Visit Annapolis has the skinny on all that is new and improved in Anne Arundel

| June 1, 2016
Blackwall Hitch

PrintThere’s a lot that’s new in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, Maryland this spring and summer. To make it easy for area residents and vacationers to be in the know, Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (VAAAC) has compiled a sampling of some of the latest attractions and experiences that beckon travelers in the months ahead. For a complete listing, visit the VAAAC website at www.VisitAnnapolis.org.

What’s New with Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County

New Name – In February 2016, our Board of Directors voted unanimously to change our corporate name from Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference & Visitors Bureau to Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County. The change puts our organization in the company of more than 90 destination marketing organizations across the country and clarifies our mission to the consumer.

Newly Redesigned Website – Thanks to the May 2016 launch of Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County’s (VAAAC) redesigned, mobile device-friendly websites, individuals seeking comprehensive information about things to do and see in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County have immediate, 24/7 access to the information they need on their desktops, tablets and mobile phones. The redesigned VisitAnnapolis.org, WeddingsInAnnapolis.com and TheHotelsAtBWI.com websites speak to a world on the move. The sites introduce three new microsites that address the wants and desires of three distinct groups of travelers. FoodieAnnapolis.com, HistorianAnnapolis.com and ExplorerAnnapolis.com provide insider recommendations and insights on how best to experience Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.

What’s New with Events

A Single Goal: The Art of Trumpy Yacht Building – On display from May through July 15, 2016 in Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts’ Chaney and Martino Galleries, the exhibit tells the story of the creation of Trumpy Yachts and the craftsmen who built them. Through models, paintings, photographs, artifacts, vintage signage and original drawings by Naval Architect and yacht designer John Trumpy, Sr., the exhibit explores the detailed process of wooden boat-building as an art form. Exhibit visitors follow the boat-building process from the small, hand-carved wooden models that were traditionally the first step, to detailed drawings, lofting, framing and planking. To bring the boat-building process to life, the exhibit will include a full-size lofting of a Trumpy boat laid out on the exhibit floor. https://www.marylandhall.org/, 410-263-5544.

Naptown National Challenge Boys Lacrosse Tournament — Hall of Fame Coach Cottle, past Head Coach University of Maryland, Loyola College, and Chesapeake Bayhawks and current GM and President of the Bayhawks, joins Matt Hogan of HoganLax.com to bring nationally recognized club lacrosse teams by invitation only to an exciting high school tournament in Annapolis Monday-Wednesday, July 11-13. Divisions are comprised of 2018, 2019, and 2020 classes. Players are exposed to the highest level of competition in a 16-seeded tournament. Wednesday’s championship will be broadcast on Comcast Sports Network. On Monday and Tuesday, games will be held at local high schools. Wednesday’s championship games will be held at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. www.naptownchallenge.com, 410-224-3232 OR 410-224-3244.

What’s New with Attractions

Annapolis City Dock – Visitors to Annapolis this summer will notice some changes to City Dock. In April 2016, the City of Annapolis wrapped up a six-month, $6.1 million bulkhead replacement project on time and under budget. As part of the project, 700 linear feet of new steel sheet piles were installed, ranging in length from 37’ to 69’. They were capped by a new seawall that is 0.1′ higher than the previous seawall. The higher, wider seawall features a step on the landward side that’s perfect for seating. The new seawall contains alternating wood mooring piles and mooring bitts (recessed cleats mounted into the seawall) at six foot intervals. While the number of boat slips remains at 17, boaters now have more and uniform tie-off options. They’ll also find upgraded power pedestals located atop the seawall at each boating slip. A newly installed fire protection system enables firefighters to more quickly and easily do their job.

Strolling along City Dock will be more convenient than ever, since the replacement project included widening the wooden boardwalk from 8’ to 12’ on the Donner lot side of Ego Alley. The iconic view of Annapolis from City Dock up Main Street remains unobstructed, since mooring bitts, rather than wooden mooring piles, were added at the head of Ego Alley where the Kunta Kinte statue and story plaques are located. To round off the aesthetics of the City Dock area, single head parking meters along Dock Street and the Donner parking lot have been replaced by multi-space meters.

