Annapolis Boat Shows – Demonstrating its commitment to the environment, United States Yacht Shows partnered with Annapolis Green to make the 2012 United States Sailboat and Powerboat Shows eco-smart. Brightly colored “eco-stations” made it easy for Sailboat and Powerboat Show attendees and vendors to recycle paper, glass, metal, and plastic. United States Yacht Shows has had cardboard recycling in place at the shows for several years. www.usboat.com , www.annapolisgreen.com .
Annapolis Craft Beer & Music Festival – Craft beer lovers have discovered yet another reason to come to Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay – the Annapolis Craft Beer and Music Festival. More than 60 craft beers and eight live bands were on tap at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium for the first annual event on October 27. 410-263-4012 , www.
Annapolis Film Festival – The “all new” Annapolis Film Festival will feature internationally acclaimed filmmakers and celebrity guests from March 21 through March 24, 2013. Made possible through a partnership with the City of Annapolis, local arts groups, and business organizations, the nationally competitive festival will showcase a variety of film genres and include presentations, educational panels, and discussions. 410-263-3023 , www.annapolisfilmfestival.net .
Anne Arundel County SPCA – The First Annual Puppy Plunge took place August 19 at YMCA’s Camp Letts in Edgewater. Four-legged participants took the plunge and vied for honors in the Ugly Dog and Doggy Bikini contests while their two-legged friends enjoyed food, music, canoeing, games, and children’s activities. 410-268-4388 , www.aacspca.org .
Anne Arundel County SPCA – The First Annual Barktoberfest took place in October 2012. The dog-friendly celebration included beer and wine tastings, food, live music, dancing, doggy costume contests, a silent auction, and more. Proceeds benefited the Betsy Medical Fund that helps orphaned animals who need extraordinary medical care. 410-268-4388 , www.aacspca.org .
First Annual Annapolis Crab Derby – In partnership with the Crabs for Kids Foundation, the Annapolis Maritime Museum hosted the First Annual Annapolis Crab Derby on September 1, 2012. The event included live crab races, crab shell painting, live music, a magic show, and more. Proceeds benefitted local youth and families in need. 410-295-0104 , www.amaritime.org .
Heritage Showcase – Nearly 20 Four Rivers Heritage Area attractions exhibited at the First Annual Heritage Showcase on October 25, 2012. Held at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, the event gave area residents and educators a taste of the many field trip, group day trip, and family outing possibilities that exist right in their own backyards. 410-222-1805 , www.fourriversheritage.org .
Pyrate Invasion – MainStreets Annapolis Partnership and Heavy Seas partnered to bring the First Annual Pyrate Invasion to Annapolis in September 2012. Families followed a treasure map that led them throughout the city. Ten local restaurants provided treasure hunting, food, and beverages for privateers of all ages. www.hsbeer.com/events/pyrate-
Short Film Crawl – Annapolis Film Festival organizers held their first Short Film Crawl on September 23, 2012. Participants enjoyed drinks, light fare, and short film viewings as they visited six West Street bars and restaurants. The Crawl was part of the organization’s larger plan to establish Maryland’s capital city as a center for showcasing the work of aspiring filmmakers. 410-263-3023 , www.annapolisfilmfestival.net .
What’s New with Attractions
Banneker-Douglass Museum – Race-Rhythm-Reflection, the art of James Terrell , is on exhibit through April 2013. Opened in October 2012, the exhibit features the work of the DC-based singer-songwriter, painter, educator, musician, and pastor. 410-216-6181 , www.bdmuseum.com .
Historic London Town and Gardens – In September 2012, Historic London Town and Gardens kicked off a series of six dinners at its historic William Brown House. Available through March 2013, the dinners are catered by Julie St. Marie and include five courses paired with wine. 410-222-1919 , www.historiclondontown.org .
Maryland Live! Casino – Phase II construction at Maryland Live! Casino wrapped up August 30, 2012. The $500 million, 300,000 square foot world class casino features 4,750 Las Vegas-style slot machines and electronic table games, including Blackjack, Roulette, Mini-Baccarat, and Pai Gow Poker. Nationally acclaimed restaurants including Bobby’s Burger Palace by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, the Cheesecake Factory, Phillip’s Seafood Restaurant, and The Prime Rib head the list of dining possibilities. Other dining options include Noodles, Market To Go, and Live! Market Buffet. For live entertainment, check out the 500-seat Rams Head Center Stage. Designed with group travel in mind, Maryland Live! also features a motorcoach lounge. 855-5MD-LIVE. www.marylandlivecasino.com .
