Wish You Were Here
The tourists know how to enjoy this city. Maybe the locals should be taking a few tips from them.
Think about this: when you see a tourist in downtown Annapolis, someone that’s really happy to be visiting, they look so excited. Everything is new and interesting. They seem to live by the standard of “so much to see in so little time.”
Imagine if you always looked wide-eyed at this city? How much fun would life be, without even leaving the historic district?
You know those people down at City Dock, taking panoramic photos of the boats and climbing aboard the Queen Anne? They are eating Kilwin’s ice cream while taking part in a walking tour.
They tend to populate our city when the weather gets warmer. They are tourists.
To really experience Annapolis, you should try to get out on the Chesapeake Bay. Departing from the Annapolis Marriott, the Schooner Woodwind offers 2 hours sails on a 74-foot classic wooden sailing yacht. The Schooner Liberte offers Sunday brunch cruises every week and is also available for charters. Watermark Cruises offers a variety of 40 and 90 minute narrated cruises, which leave from the City Dock daily.
The 80 degrees we had a few weeks back found me resentful of the local boat owners. My solution was a 40-minute tour of Spa Creek aboard The Miss Anne. During that short trip, I learned more of St. Mary’s history than I did when I actually attended school there. I am sure it was the open-air classroom, the sunshine, the maturity, but still, the sail was interesting, fun, and the cool breeze off the water felt fantastic. It was well worth the $13.
The tourists who travel to our city typically look to indulge in our local cuisine. Have you ever been asked where to get steamed crabs? How about a broiled crab cake? Anyone ever asked you to point them in the direction of a soft shell crab sandwich? Where do you send them? What do you recommend they order?
Now try taking your own advice.
I always tell visitors to head over to Davis’ Pub at 400 Chester Avenue in Eastport. Personally, I like the crab balls, but I could never deny them the experience of noshing on a crab pretzel. Where else can you find a “toasted jumbo soft pretzel roll topped with Davis’ own Back Creek crab dip and melted cheddar”?
On a warm day, I will insist they grab a seat at one of the outdoor picnic tables. If it’s too chilly for al fresco dining, I’ll direct them inside, where they can rub elbows with true locals.
On April 20, the canons at the Annapolis Yacht Club sounded, signaling the start of Wednesday night boat races. I stood on the Spa Creek Bridge and watched sail after sail expand in the wind. This tradition began in the 1950’s. Today, six classes of sailboats now participate in the races, which take place every Wednesday evening in May through September. This is a great time to grab your camera and to get some shots of Annapolis in all its sailing glory.
You know those postcards you pick up while on vacation? They have some picturesque scene of the city and just enough room on the back for you to scribble something like “The weather is beautiful,” “They are real cobblestone streets,” “We spent three hours eating crabs outside,” or “I wish you were here.”
Well, you are here, so get out and appreciate this city, Annapolitans. Like a true tourist.