a place you must visit in the city. Annapolis was the former capital of the United States (before they named Washington D.C as the capital of the country), so this house was built in 1772 and is one of the oldest state houses in continuous legislative use that we can visit today.
The corridors of the Maryland State House are full of history and the state house offers tour guides that will take you through all the history and exhibitions. Side note: episodes of House of Cards have been filmed here!
6. Dive face first into the seafood.
One word: seafood. That on its own was enough to pull me in to visiting Annapolis, Maryland! A trip to this sailing city wouldn't be complete without a taste of the fresh, local seafood straight from the Chesapeake Bay.
For those looking for a more curated trip, visit the Annapolis Seafood Crawl and book a tour with a local guide so you can enjoy the best seafood places that Annapolis has to offer. Don't leave without tasting the local seafood, the crab pretzels (delicious btw!), and the fresh mussels in a broth that will leave you sucking your fingers. If your mouth is watering by just reading about these delicious dishes, imagine trying them!
7. Experience the Mission Scape Rooms.
Spend a fun afternoon with your group of friends, family or even just by yourself and experience this real-life escape game. Test your wit by trying to figure out the obstacles in order to escape in time from a closed room. This is undoubtedly a fun experience and is something fun to do in between the museums and tours.
8. Ride a bike to historical locations.
Annapolis has a rich and diverse history that surprises most people, myself included. While you're in the city, make sure to rent a bike and cycle your way around. There are ver 87 miles of trails and hundreds of miles of shoreline that span Annapolis, and walking to everything would leave you with some very tired legs.
I would highly recommend visiting the Maryland World War II Memorial - the memorial is a peaceful monument that's perfect for taking a breather and moment to yourself. Go ahead and unplug for an hour while you're there. The walk is on the bridge of the Naval Academy and the view towards the Academy and the bay is impressive.
Don't leave Annapolis until you take a tour of the William Paca Garden. The place is very close to the State House, and its gardens are beautifully maintained. If you have a great interest in history, you'll be delighted with the portraits of the family and all of the historical pieces.
Learn more about America's history at the Banneker-Douglas Museum. Say hello to the state’s official museum of African American heritage. This museum isn't big - however, it's full with lots of information and the access is totally free. They display information on the history of Maryland's Americans, from the slave trade to segregation. An important visit if you want to know more about the history of the country.
What would you recommend doing in Annapolis? Any sights that you visited that weren't listed here?