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Aerial Photo of Downtown Annapolis, MD with State Building in View

14 Things to Know About Living in Annapolis

Thinking of moving to Annapolis? Maryland’s capital city is a great place to live on the East Coast and offers plenty of outdoor recreation, sailing and lighthouse tours, and some of the best seafood on the Atlantic. Check out these 14 things to know about living in Annapolis!

It’s the Sailing Capital of the World

Boats Parked at a Local Dock in Annapolis, MD. Photo by Instagram user @visitannapolis

Photo via @visitannapolis

Located in the heart of Chesapeake Bay near the Severn River, it’s no surprise that Annapolis is considered America’s Sailing Capital! Popular sailing competitions take place in the city, and the Annapolis Yacht Club hosts plenty of racing events on the water throughout the year. Visit the Ego Alley marina to see an endless parade of yachts and boats that travel on the river. Spend an afternoon relaxing on the water and enjoying the beautiful Annapolis waterfront by taking a Schooner Woodwind Sailing Cruise. You can also find the home of the National Sailing Hall of Fame on Annapolis’ city dock, which highlights individuals who have contributed to America’s incredible sailing culture!

Home to the United States Naval Academy

Class of 2020 in Front of the United States Naval Academy. Photo by Instagram user @usnavalacademy

Photo via @usnavalacademy

Founded in Annapolis in 1845, the United States Naval Academy (USNA) is a federal service college that prepares students to serve in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. In fact, USNA is ranked #1 for top public schools in the U.S. and offers full scholarships for students. The Naval Academy offers a variety of STEM academic programs with majors that range from aerospace engineering and chemistry to political science and oceanography. And with the strong Midshipmen Football program, athletes have the opportunity to play college football and represent the Navy in the yearly Army-Navy football game!

Attend a Top College like St. John’s

Photo of St. Johns College in Annapolis. Photo by Instagram user @sjcannapolis

Photo via @sjcannapolis

St. John’s College is a highly-rated institution on the East Coast with a variety of programs in fields like mathematics, science, and literature. The school is known for its Great Books Curriculum that focuses on classic works from Ancient Greek philosophers and authors like Plato and Homer. The arts are popular at St. John’s, and students can visit the Mitchell Gallery, where you’ll find world-renowned exhibits, community programs, and educational opportunities. Recognized for its rigorous academics, fellow Johnnies can expect to think critically in the classroom and even take part in events and programs focused in their community.

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Conveniently Close to Baltimore & DC

Aerial View of the Spa Creek Bridge Into Annapolis. Photo by Instagram user @dcsplicer1

Photo via @dcsplicer1

Located about 40 minutes away from both Baltimore and Washington D.C., Annapolis is a great place for commuters to live. It’s a 45-minute drive to get to the nation’s capital and a 35-minute drive to Baltimore. If you’d prefer public transportation, you can also hop on a train at the New Carrollton Metro Station and take the Orange Line of the Washington MetroRail System (WMATA) for easy access to the District of Columbia, Arlington, and beyond. Similarly, you can use the Amtrak to travel to Downtown Washington D.C.!

There’s Great Public Transportation Options

Annapolis has plenty of options to get around town on land—or on the water! Take the Annapolis Water Taxi to get from the Annapolis Harbor to Eastport and beat commuter traffic! Leave the car at home and hop on the MTA Commuter Bus to travel to large cities like Baltimore. Annapolis Transit also provides a State Shuttle service that runs from the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to the Central Business District in about 20 minutes!

Enjoy the Beautiful Year-Round Weather

Old Buildings in Annapolis, MD. Photo by Instagram User @lenadrlena

Photo via @lenadrlena

Annapolis is located right along the Chesapeake Bay, which affects its climate year-round, leading to some humidity and wet winters. But those living in Annapolis can look forward to the city’s 208 sunny days per year and an average temperature of 85 degrees in July along with extremely pleasant weather during the spring and fall. Summers in Annapolis are generally humid and hot, but you can always cool off in the water and enjoy the breeze off the Chesapeake Bay!

Explore the Local Parks & Recreation

View of Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, MD. Photo by Instagram User @dwcomfort

Photo via @dwcomfort

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Annapolis, you can get outside and explore a variety of Annapolis parks! Head over to Truxtun Park to kayak or play a game of tennis with the family. Go for a run or relaxing walk at Quiet Waters Park, a 340-acre park that offers breathtaking views between the South River and Harness Creek. Pack a picnic to enjoy or let your furry friend roam off-leash at Broadneck Park. Make your way to Annapolis Waterworks Park for a morning of fishing or a hike along the scenic trails. Visit the Poplar Trail, a half-mile trail that stretches throughout the city and is perfect for biking or hiking. Go boating and view the wildlife at Sandy Point State Park located along the shore of Chesapeake Bay. Kayak or paddleboard at Jonas & Anne Catherine Green Park near the Severn River. Or go fishing over at Thomas Point Park along Chesapeake Bay and the South River.

Learn More About Annapolis’ History

View of the Old State House in Annapolis, MD from a Historic Brick Street. Photo by Instagram User @lenadrlena

Photo via @lenadrlena

Shopping, entertainment, music, and restaurants aren’t the only things that can be found Downtown Annapolis—there’s lots of history, too! Take a nighttime Walking Ghost Tour to explore the most haunted sites in Annapolis. Tour the Maryland State House to see the only state house to have served as the nation’s capital. Embark on a tour of the William Paca House & Garden to see furnishings and paintings from the Colonial and Revolutionary period in Annapolis. Make your way to the Charles Carroll House, which is on the grounds of St. Mary’s Church and bears historical significance to the state of Maryland. Enjoy a walking tour of the Hammond-Harwood House built in 1774 and its adjoining gardens. Or stop in for a meal, drink, or even stay overnight at Reynolds Tavern, which was built in 1737 and serves as a Historic Landmark.

