5 Things to Check Out in Annapolis
I’ve been to Annapolis a number of times over the past few years. With my younger brother at the Naval Academy and us only being a few hours away, I’ve traveled with my family on multiple occasions to see him and spend a long weekend in Maryland’s capital city.
It also hasn’t hurt that my family has season tickets to Navy football games, and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the Midshipmen play quite a few times over the past three years. It’s one of the truly unique settings in college sports to watch a home game for a service academy.
Along with those visits to watch football, we’ve explored some of the other parts of the city, and my wife and I have played the role of tourist on quite a few occasions.
If you ever get a chance to visit, here are five of my favorite things in Annapolis I’d recommend checking out.
5. Westfield Mall
For a cold or rainy day, which Annapolis certainly gets its fair share of, the Westfield Mall is a great place to spend a few hours while staying warm and dry. The mall is big enough to keep you entertained and has a great variety of stores and other things to do, including an impressive collection of restaurants and a movie theater. You can find all the major chain stores, such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, JCPenney and Lord & Taylor, though you’re most likely to find me hanging out at The Cheesecake Factory.
4. Attend a Game
The tailgate scene for a Navy football game is fantastic and it’s always special to see the brigade march from the academy to the field, and the Midshipmen have also established themselves as an exciting football team to watch. Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is a great venue, but not just for watching football. The Mids also have one of the best lacrosse programs in the country and Annapolis is home to the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse. And while it’s not the typical spectator sport, you can also catch some incredible sailing in the bay around the Annapolis area.
3. Pennsylvania Dutch Market
We always love finding a good local market whenever we visit a city, and the Pennsylvania Dutch Market, or “Amish Market”, is one of the more unique ones we’ve come across. It’s an indoor market where you can find great meat, bulk items, baked goods, produce and even furniture. With over 290,000 square feet of space, this market has nearly everything. All the merchants are from Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. It’s amazing to watch them work in the market as they prepare all different kinds of food. I’m usually captivated by all the different things being made in the bakery section in the middle of the market.
Read more about our experience at the Amish Market.
2. Historic Downtown Annapolis
You can feel the history as you walk the streets through Annapolis’ historic downtown area. The architecture and storefronts are quaint and charming and it’s an extremely pedestrian friendly part of the city. You can grab some food and find a spot by the water to watch the boats cruise by, learn about Maryland’s history at the Maryland State House, pick up a few souvenirs at the different shops and just enjoy being in a town that’s the classic Americana experience. Also, make sure you stop by the Annapolis Ice Cream company for some of their housemade ice cream. I recommend the peanut butter oreo milkshake.
1. United States Naval Academy
I wouldn’t refer to the Naval Academy as the “signature attraction” of Annapolis, but it’s certainly the most identifiable thing in the city. The Naval Academy is so many things and it’s a place you have to visit if you spend any time in the Annapolis area. Take a guided tour of the Academy to get a better idea of how it’s shaped the leaders of our country. Watch the Midshipmen go through their daily routine, including as they line up for noon formation in front of Bancroft Hall, the largest college dorm in the world. Stop by some of the iconic spots on the Academy grounds, including the Naval Academy Chapel, the statue of Tecumseh in front of Bancroft Hall, and the beautiful Dahlgren Hall. And if you happen to come across a plebe or two, wish them luck!
Learn more about my time in Annapolis by checking out some of my Annapolis Restaurant Reviews!
Other Annapolis Resources