April 18, 2024
Annapolis, US 63 F

Anne Arundel County Happenings–Spring & Summer

There’s a lot that’s new in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, Maryland this spring and summer. Below is a sampling of some of the latest attractions and experiences that beckon travelers in the months ahead. For a complete listing, visit the Annapolis and Chesapeake Bay website at www.VisitAnnapolis.org.

New Events   

aif_badgeFrom Enemies to Allies – The international conference on the War of 1812 and its aftermath will be held at the U.S. Naval Academy Wednesday, June 12, through Saturday, June 15. It commemorates the bicentennial of the War and the resulting two-century special relationship between the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The event will feature some of the best scholarship on the causes, conduct, and consequences of the War. The conference is designed to appeal to academics, historians, and individuals with a general interest in the most current scholarship on the War of 1812 from around the world. www.starspangled200.com.

First Annual Annapolis Beer Week – Beer lovers had something to celebrate every day from April 20 through April 27. The event kicked off at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds with the First Annual Beer Run, a charitable 5k fun run. On Sunday, it was Beer and Bands at Stan & Joe’s, featuring beer and local bands. Events continued throughout the week and included an Annapolis pub crawl and Meet the Brew Master evening. The week wrapped up with Maryland Drafts and Laughs at the Maryland National Guard. 410-353-9237, http://www.annapolisbeerwk.com.

National Sailing Center and Hall of Fame – October 2013 marks the first time the organization will be holding its induction ceremony in Annapolis. Induction weekend will include a Junior Sailors program with Hall of Famers and a dinner for the 2013 Hall of Famers and their families, along with previous Hall of Fame inductees, board members, local officials, and contributors on Saturday, October 26. The Induction ceremony is open to the public, and will take place at 1:00 pm on Sunday, October 27, at City Dock. 410-295-3022, www.nshof.org.

What’s New with Attractions

Annapolis Urban Adventures will begin offering two new eCruiser tours that combine cuisine and local history in May. In its Nosh and Nibble, tour attendees will enjoy a small plate or appetizer and beverage at each of three venues. Along the way, participants will learn about shops, attractions, and local history. The second new offering will be a Progressive Dinner that includes an appetizer at one stop, a meal at another, and dessert at the final location. 443-510-1348, [email protected].

Compass Rose Theater moved to a new location at 49 Spa Road in Annapolis in March 2013. Their first show in their new home, Eleemosynary, opened on April 5. The Compass Rose Theater is a professional teaching theater company with classes and workshops offered onsite and at other local venues. Compass Rose produces a full season of plays that include both professional actors and students. 410-980-6662, http://www.compassrosetheater.org/.

The Four Rivers Heritage Area now offers “geocaching” at several of its historic sites. Since late March, the new, family-friendly activity has been bringing out treasure seekers of all ages. The real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game uses GPS-enabled devices to locate geocaches (hidden containers) at designated sites. Geocaching will be available at these sites through October 25. 410-222-1805, www.fourriversheritage.org.

Hammond-Harwood House now hosts wedding ceremonies for parties of up to 50 guests. Couples are invited to take their vows in a hidden nook in downtown Annapolis, surrounded by stunning 18th-century architecture and charming Colonial Revival landscaping. 410-263-4683, ext. 12, www.hammondharwoodhouse.org.

Harbor QueenHarbor Queen, the iconic sightseeing boat of Annapolis, celebrated her 40th birthday in 2012 and has kicked off its 2013 season with a brand new bar and a new selection of concessions. The bar will give the Queen an updated look and enable the crew to better serve guests as they cruise out of the Annapolis Harbor and past the United States Naval Academy. 410-268-7601, http://www.cruisesonthebay.com.

Historic Annapolis Museum has a new interactive exhibit. Freedom Bound: Runaways of the Chesapeake opened on February 23 and will run through March 2, 2014. It tells the story of resistance to slavery and servitude in the Chesapeake Bay region. Using maps, historical artifacts and reproductions, outfitted mannequins, activity stations and media clips, Freedom Bound recounts the lives of nine real-life indentured servants, convict servants, and slaves. 410-267-7619, http://www.annapolis.org.

Schooner Liberté is expected to be even more fun this summer with an expanded bar selection to include new wines and beers, as well as a wider variety of specialty drinks. Enjoy a crisp Pinot Grigio or try First Mate Jane’s soon-to-be-world-famous Boat Drink. It makes a private, custom charter even more personalized. 410-263-8234, www.TheLiberte.com.

