Inner Harbor, Annapolis
Here is where many of America's most prestigious "old money" families tie up their pride and joy--their sailboats. In Annapolis, some of the country's finest sailors go head-to-head in competitions, such as the regattas held out in the bay. No wonder it's nicknamed "Ego Alley".
The City Dock has restaurants, bars, shops, harbor tours, and a lot of social activities. It's a great place to hang out and watch the people. Notice the markers along the waterfront, dedicated to Afro-Americans who have contributed to Maryland and to the country.
I enjoyed the cruise on Harbour Queen. There was quite a good commentary on the scenes ashore that can best be viewed from the water, including the Naval Academy. It is a fun, relaxing thing to do and lasted about 40 minutes - check website for current prices
I enjoyed sailing on Chesapeake Bay - I don't know when or where I first heard of this stretch of water - but it always had a special ring for me so driving over it on the Bridge was rather exciting too.
Outside the Harbour Office and Information Booth look out for the Meeters and Greeters in their colourful 18th century clothes. They act as guides and can help with directions and general local information.
It was lovely to wander round the harbour for half a morning with a few side tracks to the nearby shops and cafes. -John was delighted to find an old fashioned hardware shop here.
Small craft could be seen coming and going as well as the famous Harbour Queen Sightseeing Boat.
We walked up and Down Dock Stret, Market Square, Compromise Street and up and down Main Street. The restaurants were varied and interesting; everything from Irish Pubs, seafood, pastries to Kilwin's ice cream. The shops were colorful & inviting. We walked into The Black Dog General Store, T shirt & gift shops... We enjoyed watching the pleasure boats, Pirate Adventure and Schooner pass by. The Naval Band played, the sun was shining ....
Watermark offers a number of different harbor cruises aboard the Harbor Queen. The 40-minute narrated harbor tour offers outstanding views of the city, a lot of good information, and a nice little bar.
Beyond the tiny, yet scenic Inner Harbor lies the much larger and busier Annapolis Harbor where Spa Creek and the Severn River meet the Chesapeake Bay. As opposed to the Inner Harbor which usually has a few fancy, expensive yachts, the bigger harbor is often full of hundreds of nice sailboats and fishing vessels. This peaceful, yet busy, area is best viewed from the end of Dock Street downtown or from the US Naval Academy campus. Furthermore, you may charter a boat or reserve seats on a public boat for a tour of this scenic area, and water taxis are available between City Dock and Back Creek as well as other areas on request.
The area around the Inner Harbor is the heart of Annapolis. Here you will find beautiful sailboats, many nice restaurants and bars, as well as some fancy stores. There are a few hotels along the Inner Harbor, and there is a good deal of parking (that tends to flood during hurricane season, so be careful!). From here you can take a leisurely stroll up Main Street toward the State Capital Building or go around the corner to the US Naval Academy.
All road in downtown Annapolis lead down to the Inner Harbor around which is all the tourist infrastructure. This was once one of the major ports in America, now its traffic is limited to pleasure boats.
The author of 'Roots' is honored here.
The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial, an outdoor memorial, can be viewed 24 hours per day, seven days per week. At night it is illuminated by dramatic lighting. The Memorial is free and open to the public.
Just sit back and watch the parade of yachts enter and turn to show off their beauty.
The depth of the water at City Dock is 10 feet with a 110-foot turning area. The Severn River's average depth is 18 feet with creeks running at depths of 4 to 11 feet.
Annapolis, the State Capital, claims to be the "Sailing Capital" of America.
Take time to wander around the waterfront area. There are lots of little stores to check out - everything from the touristy to the artsy. There are also a variety of restaurants that cater to every taste, but they do tend to be fairly pricey right there at the water. Get away from that area - even a couple blocks - if you want to find cheaper places to eat. There are also pubs around the waterfront.
It's a good place to sit and relax after wandering around town; bring a picnic along with you. There's plenty of people watching and harbor watching to do.
We stop in Annapolis for 2 nights every year in December fon our way south to Myrtle Beach. We fell in love with the city, especially during this time of year, when there are few tourists like ourselves, and the city seems very welcoming and cozy.
While it is cold, it is lit up in a tremendous way, both the city, waterfront area, and all the ships in harbour, which makes for an incredibly peaceful romantic walk (less so with 2 kids in tow, but hey...).
There are a mayriad of excellent restaurants in the waterfront area, from high-end seafood, to pubs with excellent varied subs, wings, good beer, and a Starbucks!
During the day, many of the shops are worth a quick visit, and there is a mini-market in the central square area.
All in all, excellent for families during the day, couples at night, and the guys for a few beers in local pubs while watchin a game.
The harbour area has many restaurants and shops to visit but for those wanting a little less exercise for the purse strings, simply take a stroll and enjoy the views!
DOWN BY THE WATERFRONT, you will see a very nice sculpture dedicated to the author of Roots, Alex Haley.
The Visitor Information center is among many other attractions to come see at the Inner Harbor. A great spot to people watch. There is also a statue of "The Storyteller".