Top 10 Attractions in Annapolis, MD

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Annapolis, MD, the sailing capital of the world, is one of my favorite cities and top five east destinations. I lived here for 4 years in my twenties and go back to visit a couple of times a year. Maryland’s State Capital is full of history, charm, and beautiful waterfront views.

Situated on the Chesapeake Bay and at the mouth of the Severn River, Annapolis is a mecca for waterfront activities. It is also ideally located 25 miles south of Baltimore and 30 miles North of Washington DC. It’s a walkable small city with an eclectic mix of traditional seafood restaurants (crab cakes anyone?!) and new fusion eateries. Nautical prep your thing? Then you’ll love all the shops and boutiques. Love history? The historic district is a goldmine of colonial architecture, historical buildings, and history tour.  Annapolis is a perfect fit for both young people and families. There’s enough of a night life to satisfy the younger crowd and accommodating activities for those with kids or older family members.

I pulled together a list of my top ten favorite attractions in Annapolis:

  annapolis-DOCK

(please note this is for the historic downtown area – there is much more to do outside the historic area and in the surrounding region. All of these spots are in walking distance from each other)

1. Tour the State House

maryland state house

The Maryland State house (1779) is the oldest state house that has been in continuous use and was the site of many important events during the Revolutionary War including George Washington’s resignation as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from the army, and the ratification of the Treaty of Paris.

2. Mexican Cafe

mexican cafe annapolis md

I know, odd that a Mexican Restaurant is my number 2 but believe me, go! Low key, budget friendly, great vegetarian options, and the best margaritas you will ever have.

3. Pusser’s

pussers annapolis md

Come for their famous Painkiller’s – the perfect water front drink. Stay for the Caribbean food, nautical history and the laid back atmosphere. The only true “dock bar” in town.

4. Go on a Guided Historic Tour

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photo courtesy of Annapolis Tours

The best way to learn all the fun facts about this old town is to take a guided walking tour. Various ones are offered, including ghost tours!

5. Joss Sushi

joss sushi

The best sushi in town. Charming atmosphere and great service.

6. Tour the Naval Academy

navy academy chapel

Very interesting for even non military buffs! Highlights include the USNA Chapel and John Paul Jones gravesite.

7. Chart House

annapolis water view

Yes, it’s a chain, but the views from this location are fabulous. Yes, the food is pricey, but the best seats are in the cozy bar with wall to wall windows. Stop in for an appetizer and a cocktail. Located across the waterfront in Eastport, it’s a nice walk across the bridge.

8. Red Red Wine Bar

Great selection of wine and beer, delectable cocktails, talented bar tenders and a chic setting.

9. Harry Brownes

A classy art deco themed restaurant and bar. Great Sunday brunch!

10. See Annapolis by water! Take a boat tour!

Annapolis boat ride

You are in the sailing capital of the world – get out on the water!

http://www.schoonerwoodwind.com/

http://cruisesonthebay.com/

Have you been? What are your favorites?

If you have any questions, just comment below!

xoxo Katie

Birthday Celebration in Annapolis

My husband, Ryan and I, have the unique fortune of having birthdays only days apart. He turned 29 on Friday while I turn 31 on Wednesday and you can bet we spent this weekend celebrating. We spent the weekend living it up in one of my favorite cities, Annapolis!

birthday fun in annapolis

A while back we decided to book a weekend getaway for our birthdays – something to look forward to during the long and bitter winter. Annapolis, MD was an easy choice. I lived in Annapolis from ages 22-26 and still feel like I’m at home when visiting. I took Ryan when we first started dating and he fell in love with the quaint town as well. We try to make a trip down a few times a year.

What’s great about going to the same town over and over? Since you’ve already seen it all, you can have no agenda and have fun just taking in all the sights, people watching, and enjoying all of your favorite hot spots.

This weekend we stayed in the charming Robert Johnson House (part of the Historic Inns of Annapolis).