Charles Carroll House – In fall 2015, the home of the only Catholic and longest living Declaration of Independence signer, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, began opening its doors for year-round private events and rentals. Built 1749-51, the historic house with its beautiful terraced garden along Spa Creek in Annapolis is perfect for parties, rehearsal dinners, celebrations, corporate retreats, meetings and off-site conference events of up to 185 individuals. The Carroll House is one of only fifteen surviving Declaration of Independence signers’ birthplaces in the United States. info@thedavisgroupllc.com, 410-562-2552.

Great Frogs Winery – In May 2016, Great Frogs introduced its new Date Night Series. Held the last Friday of the month May through September, Date Night is an intimate evening with music, pizza and wine. Patrons are invited to sample Great Frogs’ newest selection of wines before choosing a bottle to share. They also get to choose from among three farm to table pizzas. Limited tickets are available. Reservations are recommended. http://www.greatfrogs.com/, 410-626-6193.

Maryland Live! Casino – In March 2016, Maryland Live announced the launch of the next generation of online games. Live! Social Casino is an interactive entertainment experience that borrows heavily from the success of social casinos worldwide. It’s a cross between a free play website, which offers players free online gaming entertainment, and a “freemium” social casino with multi-player games, tournaments, leaderboards and achievements. The social casino is also available as an app. https://www.marylandlivecasino.com/, 443-842-7000.

Mission Escape Rooms – Opened in May 2016, Mission Escape Rooms at 40 West Street in Annapolis is a new, interactive, fun entertainment destination that provides real-life escape experiences designed for small groups of 6-14 people. Your mission is simple: work together as a team, testing your wits and skills, to escape from a locked room in 60 minutes or less. While the goal is simple, the game is challenging. Getting through the locked door is dependent upon finding clues, solving puzzles, and working together. Think of it as a real life game of Clue! The new entertainment concept has proven to be a very popular activity with individuals of all ages. Since the activity requires a tremendous amount of team work, it’s a great corporate team-building activity. Mission Escape Rooms is comprised of four themed rooms: Edgar Allen Poe, Military, Boudoir, and Black and White – a hypnotic themed room. Each of the rooms has a unique storyline and clues to solve.  http://www.missionescaperooms.com, 410-263-3333.

U.S. Naval Academy – May 2016, the U.S. Naval Academy officially opened a new, high-tech exhibit that greets visitors as they enter Halsey Field House on their way to the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center. Serving as a “quarterdeck” for the Naval Academy, the exhibit features several interactive screens, including a 20’ x 6’ touch-screen interactive wall map that pinpoints sites to see around the “Yard.” Another interactive video screen features midshipmen and recent graduates discussing admissions, academics, midshipmen life and career options. A third interactive screen hosts the U.S.N.A. Alumni Association directory. Other features in the exhibit include a station dedicated to featured U.S.N.A. graduates, and nearly 700 current photos and videos of life at the academy and larger-than-life photography of the Academy’s most iconic moments. The opening of the exhibit coincided with the launch of the Naval Academy on Google Street View. This gives individuals the opportunity to explore parts of the Naval Academy before ever stepping foot on the grounds. www.unna.edu, 410-293-2292.   

William Paca House and Garden – In May 2016, Historic Annapolis began offering intimate catered dinners in its summerhouse. The elegantly furnished space is perfect for a sit-down dinner for four or a stand up gathering of eight. The summerhouse offers sweeping views of the magnificent home of Declaration of Independence signer William Paca and his reconstructed two-acre 18th-century pleasure garden. Accessed solely by way of a Chinese bridge, dinner in the secluded summerhouse promises the memory of a lifetime. www.annapolis.org, 410-990-4538.

What’s New with Restaurants and Dining

Dinner Under the Stars – Reminiscent of the open air cafes in Paris and the piazzas of Rome and Venice, al fresco dinning can now be enjoyed all summer long in Annapolis. On 12 Wednesday evenings from July 13th through September 21st, the first block of West Street from Church Circle to Calvert Street will be closed to traffic from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. so foodies can enjoy Dinner Under the Stars. Participating restaurants, including Rams Head Tavern, Café Ole, Stan & Joe’s, El Toro Bravo, Luna Blu, Tsunami, 49 West Coffeehouse, Chesapeake Brew Pub and others, will set up tables for dining in the streets. Visitors and area residents are invited to dine, stroll and shop while enjoying music beneath a canopy of lights strung above in the Annapolis Arts District. Sponsored by Annapolis’s Inner West Street Association. https://www.facebook.com/events/468004660070176/.

