Washington, D.C. isn’t the only mid-Atlantic town busting with colonial and political history. We’ve partnered with Keryn Means of Walking On Travels to show us why Annapolis, Maryland should be on your radar when you are visiting the nation’s capital.
Summers on the Chesapeake Bay doesn’t get much better than when you are in Annapolis, Maryland. Not only is it the state capital, but it is also home to the US Naval Academy, covered in colonial history, great food, cute shops, and plenty of outdoor fun for all types of travelers. Splash in the waters of the Chesapeake, hop on a sail boat to tour around, or simply stroll the waterfront.
School’s out for summer… or is it?
Just because your kids are finished with school, doesn’t mean they have to stop learning. Annapolis is a great place for kids to soak up a little colonial history without getting too bored. There is no end to what to do in Annapolis Maryland. Four signers of the Declaration of Independence hail from Annapolis. Tour William Paca’s home. Chat with his neighbors, wife or even the man himself (i.e. local actors in costume) to find out what life was like back in the 1700s. The restored gardens show the lavish lifestyle of the wealthy in the area, what produce they grew and how they stayed cool in the summer months.
Don’t miss a stop at the Maryland State House where the Continental Congress signed the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War. Bring your government issued I.D. to enter and be prepared to go through security. After all, this is the oldest state house still in use and doing government business every day.
US Naval Academy Tour
While many high school students are going on college tours, so too are many military families and aspiring Navy officers touring the US Naval Academy. At first you might not notice this massive college campus, thinking that domed building is the state capital in the Annapolis skyline. Nope, it’s the Academy’s chapel. Sign up for a tour of the campus or take a self-guided tour. Either way you will learn a whole lot more about those serving in our Navy and Marine Corp than you did before, getting a better appreciation for all they do for us. And really, you couldn’t ask for a better college town. You will see students all over historic Annapolis on their time off. Make sure you say hello and thank them for the service they will be giving to our country for many years to come.
Get back on the bay
Maryland gets HOT in the summer months. Take some time to splash around in the bay or hop on a boat to tour the Chesapeake and get some of that cool breeze on your face. Sandy Point State Park is one of the only sandy beaches you can enjoy in the area if your kids want to build a few sand castles. There is no need to worry about riptides or undertows. None of that on the bay! Do pack your sunscreen though. Alternately, take a boat tour from the docks that sails by the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. That sea breeze will be a blessed relief on a hot summer day.
Sample the goods of Annapolis
Annapolis is an eating and shopping paradise if you just want to have a fun day out with your friends. Do not miss brunch at the Iron Rooster. (The chicken and waffles are a must!) Plenty of coffee shops line Main and West Streets to give you that caffeine boost you will need as you walk around exploring the brick homes and shops on every side street. Look up “HERE. A pop up shop” to see when the next pop up will happen and plan your trip around it. These local ladies are bringing you the best local artist goods, as well as some fabulous cheap designer finds from boutique shops in L.A. about five times a year. We plan entire weekends around this hot shopping event!
Summer events not to miss!
Naturally no summer in the state capital is complete without some July 4th fun. Fireworks and a Naval Academy performance are just a small taste of what you will experience over the holiday weekend. Bring the whole crew to Annapolis Ice Cream Company for a cone to cool down. Walk over to set up camp on any of the street-end parks facing Spa Creek for the best views of the fireworks. Better yet, hop on an Annapolis Sailing Cruise for a special 4th of July Fireworks sailing on the Schooner Woodwind. This is one spot where you won’t have to fight the crowds for the best seat in the house!
Sleep in this weekend
Now that we’ve convinced you to go, where should you stay? Our favorite for families is the Loews Annapolis Hotel. The rooms are spacious. There is also an indoor pool for the kids to cool off in the afternoon after a morning exploring. It is within walking distance of all the activities of Historic Annapolis. Parents can simply park the car and not deal with finding a spot their entire trip!
Couples looking for a historic stay should look at the Historic Inns of Annapolis located in the heart of the historic area near the State Capital building. These renovated properties are beautiful and welcoming for families, but even more fun for a little romantic getaway or girls weekend away.
History really does come alive when you are in Annapolis, Maryland. Walk the brick that our forefathers strolled down making policy that would shape the nation we live in today. Laugh with friends over a local glass of wine or Maryland beer as the sun sets behind the Chesapeake Bay. No matter how you do it, Annapolis has a little something for everyone without being overwhelming, but will leave you full, happy, and wanting more by the time you leave.
Keryn Means is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity. For more information on the Travelocity Gnomads, visit travelocitygnomads.com.
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