Robert Johnson House Annapolis Lodging

The Inn dates back to 1773. Our street level room faced out to the Governor’s Mansion lawn and the State House. It was an ideal location and within blocks of all our favorite shops, bars, and restaurants not to mention the waterfront.

We kicked off the weekend at my number one favorite spot in Annapolis – Mexican Cafe!

Mexican Cafe Annapolis Margaritas

This may seem strange to some as it’s not a seafood restaurant or even that unique or trendy of a place, and the food is only so so, but you come for the margaritas! Oh the margaritas! They mix in a little everclear and it’s magic. I use to come here at least once a week – dangerous!

katie at mexican cafe margarita in annapolis

After our lunch we were primed to walk around the historic district. My favorite shop is Paws, a fun pet boutique. Fact: this is the only store that I buy Maggie’s collars from.

Paws dog and cat pet boutique annapolis md

The owners are so friendly and welcoming. You can tell just how passionate they are about dogs and cats. After stocking up on some collars we spent the next 2 hours milling about town, aweing at the architecture and gorgeous historical homes, people watching, and window shopping.

main street downtown annapolis

city dock annapolis

maryland state house

Next we headed into Chart House to share some Blue Crab Dip and some Manhattans at their waterfront bar. The sun was beginning to set and it was that perfect twilight hour. We were so cozy it was hard for us to leave. But we headed back to the Inn to shower and change for the evening.

katie waterfront annapolis md

katie and ryan annapolis md

sunset in annapolis chesapeake bay We spent the night bar hopping to other favorites. At the newer, Red Red Wine Bar we ran into a bachelorette party that invited us to partake in their bachelorette party card game (think a card deck with each card instructing you to do different activities like “pinch a guys butt” or “sing a song”) I never turn down a chance to play a game! We had a blast with the girls and a few other people we met at the bar. What always marvels me is the friendliness of the people we meet here. In our hometown it feels like everyone is set in their ways and not keen on meeting new friends, almost like they’re adverse to anyone new. We were having a blast and pretty soon it was past midnight.

katie and ryan birthday in annapolis Never one to want the night to end, I insisted we head over to Level for one last drink….and then I wanted to follow that up with pizza…apparently I was trying to convince myself I was still 21 and not turning 31.

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Sunday was complete with a nice brunch followed by a long chat sitting on a bench facing the water. I couldn’t think of a better way to welcome growing older.

city dock view annapolis md

It was hard going back to work – but I have more birthday fun to look forward to this week. Yay for weeklong celebrations!

Never been to Annapolis? On Thursday I’ll be back sharing my Top Ten Attractions in Annapolis, Md! 

xoxo Katie

 

Weekend Wrap Up 11.4.2013 Day at the Bay

We sadly said goodbye to the long days this weekend and ushered in colder weather and 5:00 p.m. sunsets. It’s that time of year to cozy up indoors under blankets. Friday night I had a wild and crazy night in, cooking and baking up a storm before settling down to catch up on our DVR.

On Saturday, Ryan and I celebrated one of the last warmer days with a day trip down to Havre de Grace , the most northern town on the Chesapeake Bay. This quaint port town marks the spot where the great Susquehanna River empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

Ryan and Katie Havre de Grace

It also coincidently was our 5 months wedding anniversary – and since we like to celebrate all special moments, big and small, we decided to toast to love!

We started with a little lunch complete with two martinis, Caramel Apple and Flirtini for me. They said “mini martinis”, you could get two for the price of one “regular” size one, but these were pretty large and hit the spot!

katie martnis

crabcake

fish tacos

After lunch we explored the town, and ventured around the waterfront. The fall foliage was simply beautiful set against the Bay. Havre de Grace is home to the Concord Point Lighthouse, built in 1827. The keepers house was so adorable. After enjoying the views, we sat outside on the waterfront for what I believe will be our last outdoor drink of the year. Cheers!

fall on the bay

katie fall

house

park

old bank

french bakery

steam boat

lighthouse

keepers house

sunset

ryan fall

sunset 2

house on hill

katie and ryan

lighthouse2

xoxo katie