Chesapeake Brew Pub of Annapolis – In February 2016, David and Carolyn Marquis opened the Chesapeake Brew Pub at the site of the former Crush Winehouse at 114 West Street in Annapolis. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy’s class of 1985, David is a Navy pilot turned brewer. The husband and wife team offers Eastern Shore brews, down home food and local news. Patrons enjoy pub-style food including flatbreads, burgers and crab cakes, along with the dozen craft brews that are on tap at all times. Not surprisingly, they have a Beat Army bar that features plenty of Beat Army lager. The pub hosts monthly local artists, guest chef dinners and tap takeovers from other breweries. Plans are in the works for a combination Eastern Shore crab feast/boat party/overnight package on the first and third Sundays of the month throughout the summer season. Advance reservations are required for the Sunday crab feast/cruise that can accommodate up to 50 people. Groups are welcome. 

Open daily 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. http://www.chesbrewco.com/annapolis.html, 410-268-0000.

Eastport Kitchen – Opened in September 2015 at the site of the old Eastport Deli, Eastport Kitchen at 923 Chesapeake Avenue in the Eastport Shopping Center is a neighborhood restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week and dinner Thursday through Sunday. Everything the restaurant serves is made on the premises. With Executive Chef Chris Gosnell at the helm in the kitchen, the restaurant does its own pickling and roasting, and uses grass-fed beef. Specialties include the Kitchen Burger, which features house-made pickles, grass fed beef and their spicy aioli Kitchen Sauce. Other favorites include the Breakfast Bowl, which includes sweet potato quinoa, arugula, hard boiled eggs and cilantro oil. Their Southwest Lunch Bowl includes chipotle seasoned chicken, baby spinach, quinoa and lime cilantro yogurt dressing. Owners Tony and Celia Moynagh completely gutted and renovated the space before opening. The result is a crisp, new, casual 43-seat restaurant adorned with local artwork of the Chesapeake Bay. http://eastportkitchen.com/, 410-990-0000.

Harvest Wood Grille & Tap – Located at site of the former Factor’s Row Restaurant at 26 Market Space in Annapolis, Harvest Wood Grill & Tap is the latest venture by Chef Keith Long and owner Dana Florestano. It’s rooted in the idea that a restaurant in downtown Annapolis should serve locally sourced delicious food for locals. Using well curated products and cooking them over an open fire is the first step of the duo’s vision. Open since January 2016, Harvest Wood boasts a popular raw bar that features seafood and shellfish from the Chesapeake Bay. http://www.harvestwoodgrill.com/, 410-280-8686.

HMSHost – As a result of its new 10-year lease with HMSHost, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport will be welcoming four new restaurants beginning in spring 2016 and into fall 2016. Concourse A will be home to a new location of Family Meal, a restaurant by acclaimed Maryland-based Chef, Bryan Voltaggio. Family Meal is a contemporary take on comfort food classics for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Coming to Concourse B, Kapnos Marketa by Chef Mike Isabella will serve a healthy selection of Mediterranean fare in a market-style venue. Kapnos Marketa will deliver Isabella’s famous Greek offerings in an efficient, quick service style – a classy gyro shop with attractive displays of retail goods to go. A new kind of wine bar created by HMSHost, Brix & Vine, will greet travelers in Concourse D with a clean, modern design and urban feel. The menu will feature a comprehensive wine list that includes Maryland wines. Brix & Vine will include a tasting room, bar and casual dining area.

Travelers will also have greater access to Starbucks’ offerings at BWI. HMSHost will be refurbishing old Starbucks locations and introducing new ones. Pre-security guests will have access to Starbucks at its existing Main Terminal location as well as at a new lower-level location. Post-security travelers will be able to enjoy their favorite Starbucks’ beverages or snacks at new Starbucks’ locations in Concourses B and D. http://www.hmshost.com/, 240-694-4290.

Mission Barbecue – The old Stevens Hardware building at 142 Dock Street in Historic Annapolis is expected to open its doors as a Mission Barbecue in summer 2016. Its mission is to serve authentic, mouth-watering all-American food that’s done right. The restaurant is being designed to complement the original Annapolis Mission Barbecue location at the Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole. http://mission-bbq.com/, 443-569-4700.

