Perched upon Chesapeake Bay, Maryland's capital city, Annapolis, revolves around the city's rich maritime traditions. Home to the United States Naval Academy, the city docks are crammed with vessels of all shapes and sizes. The charming historic district's cobblestone streets with flickering gas lamps is lined with Colonial architecture which includes 18th-century brick row homes and the domed 1700s Maryland State House. With its historic sights, water adventures and great dining and shopping, Annapolis is worthy of more than a day trip.
1. THE ARCHITECTURE
Annapolis is home to the Maryland State House(the oldest in continuous use in the United States) and connected to one of the state’s most historic streets, Maryland Avenue. Trace the steps of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson while strolling the streets filled with colorful colonial architecture and make sure to visit the Hammond-Harwood House, which was built in 1773 and is known for having the “most beautiful doorway in America.”
2. THE MUSEUMS
Annapolis is home to multiple museums such as the Annapolis Maritime Museum, Chesapeake Children's Museum and Historic Annapolis Museum, but one of the most impressive is the world-class United States Naval Academy Museum. This hidden gem welcomes over 100,000 Naval history buffs a year, offering two floors of exhibits exemplifying a history of sea power and the development of the United States Navy.
3. THE COCKTAILS
After a day of exploring historic Annapolis on foot, head over to the fountain view patio at Carpaccio Tuscan Kitchen & Wine Bar to relax and enjoy an Aperol Spritz. Located near Westgate Circle, the bustling downtown hotspot has been "Voted Best of Annapolis" with good reason. Executive Chef Ernesto Ventura whips up Italian specialties such as Pappardelle Bolognese and local favorites like Vitello Annapolis with veal scallopini and creamy rosé sauce. As your tastebuds starts to tantalize, try the Fettuccine Mediterraneo prepared with fresh prawns, sea scallops and topped with jumbo lump crab meat.
4. THE ART
Looking for a little art while in town? Head to West Street and experience Annapolis’ thriving Arts District. Here, you’ll find dozens of art galleries, and music venues offering everything from painting classes, fine art for sale, and annual events. Locals love the Arts District because every first Sunday of the month, from May-November, the first block of West Street is closed down for the First Sunday Arts Festival. The Chocolate Binge Festival is another, uniquely Annapolis festival, packed with quirky events and of course, chocolate!
5. THE WATERFRONT
Simply relaxing at City Dock is a major reason why people visit Annapolis. In April catch the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, the largest in-water boat show in the world; be dazzled by massive pyrotechnic displays on New Year’s Eve or the Fourth of July; or pull up a chair and catch the St. Patrick's Day Parade in March.