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

16 Things to Know About Living in Annapolis

Moving to Annapolis? Maryland’s capital city is a great place to live on the East Coast, with plenty of outdoor recreation and sailing, some of the best seafood on the Atlantic, and lots of fun museums and events to keep you busy. Check out these 16 things to know about living in Annapolis!

Find Work in the Annapolis Job Market

If you’re relocating to Annapolis for work, you’ll be glad to know that Crabtown has a diverse job market—with a lower-than-average unemployment rate—featuring industries from education and healthcare, to government and maritime. Seek a healthcare job in Annapolis at one of the largest hospitals in the city, Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center. Find a place in higher education working with future military members at the United States Naval Academy (USNA). Enjoy a rewarding career using cyber technology and IT for the betterment of industries like healthcare, government, and more at General Dynamics Information Technology. Start or further your hospitality career by applying to the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel, one of the top employers in the city. Or secure a position working in communications technology at Comtech.

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 provides a full scholarship to all 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, too!

Attend Top Annapolis Area Colleges

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

Photo via @sjcannapolis

The Annapolis area is in close proximity to a number of higher education institutions. Enjoy an engaging education that prioritizes conversation and critical thought at St. John’s College, a highly-rated East Coast college with programs in fields like mathematics, science, and literature. Get your prerequisites for a four-year degree through a transfer studies program or get an Associate’s degree in fields such as architecture and kinesiology at nearby Anne Arundel Community College. Start an undergraduate or graduate degree in fields ranging from accounting to digital media arts at Bowie State University, just 30 minutes outside of Annapolis. Or take a short commute west to explore higher education in STEM fields like engineering, aviation and astronautical sciences, and more at Capitol Technology University.

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Conveniently Located Near Baltimore & DC

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

Photo via @dcsplicer1

Located within an hour of both Baltimore and Washington D.C., Annapolis is a great place to live if you want to be near some of the East Coast’s best sights, activities, and opportunities. Although there are plenty of jobs available in Annapolis, Annapolis’ lower cost of living compared to D.C.’s makes this central city ideal for those working just outside of town who want a more affordable place to call home. Residents of Annapolis can also make quick trips to D.C. for sights like the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial, or to catch a Washington Nationals (MLB) game at Nationals Park. Or head to Baltimore to marvel at marine life at the National Aquarium, learn about American history at Fort McHenry, and more.

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 nearby cities like Baltimore. Other ways to travel outside the city include the New Carrollton Metro Station and the Orange Line of the Washington MetroRail System (WMATA), which offer easy access to the District of Columbia, Arlington, and beyond. Get rides to and from a variety of touchpoints throughout the city, including the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, with Annapolis Transit’s convenient State Shuttle service. Or use the go-to bike share program, Bird, to rent bikes and e-scooters for a convenient and eco-friendly way to get around the city!

Explore Annapolis Parks & Recreation

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

Photo via @dwcomfort

Looking for fun things to do in Annapolis? Head outside! Go kayaking or play a game of tennis, basketball, or baseball with the family at Truxtun Park. Take a relaxing walk and enjoy breathtaking views of the South River, attend an outdoor concert, or check out the art galleries in the Visitor’s Center at Quiet Waters Park. Pack a picnic to enjoy or let your dog roam off-leash at Broadneck Park. Spend the day fishing or hiking the scenic trails at Annapolis Waterworks Park. Go boating, check out the swimming beaches, and view the wildlife at Sandy Point State Park, located along the shore of Chesapeake Bay. Hike more than 13 miles on the scenic path offered by the B&A Trail, which is part of the East Coast Greenway. Or bring your boat, paddleboard, or canoe to spend a day on the water at Jonas & Anne Catharine Green Park.

Check Out Historic Lighthouses

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 dates back to 1883, flashes every six seconds, and can be seen for nine miles. 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 on the mouth of Magothy River, which guides people to the Port of Baltimore.

See the Colonial Annapolis Historic District

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

Photo via @lenadrlena

Residents of Annapolis can find plenty of ways to explore the city’s rich history in the Colonial Annapolis Historic District, located in Downtown Annapolis! Visit the only state house to have served as the nation’s Capitol, the Maryland State House. See furnishings and paintings from the Colonial and Revolutionary periods in Annapolis at the historic Georgian mansion, William Paca House & Garden. Enjoy breathtaking waterfront views, stroll the garden, and see historical displays at Charles Carroll House. See fascinating rotating exhibits like Jane Austen: Intro the Drawing Room to learn about the lifestyles of historic individuals, or go for a walking tour of the Hammond-Harwood House and its adjoining gardens. Or stop in for a meal, drink, or even stay overnight at Reynolds Tavern, which was built in 1747 and serves as a Historic Landmark.

It’s One of America’s Sailing Capitals

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 one of America’s sailing capitals! Several sailing competitions and regattas take place in the city through the Annapolis Yacht Club. Marvel at an endless parade of yachts and boats at the Ego Alley marina. Spend an afternoon relaxing on the water and enjoying the beautiful Annapolis waterfront by taking a Schooner Woodwind Sailing Cruise. Learn to sail yourself or enroll your children in youth classes at the Annapolis Sailing School. Or bring the whole family along for a day on the water casting your lines to reel in a big one with Annapolis Fishing Charters.