Rams Head Group – In March 2016, the Annapolis-based restaurant and entertainment company, Rams Head Group, announced it had purchased the waterside Reckless Ric’s Bar and Grill at 1702 Furnace Drive in Glenn Burnie, Maryland. Rams Head group is transforming the facility on Furnace Creek, off of the Patapsco River, into a business similar to its Rams Head Roadhouse on General’s Highway in Annapolis. During its transition from Reckless Ric’s to Rams Head Dockside, the business will remain open. The restaurant is expected to officially open as Rams Head Dockside by the end of May 2016. In addition to on-site parking, the restaurant has dockage for boats, allowing guests to arrive by water or land. http://www.ramsheadgroup.com/, 443-482-9277.

The Red Bean – Owner Sue Fox opened The Red Bean at 220 Main Street in Annapolis in February 2016. She left the corporate world to pursue a passion. “I want a place where people can come and hang out and come back again and again because of the quality.” The Red Bean is a bold and innovative ice cream and coffeehouse that offers artisan soft-serve ice cream, bold espresso creations, whole leaf teas, and delicious specialty drinks. The Red Bean makes all of its syrups and sauces in house daily. Their ice cream is made fresh using locally sourced dairy from Trickling Springs Creamery. The Red Bean strives to work with suppliers that share its commitment to fair practices and sustainability. http://theredbeanannapolis.com/, 410-263-1700.

Sailor Oyster Bar – Scott Herbst of the Kapow Restaurant Group plans to open Sailor Oyster Bar at 196 West Street in June 2016. Patrons will watch as meals are prepared in front of their eyes. The bar serves as the kitchen in this restaurant that uses a convection oven – rather than grills, ovens or fryers – to prepare foods. Specialties of the house will include local and international oysters and clams as well as other shellfish. The produce and toast points section of the locally sourced, health conscious menu will include local produce, artisanal cheeses, prosciutto, sardines, anchovies, mixed greens and breads paired with avocado, chili, pesto, tomato, mozzarella and basil. Cocktails at Sailor will be rum based. Their Navy Grog will be made with light and dark rum, local honey syrup, lime juice, Angostura bitters and passion fruit juice. Their Dark and Stormy will include fresh ginger and dark rum from the Lyon Distilling Company in St. Michaels. “Sailing into Manhattan” is their rum-based Manhattan. Craft beer lovers are invited to try their Sailor Cream Ale, produced by RAR Brewing Company in Cambridge.

The restaurant’s name honors the area’s maritime history and salutes members of the military who have – and continue to serve – the United States by putting themselves in harm’s way. In keeping with this theme, the décor of the rustic, intimate restaurant includes diving masks and a host of old and new images depicting the men and women who serve/have served in the military. Sailor Oyster Bar will be open from 4:00 p.m. to midnight Monday-Friday and from noon to midnight on Saturdays and Sundays. The Kapow Restaurant Group owns and operates Tsunami, Metropolitan Kitchen and Grill and Lemongrass – now in two locations. www.sailoroysterbar.com.

What’s New with Accommodations

Anchored Inn –Slated to open Memorial Day weekend 2016, the Anchored Inn at Hidden Harbour Marina in Deale is designed to be a retreat on the water. The upscale property features rooms with waterfront balconies, complimentary Wi-Fi, complimentary continental breakfast daily, an outdoor swimming pool, pontoon rentals, paddle board and kayak rentals, outdoor grill and picnic area and more. Anchored Inn’s bar and lounge is slated to open in July 2016. Located in the lobby, it will cater to marina members, pool patrons and Anchored Inn guests. http://anchoredinndeale.com/, 410-867-9668.

Annapolis Waterfront Hotel – In April 2016, the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel began offering three new packages that include a visit to the U.S. Naval Academy. Its U.S. Naval Academy Walking Tour Package includes overnight accommodations in a city view room and a guided 2.5-hour walking tour of the Naval Academy for two. With this package, a U.S.N.A. certified guide greets guests in the hotel lobby and escorts them on a 20-minute narrated stroll through historic downtown Annapolis, followed by a tour of the “Yard.” A second package includes everything from the first package plus lunch for two at the Naval Academy Officer’s Club. The third package includes everything from the first package plus dinner for two at the Naval Academy’s Officer’s Club. www.annapoliswaterfront.com, 410-268-7555.