Maryland Live! Casino began offeringlive action table games on April 1. The addition of the 122 table games means Casino guests can now enjoy a complete Vegas gaming action experience. In December 2012, the casino introduced round-the-clock gaming action. Customers can now enjoy non-stop gaming and entertainment with state-of-the-art slot machines, live action table games, and a host of dining and nightlife options. 855-5MD-LIVE 855-563-5483, www.marylandlivecasino.com.

The Maryland State House unveiled artist Richard Schlecht’s illustration of the State House in January 2013. The piece captures Annapolis during the War of 1812 when British ships threatened the Chesapeake. The mural is permanently displayed on an interior State House wall. It formed the cornerstone of a War of 1812 exhibit, The Enemy Nearly all ‘Round Us that wrapped up in April. 800-235-4045, http://msa.maryland.gov.

The U.S. Naval Academy opened a new exhibit: Seas, Lakes & Bays: The Naval War of 1812 on April 1. It features hundreds of objects from the Naval Academy Museum and 86 artifacts and pieces of artwork from the War of 1812 on loan from the collection of Mr. William I. Koch. The free exhibition runs through November 3, 2013. It is part of a self-guided walking tour through the Naval Academy and the city of Annapolis commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812. 410-293-6933, www.usna.edu.

Watermark Cruises kicked off a new package for crab lovers in April. Geared towards groups of 15 or more, it includes a crab feast at Buddy’s Crabs and Ribs, a walking tour, free time to explore downtown Annapolis, and a cruise. 410-268-7601, www.watermarkjourney.com.

Annapolis Tours by Watermark launched a War of 1812 in Annapolis tour in April 2013. Guides dressed in 1812 period attire escort participants to the ten sites – five at the U.S. Naval Academy and five in Annapolis’s Historic District – on a tour that wraps up at the U.S. Naval Academy’s Seas, Lakes & Bay: The Naval War of 1812 exhibition. Tours depart from the 26 West Street Visitors Center at 10:00 a.m. through October 2014 on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month April through October. 410-268-7601, www.watermarkjourney.com.

What’s New with Restaurants

Bonefish Grille made its debut in Annapolis in September 2012 at the Annapolis Towne Centre in Parole. In January 2013, it opened another restaurant at the Waugh Chapel Towne Centre in Gambrills. The ZAGAT award-winning, polished casual restaurant offers wood-grilled fish, seafood and chops, innovative sauces, and indulgent desserts. Bonefish couples great-tasting food with a welcoming bar that features an array of ‘bar-fresh’ cocktails, extensive craft beer selections, and an adventurous wine list. 410-571-8263, http://www.bonefishgrill.com.

Carrol’s Creek Café. The restaurant is turning 30 this year, but its menu is brand new. In addition to the old favorites – like their superb scallop appetizer and cream of crab soup – the waterfront restaurant in Eastport has added a host of new items, including gluten-free options. 410-263-8102, www.carrolscreek.com.

A Cook’s Café, a local restaurant and catering business, is expanding its 2013 offerings toinclude: new cooking classes, open enrollment for its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, expanded Market Basket items, including fresh hydroponic greens and fresh seafood, and new menu items. 410-266-1511, www.acookscafe.com.

La Madeleine’s opened at Westfield Annapolis Mall in January. The French country café is located next to the main entrance to Nordstrom. 443-569-3520, www.lamadeleine.com.

markethouseMarket House at Market Space in Historic Annapolisis slated to reopen this summer with a lineup of eight dining vendors. Yellowfin Seafood & Oyster Bar will be the anchor tenant. Other tenants include: Hard Bean Café (relocating from across the street); Carl’s Corned Beef & Delicatessen, offering New York-deli style food; Midship Fresh Bar, with hot foods, chicken wings, barbecue, and a salad bar; Annapolis Organic Market, featuring gourmet snacks, honey, organic dairy products, natural vitamins, and herbal supplements; Firenze Gelateria, with sweet gelato, Italian pastries, cupcakes, and an espresso bar; and Amsterdam Falafel shop, presenting top-it-yourself falafel and Dutch-style fries. Contracts with retailers run through 2017. 410-263-1183, http://www.annapolis.gov.

Miss Shirley’s Cafe, recently named official sponsor of Navy Athletics, has introduced a new menu for the spring/summer season. It blends new dishes and returning favorites. Some new menu items include: a Chicken Fried Pork Chop, the Born on the Bay-O Eggs Benedict, and Old Bay Waffles. 1-866- 986-1639, www.missshirleys.com.

