Annapolis, MD (July 2015)

I’m lucky to live within an hour’s drive of Annapolis, Maryland, one of the most picturesque seaports on the East Coast. Emily and I decided to pay a short weekend visit there with our dog Ollie to celebrate my birthday.

Maryland State House, Annapolis

Ollie at the Maryland State House, Annapolis

On the way there, we picked up some sandwiches at Bay Zu Coffee and headed to Quiet Waters Park on the South River, a little bit outside of the city.  This 340-acre wooded park is a great place to spend an afternoon.

Quiet Waters park Mason Neck

The eroded dog beach at Quiet Waters park

There is even has a dog beach (temporarily closed due to erosion) and a  enclosed dog park, but we didn’t  take Ollie in there due to his occasional outbursts against bigger dogs.We are working on him!  On the way back to our car, we found a blackberry patch along one of the trails and ate a bunch of ripe ones right off the plant.

Ollie looking scraggly

Ollie looking scraggly

Arriving into downtown Annapolis a little later, we checked into the dog-friendly Loews Annapolis hotel near Maryland’s State Capitol complex. The common areas of the hotel and the room were decorated in a maritime theme, colored in blues and whites, and really made us feel like we were at the Chesapeake Bay.  The going rate for a standard room was $149, which I think is a really good deal. I’m not sure if the rates spike up for busy football Saturdays when Navy’s playing at home or Navy graduation weekend.

Annapolis buildings

USNA building in background

We took Ollie out for a stroll down Main Street towards the U.S. Naval Academy and stopped into a bunch of stores to shop.  Every store we walked into allowed dogs, which was a godsend to Ollie because it was about 95 degrees. All he seemed to want to do was pull us into some random air-conditioned store to rest. We bought sunglasses at Shades of the Bay and Emily picked up a few outfits at the boutique Brown Eyed Girl. We also stopped into Paws Pet Boutique on State Circle and treated Ollie.

For dinner, we chose Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge, a New American restaurant a few minutes walk down the street from the Loews. After sharing a fried green tomatoes appetizer, I had the braised pork rib and Emily had the baked portobello mushrooms with asparagus. We tried a couple of draft beers we’d never heard of, like the 471 IPA, by Breckenridge Brewery (CO).

Kevin in Annapolis

For breakfast on Sunday, we went with New American food again at Bar Oak, the restaurant connected to the Loews hotel. I loved the interior design, which, like the lobby it was connected to, also took on a seaside decor. I had the “Cure,” an egg, bacon and cheese sandwich on a brioche bun, while Emily had the “Healthy Start.” We thought the food and the service was great.

The "Cure" at Bar Oak

The “Cure” at Bar Oak

After breakfast we walked around Annapolis a bit more and then hopped in the car to head towards Eastport, a neighborhood of Annapolis. We went to Wild Country Seafood for a quick lunch on the way out of town.

Wild Country Seafood Annapolis

Wild Country Seafood oysters

I had a plate of a dozen thick oysters under one of their umbrella-covered picnic tables in the parking lot. You don’t come here for the decor; you come for the seafood. The crabs and fried scallops on the plates of other diners looked amazing.

All in all this was a really nice short weekend trip from DC. Annapolis is not conveniently accessible by public transportation, so a car is a must.

If I were putting together an itinerary for a foreign traveler to see on a two-week trip to the Eastern USA, Annapolis would definitely be on it. The historic city streets, variety of distinctly American architecture styles, and seaport setting are definitely worth experiencing.

Kevin is based in Washington, DC and writes about his travel adventures in the Mid-Atlantic region and around the world. Through entertaining writing and eye-catching photography, he aims to provide readers with useful information as they plan their next trips.

  • Billy Doyle

    Free marketing suggestion for the sunglasses store: 50 Shades of the Bay

    Those oysters look meaty!

    Great post. I’ve never thought about visiting Annapolis before but after this post I want to.

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