Annapolis travel guide

Annapolis Tourism | Annapolis Guide

You're Going to Love Annapolis

Annapolis stretches from the blue waters of Chesapeake Bay to the green countryside that surrounds it. What was once a political center has become a tourist mecca, all while keeping its authentic character.

Colonial history lives in Annapolis. Settled by Europeans when Puritans came from nearby Virginia in the mid-1600s, Annapolis rose to become a critical political capital and port in the 18th century during the American Revolutionary War. As a harbor, it also played a pivotal role in the War of 1812. Today it is still home to the United States Naval Academy, a wonderfully ornate example of the Beaux Arts style of architecture and one of the many historic buildings in town.

In keeping with its maritime history, Annapolis is a center for the sailing arts, and you'll find every kind of seagoing vessel on the city's many docks. Whether your goal is to learn about history, to explore the natural beauty of the area, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery, Annapolis has a lot to offer.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Annapolis

1. The History

History buffs will love this colonial capital city and its many preserved buildings, such as the Maryland State House, and St. John's College, a private arts college that dates back to 1696. You can also learn about African American history in museums like the William H. Butler House and Maynard-Burgess House.

2. Fun on the Water

Annapolis is often called the sailing capital of America and even the world, and you'll find world-class facilities and yachts on view. But, that's not the only way to enjoy the waters of Chesapeake Bay and beyond. From fishing to kayaking and scenic cruises and tours, there are many ways to get active on the water.

3. Natural Beauty

There are over 200 acres of parkland in Annapolis, including Truxtun Park, incorporating 70 acres of paths and greenery that include a boat launch and swimming pool in season. There are many parks and hiking trails to enjoy, like the 340-acre Quiet Waters Park that follows the pretty Harness Creek.

4. Wining and Dining

The rich agricultural lands in the Annapolis area produce some highly regarded sauvignon blancs, among other vintages, and the farms feed a local restaurant scene. If you enjoy seafood, then a dish of blue crabs caught fresh from Chesapeake Bay - steamed, soft shell, or in a famous Maryland crab cake - is an experience not to be missed. Lobster rolls - a kind of submarine sandwich stuffed with lobster and other ingredients - is another local favorite.

5. Day Trips

The capital of the state of Maryland lies only 25 miles south of Baltimore and 30 miles east of Washington, D.C. Annapolis is ideally situated to let you enjoy the small-town ambiance while you conveniently explore all the rich history, culture, and sites of all three centers.

Where to Eat in Annapolis

The dining scene in Annapolis features everything from classic continental to Indian, Thai, Mexican, and Japanese. Chesapeake Brewing Company offers craft beers and classic pub food in authentic historic ambiance. Dishes like crab soup and burgers start at about $11. At Reynolds Tavern, you can dine in candlelight in an elegant 18th-century dining room, with mains starting at $15. Harry Browne's is housed in an elegant Art Deco building, offering a fine dining menu that emphasizes local ingredients. Mains start at about $25.

Most popular restaurants in Annapolis

Contemporary American
Excellent (957 reviews)
Seafood
Excellent (382 reviews)
Seafood
Excellent (362 reviews)
American
Excellent (259 reviews)
Italian
Excellent (197 reviews)
American
Excellent (184 reviews)

When to visit Annapolis

Annapolis in February
Estimated hotel price
$91
1 night at 3-star hotel
Annapolis in February
Estimated hotel price
$91
1 night at 3-star hotel

Annapolis sees the most visitors during the summer months. Summers are hot and humid, with temperatures averaging over 85 degrees Fahrenheit in July. Winter temperatures dip to the low 40s during the day and below zero at night. While the weather is distinctly wintry, Annapolis lights up with Christmas decorations and activities at the end of the year, making it a popular destination for winter vacations too.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Fahrenheit (°F)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Annapolis

Plane

Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) is the closest international airport to Annapolis at a distance of just over 22 miles along I-75 S. There is a light rail service from BWI to Patapsco Station on the Washington line at a cost of $1.70, where you can connect with the #14 bus to Annapolis for an additional $2.00. Dulles International Airport in Virginia (just over 62 miles) and Reagan National in Washington (just over 36 miles) are alternatives, depending on your starting location.

Train

There is no direct passenger rail service to Annapolis. The nearest Amtrak stations are located in Union Station, Washington, Penn Station in Baltimore, or the New Carrollton Metro Station.