Rain Barrels in Eastport – In keeping with the City of Annapolis’s commitment to sustainability, Mayor Joshua Cohen joined members of the MainStreets Annapolis Partnership’s (MAPS) Clean/Safe/Green Committee for a July 26, 2012 ribbon cutting celebrating the installation of rain barrels at five Eastport businesses. BB&T Bank, Boatyard Bar and Grill, Fleet Feet, The Rockfish, and Eastport’s Shell Service Station have taken a leadership role in neighborhood sustainability by participating in the MAPS initiative. 410-703-9405, www.mainstreetsannapolis.org .
Rams Head Center Stage – Maryland Live! celebrated the grand opening of Rams Head Center Stage on Labor Day weekend 2012. The 500-seat state-of-the-art venue features live entertainment – from headline acts to popular local and regional bands. 443-482-9277, www.ramsheadgroup.com .
St. Anne’s Parish – In October 2012, St. Anne’s Episcopal Church on Church Circle in Annapolis began offering free guided tours of the church and grounds. Lead by a team of trained docents, the tours are available from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. the first and third Mondays of the month and from 12:30 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of the month. Tours can be arranged for other times by appointment. 410-267-9333, www.stannes-annapolis.org .
Truxtun Park – In spring 2011, the City of Annapolis began offering geocaching in Truxtun Park. Participants use a GPS or a GPS-enabled phone to find hidden outdoor treasures at the park’s four Ranger Rick wildlife themed geocaches. It’s free and geared for kids ages 6-14 and their families. To begin, participants need simply go to www.geocaching.com/
United States Naval Academy – In honor of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, the U.S. Naval Academy has developed a self-guided walking tour that includes ten stops related to the war. Five sites are located at the Naval Academy and five are within the City of Annapolis. Kicked off in July 2012, the tours are available through October 2014. Copies of the tour map can be picked up at the USNA Visitor Center, USNA Museum, Maryland State House, Historic Annapolis Museum at 99 Main Street, and the Annapolis Visitor Center at 26 West Street. www.usna.edu/War1812 .
United States Naval Academy – Seas, Lakes & Bay: The Naval War of 1812 exhibit will be on display at the U.S. Naval Academy’s Mahan Hall from April 1 through November 3, 2013. The Hart Room on the second floor will house a comprehensive display of War of 1812 art and artifacts from the William Koch collection and the United States Naval Academy Museum. www.usna.edu/War1812 .
What’s New with Restaurants
b.b. Bistro – The Maryland Green Travel program welcomed b.b. Bistro in Eastport into its ranks in September 2012. The voluntary program recognizes tourism businesses that are committed to reducing their environmental impact. The restaurant’s ongoing greening practices include improving energy efficiency, reducing waste, using environmentally-friendly cleaning products, and shopping locally. 410-990-4646, www.bbbistroannapolis.com .
Bonefish Grill – Bonefish Grill opened at the Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole in September 2012. It focuses on providing a unique dining experience that takes the mystery out of fish for people who don’t eat it very often and “provides further mystery for the truly adventurous.” 410-571-8263, www.bonefishgrill.com .
Chop House – The Chop House introduced menuvative menu tablets in June 2012. The ten-inch tablets offer diners an interactive menu experience. Items are displayed with chef’s description, accompanying photograph, and suggested food and wine pairings. Located at the Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole, Chop House is the first restaurant in Annapolis to replace paper menus with electronic tablets. 410-224-4957, www.thechophouserestaurant.com
Cleo’s, Fine Oils and Vinegars – Cleo’s, Fine Oils and Vinegars opened at the Annapolis Towne Centre in Parole in January 2012. Cleo’s offers domestic and international extra virgin olive oils, artisan wine vinegars, and traditional aged balsamic vinegars, as well as other specialty oils, including: Japanese sesame, macadamia nut, grape seed, roasted walnut, and roasted pumpkin seed oils. Tasting is encouraged. 410-266-5540, www.cleosfineoils.com .
Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives – Three Annapolis eateries were recently featured on the Food Channel’s Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives . Galway Bay, Davis’ Pub, and Crush Winehouse all received a share of the spotlight. www.galwaybayannapolis.com , www.davispub.com , www.crushwinehouse.com .
Honey’s Harvest North – Since its grand opening in May 2012, Honey’s Harvest North at Herrington Harbour North has been providing freshly made and ready-to-go sandwiches, salads, sides, ice cream, and snacks to health-conscious individuals who stop by the store at 7150 Lake Shore Drive in Rose Haven. In addition to grabbing a bite to eat, patrons can also pick up some Chesapeake Roaster’s Coffee, wine, beer, spirits, and groceries. On the entertainment side, Honey’s Harvest offers free wine tastings on Fridays at 5:00 p.m. and free beer tastings on Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. 410-867-3344, www.honeysharvest.com .
My Favorite Muffin – Since the grand opening of My Favorite Muffin at 138 Main Street on September 13, 2012, gourmet muffins have been a staple in downtown Annapolis. Locally owned by U.S. Naval Academy alumni and retired Commander Mark Maglin, the store serves fresh, baked-daily bagels and made-from-scratch muffins. Open seven days a week, their complete menu includes items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Catering and box lunches are also available. 410-263-1629, www.myfavoritemuffin.com/
Phillip’s Crab Deck – Three years after closing Phillip’s Annapolis Harbor restaurant at 14 Dock Street in Annapolis, Phillip’s Crab Deck opened its doors at the same location in September 2012. Along with a raw bar, the 138-seat restaurant offers steamed crabs, crab cakes and local seafood. 410-280-2722, www.phillipsseafood.com .
Piccola Roma – In August 2012, Piccola Roma at 200 Main Street in Annapolis began offering a prix fixe menu the first Wednesday of each month. The Wednesday Wine Dinner includes four courses and wine to compliment. 410-268-7898, www.piccolaromaannapolis.com .
Reynolds Tavern – Paying homage to one of its past lives as the Annapolis Library, Reynolds Tavern gathered together a collection of books for a “Book Swap” in August 2012. Patrons are encouraged to bring in gently used books that they can trade for other books that catch their eye – all while enjoying a tasty meal or hearty cup of tea. 410-295-9555, www.reynoldstavern.org .
Roundz Gourmet Market & Catering – Every Thursday since July 2012 chefs Zachary Pope and Robert Brown have been entertaining one table of up to ten diners with a four-course meal inspired by whatever fresh and exciting ingredients are available that day. The seating for Chef’s Table is 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Groups of four or more individuals who can’t come to the interactive dining experience on Thursdays are invited to call and arrange for another time. 443-292-4631, www.roundz.com .
WEST Kitchen & Tavern – Opened in September 2012 at the Loews Annapolis Hotel, WEST Kitchen & Tavern features a regionally focused menu with an emphasis on made-from-scratch items including homemade ketchup, flatbread, and soda siphoned tableside. Dining space is flexible with outside seating or inside dining in a classic shore tavern atmosphere. The bar and lounge area provide an excellent view of the abundant raw bar, expo kitchen, and hearth oven. 410-263-7777, www.annapoliswestkt.com .
What’s New with Services
Anne Arundel Community College – In August 2012, Anne Arundel Community College opened a 30,000 square foot Center for Cyber and Professional Training near Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover. The strategic location makes it more convenient for businesses and government agencies to obtain training for their employees. The Center includes a digital forensics lab where students can work on real-world projects. They can also reverse engineer malware and recover data from networks, desktop computers, and mobile devices. 410-777-2222, www.aacc.edu .
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport – BWI has been providing free Wi-Fi to travelers since June 2012. Individuals who select the complimentary wireless option will see a brief advertisement before their 45-minute wireless session begins. Customers may use as many free sessions as they choose. Individuals who prefer greater-bandwidth or an uninterrupted, commercial-free session can opt for BWI’s fee-based Wi-Fi. 410-859-7027, www.bwiairport.com .
