On the coast of the Chesapeake Bay lies Annapolis, Maryland’s capital city and home of the United States Naval Academy. This charming city, a quick hop and skip away from D.C., is a perfect getaway from the bustle of the District’s streets and cherry blossom tourists. From its booming diverse restaurant scene to its thriving Arts District, Annapolis isn’t just cobblestones and crabs.
STAY: Graduate Annapolis
After a long day of reaching your steps goal, taking in the sights and deshelling seafood, you’d want a place to lay your head and kick up your feet. That perfect place is the brand-new Graduate Annapolis hotel (126 West St).
Joining Graduate Hotels’ 21-hotel strong lineup just last fall, Graduate Annapolis is immaculately designed with nods to the the city’s nautical tradition throughout the property. The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Annapolis, providing guests with unparalleled access to the city’s charisma and culture. Guests stretch out and snooze in one of their 216 rooms and suites decorated with with notes of navy and colorful striped walls, ideal for travelers looking to retreat and relax in style.
For those who might want to take a day off to chill within the hotel’s walls, the hotel’s dining options have got you taken care of. Camp Severn Shore, the hotel’s full-service restaurant with a submarine-themed interior, serves up coastal bites and classical cocktails for you to feast on during your hiatus. When you’re feeling peckish or need a caffeine reload, Poindexter can be your source of comfort. And if you’re planning on driving into Annapolis, good news: parking is available.
Graduate Annapolis, 126 West St, from $97 per night, graduatehotels.com/annapolis.
SEE: The United States Naval Academy
Just beyond the grounds of Graduate Annapolis, you’ll find yourself in Downtown Annapolis, where the Arts District and City Dock are located. A short drive away is Annapolis Towne Centre, Sandy Point State Park and Historic London Town. Wherever you are in Annapolis there will be no shortage of things to see, do, or eat. While fitting in all the hip restaurants and historical sights might be a challenge, the United States Naval Academy is not to be missed.
You’ll be sure to see some of the Academy’s current midshipmen and women roaming the streets during your visit, adding some extra naval flair to your trip, but nothing beats the experience of a visit to the academy. Whether you take a guided tour or decide to forge your own trail, you’ll get a look at their historic chapel, where two stained-glass windows by Tiffany are displayed, and the USNA Museum, where you’ll learn more about the Navy’s history and the lives of those who dedicated their lives to serve the country at sea. You might also be lucky enough to hear a “Go Navy, Beat Army” chant as you stroll through the grounds or even catch a football game during your visit!
US Naval Academy, 121 Blake Rd, 9:00am-5:00pm – March through December, 9:00am-4:00pm – January and February, visitors 21 years of age or older must have a valid picture ID to enter the grounds, visit usna.edu for more information on entrance regulations.
WINE AND DINE: Annapolis Restaurant Week
For an extra special trip for your inner foodie, visit Annapolis during Annapolis Restaurant Week, which lasts from today through March 8, to experience the city’s best restaurants with deals that are hard to pass up. During Restaurant Week, over 40 establishments will offer prix fixe meals at exclusive prices: 2-course breakfasts at $12.95, 2-course lunches at $15.95, and 3-course dinners at ($34.95). Start your culinary journey with Zagat-recommended Iron Rooster (12 Market Space) for a waterfront breakfast or lunch, consisting of comfort in the form of their signature chicken and pancakes or southern parm hoagie. For dinner, make a reservation at 1920s-era steakhouse, Lewnes’ Steakhouse (401 Fourth Street), for a juicy and perfectly cooked steak or salmon with sides and appetizers of your choice. The Graduate Annapolis’ Camp Severn Shore (126 West St) is also one of the 40 establishments offering Restaurant Week deals, complete with their steak and frites and crab cake as dinner options.
Annapolis Restaurant Week, thru Mar. 8, prices vary depending on meal, downtownannapolispartnership.org.