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Old 05-12-2009, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
593 posts, read 2,243,702 times
Reputation: 301

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So I've been living in the DC area (Arlington, VA) for about 2 years now, and people are always telling me "oh, you've got to visit Annapolis!" So I am finally getting around to making the trip this Memorial Day weekend.

Can any locals/experienced Annapolis travelers share some tips on what to do + where to eat?

Here are a few details to give you an idea of my plans so far:
  • I am making the trip w/ my girlfriend - we're in our later 20's.

  • We are staying at the Loews Hotel in Annapolis - which I got for $99/night online...I was shocked to see a price like that

  • The hotel has valet parking, but imo that is a lousy way to spend $28/day. Is there any option for on-street parking near there...or should I just give in and park in the hotel garage?

  • We'll be there for 2 nights (arrive Sat A.M., leave Mon. A.M.), so I'm looking for 1 seafood restaurant (dying to try Maryland crabs for the first time ) and then a more simple (read: less pricey) local place for the other night.

  • Are there any public beaches that we could go to?

  • Know of any Memorial Day wknd events held in the town? (i.e. parades, etc.)

  • Any must-see things? Such as... "when you go to Annapolis, you just *have* to go to _______ restaurant / ______ boat tour.

  • And of course, any "insider tips" (I know, it's cliche) would be neat to know. Especially any links to websites w/ local events.


Many thanks, and if you ever have a question about things to do in Arlington/DC, come on down to the NoVA board and I'm always happy to help out
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:35 PM
 
1,054 posts, read 4,608,678 times
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Park in the garage. The street parking around there is somewhat limited.

As for places to eat, it varies. I like the seafood place Mikes in Riva which is about 5 miles from your hotel (Riva Road & the South River). Nothing fancy, just seafood in a basic crab place far enough away from the tourist crowd. Boaters dock and eat there and they have a pretty big menu of standard seafood. Cantlers is the 'famous' crab shack but imho it's been overrun with tourists (you can spend 20 minutes waiting for a parking space). I recently ate a place called 'The Boatyard' in the Eastport area of Annapolis (just over the bridge from City Dock). I thought it was pretty good.

Anyway, you need to go 'downtown' to the old part of Annapolis. You can walk from your hotel down West Street, around the church and then down Main Street heading toward the water (you'll see it from the Church). This part down here is where the bars and restaurants and stores are located. Lots of shops selling sailing gear (I like the Helly Hansen shop). You can pick up a water taxi or tour boat here, or just look out at the Bay. You can walk around the State Capitol building and see some of the funky stores on Maryland Avenue.

I'd recommend walking around the Naval Academy (note: you will need a picture ID for each person, like a drivers license). You can take the tour or do it yourself, be sure to see the Chapel (and underneath with John Paul Jones tomb), Bancroft Hall including the formal 'ball room' which is pretty neat, and maybe even Lejunne Hall where you can see Roger Staubach's Heisman trophy. They also have this huge pool inside with platforms where the mids have to jump off into the water in full 'flight gear' to simulate abandon ship procedures or a helo crash in the water. I also like walking around the big fields on the water side of Bancroft Hall, checking out the sailboat fleet and the views of the Bay.

As for Beaches, there is one at the base of the Bay Bridge called Sandy Point (I think that is the name). Not sure of any others.

If you want to see a bit of the town, drive out to an area called Bay Ridge and see some really amazing houses with stunning views of the Bay (Google map 'Bay Drive').

Have fun.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
593 posts, read 2,243,702 times
Reputation: 301
Penguin, thank you so much for taking the time to make those recommendations!

Awesome info, as I would expect from this place
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:48 PM
 
1,054 posts, read 4,608,678 times
Reputation: 358
My only other recommendation is to enter Annapolis on the Rowe Blvd entrance rather than Parole/450. Google Maps might put you on Parole/450/West Street, but it is stop and go and populated by fast food joints and strip malls. More enjoyable to come down to Rowe, exit toward the Capitol/Church Circle, and then turn on West Street heading back to your hotel. You'll see a few restaurants this way and it will also give you a chance to familiarize yourself with that bit of West Street (i.e. the bit you will be walking when you head to City Dock).

Have fun.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
593 posts, read 2,243,702 times
Reputation: 301
Just wanted to follow up with you all to say thanks for the great recommendations!

We did the Naval Academy tour, William Paca's house tour, and ate a whole lot of food

Ended up going to Cantler's and honestly I was surprised by how quick the service was. We got a table in 30 minutes, which is much faster than I would've expected for memorial day weekend.

Anyways, thanks again and I'm sure I'll be back - what a great town!
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