I fell in love with the city of Annapolis, Maryland during a visit in the fall. After my visit, I knew that I wanted to come back again so that my family could experience the city. The downtown has a rich history, beautiful architecture, and gorgeous Chesapeake Bay views.
Annapolis is the capitol for the State of Maryland and the city is located about an hour from Washington DC and 45 minutes from Baltimore (traffic permitting) which makes it a nice addition to an itinerary if you are in the area.
Where to Park
Finding parking for an RV can be a challenge but we discovered that we had plenty of room at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. There were no special events going on during our visit which made the parking fee $10. We even lucked out and outlasted the attendant so our parking was free. The stadium is 1.3 miles from downtown Annapolis. My husband dropped my dad and I off downtown so that we could get our trolley tickets at the Annapolis Visitors Center and then he walked with the boys. After our visit all of us walked back. If you don’t want to walk you could take the state employee shuttle into town for $2 per person. The shuttle doesn’t run on weekends, but you could catch a bus on the Gold Bus line and head into the Historic District or call a Lyft an Uber.
Things to Do
We drove straight from Ocean City and wanted to get the most out of our limited time in Annapolis. We chose to spend the day taking several tours. Make sure that you check out my post from my previous visit to Annapolis for even more ideas.
The 60 minute tour starts and ends in downtown Annapolis at the Visitor’s Center. I would recommend ordering your tickets online to guarantee your spot. The trolley is air conditioned and one lucky passenger can even sit up front with the driver, ring the bell, and wear the special hat.
The trolley tour is a great way to get an overview of Annapolis, learn about the history, and to discover areas in Annapolis that you will want to explore further. A few of the points of interests that you will see on the sightseeing tour are the Annapolis City Dock, Colonial Mansions, Maryland Governor’s Residence, Maryland State House, WWII Memorial, and St. John’s College. The tour makes one stop where you can get out and take pictures at the Severn River Overlook, with scenic views of the Naval Academy, weather permitting.
The Naval Academy was a favorite of my dad and my husband. Since 1845, the United States Naval Academy has been training officers for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. When I toured the Academy for the first time, I instantly knew that both of them needed to see it. one of my husband’s grandfathers served in the Navy and his other is a Marine which gave him an even more personal connection.
Guests who visit the academy will go through a security checkpoint so it’s important to make sure that you have your ID.
To make the most out of your visit, take the guided walking tour. As you tour “the yard” with a certified guide, you will learn about the life of a midshipmen while visiting several points of interest with stops at student dormitory Bancroft Hall, Memorial Hall, Statue of Tecumseh, Herndon Monument, Main Chapel and the Crypt of John Paul Jones who was a naval hero in the Revolutionary War. My boys enjoyed touring Ricketts Hall where athletic training takes place and trophies are displayed. The guided tours last about an hour and 15 minutes.
If you have more time in your schedule and a love of history, make sure that you stop by the Naval Academy Museum.
The Harbor Queen departs from the city dock and provides you with another perspective of Annapolis from the water. The 40 minute narrated cruise is a relaxing way to enjoy the scenery and learn more about the history of Annapolis and the Naval Academy.
The cruise offers snacks and beverages for purchase and you do not need a reservation. Tickets must be purchased at the City Dock .
Architecture lovers will be overjoyed as you discover streets with over 1200+ buildings that are over a century old representing 15 different styles of architecture. Annapolis has the highest concentration of Georgian style buildings in the United States.
Pay close attention to the different colored historic markers on the buildings that indicate the time period of the building you are viewing. Check out the Annapolis Architecture Guide for a walking tour of buildings that you do not want to miss.
Where We Ate
I ordered the Jumbo lump 1/2 pound crab cake at Chick and Ruth’s Delly during my first visit and I’ve dreamed about it ever since.
My family agreed with my dinner choice and we even purchased a few pastries to enjoy the next morning. All of the bread and pies are made fresh everyday onsite without any preservatives. If you are feeling extra hungry, take on the one of the Colossal Food Challenges and take home a free t-shirt if you complete the challenge.
No vacation is complete without sampling the local ice cream! Voted best ice cream in Annapolis serving up 36 flavors daily that are made in store. The serving sizes are generous and the hardest part is determining which flavor to choose.
Leave a reminder of your visit by decorating a plastic spoon to join other artistic designs displayed in racks on the wall.
Where We Stayed
We chose to stay at Cherry Hill RV Park for 2 nights because it’s the closest campground to Washington DC. We wanted to enjoy our time in Annapolis and then travel to a campground that would be close for our activities in DC the following day.
I loved that the campsite had a nice bricked patio area with a picnic table along with sturdy chairs and a circular table. We found plenty of activities and amenities available for family fun onsite. We took advantage of the outdoor pool pretty quickly because it was a hot day. The water temperature wasn’t bad because I even got in at night. There is an 18 Hole Miniature Golf Course, basketball court, two playgrounds, game room, lounge with a large screen tv and fireplace, hot tub and sauna, nightly movies (in the warmer months) and nature trails for guests to enjoy.
We really enjoyed our visit to Annapolis and I hope that you will consider a visit during your next RV adventure.