Annapolitan and Academy Bed & Breakfasts – In January 2016, the bed and breakfasts announced guests can now take advantage of personalized sailboat charters for up to six people. Participants will explore the Severn River, Annapolis Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay. Half- and full-day charters are available. While aboard, guests are invited to learn to sail or sit back and enjoy. http://academybedandbreakfast.com/, http://theannapolitan.com/, 410-990-1234.

Chesapeake Bay Beach Club – The Spa at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville opened in March 2016. It offers the finest treatments to include restorative massage, rejuvenating facials, luxurious body treatments, as well as hair and makeup services – all in a beautiful environment. http://www.baybeachclub.com/, 410-604-5900.

Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa – In April 2016, Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa announced plans to launch a two-year expansion project that includes tearing down the lowest and oldest part of the property, the current Rod ‘N’ Reel, and building a new structure that’s compliant with current flood regulations. A sky-lit glass atrium will connect the existing hotel with the new structure. The new Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa will include a two-story Rod ‘N’ Reel restaurant, three levels of hotel suites, retail units, an arcade, boardwalk promenade, restaurants, gaming and bingo areas, a rooftop pool and bar and a parking facility. The property plans to keep its current operations open while the project is underway. Additionally, a new high-end 54-luxury unit residential complex, Harbor Vista South, will be constructed at the site just steps from the resort on Fishing Creek. Harbor Vista South will offer a variety of amenities, including a fitness center, space for private events, balconies and slips to accommodate larger boats. http://www.chesapeakebeachresortspa.com/, 410-257-5596.

Crowne Plaza Annapolis – The pet-friendly 196-room property that switched flags from a Sheraton to a Crowne Plaza in October 2015 is undergoing a $13 million renovation of its guest rooms and suites, corridors, lobby, restaurant and its 10,000+ square feet of meeting space. Renovations are slated for completion by the end of 2016. The hotel offers complimentary high speed Internet service, complimentary wireless, an exercise facility, and an indoor pool. www.crowneplaza.com/annapolismd, 410-266-3131.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Annapolis – In March 2016, the hotel completed major renovations that included installation of new carpet and vinyl in all of its meeting spaces and public areas. New lobby furniture and draperies are scheduled to be in place by June 2016. The hotel’s Olympic size pool is getting a new look with all new pool furniture – tables, chairs and umbrellas. The pool deck was resurfaced and guest room corridor renovations were completed in March 2015.

Guests to the DoubleTree are welcome to a cookie upon their arrival and at any time during their stay. The hotel provides complimentary shuttle service within a five-mile radius of the property, to include Historic Annapolis, the U.S. Naval Academy, Westfield Annapolis Mall, Eastport and all major downtown attractions. Ports of Call restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a lounge area as well. Award-winning Chef Charles McKnew is a repeat winner of the Best Cream of Crab Soup at the Maryland Seafood Festival. www.doubletreeannapolis.com, 410-224-3150.

Hilton Garden Inn Annapolis – In February 2016, Hilton Garden Inn Annapolis completed renovations to all of its guest rooms, hallways, meeting room, lobby area and restaurant. The family-friendly property also added new patio and pool furniture for its outdoor pool that is open Memorial Day to Labor Day. http://www.annapolis.hgi.com, 410-266-9006.

Historic Inns of Annapolis – In January 2016, Historic Inns of Annapolis completed a multi-million-dollar renovation of its three inns: Governor Calvert House, Robert Johnson House and the Maryland Inn. The refresh included renovations of the 124 rooms and nine suites and all of the public space. The Maryland Inn’s Treaty of Paris Restaurant and Starbucks were also updated. http://www.historicinnsofannapolis.com/, 410-263-2641.

