March 29, 2023
Annapolis, US 57 F

11 things to experience this summer in and around Annapolis

Photo: Jeff B Voigt Photography

Looking for things to do in the great outdoors this summer? Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County has compiled a handy list designed to help make it easy for you to enjoy the simple pleasures of fun in the sun. For the health and safety of all, visitors are asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing while engaging in each of the activities. It’s also a good idea to call ahead to check the availability of the tour or activity you have in mind.

Dine and Shop Al Fresco – Treat yourself to al fresco dining and shopping in Annapolis seven days a week! The City of Annapolis has created eight Recovery Zones designed to provide area residents and visitors with opportunities to dine and shop outdoors while maintaining social distancing. Streets are closed to vehicular traffic at designated times providing restaurants with additional seating opportunities, shop owners with additional retail space, and visitors with hours of outdoor enjoyment. For a complete list of Recovery Zones and their hours of operation, click HERE.

Bask in the Sun at Sandy Point State Park – Spend the day swimming, fishing, crabbing, and picnicking at this 786-acre treasure on the northwestern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The mile-long public swimming beach provides hours of fun and beautiful views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Beach chair and umbrella rentals are available, and restroom and shower facilities make it easy to prepare for the trip back home. Fresh new landscaping and a new Bay-themed playground welcome visitors this year.

If you’re anxious to get your boat out on the water, you have a friend at Sandy Point State Park. With 22 public boat ramps, the park’s marina offers quick and convenient access to the Chesapeake Bay. A separate small craft launch ramp in the park’s South Beach area makes launching personal kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards, and other small craft a breeze. For more information, click HERE.

Take a Hike at Quiet Waters Park – The 340-acre county park situated between the South River and Harness Creek offers six miles of scenic paved trails that are ideal for biking, jogging, and walking. While the visitors center remains closed, comfort stations, playgrounds, pavilions, picnic areas, a cartop boat launch, and boat rentals are open. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Quiet Waters is one of eight regional Anne Arundel County parks. For more information, click HERE.

Sail the Chesapeake – The Schooners Woodwind and Woodwind II are back on the water for their 27th year. Annapolis Sailing Cruises is offering two-hour sailing cruises four times a day, seven days a week aboard their 74’ wooden schooners. This summer, passengers are invited to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of the filming of the movie, The Wedding Crashers, aboard the Woodwind II in 2005. To achieve the physical distancing required by the CDC and the state of Maryland, each vessel now accommodates up to 24 guests in zone seating. Each boat has six zones for sale – two six-guest zones, two four-guest zones, and two two-guest zones. The zones are perfect for family outings. For more information, click HERE.

The Harbor Queen | Watermark Yacht Charters

Cruise the Annapolis Harbor – Now in its 47th year, Watermark’s Harbor Queen once again is offering its 40-minute Annapolis Harbor and U.S. Naval Academy cruises for up to 85 passengers. New this year, guests can take advantage of tableside service during the narrated cruise. Watermark’s Miss Anne continues to provide 40-minute tours of Spa Creek for up to 15 passengers. For more information about all of Watermarks’ cruises and offerings, click HERE.

Captain an Electric Boat – Want to captain your own boat on a Spa Creek or Back Creek cruise? Annapolis Electric Boat Rentals invites you to treat your private party of up to ten people to a one-to-three-hour cruise aboard an eco-friendly, battery operated Duffy electric boat. With a maximum speed of five miles per hour, you and your guests can enjoy a leisurely cruise at a safe and comfortable speed while enjoying the food and drink you’ve brought on board. For more information, click HERE.

Photo: Sabrina Raymond

Ride the Water Taxi – While Annapolis is a very walkable city, sometimes the quickest way to get from point A to point B in America’s Sailing Capital is to hop aboard a water taxi. Use one to get from City Dock to Eastport for an enjoyable meal along Restaurant Row or drop anchor across from the Naval Academy and call a water taxi to bring you into town. Operating at a 12-passenger capacity this summer, the water taxi provides a quick, relaxing, and affordable way to squeeze an on-the-water excursion into a busy itinerary. For more information, click HERE.

Stroll the William Paca Garden – You have options! For the first time, Historic Annapolis lets guests choose between a guided tour of the garden that focuses on the history of the site and a guided tour that focuses on the horticulture of the two-acre 18th-century pleasure garden that sits behind Declaration of Independence signer William Paca’s home. Limited to six individuals each, the guided tours are offered Thursday-Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Private guided garden tours as well as self-guided tours of the garden are also available. If you’re in search of a welcoming place to relax in the cool of the evening, Historic Annapolis invites you to “Wine & Dine” in the Paca Garden on Thursdays, July 23 and August 20. The intimate al fresco dining experiences are being catered by Ken’s Creative Kitchen. For more information, click HERE.

Discover the Lost Town of London – Summer is the perfect time to visit the “lost” colonial town and garden sanctuary on the South River. Whether you stroll Historic London Town and Gardens’ Woodland Gardens with their towering native trees and extensive collection of magnolias, camellias, and dogwoods; their ornamental gardens, with their daylilies, hydrangeas, roses, and crepe myrtles; or their sound and sensory garden, with its musical instruments and discovery tables, you’re likely to get hooked. The 23-acre oasis is home to historic properties that have reopened to the public, including the circa 1760 National Historic Landmark William Brown House, a reconstructed Carpenter’s Shop, and the Lord Mayor’s Tenement. For more information, click HERE.

Hit the Streets – Want to get the inside scoop on Annapolis of old? Take a walking tour! New this year, a ghost guide is leading guests through haunted waterways by boat and helping them brave Annapolis’ Historic District by foot while he entertains them with nautical myths, pirate tales, and ghost stories during a Spirits and Spirits tour. The new Scandalous Annapolis tour is a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek adventure led by a colonial indentured servant. Want to know more about the Golden Age of Annapolis and its architecture? A Colonial Annapolis walking tour will take you past some of the finest 18th-century mansions in the nation. To learn more about these and other walking tours, click HERE.

Stock Up on Nature’s Bounty – If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, plan to stock up at one of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County’s seven farmers markets. Conveniently located throughout the county, there’s a market open nearly every day of the week. They’re a great way to get outside, stretch your legs, soak up some sunshine, breathe in the fresh air, and support local farmers while providing yourself and your family with fresh-from-the-farm goodness. For more information, click HERE.

All Images Courtesy of Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County unless noted otherwise.

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