August 13, 2005
Gems of Maryland's
Western Shore: Annapolis
Part 1 Visit Annapolis
The Naval Academy
Annapolis Dining and Bed & Breakfasts
is probably the most charming and and beautiful
capitol town in the United States. I
refuse to use the word "city" as it is most
unlike what we consider a city, much less a
state capitol to be.
Annapolis is the
home of the United States Naval Academy, the
First peace-time capitol of the United States of
America, and a great place to enjoy the
Washington D.C -
Baltimore region without having
to stay in a big city.
Click here to see Google maps and satellite
is large, however, that area I write about is
the downtown waterfront area encompassing The
State House, The Naval Academy, St. John's
College, and the historic waterfront. A nice
historical perspective can be found at
Wikipedia, however, here are some small
tidbits of information:
architect Christopher Wren, the primary
Williamsburg influenced Sir
Francis Nicholson's city plan.
Four signers of
The Declaration of Independence lived in the
city. Three of their homes are open to the
public while the fourth is the only home of
signers left in America that is privately
Washington resigned his commission in the
Continental Army at the Annapolis State House.
gathered at the Maryland Inn to sign the
Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary
as the Capital of our new nation from November
26, 1783 to August 13, 1784.
leaders dined and drank at Middleton Tavern.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and
Benjamin Franklin were numbered among its
The state house
itself is readily accessible, however, unlike
the days before September 11, 2001, you cannot
just walk in the door and stroll around,
however, after the security checkpoint, you can
access the old Senate Chamber and the room that
was formerly used by the House of Delegates.
George Washington resigned his commission in the
Old Senate Chamber after the Revolutionary War.
It is home to the largest wooden dome in
America. When not in session, you can see the
new Chambers used by Maryland senators and
delegates today, just down the hall.
The best place to
start any tour is at the waterfront in a place
commonly known as "Ego Alley" This area finds
many high-price boat owners docking there to
enjoy the access to Annapolis as well as the
Chesapeake Bay, but also derives its name from
the boat owners that like to dive up this
offshoot from Spa Creek to show of their boat,
bikini clad women, or both. The walk to
the State House up Main Street also leads you to
other small alleyways, roads, and nooks to
explore - each with it's own history.
Some of the other great places and sights to
The State House, which includes the
largest wooden dome in America.
The Old Treasury
House, home of 18th century public rooms and the
home of the Governor.
The Chase Lloyd
House: a great example of Georgian Architecture.
Hammond-Harwood House: a fine collection of
antiques and Georgian decor.
The William Paca House and Garden: this home and
garden is wonderful worth the time to visit.
Of course you can
take water tours that will take you around the
Academy and parts of waterside Annapolis, but if
you visit when there is a nice calm breeze
blowing, book a three hour tour on the Woodwind
or Woodwind II.
These 74 foot
schooners are great fun, especially when you are
made a temporary member of the crew and have to
raise sails. Of course, you can easily
revert back to passenger with the breeze in your
hair and a drink in hand. If you saw the
movie, The Wedding Crashers, actor
Christopher Walken pilots the Woodwind II.
If the wind is
just right, you may get a great Chesapeake Bay
tour to include a pass by the Thomas Point
Lighthouse, the oldest Chesapeake cottage style
lighthouse still in operation.
Woodwind Website for details.
From Baltimore (20
Miles) and points North:
I-95 South to I-895 South (Harbor Tunnel) to
I-97 South or I-95 South to I-695 South
(Baltimore Beltway) to Exit 4, I-97 South. I-97
will end at Rt. 50- go East to Exit 24, Rowe
Blvd. Follow signs to the Visitors Center.
From points West and Northwest:
I-70 East to I-695 South (Baltimore Beltway).
Follow to Exit 4, I-97 South. I-97 will end at
Rt. 50- go East to Exit 24, Rowe Blvd. Follow
signs to the Visitors Center.
From Washington DC (30 miles) and points South:
I-95 North to I-495 North (Washington Beltway)
to Rt. 50 East. Follow Rt. 50 to Exit 24, Rowe
Blvd, and follow signs for the Visitors Center.
From points Southwest:
Rt. 66 East to I-495 South to Rt. 50 East.
Follow to Exit 24, Rowe Blvd. and follow signs
to the Visitors Center.
From Marylandís Eastern Shore:
Take Rt. 50 West across the Chesapeake Bay
Bridge (free westbound). Follow Rt. 50 to exit
24 B, Rowe Blvd. and follow signs to the