Annapolis Restaurants in the City Dock Area dining guide

15/11/11 0 COMMENTS

Annapolis is the most underrated city on the east coast. What makes Annapolis so appealing is the museums, gardens, festivals, memorials and good restaurants. As far as the latter goes, many of the restaurants are located in the City Dock Area, which means it’s possible to be dining while only a few feet from the beautiful Chesapeake Bay. If you choose to visit, take a picture. This is one of the more photographic cities in the country. Let’s take a look at the top four City Dock restaurants in Annapolis. Keep in mind that this dining guide is best suited for those who want to dine at a seafood restaurant.

Hell Point Seafood

Don’t let the name scare you, but this is actually one of the warmest environments you will find when it comes to seafood restaurants in Annapolis. It also offers top cuisine. One of the best dishes you can order is the lobster roll, which comes with French fries and coleslaw. Other great options include fish and chips and a jumbo lump crab cake. The prices are a little higher than some other options, but we find they are well worth it. You should expect to spend between $30 and $40 per person. Many people walk, because parking can sometimes be a challenge. Water views are available. Overall, this is a worthwhile experience if you desire a seafood restaurant with great food and service in a casual and warm atmosphere.

McGarvey’s Saloon

This is the place to go if you’re a beer and wings person. That said their oyster bar, crab soup, hamburgers, raw bar and crab cakes are all excellent. You will have many options to choose from. The portions are large and the prices are very fair. If you’re not drinking alcohol, you could spend less than $15 per person. You might not think of this as a top cuisine option, but the food will pleasantly surprise you. McGarvey’s Saloon has a classy look inside and out, but it’s not for those who want a quiet meal. It can get loud at times, especially if there’s a popular sporting event playing. McGarvey’s Saloon might not be looked at as one of the finest dining restaurants in the area, but it does offer great food.

Buddy’s Crabs & Ribs

It’s not often that you have an opportunity to eat at a seafood buffet. Buddy’s Crabs & Ribs offers the best seafood buffet you will find anywhere. However, it does come at a $30 price tag. The best dishes here include crab cakes, crab imperial, cream of crab, crab soup and the ribs. The wait staff here is great because they have a knack for figuring out what you want without you having to ask for it. As far as views go, make sure you request a table by the window.

Pusser’s Caribbean Grille

When we stated above that it’s possible to dine while only four feet from the water, this is the restaurant we were referring to. The best time to eat here is during the summer so you can eat outside and enjoy the fresh air and views. Watching the sailboats also adds to the experience and has a tendency to soothe most people. This is the most popular happy hour spot in the area and the prices for both food and drinks are cheap. If you dine here, put the crab cakes at the top of your list. Pusser’s Caribbean Grille also has one of the simplest restaurant menus in town, which many people consider a good thing.

Now you’re informed about all the best restaurants in Annapolis. Use this as your dining guide prior to visiting. As you can see, it would be wise to choose a fish restaurant. If you only have time to dine at one of these Annapolis MD establishments, don’t pay too much attention to the restaurant menus. This dining guide saves you the hassle and focuses on the most important aspects of the best local seafood restaurants.

Where to shop in Annapolis

04/10/11 0 COMMENTS

Among the many things to do in Annapolis, shopping should be near the top of the list. In Annapolis, MD, visitors and residents alike can enjoy a wide variety of shopping experiences.

In the oldest part of Downtown Annapolis — State Circle, site of the Maryland State House and the streets radiating from it are lined with art galleries, antique shops, gift shops, craft shops and other specialty stores. On Main Street, there is even a store boasting men’s clothing inspired by the city’s unique way of life. Dock Street, along the Annapolis Waterfront and near the Annapolis Naval Academy, is home to even more stores.

Visitors to the Annapolis Waterfront may also want to stop at the Visitor’s Center gift shop while touring the Naval Academy. This uniquely Annapolis store provides USNA apparel, books and souvenirs with proceeds benefitting the midshipmen of the USNA.

The Annapolis Boat Shows, held in October, offer another type of shopping. With one show devoted to sailboats and another devoted to powerboats, the Annapolis Boat Shows allow boating enthusiasts to shop for their favorite boats, boating accessories and marine equipment.

