My husband surprised me after Christmas with an overnight trip to Annapolis. It wasn’t far from home, so Grandma watched the kiddos, plus no long trip. And we got the chance to just enjoy the city, unhurried and unstressed.
It was freezing, but absolutely blissful. In fact, if that could be my Christmas gift every year, I would love it. Downtown in Annapolis is right on the water, and it has a pretty Main Street area with shops and restaurants. We pretty much stayed there the whole time, but it was enough to fill the day, even taking it slow.
If you’re looking for a refreshing, quick overnight or weekend trip, let me go ahead and recommend Annapolis. If you need help planning a trip, here’s our recommendations from that weekend.
Lodging: The Maryland Inn of the Historic Inns of Annapolis
This historic hotel dates back to the 1780s, and its design honors its Colonial roots. You actually check in at the Governor Calvert House, which has its own historical artifacts. And it’s just a short walk away from the inn, around the Maryland State House.
The Inn is in a perfect spot overlooking Main Street, with a porch to enjoy the view. We found it to be very comfortable, even though the room was pretty small. But we spent most of the time out walking around, so it didn’t bother us.
Check in, get settled, and grab a cup of coffee in the shop below the inn. It used to be a tavern and is just a great place to hang out for a bit – definitely check it out.
Lunch: Carrol’s Creek Cafe
Don’t let the name confuse you – it’s really a nice, sit-down restaurant. It’s across the bridge, which likely means you’ll need to move your car, unless you would prefer a walk. But either way, it’s worth the trip. The restaurant looks over the water, and the food is delicious. Like many Annapolis restaurants, it offers local seafood, so take advantage, my friend. I had the Greek Seafood Salad and it was perfect.
Activities: The Shops on Main Street and Maryland Avenue
We spent the afternoon browsing the shops, which is extra nice when you don’t have kids who touch everything. If you love getting lost in a book, try Back Creek Books on Main, and Annapolis Bookstore on Maryland Ave. They have a vintage feel, and you could probably spend hours browsing. While you’re over by Annapolis Bookstore, check out some of the antique shops nearby.
Capitol Teas at the very end of Main Street by the water is another fun stop, with hot and iced tea sampling. (My favorite is their Presidential Blend.) We also stopped at Kilwin’s for fudge. And then all along Main Street are great small shops, both big and small businesses. When you need a break, the Maryland Innis right there.
Dinner: Café Normandie
I can’t recommend this French restaurant enough. It’s definitely on the upper range, and I would suggest getting a reservation if you’d like to eat early. We waited, but it was worth it.
Inside, it has rustic decor and romantic low lighting. The food. Is. Amazing. The Seafood Pasta is cooked to perfection, and has scallops, calamari, shrimp, and mussels. If you’re not feeling seafood, the Roast Duck with Raspberry Sauce has just the most dazzling flavor. For dessert, you’ll want a chocolate eclair; trust me.
Breakfast: Iron Rooster
You would have thought our luck would run out with at least one of our restaurant choices, because isn’t that usually how it works? Nope. Iron Rooster was fantastic. They offer lunch and dinner, but we didn’t get past the amazing breakfast menu, which they serve all day.
If you want something hot and savory, try the Eggs Benedict (although I was tempted by the Breakfast Mac & Cheese). If you have more of a sweet tooth, the French Toast with Spiced Maple Bourbon Butter looks amazing.
Have you been to Annapolis? What do you like best?