THE PRIME RIB® opened at Maryland Live! Casino in January.This is the fourth location for the celebrated steakhouse. For the first time, guests can savor the flavors of The Prime Rib menu, paired with a side of non-stop gaming action on a state-of-the-art casino floor. The enlarged 75-seat bar/lounge area, including a terrace that opens out to the casino floor, is poised to become a must-stop location on the social circuit. 443-445-2970, www.theprimerib.com.

Reynolds Tavern, one of the oldest taverns in the United States, began selling some new products inspired by the popular television show, Downton Abbey this year. Directly from Sussex, patrons can buy lovely English books on Tea and Etiquette, Tea and Conversation, Manners, and The Gentle Art of Flirtation…and more! 410-295-9555, http://www.reynoldstavern.org.

Reynolds Tavern opened the 1747 Pub in January. It’s a cozy place where visitors can enjoy a bar menu, lots of craft beers, and occasional live music. 410-295-9555, http://www.reynoldstavern.org

What’s New with Services  

asologo_interiorThe Annapolis Symphony launched its newest outreach initiative, Music Heals, in February. Through thishealth and wellness program, the ASO partners with local community organizations to bring the transformative power of live music to healthcare facilities and schools that serve children with learning disabilities. 410-269-1132, www.annapolissymphony.org.

MainStreets Annapolis Partnership (MAP) in conjunction with Annapolis Mayor Joshua Cohen launched a Walk Annapolis campaign in March 2013 to boost patronage of local businesses by promoting the ease of walking to and through the city’s shopping districts. To make the journey even easier, MAP created a map with suggested walking routes connecting the major business areas. 410-703-9405, www.mainstreetsannapolis.org.

BWI Airport is in the midst of a $100 million major terminal enhancement program to improve and modernize the passenger terminal facility and provide new services for travelers. Construction will include a new, expanded security checkpoint; a secure connector between Concourses B and C with moving sidewalks; an improved Concourse C facility with airline gate hold rooms and new food and retail space.  Renovations are expected to be completed by the summer of 2013. 410-859-7111, www.BWIairport.com.

BWI Airport in April 2013 welcomed a schedule update that includes two new markets for the airport. AirTran Airways, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines, operates daily service to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Southwest serves Flint, Michigan from BWI Marshall with three daily roundtrip flights. 410-859-7111, www.BWIairport.com.

BWI Airport introduced a Cardio Trail in April 2013. Two marked walking paths inside the Airport terminal comprise an officially-designated American Heart Association walking path. The BWI Cardio Trail consists of two one-kilometer loops. Maps are available at BWI Marshall information desks in the Airport terminal and on the BWI Marshall website. 410-859-7111, www.BWIairport.com.

BWI Airport in November 2012 announced the start of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Pre Check operations. Under TSA Pre Check, U.S. citizens traveling domestically who are Delta, United and U.S. Airways frequent travelers or members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Trusted Traveler programs may receive expedited screening benefits. It is part of the agency’s larger effort to implement risk-based security measures that enhance airport security by focusing more attention on travelers who are considered to be high risk. 410-859-7111, www.BWIaiport.com.

BWI Airport in February 2013 welcomed two new dining options. Chipotle and BGR The Burger Joint (a Washington-area high-end burger establishment) have joined the growing food and retail program at BWI Marshall Airport. 410-859-7111, www.BWIaiport.com.

Park Annapolis has completed an extensive transformation of its downtown Annapolis parking facilities, making parking easier than ever. All Park Annapolis parking facilities—Knighton Garage, Gott’s Court Garage, Hillman Garage, and Park Place—now have convenient Pay-on-Foot machines in the garage lobbies to expedite departures. Hillman Garage valet services are coming in summer of 2013. Brand-new restroom facilities have been built in every Park Annapolis location, maintained for visitors’ comfort and convenience. 410-972-4726, ParkAnnapolis.com.

Port of Baltimore will be launching a new cruise ship in May 2013. Royal Caribbean will replace its Enchantment of the Seas with the newly renovated Grandeur of the SeasGrandeur of the Seas has completed a $48 million revitalization that includes many new options and upgrades that are available on its two largest class ships. 410-385-4483, http://www.mpa.maryland.gov.

Port of Baltimore recently welcomed its one millionth cruise passenger. In December 2012 Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley announced that the Port’s one millionth cruise passenger had departed from its South Locust Point cruise terminal. The facility served its first customer in 2006. 410-385-4483, http://www.mpa.maryland.gov.