Car

Located in a fairly densely populated region of the East Coast, Annapolis connects to other major centers through a network of highways. I-97 heads north to Baltimore, while US-50 travels west to Washington D.C.

Bus

Greyhound and MTA (Maryland Transit Administration) intercity buses connect Annapolis to other cities in the state and beyond. It is the only long distance mode of transportation with direct connections in Annapolis.

Airlines serving Annapolis

United Airlines
Good (69,486 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (47,665 reviews)
KLM
Good (3,806 reviews)
Delta
Good (30,738 reviews)
Air France
Good (4,361 reviews)
British Airways
Good (23,345 reviews)
Iberia
Good (6,162 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Excellent (11,532 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (25,044 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (15,777 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (5,449 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (5,579 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (30,310 reviews)
Finnair
Good (3,876 reviews)
JetBlue
Excellent (20,177 reviews)
Air Europa
Good (3,263 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (5,791 reviews)
ITA Airways
Excellent (15 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (3,957 reviews)
Frontier
Okay (40,471 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Annapolis

There are many hotels where you can enjoy the history of Annapolis along with the service and amenities. The O'Callaghan Hotel is a 3-star property offering historic ambiance with an Irish touch. Historic Inns of Annapolis offers your choice of three boutique hotels in Old Annapolis, with authentic period furnishings and antiques. Look to Loews Annapolis Hotel for clean modern rooms in a convenient location.

Popular neighborhoods in Annapolis

Historic Annapolis - once the capital of a young United States, this historic neighborhood has retained its classic East Coast charms, from the multicolored clapboard buildings to the cobbled streets. This area is packed with beautifully preserved examples of colonial architecture and landmarks like the Maryland State House and many dining options from casual to fine cuisine.

Eastport - just on the other side of the harbor, this neighborhood is accessible by water taxi or the Spa Creek Bridge. This is where you'll find the Naval Academy and streets of other beautiful historic buildings, and restaurants like the Chart House, where you can savor fresh seafood as you enjoy the view of the harbor.

West Annapolis - just a short drive or taxi ride from the city center, this area offers a quieter alternative during busy tourist periods. This neighborhood has streets lined with huge trees, and is the place to find antiques and unique boutiques with local artisan wares.

Where to stay in popular areas of Annapolis

Most booked hotels in Annapolis

Graduate Annapolis
Excellent (8.9, 1338 reviews)
$162+
Crowne Plaza Annapolis
Excellent (8.7, 1198 reviews)
$128+
Historic Inns of Annapolis
Excellent (8.6, 554 reviews)
$163+
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Annapolis, MD
Excellent (8.5, 896 reviews)
$124+
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Annapolis
Excellent (8.5, 435 reviews)
$112+
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Annapolis
Excellent (8.2, 386 reviews)
$152+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Annapolis

Public Transportation

City of Annapolis buses cover the downtown area from the Back Creek Nature Park to the Waterworks Park and beyond. Cash fare is a flat $2.00, with a day pass available for $4.00.

Taxi

There are several taxi cab companies available in Annapolis. Rates start at $2.50 per mile. Advance quotes are available for service to nearby airports, downtown Baltimore, or Washington, D.C.

Car

Annapolis is a small city, and a car isn't a necessity but will help you explore the area. A compact rental costs about $35 per day, and local providers include Avis and Europcar. Metered street parking is limited in the historic areas of Annapolis, but available on some streets, particularly around the Maryland State House and United States Naval Academy. Rates begin at $2.00 per hour with a two hour maximum. At that point, you will have to move your car - refilling the meter isn't allowed.

Car rental agencies in Annapolis

Find car rentals in Annapolis

The Cost of Living in Annapolis

Shopping Streets

Ego Alley, the heart of old Annapolis, is a narrow waterway that connects the old port with the sea. This is the place to people watch, stroll along, and check out the private yachts as you make your way through upscale boutiques and stores. There are more than 20 shops and restaurants along historic Maryland Avenue, an out-of-the-way street off the main areas along Main and West streets.

Groceries and Other

When it comes to supermarkets in Annapolis, Graul's Market and Shoppers offer a good selection and reasonable prices. Safeway is a discount chain for necessities at low prices. A quart of milk will cost about $1.00 and a dozen eggs about $2.85.

Cheap meal
$15.00
A pair of jeans
$44.18
Single public transport ticket
$1.62
Cappuccino
$4.00
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