Side trips: Annapolis
Just 30 miles South of Baltimore, this historic state capital, situated on the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay, has wonderful restaurants and shops along Main Street, Maryland Avenue, and the City Dock (the harbor).
You MUST visit the United States Naval Academy (www.usna.edu) – it is open to the public from 9AM-5PM with picture ID (there is a free parking lot just as you enter; you cannot drive on the grounds). Visit the Academy Chapel with its famous copper dome and stained glass windows; the lower level of the Chapel also holds the remains of John Paul Jones. The campus is wonderful to walk through with lots of trees, wide walkways, and water views of the Severn River. On the bluff across the river from the Naval Academy (take the Old Severn River Bridge(also called the Academy Bridge) on Route 450), you will find a wonderful monument to the Maryland soldiers who died in WWII – well worth the visit!
Annapolis is also known for St. John’s College (across the street from the Naval Academy), which is known for its distinctive Great Books curriculum (www.sjca.edu/asp/home.aspx).
Some restaurants/music venues include Rams Head Tavern/Fordham Brewing Co. (33 West St), Galway Bay Irish Restaurant & Pub (63 Maryland Avenue), the Treaty of Paris Restaurant/King of France Tavern (58 State Circle - I’m told it has a great Sunday brunch), Aromi D’Italia Annapolis (8 Dock St), Carrol’s Creek Cafe (410 Severn Ave, Eastport – just a short walk from City Dock), Lemongrass (167 West St -Thai), and Les Folies Brassiere (2552 Riva Rd – French Regional Cuisine, need a car to get to)..
Some of the shops you will find are Annapolis Pottery, a working pottery (58 State Circle), Avoca Handweavers, Irish clothing & gifts (141 Main St. www.avoca.ie.), Paws Pet Boutique (64 State Circle, www.pawsannapolis.com), Plat du Jour, items for your home imported from Europe – owned by a former librarian (220 Main St – www.platdujour.net), and Stevens Hardware – here since 1880, it carries brassware and other gifts in addition to hardware items (142 Dock St.).
In case you decide to stay a day or two, Annapolis has many bed & breakfasts, many in historic homes. Here are a few:
Annapolis Inn, 144 Prince George St., www.annapolisinn.com
Annapolis Royal Folly, 65 College Ave, www.royalfolly.com
Ark & Dove Bed & Breakfast, 149 Prince George St.
Scotlaur Inn, 165 Main St. (Located above the Chick & Ruth’s Delly) www.chickandruths.com
You may wish to take advantage of some boat or land tours as well – here are some to consider:
Spa Creek Tour (40 minutes) tours the residential areas of Old Annapolis and along the banks of the Naval Academy. Cost $10.00
Annapolis Harbor and Naval Academy Tour (40 minutes) tours the historic Annapolis harbor, the banks of the Naval Academy and the scenic Severn River/Bay Bridge. Cost $10.00.
Scenic Severn River Cruise (90 minutes) takes you on a 6-mile cruise along the Severn River. Cost $18.00.
Chesapeake Bay Bridges Cruise (90 minutes) gives you a breathtaking panoramic view of the Chesapeake Bay bridges that link Maryland’s Eastern and Western shores.
Thomas Point Lighthouse Cruise (90 minutes) takes you out to this lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay; it is a National Historic Landmark, built in 1875. Cost $18.00.
WEBSITE for above tours: www.watermarkcruises.com.
Discover Annapolis tour (1 hour) is a trolley tour that takes you through the charming streets of Old Annapolis. You will see colonial and Victorian mansions, sailboats, the State House, the City Dock, the Naval Academy and more! Cost is $15.00. If you happen to be a resident of Anne Arundel County, show your ID and the tour is FREE!
WEBSITE for this tour: www.discover-annapolis.com/publictours/index.html.
Are you interested in an archeological dig? If so, you should head to Historic London Town. This active dig, historic homes and 8 acre woodland garden is located in Edgewater MD just 15 minutes south of downtown Annapolis; there is also a gorgeous water view of the South River. Cost is $7.00, or $4.00 for just the house or garden tour.
www.marylandave.com (shopping and restaurants on Maryland Avenue)
Now you ask, how do I get to Annapolis from Baltimore?
Take I95 South to I695 (Baltimore Beltway) to Exit 4 (I97-S). I97 ends at State Route 50 – take Route 50 EAST to Exit 24 (Rowe Blvd), turn RIGHT and follow the signs.
updated for formatting - ckp