Home2 Suites Arundel Mills – Home2 Suites by Hilton Arundel Mills/BWI Airport Hotel opened in May 2016. The new all-suite, extended stay hotel in Hanover provides a comfortable stay and a host of amenities in spacious suites with flexible layout options. Its 80 suites feature fully equipped kitchens, free Wi-Fi, a media hub and the ‘Working Wall’ – a moveable work/dining table. The full kitchen includes a microwave, refrigerator, dishes and more. Guests are invited to borrow an induction cooktop from the front desk for additional meal options. The pet-friendly rooms include 42-inch high definition TVs. Home2 Suites provides hotel shuttles to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and Arundel Mills Mall. http://home2suites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/maryland/home2-suites-by-hilton-arundel-mills-bwi-airport-BWIHAHT/index.html, 410-694-9500.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Baltimore-BWI – The newly renovated Homewood Suites by Hilton Baltimore BWI celebrated its grand reopening in April 2016. The $4 million project included a renovation of its 147 guest rooms, public spaces, business center and its more than 1,200 square feet of meeting space. The property provides fully-equipped kitchens as well as separate living and sleeping areas. Guests also receive the essentials they need for a comfortable and convenient stay, including a complimentary full hot breakfast daily, evening socials Monday through Thursday, Wi-Fi and a grocery shopping service. Travelers can unwind with amenities, including an outdoor kitchen and grill area, fitness center, pool and Jacuzzi. www.baltimorebwi.homewoodsuites.com, 410-684-6100.

Hyatt Place Baltimore/BWI – In April 2016, the 127-room Hyatt Place Baltimore/BWI Airport announced the completion of a major renovation and refresh to its lobby and front desk, guestrooms, swimming pool, fitness center, and its 1,170 square feet of high-tech meeting and conference space. The hotel provides complimentary Wi-Fi, an Odds & Ends program for forgotten items that guests can buy, borrow or enjoy for free. The property’s 24-hour StayFit Gym features cardio equipment with LCD touchscreens. For dining, guests are invited to enjoy the gallery menu featuring freshly prepared meals and packaged sandwiches and snacks 24/7. The a.m. Kitchen Skillet serves a complimentary hot breakfast for guests. www.Baltimorebwi.place.hyatt.com, 410-859-3366.  

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Baltimore BWI – In February 2016, the 133-suite SpringHill Suites Baltimore/BWI announced the completion of a $3 million renovation of its guest rooms, lobby, hallways, business, center, breakfast area and 24-hour market. The property has also updated its services. Strategically placed custom artwork reflects the SpringHill Suites brand’s commitment to supporting local artists through its Save Art initiative. A reimagined check-in experience awaits at a more functional front desk, which better allows the hotel staff to easily assist guests with luggage and other needs. The lobby has been divided into three sections with new big-screen TVs, high-top tables with power outlets and a large community table. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the lobby to keep guests connected 24/7. www.marriott.com/bwiss, 410-694-0555.

Staybridge Suites Baltimore BWI – The 104-suite Staybridge Suites Baltimore BWI celebrated a Re-Grand Opening of its newly renovated property in April 2016. http://www.staybridge.com/hotels/us/en/linthicum/balli/hoteldetail, 410-850-5666.

What’s New with Retail

Local by Design – Slated for a soft opening at 109 Main Street in Annapolis in time for Commissioning Week (May 20-27), Local by Design features the creations of local artists and small businesses. Visitors to the store will discover the works of more than 50 upscale local artisans – from furniture, to jewelry, original artwork, clothing, home furnishings, pottery, soaps, candles, children’s books and more. Using the concept of shared space, Local by Design gives artisans an opportunity to showcase their creations on Main Street. The shop is the brainchild of Suzie Jett, owner of Annapolis Brand clothing in Annapolis’s Design District and entrepreneur Susan Sears – two women with a passion for supporting artisans and local businesses. The shop is also available for small gatherings and events. https://www.facebook.com/LocalbyDesignAnnapolis/?fref=ts, 443-808-8571.

Mr. Scherfel – Owner John Scherfel opened the doors of his men’s clothing shop, Mr. Scherfel, at 49 Maryland Avenue in May 2016. In addition to hip, trendy men’s clothing, the store features toiletries and accessories for men on the go. https://www.facebook.com/mrscherfel/, 667-225-4304.

Sparrow Boutique – After incubating her business in West Annapolis for nearly a year and a half, Gabrielle Herbst relocated Sparrow Boutique to 198 West Street in Annapolis and opened her doors to an enthusiastic public in March 2016. Sparrow Boutique features cutting edge, one of a kind pieces of jewelry created by emerging New York and Los Angeles designers. Herbst and local jeweler Karin Best have also created two lines of jewelry as part of the Sparrow Collection. The boutique features the work of a local potter and two handmade candle producers – one out of New York and the other from Virginia. To compliment the jewelry, Sparrow Boutique sells seasonal accessories, including scarves and gloves during the winter months. Prices at Sparrow Boutique range from $20 to more than $2,000. www.sparrowcollection.com, 443-995-4068.