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport – A $100 million upgrade to 60-year-old concourse C is underway at BWI Airport. With an anticipated completion date of summer 2013, the terminal enhancement program includes a new, expanded security checkpoint; a secure connector between concourse B and C with moving sidewalks; and improved airline gate hold rooms and new food and retail space at concourse C. 410-859-7027, www.bwiairport.com .
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport – In September 2012, Spirit Airlines relocated its operations from Reagan National Airport to BWI and began offering direct flights from BWI to Fort Lauderdale and Dallas/Fort Worth. From those markets, travelers can connect to other Spirit cities, including international destinations. Spirit offers twice daily roundtrip flights between BWI and Fort Lauderdale, and one daily roundtrip flight between BWI and Dallas/Fort Worth. 410-859-7027, www.bwiairport.com .
Park Annapolis – Visitors to Annapolis no longer have to worry about having cash on hand when they park in the City’s garages. Park Annapolis introduced new parking controls in September 2012 that enable drivers to use their credit cards instead. Individuals who park at Hillman garage will have the added convenience of newly installed public restrooms that are available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 410-972-4726, www.parkannapolis.com .
Sarles Marina – In August 2012, Bret Anderson took over ownership of the oldest operating boatyard and marina in Annapolis. Opened in 1907, Sarles Marina in Eastport is a local institution. 410-263-3661, www.sarlesboatyardandmarina.
What’s New with Accommodations
Hampton Inn and Suites Annapolis – Hampton Inn and Suites introduced its “Perfect Mix Lobby” in May 2012. Equipped with a 55-inch flat screen TV, the contemporary space encourages guests to mingle and relax in comfort any time of day. The property’s newly designed eating area features a complete hot breakfast buffet and a separate 24-hour hot beverage area. A new fitness center includes state-of-the-art cardio equipment and easy access to the new business center. 410-571-2864, www.annapolissuites.
Homewood Suites Arundel Mills – The Maryland Green Travel program welcomed Homewood Suites Arundel Mills into its ranks in September 2012. The voluntary program recognizes tourism businesses that are committed to reducing their environmental impact. The hotel was accepted based on its plans to increase energy efficiency, cut water waste, and enhance its recycling efforts. 410-878-7201, www.homewoodsuites3.hilton.com
Westin Annapolis and Westin BWI Hotels – It’s easier than ever to stay in shape at Westin Annapolis and Westin BWI Hotels. For just $5, hotel guests can borrow workout shoes and clothing to help them maintain their exercise routine even while traveling. It’s all part of Westin Hotels & Resorts’ spring 2012 global rollout of a New Balance gear lending program. The $5 fee entitles guests to borrow running shoes with disposable insoles, as well as a variety of men’s and women’s New Balance apparel. In addition to sneakers, the loaner program includes shorts, shirts and socks for men and shorts, Capri pants, shirts, sports bras, and socks for women. The sports gear loaner program is part of Westin’s ongoing commitment to making fitness convenient for travelers. It compliments Westin’s long standing in-room fitness program developed by New Balance Fitness Ambassador and Exercise TV celebrity trainer Holly Perkins. 410-972-4318, www.westinannapolis.com . 443-577-2300, www.westinbwi.com .
What’s New in Retail
Arundel Mills – New Balance, Fossil, Pink, and Express stores all opened their doors at Arundel Mills in September 2012. These four businesses join the more than 200 popular retail outlets available at Maryland’s top shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. 410-540-5100, www.arundelmills.com .
Build-A-Bear – Build-A-Bear held the grand opening of its “Store of the Future” at Westfield Annapolis in October 2012. In a new location between Nordstrom’s and J.C. Penney, the store is one of six nationwide that offers interactive touch screens, more music, and a “Love Me” station where children can pick the personality of their bear. 410-897-0828, www.buildabear.com .
Waugh Chapel Towne Centre – Five new stores opened their doors in Waugh Chapel in June 2012 including Coal Fire, offering artisan-style pizza; Snip-Its, a child-friendly hair salon; PNC Bank; Subway; and Wegmans, a regional supermarket featuring artisan products and a European market feel. 410-559-2500, www.ggcommercial.com/property/
Westfield Annapolis – Forever 21 opened at Westfield Annapolis in July 2012. Located between Sears and Chipotle Mexican Grill, the new store features more than 30,000 square feet of retail space. It features makeup, shoes, and women’s and men’s clothing. 410-573-0156, www.forever21.com .
