Our weekly excursion in the Washington DC area was a bit closer to home this week. We decided to spend the day downtown Annapolis, exploring the sites, stores, and restaurants. It’s definitely worth coming back, because there’s way too much to see and do in one day.
We have done a few walking tours in England, and got to see places and hear stories we’d never experience otherwise, and we wanted a similar experience in Annapolis. Fortunately, we had met Mr. William Ridgley of Colonial Tours Annapolis, and spent a delightful couple of hours with him, traipsing through the town, learning a ton of history, asking questions, and receiving in-depth knowledge in reply. The man is brilliant, and definitely worth the tour.
Right next to the downtown dock is a bronze of Alex Haley telling a group of children the story of his Roots. Apparently, Haley’s ancestor arrived from Africa and disembarked in Annapolis, providing a historic side to the city we hadn’t imagined existed. Of course, Francis Scott Key was a graduate of St. John’s College here in Annapolis, which adds to the texture and complexity of the city’s history.
Downtown Annapolis is full of boutiques, cafés, pubs, gift shops, general stores, and specialty shops. The Galway Bay Irish Restaurant and Pub is a local favorite, as is Chick and Ruth’s Delly. We particularly enjoyed the Café Normandie, and of course Kilwin’s Chocolate & Ice Cream is definitely worth stopping in.
Near the state capitol, we chanced upon The Annapolis Pottery and met the owner/potter. Of course, we added to our collection of teapots and locally-made wares. Then we walked up King George Street along the outer wall of the Naval Academy.
The famous, beautiful dome of the chapel is being renovated, and had scaffolding all around it, but the cupola at the very top stood out against the clouded, blue sky. We plan to go back when the rest of the dome is completed, showing off its new copper skin.
At the Hammond-Harwood House, we learned a lot about early American architecture, furnishings, and lifestyle. But we also gleaned some interesting tidbits about the values and culture. Our guide was pretty knowledgeable.
We want to experience more of Annapolis, such as the Colonial Players’ Theater in the Round, when it opens. And many more attractions that we just didn’t have time to see yet.
The picture at the top of this article is an image on the wall of the Naval Academy near the main entrance. There’s much to see inside the Academy itself, but that’ll take another whole day.