Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What to do and see in Annapolis

Not to get caught up in the 'Sailing Capital of the U.S.' debate, here is what the marketeers for Annapolis want us to know about their city:

Ten Things to Do and See in Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay

Annapolis, Maryland—School is out, and families are making plans for summer fun. To help streamline the planning process, the Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau (AAACCVB) has developed a list of Ten Things to Do and Ten Things to See in Annapolis and along the Chesapeake Bay. For a more complete listing of summer events and activities as well as places to dine, shop, and stay, individuals are invited to visit the AAACCVB's website or stop by the 26 West Street Visitors Center in Annapolis.

Ten Things to Do

Tour the U.S. Naval Academy – No visit to Annapolis is complete without a visit to the U.S. Naval Academy. Home of the 4,000-strong brigade of midshipmen, the Naval Academy is the training ground for officers of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Don’t miss the newly renovated chapel and its massive pipe organ. The Naval Academy Museum features more than 50,000 artifacts and is home to the famous Gallery of Ships. On weekdays during the academic year, be sure to catch the midshipmen in noon formation. Guided tours of the USNA begin at the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center. 410-293-8687.

Get Out on the Water – Want to get out on the water but don’t know wwhere to begin? The professionals at our world-class sailing and powerboat schools can get you started. If relaxing is at the top of your list, enjoy a two-hour cruise aboard a 74-foot schooner, charter a boat for the day, or unwind on a boat and breakfast getaway. If fishing floats your boat, charter with a seasoned captain or strike out on your own. Or, take a different tack and explore the bay by canoe or kayak. 410-280-0445.

Pledge of Allegiance at Chick & Ruth's Delly – The home of the largest milkkshakes in the world and the three-pound Super Duper Colossal Burger is also a major seat of patriotism in Annapolis. Every weekday morning at 8:30 a.m. and weekends at 9:30 a.m., owner Ted Levitt invites his patrons to get their day off to a bright start by joining him in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. If you play your cards right, the master of magic might even do a personalized magic show at your table. 410-269-6737.

Ride an eCruiser – Electric-powered eCruisers are bbecoming a frequent sight on the streets of Historic Annapolis and Eastport. The six-passenger, environmentally-friendly vehicles provide complimentary transportation to riders who flag them down for a quick and easy ride to attractions and restaurants. 443-497-4769.

Take a Water Taxi – While Annapolis iis a walkable city, sometimes the quickest way to get from point A to point B in America's Sailing Capital is to hop aboard a water taxi. Use one to get from City Dock to Eastport for an enjoyable meal along Restaurant Row or drop anchor across from the Naval Academy and phone a water taxi to bring you into town. They are a quick, relaxing, and affordable way to work the water into a busy itinerary. 410-263-0033.

Ride a Duffy Electric Boat – Enjoy a fun, eenvironmentally-friendly afternoon on the water with your friends when you rent a ten-passenger Duffy electric boat. Board your climate-controlled, 22' Duffy at the Chart House Restaurant pier at 300 Second Street in Eastport. You can charter the boat with or without a captain for an entire day or as little as an hour. No boating experience is necessary. 443-433-2129.

Test Drive an Electric Bike – “If you want to cycle throughout the Historic District without breaking a sweat, hop aboard a Green Pedals electric bike. Equipped with high efficiency electric motors, the state-of-the-art vehicles deliver all the fun of standard bikes, but they require only as much effort as you want to put into your ride. The bikes are typically rented for a two-hour period. 410-280-5005.

Feast on Steamed Crabs – Restauraants serving up nature's bounty dot the more than 400 miles of shoreline that weave their way throughout Anne Arundel County. Favorites like Mike's Restaurant and Crab House, Cantler's Riverside Inn, Skipper's Pier, and others help contribute to the claim that some 3.9 million crabs are cracked here each year. The Annapolis Rotary Crab Feast held at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium the first Friday in August each year is recognized as the largest crab feast in the world. 410-280-0445.

Take the Roots and Tides Driving Tour – Today, as in the past, the rhythm of life in Southern Anne Arundel County moves to the tides and the seasons. Maritime villages such as Deale, Galesville, and Mayo invite you to escape to a simpler time. Experience the life of a 19th-century waterman at the Captain Salem Avery House Museum in Shady Side. Enjoy the quiet of Galesville's Quaker Burying Ground before wandering past Victorian houses on Main Street to the Heritage Museum. Historic London Town and Gardens in Edgewater continues to unearth the past at the largest ongoing archaeological dig in Maryland. The Roots and Tides trail will help you trace southern Maryland's history as you drive along picturesque roads past the carefully preserved homes of our nation's early settlers. 410-222-1805.

