I have lived in the DC Metro area going on four years now, and while I have flown outside the region, driving to places that are “close” in proximity, yet far has somehow eluded me. Annapolis is one of those places at about 45 minutes outside of DC travelling east, it’s a quaint little town, the capital of Maryland. It’s also home to the Naval Academy, if you didn’t know.
We began our trip by having breakfast at this cute, little restaurant that served Illy coffee and a variety of breakfast plates (Cafe Normandie). The food was very good, the coffee strong, and the ambiance was great (I think I was the youngest one there, other than a toddler). After breakfast we walked down Main Street to the wharf area (mind you, Annapolis is right on the water front) and there were a lot of people soaking up the sun shine, most being locals (or at least it seemed as such).
From there we walked into the gates of the Naval Academy and gained access to the campus. It was HUGE! So many buildings, and so many gyms and athletic pavilions. We then headed for the main building on campus which is the largest dormitory in the US. It was beautiful, but so grand! All of the other buildings and architecture were the same, and we did pop our heads into a few of the interiors and I was none too impressed. Yet, when we came to Bancroft Hall it was surprising. All marble with a great many murals all along the inside. A grand staircase as you walk in greets you. For all its glory, the inside main hall has walls engraved with naval officers who have died (I think in the line of duty), which was very touching.
From Bancroft, we walked this beautiful garden area which seemed to be the central square of the university towards the chapel. On our way we saw a wedding party, then when we got to the chapel there was a current double wedding. Our goal was to wait for the wedding party to leave the chapel so we could go in. In the meantime we saw the married couple walk through the raised swords of current naval officers (a ceremony only for the navy, I think), which was pretty fantastic.
After touring the naval academy we progressed back into the town and went into a few shops, walked around the Governor’s house, and around the central Chapel of the city. We also got to go into the State house which is still active to this day, which is pretty cool. Lastly, we walked a bit outside of town to St. John’s College, the third oldest university in the United States. Very, very small, it was interesting to see the school which is so tiny in comparison to the naval academy. Many students were moving out, one Junior even offered us a beer. HA!
All in all, I enjoyed Annapolis (even though it was sweltering hot!), but not sure if I’d go back. If I lived closer, perhaps. But otherwise, it was just a cute little town that I can say I’ve been to. The Naval Academy was fairly impressive, but again, it probably won’t change in my lifetime. I would suggest to go to say you’ve seen it and walk around and enjoy the sights, but be forewarned, there’s not much to do/see.