Spring is a wonderful time to visit Annapolis and the Academy. The walkways come to life with flowering trees, the water is fresh and inviting, and the midshipmen all have a new spring in their perfectly polished steps. The town itself is abuzz with the new season. There are just so many things to see in Annapolis during the spring. We’ve put together a quick weekend getaway plan so you can have a taste. Take a look and then come visit!
Lodging: Rise and shine at the Graduate Annapolis, located in the heart of historic Annapolis on West Street. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from City Dock (and everywhere else). The decor is pure Annapolis with a hint of Naval Academy, and the Trophy Room serves up “American dishes with a local spin.” The Poindexter coffee bar drives your java fix and there’s a beautiful fitness center to keep you moving. If you have a pooch, you’ll love your stay at the Graduate even more. They’re so dog friendly, they even have a dog park!
Or, if you prefer architecture mirroring the Naval Academy’s, the Westin Annapolis is a local favorite that’s located on Westgate Circle. This Marriott Bonvoy property has all the amenities you crave, including inspiring downtown views, the beautiful Azure Restaurant and Lounge with delectable American dishes, an indoor pool and well-outfitted fitness center, and plenty of room to meet up with friends.
Dining: Whenever you’re hungry, you can hit the Sailor Oyster Bar on West Street, where tasty sandwiches, charcuterie, cocktails, and oysters await. Or try the Light House Bistro, also on West Street. They’re a social enterprise that employs many graduates from the Light House Shelter, a homeless shelter that once stood on the same spot. The restaurant provides elevated American dishes and brunch in a warm, fun setting.
Things to Do in Annapolis: The Banneker-Douglass Museum (BDM) recently reopened its distinctive doors at 84 Franklin Street after a hiatus, and is an inspiring place to explore the history of the African-American experience in the Chesapeake region and beyond. Housed in the former Mt. Moriah African Methodist Episcopal Church, this brick building was built in 1875 and remodeled in 1896 in the Gothic Revival Style with a charming gable-front. Now with soaring black framed glass windows, it’s a modern marvel. You can view the historic “Andrew Ellicott & Benjamin Banneker Surveying the Boundaries of Washington, DC” mural that was recently moved here from its original spot in the Maryland House Travel Plaza.
There’s a new exhibit called “Black History 365.” It’s a collection of stories, art, and events highlighting the history, heritage, and contributions of Black Marylanders, as well as the history of the people of the African Diaspora in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. You can also linger over the museum’s permanent collection, which celebrates specific African-Americans in Maryland, features an African art collection, tells Harriet Tubman’s story, recounts the Civil Rights Movement and racial integration in the 1960s, and serves up much more with interactive maps, games, and videos. The museum is free, but donations are encouraged.
After this enlightening afternoon, you can enjoy the murals around town. Take yourself on a gallery trip through town with this map. There are works that delight the senses and tickle the mind. Stop by any restaurant that looks good along the way! Before you retire, extend your evening with a brand new bar— the GameOn Bar + Arcade that just opened next to Graduate Annapolis on West Street. Full of fun arcade games, a well-stocked bar and a warm and welcoming vibe, there’s nothing like it in Annapolis.
Dining: Make it a great morning! Naval Bagels is always ready to serve you. Parking is easy, and some call this place’s bagels the best in town. If you want breakfast, their breakfast bagels are sure to satisfy. Their savory lunch bagels are also a hit. Whether you’re craving a hot melty pizza bagel or a crispy BLTCOB, they hit the spot every time. Make sure to bag up some fresh bagels to bring home and freeze so you can keep the Annapolis feeling for weeks to come.
Spend some time exploring the Yard, wandering and looking for hidden treasures. You can also attend a beautiful service at the USNA Chapel and pop into Preble Hall (the USNA museum) to marvel at some of the naval artifacts collected over the years.
Things to Do in Annapolis: Annapolis spring activities could keep you here until the fall. There are so many things to do! West Annapolis is a wonderful hidden gem that’s very close to the Naval Academy—especially if you exit the USNA via the gate off Baltimore Blvd. West Annapolis has amazing boutiques and shops—as well as some good eats.
When you’ve had your fill, wander down to the Annapolis City Dock to watch the world sail by and enjoy the sea breezes that give our town its Chesapeake flavor. If you’re here in late April, be sure to catch the Spring Sailboat Show, an exciting Annapolis tradition that brings everyone to the harbor to see the newest boats take to the water over four fun-packed days.
Take some time to take in the town. There are plenty of places to poke your head into on Main Street and the surrounding quaint roads, and you’ll enjoy the feel of cobblestones under your feet as you breath in the sea breeze.
Before you know it, you’ll be heading home. Weekends fly by when you’re having fun, and this season is extra special in this seaside town. Hotels can book up fast, so make sure to make a reservation to enjoy Annapolis springtime soon. Check our guide for some more ideas, and make plans to come visit again soon!