Having growing up two blocks from the ocean, I’m constantly craving the sea. Floridian beach towns are cute in their own respect, with brightly painted cottages and palm tree landscaping, but there’s something a little extra endearing about a nautical town on the Chesapeake. Annapolis is one of my favorite places to spend a warm Saturday with fresh steamed crabs, ice cream, and walking near the water. There’s still a little bit of summer left to eek out of this year!
I’m currently about a 45-minute drive from Annapolis, making it the perfect day-cation trip. My first stop is always coffee, and I really like Bean Rush Cafe. It’s not in the main street, so it’s less crowded and easier to park and hop out – definitely a must when I’m under-caffeinated.
I usually enjoy my latte while walking around the Naval Academy grounds. The Academy is located on the water and the lawns are lined with cherry blossom trees. The building architecture is gorgeous and the students in uniform aren’t hard on the eyes, either.
The Academy isn’t usually open to public vehicle traffic, and you’ll need to show a government-issued ID if you utilize the pedestrian gates to enter (it is a military installation, after all). You can read all of the visitor information here to better plan a trip. I haven’t done an official tour, and just prefer to wander the grounds, but I’d love to see the noon formation the next time I visit.
Of course, after caffeinating and getting int he nautical mood, I work up an appetite for blue crabs. My favorite place (I go every time I’m in Annapolis) for steamed crabs is Cantler’s Riverside Inn. It’s off of the main drag, across a little bridge and the drive will take you through some sea-side neighborhoods. You’ll come up to a shack-looking restaurant on the water with a gravel parking lot. Trust me, just go with it. Sit outside on the communal-style picnic tables and order yourself some crabbies. You won’t be disappointed. They proudly serve beer in a can with a great view on the water.
Never eaten a blue crab before? No worries, the staff is super friendly and will show you how to properly attack your crustacean. In true crab-boil style, the dumb the tray of Old-Bay coated crabs on brown butcher paper on your picnic table and bring you lots of melted butter and extra Old Bay because, really, can you ever have enough Old Bay? (The answer is no, you can’t, put it on everything.)
I like spending the rest of my time in Annapolis window-shopping in the stores near downtown, getting my Kilwin’s ice cream fix (seriously, nothing beats blueberry waffle cone icecream… in a cup, because actual ice cream cones are gross) and perhaps stopping for a glass of wine at the Red Red Wine Bar because day-cations are always an appropriate opportunity for an extra glass of wine (red wine is good for your health, right? Right.)
Honestly, now I’m hungry and want some hush puppies dunked in Old Bay but I have to work, so you should go to Annapolis and eat some and tell me how much I’m missing out.