Check Out Annapolis Museums

The museums in Annapolis are a great place to see unique pieces of art, colorful murals, and learn more about the city! See historical artifacts that share the stories of men and women who have served their country in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum. Stroll through the halls of murals and Civil Rights exhibits at the Banneker-Douglass Museum, Maryland’s official collection of African-American heritage. Explore art galleries, attend the lecture series, check out historical exhibits, or see the lighthouse at the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Catch live entertainment, see art exhibitions at galleries like The Annapolis Collection Gallery, and get involved in the local arts scene at the Annapolis Arts District. Bring the kids along for a day of fun and learning through story times, nature walks, and more at the Chesapeake Children’s Museum. Or spend an afternoon enjoying some of the best marine art, sailboat prints, and original paintings from the Mid-Atlantic collector community at Annapolis Marine Art Gallery.

Experience the Performing Arts Scene

If you’re a fan of the arts, you’ll be happy to know that Annapolis has an incredible performing arts scene. See everything from classics like A Christmas Carol to more niche shows like Ravenscroft, all performed live on stage at The Colonial Players. Get season tickets to see live theatre under the stars at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre. Watch awe-inspiring dance performances set to moving music at the Ballet Theatre of Maryland. Spend an evening listening to beautiful orchestral pieces just outside the city at the Londontowne Symphony Orchestra. Appreciate live music, dance, theatre, and more at Annapolis’ largest outdoor performing arts center, The Maryland Cultural and Conference Center (MC3). Or hear incredible vocal performances in shows like The Magic Flute and Hansel and Gretel at the Annapolis Opera.

Celebrate Annapolis Pride

There are plenty of opportunities to connect with the local LGBTQ community in Annapolis. Get inclusive support with resources for gender-diverse families—ranging from gender-affirming youth healthcare, to online safe spaces for LGBTQ elderly, adults, and children. Meet new friends and enjoy delicious food at the monthly EQUAAC Happy Hour hosted at Hilton Garden Restaurant and Lounge. Grab some friends and attend Drag Bingo on the last Friday of every month. Watch the pride parade, listen to live music, and support local vendors at the Annapolis Pride Festival. Or check out the many other local pride events in Annapolis throughout the year, which include LGBTQ-centric book clubs, art celebrations, and more!

Attend Annapolis Area Events

You’ll find no shortage of lively community events and activities in Annapolis! Commemorate the founding of the state of Maryland with family-friendly activities like face painting, fun games, and more at Maryland Day, hosted just outside of the city. Sample wine during complementary tastings, try local food, and enjoy live music at the nearby Savor Bowie Food, Wine, & Music Festival. Attend panels and catch clips of more than 100 films from over 35 countries at the amazing annual Annapolis Film Festival. Dress up in medieval-inspired attire, watch themed performances and live entertainment, and enjoy mouthwatering food at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Savor fresh crab with friends and raise money for local charities at the annual Rotary Club of Annapolis Crab Feast. Or try even more seafood offerings, enter the Crab Soup cook-off, and enjoy a variety of other activities at the Maryland Seafood Festival!

Dine at Fresh Seafood Restaurants

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 at waterfront restaurant, Carrol’s Creek Cafe. Try the Crab Stuffed Shrimp, Littleneck Clams, or Salmon Platter at Cantler’s Riverside Inn. Feast on Crispy Buffalo Oysters, 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, Calamari, or Soft Crab Sandwich at Wild Country Seafood. Chow down on Maryland Crab Soup, Middle Neck Clams, or Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna at the nautical-themed Boatyard Bar & Grill. Or get some Duck Yakitori, Smoked Whitefish Toast, or an Octopus Chili Dog at Sailor Oyster Bar.

Discover Amazing Local Dining

If you’re a foodie, you’ll be excited to find a wide variety of cuisines at Annapolis restaurants! Wake up right with breakfast favorites like French Toast, Pancakes, or Chicken & Waffles at Chick & Ruth’s Delly. Gather with friends to share small plates like Spicy Pork Belly, Crab Flatbread, or Tuna Tartare at Level – A Small Plates Lounge. Satisfy your cravings for Mexican food in Annapolis with a Chimichanga, Enchiladas, or Burritos at Tequila Sunrise Restaurant. Find Fried Tofu, Tuna Tataki, or Wasabi Shumai on the sushi bar at Nano Asian Dining. Enjoy a Caprese Pizza, Gnocchi Al Forno, or Lobster Ravioli and other Italian favorites at Carpaccio Tuscan Kitchen & Wine Bar. Try flavorful American bites like the Impossible Burger, Chicken Pesto Hoagie, or Farmhouse Salad at Iron Rooster. Or indulge in Caramel Pretzel Ice Cream, Cookie Dough Coffee Ice Cream, or a Smoothie of your creation for dessert at The Red Bean.

Explore Annapolis Bars & Nightlife

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

Photo via @the_brass_tap

Want to check out the nightlife in Annapolis? Dance the night away, see live comedy, and enjoy refreshing cocktails like the Rum Refresher and Grapefruit Sparkler at Rams Head On Stage. Have a Jameson Irish Whiskey or a seasonal cocktail like the Lavender Fields of Kentucky at the trendy Dry 85—a self-described “modern industrial take on a Prohibition-era speakeasy.” Enjoy an evening on the patio digging into tacos, burgers, and specialty brews, or check out live music, sing karaoke, or bring a team for trivia nights at Stan and Joe’s Saloon. Try wine options like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Merlot at upscale Vin 909 Winecafe. Enjoy the Irish pub experience on American soil when you order cocktails like Irish Whiskey Nog or Apple Cider Nog at Galway Bay Irish Restaurant & Pub. Or play your favorite arcade games and grab daily deals like BOGO Jell-O Shots on Thursdays at GameOn Bar + Arcade.

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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.