Check Out the Arts & Culture

The museums in Annapolis are a great place to see unique pieces of art, colorful murals, and learn more about the city! Visit the U.S. Naval Academy Museum to see historical artifacts that share the stories of men and women who have served their country in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Stroll through the halls of murals and Civil Rights exhibits at the Banneker-Douglass Museum, Maryland’s official collection of African-American heritage. Explore everything from art galleries and a lecture series to historical exhibits and lighthouse tours at Annapolis Maritime Museum. Head over to Annapolis Arts District to catch entertainment from national music acts and local bands. Or spend an afternoon at Annapolis Marine Art Gallery to see the best marine art, sailboat prints, and original paintings from the Mid-Atlantic collector community.

Embark on a Lighthouse Tour

Originally built as a source to guide sailors to safe harbor, lighthouses are still popular to this day in Annapolis! The Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse, located near the Chesapeake Bay, is a three-story brick lighthouse that can be seen for nine miles and dates back to 1883. The light flashes every six seconds and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Known as the most recognized lighthouse in Maryland, the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is worth checking out because it’s the last intact lighthouse in its original location! There’s also the Baltimore Harbor Light, located on the mouth of Magothy River, which guides people to the Port of Baltimore.

There’s an Annapolis Event for Everyone

Knights Jousting at the Annapolis Renn Faire. Photo by Instagram User @delore753

Photo via @delore753

When you live in Annapolis, you’ll find a ton of community events to attend! Take part in the Paint & Picnic in the Paca Garden event, where you can get creative and be inspired by the breathtaking views. Participate in Maryland Day, which commemorates the founding of the state of Maryland. Stop by the Savor Bowie Food, Wine, & Music Festival for complimentary wine tastings and live music. Take a trip to the Maryland Renaissance Festival filled with Renaissance performers, food, and live entertainment. Go out to the annual Crab Feast held by the Rotary Club of Annapolis, where you can pick up crabs and raise money for local charities. And don’t miss out on the United States Sailboat Show or the Maryland Seafood Festival!

Get Fresh Seafood

Pile of Fresh Cooked Crabs. Photo by Instagram User @monikerdc

Photo via @monikerdc

Annapolis is a seafood haven that offers some of the best crab, oysters, and lobster rolls on the Atlantic! Enjoy a seafood dinner of Sea Scallops, Shrimp Cocktail, or Baked Oysters on waterfront restaurant Carrol’s Creek Cafe. Try the Crab Stuffed RockFish or Salmon Platter at Cantler’s Riverside Inn. Feast on Crispy Buffalo Oysters, Blackened Diver Scallops, or Shrimp & Grits at O’Learys Seafood Restaurant. Order Garlic Mussels, Fried Oysters, or a Crab Cake Sandwich at Buddy’s Crabs & Ribs. Fill up on the Clam Strips or Soft Crab Sandwich at Wild Country Seafood. Visit the Chart House for a high end-dining experience and get the Shrimp Tacos, Sizzling Mushrooms, or Calamari. Dine at the nautical-themed Boatyard Bar & Grill to chow down on Maryland Crab Soup, Middle Neck Clams, or Crispy Calamari. Or get some Oysters, Smoked Whitefish Toast, or an Octopus Chili Dog at the Sailor Oyster Bar.

Discover Amazing Local Dining

If you’re looking for an array of dining options, you’re destined to find incredible cuisine at many Annapolis restaurants! Make your way to Level – A Small Plates Lounge to share Crab Frites, Pork Belly Tacos, or Tuna Tartare. Dine on the patio at Chick & Ruth’s Delly, where you can eat breakfast favorites like French Toast, Pancakes, or a Belgian Waffle. Take a trip to Tequila Sunrise to order Mexican favorites like Enchiladas and Burritos. Head over to the longest sushi bar in Annapolis, Nano Asian Dining, to find Fried Tofu, Tuna Tataki, or Wasabi Shumai. Enjoy a Caprese Pizza, Gnocci Al Forno, or Lobster Ravioli at Italian favorite Carpaccio Tuscan Kitchen. Try the Impossible Burger or Farmhouse Salad at Iron Rooster. Or have dessert at The Red Bean, where you can indulge with Cookie Dough Coffee Ice Cream or a Smoothie.

Head Out to Annapolis’ Many Bars

Growlers Lined Up Under Beer Taps at the Brass Tap Bar. Photo by Instagram User @the_brass_tap

Photo via @the_brass_tap

Searching for fun things to do in Annapolis at night? There are plenty of great places to grab a brew or two! Dance the night away and enjoy refreshing cocktails like the Rum Refresher and Grapefruit Sparkler at Rams Head on Stage. Have a Jameson Irish Whiskey or a Bold Rock Hard Cider at the trendy Dry 85. Enjoy an evening on the patio at Stan and Joe’s Saloon, where you can dig into tacos, burgers, and specialty brews. Try local craft beers like a 903 John Shandy or a Shannon Irish Red Ale at The Brass Tap. If you’re in the mood for wine, Vin 909 Winecafe‘s happy hour includes wine options like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Merlot!


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