Posted February 16, 2010 by Anne Banas
Set along Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis' connection to the water is undeniable. Not only is it "America's Sailing Capital" and home to the U.S. Naval Academy, but its maritime history is centuries long. In 2008, the city celebrated its 300th anniversary, and now is the perfect time to discover its past by strolling around the refreshed City Dock. Then crack open a few crabs at a local sailor's bar nearby, or curl up sea-captain style at a 1870 inn, all while keeping within an ordinary seaman's budget.
City Dock: After taking a few months off for a beautification and reconstruction project, this historic Annapolis boardwalk has reopened. Come watch sailboats proudly strut their stuff as they parade up Ego Alley. Or visit the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial, which commemorates the author of "Roots" and the landing of his enslaved ancestor, Kunta Kinte, from Africa. The dock also hosts History Quest for a before and after look of the harbor. Everything is free.
Boatyard Bar & Grill: Take the water taxi from City Dock to Eastport's restaurant row, and tack into one of the top sailing hangouts in the world (according to Coastal Living). Nosh on surf and turf like the blue crab sandwich for $10.95 or boatyard burger for $8.95, while rubbing elbows with local sailors. Look for specials like Crisfield crab cakes for $14.95 on Monday nights.
Flag House Inn: This nautical-themed B&B is so close to the water that the house motto is: "If you're a real slow walker, it might take you a minute to get there." The home is composed of two Victorian townhouses, so guests have their own entrance and more privacy. If guests are interested, owners Charlotte and Bill Schmickle will share all their Naval Academy and historical preservation insights from personal experience. Free parking and state or country flags hung for every guest make Flag House a true downtown Annapolis gem, from $160 per night.
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(Photo: iStockphoto.com/Jaap Hart)