Monday, September 13, 2010

Annapolis, Maryland Guide

Over the Labor Day weekend I had a chance to visit the beautiful capital of Maryland with my family.

Some notable places and reviews below:

U.S. Naval Academy [website]: There’s a guest entrance area where they will check your ID prior to entering the grounds. If you go, be sure to check out two of my favorite landmarks there, the Chapel (green top, you can’t miss it, it’s grand) and Memorial Hall (gorgeous room with beautiful chandeliers). The grounds are also good for checking out.

Maryland State House [website]: This is the very building that is featured on the Maryland state quarter. The inside is lovely and you can read about some of the earlier days of the country here. Walking distance to naval academy and downtown circle.

Watermarks Boat Narrated Tour [website]: If you walk to the end of the dock from downtown circle, you can join a boat tour. We took the 40 min. one which talked about Naval Academy history as well as the Chesapeake Bay. I learned from this tour that oysters are also famous in Maryland, along with their crabs.


Buddy’s Crab and Ribs [website]: They have a very well priced brunch. Not only do they have regular brunch such as scrambled eggs and bacon, they also have yummy roast beef off the carving table and assorted seafood. If you like desserts, you can have your pick of the cakes, fruit, sweets, and more. We also came back for dinner because the group wanted whole crabs whereas some of the other downtown restaurants had more crab products (dip, cake, salad, etc). Their fries are seasoned with old bay, which is addictive once you have it.

A list of other downtown finds for future visits since we didn’t get to try them:

  • Middleton Tavern [website] – This place was hopping all day. Nice location and beautiful storefront. The menu was promising too. I’m sure they have good nightly entertainment. A lot of oysters on the menu.
  • Federal House Restaurant [website] – Another restaurant in the downtown circle area. I swear all of these places look amazing and you really can’t go wrong in any of them. Their surf n turf features crab cake and steak, definitely for next time to try on an empty stomach.
  • McGarvey’s Bar [website] – For happy hour and the best bar food?
  • Chick and Ruth’s Deli [website] – Our friendly cabdriver recommended this spot for lunch. He also told us it was made famous by Man Vs. Food tv show. Unfortunately I’m not a huge fan of that show and the 20 minute wait made us walk around for another location. Next time I will try it when it’s not too crowded. 

!Advise regarding Taxicabs!: If you drive down to Annapolis and stay in the outskirts, don’t take your car into town. They don’t seem to have many traffic lights downtown, basically cars have to yield to pedestrians at all intersections (and there are quite a number of intersections). Ask your hotel reception/concierge to call a cab for you if they don’t offer a downtown shuttle. Then remember to get the cab company’s number so you can have a ride back to the hotel in the evening. There is a taxi stand across the street from Buddy’s but when we got there, we didn’t see a taxi for more than 10 minutes or so! Ms. Julie was nice enough to give us a cab company’s number to call. The cab came rather quickly, and by the time it came, other cabs have gotten to the spot too. I’ll just include the company here for reference. Academy Cabs 410-969-2666. You can probably find others online.

Day two we went to visit St. Michaels and Eastern shore (about an hour away from Annapolis). It’s surprisingly how well the roads are built and how cozy the town was. The relaxing atmosphere reminded me of the virgin islands. I thought the crabs here were better.

St. Michaels Crab and Steak [website]: Amazing crabs, in my opinion. Also the best broiled crab cakes I’ve had (I think it’s in the secret spices or something). After all was said and done, I tried a slice of the key lime pie. Very good quality. I still miss a good key lime pie! Definitely worth the hour drive through rather small roads. After lunch you can take a look at the maritime museum nearby and the harbor. There are also some nice shops too in the area.

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