What's awesome in Annapolis?
February 13, 2009 9:43 AM   Subscribe

What's awesome in Annapolis?

So the lady and are taking a little trip tomorrow afternoon from D.C., and having never been to Annapolis, thought about giving it a shot (bay view also a bonus). So, any recommendations for things to do on a slightly-cooler-than-desired afternoon out there? Saw an old thread, but didn't quite cut what we're looking for. Hole in the wall with awesome food? Things of the non-touristy to see? Places to kill some time?

Yeah, it's going to be St. Valentines' Day, so classy joints are probably out, as I'm sure their reservation-ed out.

posted by General Malaise to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You MUST eat lunch at Chick And Ruth's Delly. It's where everyone who lives here goes.

There's not a whole lot to actually do in Annapolis, though. Go shopping on Main Street, hang out at the dock and feed the ducks, maybe go on a little boat cruise or check out the Naval Academy?
posted by clcapps at 9:48 AM on February 13, 2009

When I was there the coolest thing I did was tour the Naval Academy. Personal opinions about military academies aside, it was pretty impressive. Kind of had a Hogwart's vibe to it. I am not sure whether it is open to the public or not, but if so, it is a cool place to walk around.
posted by ND¢ at 9:51 AM on February 13, 2009

Tour the Naval Academy and check out the crypt where they keep John Paul Jones (he of "I have not yet begun to fight!" fame). Eat at O'Leary's if you want something upscale-ish (and a little stuffy). There isn't a whole lot going on in the winter in general, though - go back in the summer and eat crabs and get on the water. Otherwise, it's just sort of a Disneyland Main Street (nautical theme) - window shopping, tacky restaurants.
posted by peachfuzz at 10:11 AM on February 13, 2009

Seconding Chick and Ruths for lunch, yummy. Just walking around from the State Capitol to the waterfront is a pretty nice little day trip out of DC. Sure, you aren't going to find the "not touristy" you desire, but there isn't that much else in Annapolis, it's not a terribly big place. It is winter so that's a plus for the "not-touristy" side.

For Bay views you might try the eastern shore. It's a bridge crossing ($2.50 eastbound - free west) and a short drive extra, but St. Michael's (home of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld) is really nice. Downtown Easton has very nice dining and shopping as well, though it is off the Bay itself.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:35 AM on February 13, 2009

There are a couple of nice pubs to check out - Ram's Head where they used to brew Fordham beer. Make sure to check out the table leg in the ceiling. The Sly Fox isn't that great for food (standard pub fair), but it's one of the older taverns in the city.

If the weather is nice, you can get a good walk in. Stop by the tourist office across from the Ram to see if there's any walking tours going on. There are a bunch of historical homes open to tour (my mom does tours of the Paca House - Paca was a signer of the Declaration) and sites to see. If you're there at night, I recommend the Ghosts of Annapolis tour.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:16 AM on February 13, 2009

The Hammond Harwood House is pretty, with what's been called the most beautiful front door in America. We liked this house more than the Paca House--we liked them both, just preferred Hammond Harwood. Good bagels and bialys just outside of town in a little strip mall.
Walking around the historic area is nice but doesn't take long--it's a small town.
posted by sevenstars at 11:35 AM on February 13, 2009

When I was in college there one of our main sources of entertainment was to get gelato at Aromi d'Italia and then hand out at the City Dock and watch the tourists/boat people/midshipmen. Other favorite food places are the Ram's Head mentioned above, 49 West Coffeehouse (right by the Ram's Head) and by the water City Dock Coffee.

If the weather's nice, there may be folks offering cruises on the Bay from the City Dock.

You could also check out the college itself, alma mater of many Mefites with a weird little bookstore and lots of 200+ year old buildings.

Annapolis was a fun place to go to school and it seems to be popular with tourists. It's really best on a warm day when you can walk around on the brick streets and look at all the history.
posted by hydropsyche at 11:40 AM on February 13, 2009

I just thought of another restaurant that's more hole in the wall: Potato Valley, right on State Circle. Very popular with the state legislators but not a place the tourists usually even notice. If you can name it, they will put it in a baked potato and top it with tzatziki sauce.
posted by hydropsyche at 11:44 AM on February 13, 2009

Oh, er, sup Johnnies.
Quiet Water has a dog park and some trails if it's nice out.
I hate Chick'n Ruths to be honest, except after a night of drinking until 7am. Then it rocked.
Cross the bridge into eastport from the downtown and go hang out on the cheesy dockbar at Pusser's or go even further afield for true divey local flavor at the Boatyard. All the good sushi places will probably be booked, but you never know--Joss and Tsunami might have spots open.
Try not to get into a fight, those middies look brainy but they are surprisingly strong.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:17 PM on February 13, 2009

Best locals seafood shack: Jimmy Cantler's Riverside Inn ... print the directions, otherwise you will NOT find the place... Best MD Crab soup I've ever eaten.
posted by olddogeyes at 7:37 PM on February 13, 2009

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