What’s New with Accommodations

Annapolis Waterfront Marriot has spruced up for spring. In April, it completed updates to guest rooms including new carpeting, fresh paint, new window treatments and leisure chairs. The lobby has been completely renovated, with the addition of new furniture and fresh window treatments. 888-773-0786, www.annapolismarriott.com.

Comfort Suites BWI is undergoing a complete renovation and is converting to a full-service Holiday Inn. When it opens as Holiday Inn BWI Airport, the property will include a restaurant and lounge. The planned completion date for the renovations and transformations is summer 2013. 1-888-465-4329, www.holidayinn.com.

Inn at Herrington Harbour expanded its beach in April 2013. That means there’s more room for families to launch complimentary kayaks, floats, paddle boards, and paddle boats. There’s also more room for using complimentary beach umbrellas and chairs to stake out a place in the sun. New this year, the resort also offers sailboat and Hobie Cat rentals. In July 2012, the Inn introduced a three-bedroom suite, the Harbour View. It offers an eagle’s view of Herrington Harbour’s award-winning marina and the Chesapeake Bay. The suite includes a private courtyard with fire pit, and is filled with antique furnishings from the Arts & Crafts period. 410- 741-5100, www.herringtonharbour.com.

O’Callaghan Hotel Annapolis introduced a new “Irish Roots” program in March. Guests who provide proof of their Irish heritage, signed by the Irish Government, will receive a voucher good for two drinks and a Celtic appetizer in the hotel’s John Barry Restaurant and Bar. 410- 263-7700, www.ocallaghanhotels-us.com.

Westin Annapolis plans to introduce an additional 6,000 square feet of new meeting space in June. That will bring their inventory to 13 meeting rooms comprising more than 19,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. 410- 972-4300, www.westinannapolis.com.

What’s New with Retail

Maine Cottage, a furniture store featuring colorful pieces perfect for coastal living, moved from Severna Park to West Street in Annapolis in the fall of 2012. Collections include upholstered chairs and sofas, beds, dressers, storage pieces, and indoor wicker. All furniture is available in more than 200 fabrics and 46 color choices that offer the ultimate in self-expression. 866-366-3505, http://www.mainecottage.com/store.html.

Off the Bay Gallery in Deale opened in May 2012. It offers works from local artists, from paintings to photography, silver jewelry, blown glass, kitchen items (turned bowls, Chesapeake Bay-themed cutting boards with pewter crabs and turtles), textiles, books by local writers, and more. 443-607-6171.

Rack Room Shoes opened in March 2013 in the Lord & Taylor corridor of Westfield Annapolis Shopping Mall. 410-573-0307, www.rackroomshoes.com.

Retropolitan Fine Antiques and Vintage moved from Ellicott City to West Annapolis in January 2013. Retropolitan provides upscale, affordable treasures. Shoppers will find unique antiques and vintage items including crystal, silver, lighting, textiles, furniture, jewelry, porcelain, fine art, and clothing. In addition to retail, some staff members are trained as home stagers who can help prepare clients’ homes for sale. The store also works with costume and set designers, selling and renting historically accurate clothing, furniture, lighting, and accessories. 410-263-0800, http://www.retropolitan.net.

Spice & Tea Exchange of Annapolis unveiled six new products this spring and has added a ‘Tea Talker’ section to its website. 410-280-2088, www.spiceandtea.com.

Wimsey Cove Maps & Art re-opened in March at 103 Annapolis Street, the “Main Street” of West Annapolis. The store features historic maps and bird’s eye views of places all over the world. One of the owner’s primary goals is to make Annapolis and Anne Arundel County maps available to local history lovers. The store is open seasonably, April through October. 410-956-7278, www.marylandframing.com.

Zachary’s Jewelers is now the only jeweler in the nation selling the “Official Class watch of the United States Naval Academy” by Raymond Weil. The watch has a quartz movement, a sapphire crystal, and a dial emblazoned with the USNA mascot, Bill the goat. It comes with buyer’s choice of a stainless steel bracelet or a black leather band. 410-544-4005, www.zacharysjewelers.com/Annapolis.

New Kudos

The Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau has been selected by SportsEvents Magazine as a 2013 Readers Choice Award Winner. Sports event professionals were asked to name the sports commissions, convention and visitors bureaus, or sports events venues they believe display exemplary creativity and professionalism toward the groups they host. The top picks emerged from the results of an online voting system. 800-968-0712, www.sportseventsmagazine.com.

