If you want to feel like you “got away” for the weekend, come join us in Annapolis. The seaside destination has all the best of summer wrapped into one—water slapping up against the Annapolis Harbor, gorgeous sailboats cutting shapes through the sky, quaint streets rolling out everything from fudge and ice cream, to beautiful art, to kitschy souvenirs. Add to this the service academy that sits in its midst, where the midshipmen continue their hard work throughout the lazy days of summer—and where the pristine Yard just beckons you aboard. We’ve put together some long weekend ideas for your visiting pleasure. Come see us soon!
Thursday, August 4th:
Take a Naval Academy Tour: If you come on Thursday, August 4th (or 11th), you can catch our newest USNA tour, Anchors Aweigh Music Tour, which takes you through the life and times of one of our most cherished band leaders, Charles Zimmerman, who composed the Naval Academy’s famous fight song, “Anchors Aweigh.” You’ll explore the Yard from a musical point of view, and this summer only, you’ll have the chance to land at the Zimmerman Bandstand for a free summer concert put on by the USNA Band. There are also plenty of other tours to try, from the USNA Tour and Tea, to the Jewish Chapel and Levy Center Tour, to the Navy Way Boot Camp for the youngest sailors, all offered through the day. The USNA offers eight fascinating group tours (including a driving tour) that you can book in advance, and two that you can join when you arrive. For times and tickets, check out their descriptions.
Dine on the Yard: After you take in a tour, you can find some incredible meals right here on the Yard. The Drydock Restaurant that’s nestled in Dahlgren Hall and full of USNA memorabilia boasts the “best pizza in town,” along with some other great casual eats. For a more formal meal, you can head to The Alley Restaurant at the Naval Academy Club for their local favorites, like crab pretzel and filet mignon with cheese. If you need a snack, 1845 Coffee has you covered, with beverages, wraps and other great refuelers. No matter where you dine, you’ll feel the heft of history, as you rub elbows with midshipmen, enjoy the nautical art gracing the walls and marvel at these century’s old buildings.
Friday, August 5th:
Annapolis Crab Feast, 5:00 p.m - 8:00 p.m.: This event is called the “world’s largest crab feast.” It is all. you. can. eat. Need we say more? The Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium will be stuffed to the brim with about 2,500 people, tucking into about 320 bushels of Maryland blue crabs, 3,400 ears of sweet local corn, 100 gallons of vegetable crab soup, 1,800 hot dogs, 150 pounds of beef barbeque sandwiches, fresh watermelon, and gallons and gallons of refreshing soft drinks and beer. Run by the Rotary Club of Annapolis, this must-do summer tradition is in its 77th year. It’s just for one day, and tickets sell fast, so grab your Crab Feast and Raffle tickets here today!
Plus, you’ll be giving back to the community, since 100 percent of proceeds go to local community and cultural nonprofits. The Rotary Club also partners with local group Annapolis Green for a “zero-waste” experience. They transform about 20,000 pounds of crab shells, corn cobs, watermelon rinds, plates, cups, cutlery and napkins into “Christmas Crab Compost,” which is available for sale each December. This event is a true feel good feast!
Saturday, August 6th:
Dine by the Bay: Once you’ve recovered from the feast, head over to the waterfront to take in the sea breezes and enjoy the boat-watching. There are too many excellent places to name, but you’ll be sure to find an incredible dining experience at all of them, including 1936 Bar and Grill, with its expansive, two story view of the water and menu options such as fish tacos, salads and freshly squeezed juices. Libbey’s Coastal Kitchen + Cocktails even offers a “dock and dine” option for those who come by boat. Enjoy their Eastern Shore specialties, like country corn and crab dip, bayside cobb and their generous seafood trinity with broiled crab cake, scallops, shrimp, house citrus bay butter, chives, old bay mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables, all with a view of the Bay. Eating at any of these waterfront places is like having summer on a plate.
Sunday, August 7th:
Local Farmers’ Markets: Hit some of the best farmers’ markets in town, including the Anne Arundel County Farmers’ Market, which takes place on Sundays (and other days) at Riva Road and Harry S. Truman Parkway in Annapolis from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to check out the freshest produce, meats and cheeses, bread, coffee, artwork and more. You can also head to Diehl’s Produce Market of Annapolis at 921 Chesapeake Avenue in Annapolis (in the Eastport Shopping Center), which is open seven days a week and features fresh local fruits and vegetables as well as beautiful plants and flowers.
After a delightful few days enjoying Annapolis and the waterfront, it’s hard to set sail for home. So make plans to come back! Annapolis has fun for every season and everyone. See our guide for more ideas for late summer and in the fall. Now you know what to do in Annapolis this weekend. When you dine in at USNA restaurants, take USNA tours, shop at USNA stores, you’re also giving back to the Brigade, since all proceeds go to the midshipmen. Plan a trip today!
Please Note: The events, companies, destinations and/or products mentioned in this article are only suggestions. Readers should not consider these suggestions as an endorsement by the United States Naval Academy or any other component of the Department of Defense.