Wind River – Wind River held a grand opening celebration of its women’s clothing store at 66 Maryland Avenue in May. With stores in Baltimore, Ellicott City and Sykesville, Wind River designs and manufactures its classic, comfortable, contemporary, casual clothing. In addition to carrying women’s clothing and accessories, Wind River sells decorative home furnishings and gifts. http://www.windriverclothing.com/, 443-221-7364.

What’s New with Services

Annapolis Food Tours – In spring 2016, Annapolis Food Tours introduced a Culinary Crossing of the Severn from Annapolis to Eastport tour. Stop One: Annapolis – The tour brings together traditional dishes and local beers at a historic establishment in Annapolis. After enjoying the meal, guests cross the Severn by boat to Eastport where guests visit a restaurant featuring progressive, creative cuisine paired with wine flights. http://www.annapolisfoodtours.com, 202-683-8847.

Annapolis Urban EvenTours – Annapolis Urban EvenTours has launched a new Annapolis Unveiled tour that combines food and history in a two-hour exploration of Annapolis and Eastport. The tour aboard a five-passenger electric eCruiser includes tasting local specialties, which could include crab, oysters, mussels, clams and/or rockfish in a one-of-a-kind seafood crawl. http://urbaneventours.com/, 443-510-1348.

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport – The number of commercial passengers flying through BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport hit an all-time annual record with 23,823,532 passengers flying through the airport in 2015. Passenger traffic for the year increased 6.8 percent over 2014. BWI Marshall finished the year with six straight monthly passenger records. 2015 was the first year in the history of the airport that passenger traffic exceeded 23 million passengers. www.bwiairport.com, 410-859-7111.

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport – Low-fare carrier Norwegian Airlines began offering nonstop flights to the French Caribbean with twice-weekly service to Martinique and Guadeloupe in December 2015. Norwegian Air Shuttle is a new airline for BWI. www.bwiairport.com, 410-859-7111.

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport — In November 2015, low-fare WOW Air added flights from BWI Marshall to Bristol, England. WOW kicked off service at BWI in May 2016 with flights, via Reykjavik, to London. It will add service from BWI to Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam in July 2016. www.bwiairport.com,  410-859-7111.

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport – In August 2016, Southwest Airlines will begin offering year-round, nonstop service between BWI Marshall and California’s Sacramento International Airport. Sacramento is a new market for BWI Marshall. The new flights from Southwest will be the only year-round service between Sacramento and the Washington-Baltimore region. www.bwiairport.com, 410-859-7111.

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport – Southwest Airlines has announced plans to add new August-November flights from BWI to Boston, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Maine, New Orleans and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Tickets for the flights are available for purchase now. www.bwiairport.com, 410-859-7111.

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport – Allegiant Air began offering year-round service from Cincinnati and Savannah to BWI in April 2016. The Airlines will begin providing seasonal flights from Asheville, Knoxville, Lexington and Tulsa to BWI in May and early June. www.bwiairport.com, 410-859-7111.

Destination Paradise – In January 2016, Destination Paradise added Back Pack Buddies (BPB) as a beneficiary of its community service team building programs. BPB is a volunteer project that helps feed kids who typically rely on the public school system for their meals. On weekends, BPB kids are sent home with nutritious food they can prepare on their own. Destination Paradise has modified several teambuilding events to incorporate a “give back”. Their Scavenger Hunt through downtown Annapolis can include the collection of donated food. In “Shipwrecked,” indoor activities can be performed in a meeting room where guests “win” the items to be packed, and a packing race is part of the challenge. For smaller groups, Destination Paradise’s “Hilarity Game Night” is a fast-paced mash-up of old favorites, including charades, name a tune, etc. http://destination-paradise.com/, 800-391-6560.  

Family Fishing Adventures – Children ages 5 to 16 and their families now have the opportunity to cast off for a 1.75-hour trip aboard a 30-foot U.S. Coast Guard certified fishing vessel – the Sea Dragon – to learn how to fish, crab and preserve the Chesapeake Bay. Owner Chris Hendershot began offering the excursions out of Annapolis City Marina in April 2016. The Family Fishing Adventures’ captain and crew lead a hands-on adventure to teach kids how to use a fishing rod and reel, bait and operate lures and equipment for light tackle fishing, discover and identify local marine life, haul different types of crab pots and explore the Chesapeake Bay. Young and seasoned anglers are welcome. http://familyfishingadventures.com/ffa/, 410-279-8325.