Enjoy a Free Concert or Festival – If you're here onn a weekend, be sure and catch our Summer at City Dock performances that bring street performers and musicians to Annapolis' waterfront every Sunday from noon until 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays on holiday weekends. Every First Sunday of the month from May through October, a First Sunday Arts Festival takes place on the first block of West Street from Church Circle to Calvert Street. During the noon to 5:00 p.m. celebrations, craft vendors, artists, musical acts and street performers gather to celebrate the arts. This year's First Sunday offerings also include open swing dance lessons. Summer at City Dock: 410-268-1636. First Sunday Arts Festival: 410-741-3267.

Ten Things to See

Wednesday Night Sailboat Races – Looking for an exccuse for a mid-week escape from the office? How about the Wednesday Night Sailing Races in Annapolis? More than 130 sailboats slice through shimmering waters, their colorful, wind-filled spinnakers backlit against a golden sky. After racing around several marks in the Chesapeake Bay, they return to Spa Creek for a finish in front of the Annapolis Yacht Club. Races begin the final Wednesday in April and run through the second Wednesday in September. The first gun is at 6:05 p.m. 410-263-9270.

Annapolis Maritime Museum – Since April, 2010, the Annapolis Maritime Museum hhas been hosting a new permanent exhibit, Oysters on the Half Shell. The highly interactive display highlights the natural history of the oyster and demonstrates why it is so important to the health of the Chesapeake Bay. It also captures the cultural history of the hard-working people who harvested, shucked, packed, and shipped oysters from the McNasby Oyster Company. Key elements include a 1,000 gallon aquarium with a living oyster reef and the many critters that thrive in that habitat; a touch tank; a large-scale oyster that opens up to show all the anatomically correct body parts; an exhibit of the skimming and processing equipment; and recreated shucking tables. Sections of the workboat, Miss Lonesome, are being used to demonstrate how wooden boats such as this were built and used. 410-295-0104.

Maryland State House – Annapolis iss home to the oldest State House in continuous legislative use in the nation. It is also the only state house in the country that also served as the nation's capitol. The Continental Congress met in the Old Senate Chamber from November 26, 1783 to August 13, 1784. During this time, George Washington came before Congress to resign his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the Treaty of Paris was ratified, marking the official end of the Revolutionary War. 410-974-3400.

Historical Electronics Museum –“ For an offbeat and off-the beaten-path excursion, try the Historical Electronics Museum. You will learn about TVs, radios, cell phones, and see a working original Edison cylinder phonograph. The museum houses the first American radar system ever built, a lunar camera like the one used to photograph Neil Armstrong's moon landing, and the SCR-584 – a giant radar unit that visitors can enter and explore. 410-765-0230.

National Cryptologic Museum – Take a peek at tthe world of secret codes at the National Cryptologic Museum located next to the National Security Agency in western Anne Arundel County. Learn of some of our nation's World War II cryptological triumphs as you peek behind the curtain and trace the development of cryptology from the 1500s to the present day. 301-688-5849.

William Paca Garden – The two-acre, reconstructed 18thh-century pleasure garden is an oasis in the heart of Annapolis. Located behind the National Historic Landmark home of Declaration of Independence signer William Paca, the garden is the only one of its kind in Maryland. 410-267-8146.

Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse – Get an up close and personal look at the last screwpile lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay still in its original location when you take a tour of the National Historic Landmark Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. A boat that departs from the Annapolis Maritime Museum takes you on a one-and-a-half mile journey to the 1875 lighthouse at the mouth of the South River. Once there, you can climb up into the lighthouse for a docent-led tour. Remaining tour dates for 2010 are Saturday, July 31, and Sundays, July 11, and August 15. The tours depart at 9:00 a.m., noon, and 3:00 p.m. Reservations are required. 410-295-0104.

Ego Alley – No visit to America's Sailing Capital is coomplete without a visit to City Dock and the Annapolis Harbor. Fondly known as Ego Alley, it is here that boats of all sizes strut their stuff before an admiring public. Grab a seat at a dockside eatery, catch an outdoor concert, or pick up a gelato and stroll along City Dock for a people- and boat-watching experience extraordinaire.

Most Beautiful Doorway in America – Annapoliis is home to more 18th-century brick buildings than any other city in the nation. The great five-part Georgian mansions are the crowning architectural jewel in a city that embraces three-and-a-half centuries of architecture. Built by English architect William Buckland in 1774, the Hammond-Harwood House at 19 Maryland Avenue boasts the Most Beautiful Doorway in America. 410-263-4683.

Woodland Garden at Historic London Town & Gardens – Modeled after the Windsor Greaat Park in Great Britain, the eight-acre woodland garden features a mile-long path through a variety of garden settings, including a holly grove, dry stream, spring bay, Hosta garden, winter walk, Camellia collection, wildflower walk, Azalea glade, and dell. A wide variety of hollies makes the walk a beautiful place to explore even in the heart of winter. 410-222-1919.

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At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or you can forget about all that. There's really nothing to see here, so move along, move along, nothing to see. Go away, tourists.


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