The Silver Diner. Airport Revenue News has presented The Silver Diner at BWI Marshall Airport with an award for “Best Airport Restaurant Design”. www.airportrevenuenews.com.

BWI Airport. In September 2012, BWI passenger traffic hit a new monthly record, growing 0.7 percent to 1.78 million. International passenger traffic grew by 40 percent in September. July 2012 was the busiest month in the history of BWI, with more than 2.2 million passengers. 410-859-7111, www.BWIaiport.com.

Carrol’s Creek Café. The Restaurant Association of Maryland presented Carrol’s Creek Café in Eastport with its Hospitality Hall of Honor award in April 2013. The award recognizes Maryland restaurants that “embody the spirit of the hospitality industry” as reflected in their “longevity and overall contributions to their customers and the industry as a whole”. 410-263-8102, www.carrolscreek.com.

Miss Shirley’s Café. In the fall of 2012, What’s Up Annapolis Magazine and a Readers’ Choice Poll in the Capital Gazette awarded Miss Shirley’s the bragging rights for “Best Breakfast”. 1-866- 986-1639, www.missshirleys.com.

VIN 909 Winecafe. Washingtonian Magazine honored VIN 909 as one of the “100 Very Best Restaurants in the Washington D.C. Region” in February 2013. 410-990-1846, www.vin909winecafe.com.

Significant Anniversaries

Annebeth’s of Annapolis is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. The store on Maryland Avenue is a staple for Annapolis locals and visitors. It stocks specialty foods, beer, wine, gifts, and gift baskets of all shapes and sizes. Annebeth’s opened in October of 1998. 410-990-9700, www.annebeths.com.

GIF_20130220_Annapolis-Opera-Rigoletto-04Annapolis Opera Company wrapped up a yearlong 40th anniversary celebration with a performance of Verdi’sRigoletto atMaryland Hall for the Creative Arts in March 2013. 410-267-8135, www.annapolisopera.org.

Carrol’s Creek Café on Restaurant Row in Eastport turns 30 this year. An Annapolis institution, the restaurant offers diners one of the best waterfront views around. It’s known for its innovative brunch, lunch, and dinner menus that feature a wide selection of fresh seafood and quality meats. Its signature cream of crab soup has won many awards in regional competitions. 410-263-8102, www.carrolscreek.com.

Chesapeake Children’s Museum turns 20 this year. To celebrate, the museum will be holding a fundraising gala on June 28. Proceeds from the Dreams Can Come True gala will be used for museum expansion and upkeep. 410-990-1993, http://www.theccm.org.

Historic Annapolis Foundation is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the William Paca Garden’s restoration this year with a “walk down memory lane”. The Foundation is asking individuals who have been married in the garden to share photos and/or memories of their special day. For every photo or memory received, the Foundation will present the giver with two complimentary guest passes to the garden. 410-990-4538, www.annapolis.org.

Historic Inns of Annapolis. On April 7, Historic Inns of Annapolis celebrated the tenth anniversary of its Bridal Fair – the only one in Downtown Annapolis. Specialists in food, photography, and fashion guided participants through Historic Inns’ bridal experience. 410-216-6326, www.historicinnsofannapolis.com.

The Patuxent Research Refuge celebrated the 110th anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge System on March 9. The National Wildlife Refuge System was first established on March 14, 1903, when President Theodore Roosevelt signed an Executive Order to establish Pelican Island Migratory Bird Reservation along the central Atlantic coast of Florida. 301-497-5763, http://patuxent.fws.gov.

River Gallery celebrates its 25th anniversary in Historic Galesville this year. To honor the occasion, the gallery – awash in original framed artwork, one-of-a-kind pottery, jewelry, turned wood, stained glass and other fine crafts – is holding open houses the second Friday of each month from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 410-867-0954, http://www.rivergallery.org.

Annapolis Sailing Cruises: Schooners Woodwind & Woodwind II celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. It was 20 years ago that Ken and Ellen Kaye, with daughter Jen in tow, left their lives as public school teachers to bring their love of sailing to Annapolis.  The family owned and operated business provides public tours of the Chesapeake on its two 74’ staysail wooden schooners. They have many special events planned for this year, including a Mother’s Day Brunch cruise, Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise, and more. 410-263-7837, www.schoonerwoodwind.com.

The AAACCVB 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.

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