Fort Smallwood Park Boat Ramp – Annapolis and Anne Arundel County visitors and residents have yet another option for getting on the water. In April 2016, Anne Arundel County officially opened a $4.9 million boat ramp at Fort Smallwood Park in Pasadena. It’s the first public boat ramp owned by Anne Arundel County. Prior to its opening, area residents and visitors had two options for launching a boat from a public boat ramp in Anne Arundel County – Sandy Point State Park and the City of Annapolis’s Truxton Park. In addition to the public boat ramp, Anne Arundel County is also opening up Fort Smallwood Park to swimming this summer. http://www.aacounty.org/services-and-programs/fort-smallwood-park-boat-ramp, 410-222-0087.

Maryland Port Administration – In April 2016, the Maryland Port Administration announced a new contract with Royal Caribbean International that extends the cruise line’s year-round departures from the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore through June 2020. Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas will continue to offer cruising experiences from Maryland to the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean and New England/Canada. www.marylandports.com, 410-385-4480.

Kudos

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra – The Baltimore Business Journal ranked the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra #17 in its annual list of the top 20 arts organizations in the Baltimore region. The only other orchestra on the list is the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The BSO’s average ticket price is $79 per person, compared to $44 for the Annapolis Symphony. http://www.annapolissymphony.org/, 410-269-1132.

Galway Bay Irish Pub – In January 2016, Buzzfeed named Galway Bay the Best Irish Pub in Maryland. http://bzfd.it/1XsKNpo

In May 2016, Gogobot.com ranked Annapolis among the top ten 2016 Student & Budget Traveler’s Rising Star Destinations.

The Oyster Recovery Partnership’s Shell Recycling Alliance (SRA) collected a record 26,000 bushels of oyster shells from 300 member establishments in 2015. The number reflects an accelerated commitment by restaurants and other businesses to restore the Chesapeake Bay oyster population. Boatyard Bar and Grille and Mike’s Crab House in Annapolis were among the top ten producers of oyster shells for 2015.

Volunteers from the oyster shucking community created the SRA in 2009. When the recycling program launched in 2010, 22 restaurants signed on as members. Six years later, the SRA is 300 members strong – and the largest shell recycling network in the country. Natural oyster shell is the best material on which to raise oysters and restore reefs, but it’s an extremely limited natural resource. The Oyster Recovery Partnership developed the SRA so that the general public, restaurants and caterers can prevent the used shells from going into landfills. http://oysterrecovery.org/, 410-990-4970.

Significant Anniversaries

Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre presents its 50th Anniversary season in summer 2016. The outdoor community theatre led by volunteers produces musical theatre under the stars with live music in a unique, intimate setting near City Dock in historic downtown Annapolis. ASGT’s marks its 50th Anniversary with an exuberant season of musicals celebrating love, life and laughter. The Wedding Singer (May 26-June 18); Rent (June 30-July 23); and the Producers (August 4-September 4). They’ll also present a special anniversary production entitled 50 Years Under the Stars: A Musical Retrospective (September 9-18). A new website, educational workshops, historical video compilations and a gala event round out the celebration. www.summergarden.com, 410-268-9212.

Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa in Chesapeake Beach is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2016. The resort’s Rod ‘N’ Reel Restaurant and Marina have graced the Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay since 1946. When the hotel and spa were built in 2004, Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa was born. Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa includes three restaurants and two marinas boasting the largest charter fishing fleet on the bay. http://www.chesapeakebeachresortspa.com/, 410-257-5596.

Hammond-Harwood House Association celebrated its 75th anniversary in May 2016. Located at 19 Maryland Avenue, the house was begun in 1774 by the gentleman planter Matthias Hammond. The Hammond-Harwood House is a five-part Anglo-Palladian mansion that features some of the best woodcarving and plasterwork in America. The museum showcases the finest collection of colonial furniture in Maryland. http://hammondharwoodhouse.org/, 410-263-4683.

VAAAC is a nonprofit, membership-based destination marketing organization that generates revenues for the local economy by promoting Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay to leisure and business travelers across the country and around the world.

Source: VisitAnnapolis.org

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