If George Washington were alive today, his favorite place to spend the day just might be in the historic district of Annapolis. Almost every street in Annapolis has a story to tell. Many of the homes, buildings and restaurants are more than 200 years old.
Annapolis is not only a great place to gain some insight into the past, but today the city also draws people from up and down the East Coast. Just off the Chesapeake Bay, the city attracts boaters and fishermen who frequent the waters. And there is always a crowd at the popular city dock, where locals and tourists go to shop, eat or just sit on the dock and take in the scenery. Whether a romantic day trip or family outing, Annapolis has a lot to offer.
Things to do
Three Centuries Tours (410-263-5401): Walk along the streets of Annapolis with a tour guide dressed in Colonial garb. From the William Paca House to the Kunta Kinte/Alex Haley memorial, learn about the rich history of Annapolis. Call for more information.
The Naval Academy (52 King George St., 410-263-6933, Ext. 112 for tour info): The Naval Academy is the undergraduate college of the U.S. Navy and is home to more than 4,200 midshipmen. Tour the campus, visit the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center and view the sarcophagus of Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones. Must have photo ID to enter the Naval Academy.
City Dock: The dock in historic downtown Annapolis is host to many parades and boat shows during the year. Just sit and take in the scenery or venture out on the bay in one of the boats for rent. If you are hungry, visit the Market House on City Dock, which has everything from gourmet pizza, sushi and ice cream to a specialty cheese shop.
Places to Eat
Chick and Ruth's Delly (165 Main St., 410-269-6737): If you are looking for an inexpensive bite to eat, Chick and Ruth's offers food and friendly service. Menu options include "The George Bush," a turkey-breast sandwich with lettuce and tomato on whole-wheat toast. Many of the menu options are named after senators, governors and retired mayors. If you are feeling patriotic, drop in for breakfast any morning as the day gets started with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Middleton Tavern (on City Dock at 2 Market Space, 410-263-3323): Originally opened in 1750, this restaurant claims to have served George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. If you are feeling adventurous, try the famous oyster and shrimp shooters.
Mangia Italian Grill and Sports Cafe (81 Main St., 410-268-1350): Serves great brick-oven pizza. Don't forget to say hi to Joe, because everybody knows Joe.
Griffin's (22 Market Space, 410-268-2576): Restaurant by day and midshipmen's party by night. The locals and area college students often dance the night away at Griffin's after hours. If you are in the military, you can receive a 10 percent discount. Visit the Web site to print out the coupon at www. griffins-citydock.com.
Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre (143 Compromise St., 410-268-9212): Founded in 1966, the Summer Garden Theatre is the "Theatre Under the Stars." This theater has no ceiling, so if it rains, the show does not go on. Beginning in May, productions will include Evita, The Merry Wives and My Fair Lady. For reservations, call 410-268-9212.
Take Interstate 695 South and take Exit 4 (Interstate 97) toward Annapolis/Bay Bridge. Take the U.S. 50/U.S. 301 North exit toward Annapolis/Bay Bridge. Get off on Exit 24 (Rowe Boulevard/ Bestgate Road), bear toward the right. Continue on Rowe Boulevard. Bear left onto Northwest Street. Turn right onto Church Circle. Make another right onto Duke of Gloucester Street. Then turn left onto Green Street. This will bring you to City Dock.