Westfield Annapolis – Marbles: The Brain Store held its grand opening in July 2012. The store focuses on brain enhancing games, puzzles, software, and books. Marbles encourages individuals to be passionate about learning new things in a fun, interactive environment. 410-266-3015, www.marblesthebrainstore.com .
Amtrak – More than 31.2 million passengers traveled on Amtrak in fiscal year 2012 that ended September 30. This is the highest annual ridership recorded since the National Railroad Passenger Corporation launched operations in 1971. The Northeast Corridor between Washington, DC and Boston, Massachusetts had its best year ever as well. It served 11.4 million passengers, a 4.8% increase over fiscal year 2011. 202-906-3860, www.amtrak.com .
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport – A record number of passengers flew through BWI in July 2012. In total, 2,222,329 commercial passengers used the airport, a 0.8 percent increase over the previous monthly record of 2,205,035 that was set in July 2011. 410-859-7027, www.bwiairport.com .
Grapes Wine Bar – The Capital Gazette named the 10 year old wine bar the “BEST Wine Bar” in their Reader’s Choice Awards for 2012. 410-571-5378, www.grapeswinebarannapolis.com
Honey’s Harvest North – Readers voted Honey’s Harvest North the winner in the “Best Sandwiches” category in the Capital Gazette’s 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards. 410-867-3344, www.honeysharvest.com .
Miss Shirley’s – LocalEats named Miss Shirley’s Café at 1 Park Place in Annapolis a “2012 Top Breakfast Winner” in its list of the 20 Best Restaurants in America. 410-268-5171, www.missshirleys.com .
Zachary’s Jewelers – Zachary’s Jewelers received two local honors in 2012. What’s Up Magazine named the store a winner in its “Best Gems” category, and Severna Park Voice named them “Best Jeweler.” The winners of both contests were decided by the general public. 410-266-5555, www.zacharysjewelers.com .
Annapolis Opera – To celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary, Annapolis Opera teamed up with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Annapolis Opera Chorus at Maryland Hall for a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida” on October 27, 2012. 410-267-8135, www.annapolisopera.org .
Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) – Opera AACC, the opera company at Anne Arundel Community College, celebrated its tenth anniversary by presenting a two-week-run of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” in June 2012. 410-777-2457, www.aacc.edu .
Anne Arundel County Fair – Anne Arundel County Fair, Inc. is 60 years old. Established in 1952, it remains a volunteer organization that brings family events to Anne Arundel County year-round. 410-923-3400, www.aacountyfair.org .
Ballet Theatre of Maryland – Maryland’s premier professional ballet company is in the midst of its 35th anniversary year. 2012 also marks the tenth year that Dianna Cuatto has been directing the company. Ballet Theatre of Maryland focuses on healthy body esthetic, healthy body types, and healthy mentoring. It is the only school in Maryland that offers fully comprehensive ballet training. 410-263-8289, www.balletmaryland.org .
Eastport Yacht Club – 2012 marks the 30 year anniversary of the EYC Lights Parade. Every second Saturday in December dozens of boats lit with thousands of lights parade in Annapolis Harbor. Families and friends gather at the waterfront to enjoy the holiday tradition. 410-267-9549, www.eyclightparade.org .
Evergreen Antiques – An antique lover’s delight, Evergreen Antiques at 69 Maryland Avenue in Annapolis celebrated its tenth anniversary in July 2012. 410-216-9067, www.antiquesannapolis.com .
Jousting – 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of jousting as the Official State Sport of Maryland and first official state sport in the nation. A traditional ring joust is a test of skill and horsemanship where riders pass through a series of arches, attempting to spear three dangling rings and present them to the judges. The Maryland State Championship Joust is held at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds in Crownsville every October. www.marylandjousting.com .
Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival – Kunta Kinte was brought to Annapolis as a slave from Gambia on September 29, 1767. His story was recounted in Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alex Haley’s book, “Roots.” The Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary on September 29, 2012. The salute to African-American heritage included arts, crafts, music, and dance. 443-623-2856, www.kuntakinte.org .