Downtown Annapolis is home to the Historic Inns of Annapolis, many of the most popular hotels, seafood restaurants and other Annapolis restaurants. It is the lively, vibrant heart of the city. The Historic Inns of Annapolis are a group of boutique Annapolis inns that offer lodging and dining. Annapolis hotels located here include the Marriott — the only one of the hotels in Annapolis directly on Chesapeake Bay. Annapolis restaurants in this area run the gamut from hot dog and coffee shops to fine dining establishments. Many restaurants in Annapolis reflect the city’s waterfront location and Annapolis seafood restaurants are known far and wide for the freshness of their fare.

While the historic area offers dining, lodging and entertainment and is rich with shopping opportunities, it is certainly not the only area of this lovely city that offers things to do in Annapolis.

Annapolis shopping continues in several malls just minutes from the district. The Harbor Center has many specialty clothing stores, furniture stores and food shops. The Town Centre at Parole features one of the largest Whole Foods stores in the country, along with clothing and home furnishing stores. The Westfield Annapolis mall is anchored by several large department stores and includes a wide variety of smaller shops including Aveda – our choice for all your beautification needs.

So, trips to enjoy the many Annapolis shops and stores are convenient to both residents and visitors staying in the various Annapolis inns or hotels. Annapolis MD truly has it all when it comes to shopping.

Best places to stay in Annapolis

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There are a wide variety of fine, comfortable hotels in Annapolis, geared to fit any budget, business or leisure visitor. Some are within walking distance of historic landmarks, such as the waterfront district and the United States Naval Academy, and others are convenient for a business traveler.


An Annapolis hotel that gets high marks with both budget and business travelers is the Hilton Garden Inn Annapolis, 305 Harry S. Truman Parkway. It is a short drive from downtown and is a well-equipped hotel for business travelers, as well as being lower in price than other comparable Annapolis hotels. Another hotel considered to be an excellent value for all its amenities is Spring Hill Suites by Marriott Annapolis, located at 189 Cochrane Drive. It is close to the Ballet Theater of Maryland and the historic downtown.You don’t want to miss either the Best Western Annapolis because  this hotel offers travelers convenient access to many local attractions, shopping and dining options in and around Annapolis, and one way they support it is by offering  24-hour complimentary coffee service; or the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites – you can read why we thing they’re tops in terms of Annapolis hotels right here.


The Bed and Breakfast Association lists a large number of independent homes and small inns that feature unique accommodations, personal service, and complete breakfasts. A B&B in Annapolis is ideal for travelers that enjoy personal service and historic lodgings in an intimate setting. One highly rated and quaint B&B is the Chez Amis Bed and Breakfast on 85 East Street is a short walk to City Dock. Other popular B& B’s are the Harbor View Inn, at 1 St. Mary’s Street, the William Page Inn, at 8 Martin Street, and the Georgian House, at 170 Duke of Gloucester Street. For those wanting to be right near the marina, the Eastport location of The Inn at Horn Point, 100 Chesapeake Ave, is an ideal spot.

We really have to recommend the Annapolitan B&B because each room is decorated differently with Annapolis-inspired décor. The flexibility is also great because they can accommodate cocktail or tailgate parties, reunions or business meetings in private event spaces.


It’s a single downtown hotel with a lobby check-in location at 58 State Circle, but with lodgings in a group of three historic boutique hotels. The Governor Calvert House is the oldest and most luxurious home, built in 1695, and located across from the Capitol building. The Robert Johnson House is next to the Governor’s Mansion and was completed in 1773. The Maryland Inn is also the location of the well-known Treaty of Paris restaurant.


The Loews Annapolis Hotel enjoys a central location on 126 West Street with easy access to restaurants and the nightlife downtown. It is a full-service hotel with a spa and pet friendly policy. The Westin Annapolis Hotel is another full-service hotel with a large grand ballroom. It is the top ranked hotel for business travelers in Annapolis. The Annapolis Waterfront Hotel is a fine departure point for city walking tours.


The Schooner Windward, at 80 Compromise Street, needs its own category because it is the only boat and breakfast in Annapolis. It features a delightful evening cruise where the captain allows passengers to take turns at the helm. The bed and bath may feel like cramped quarters for some guests, but the experience is unique and comes with a complete breakfast.

The wide variety of Annapolis hotels make it a wonderful city for both leisure and business travel. From historic sights to sailing and shopping Annapolis is a charming city designed to accommodate any type of visitor in comfortable and enjoyable style.

Things to see and do in Annapolis

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Annapolis isn’t just one of our most beautiful cities; it also offers a lot of dining and entertainment options. On top of that, it’s easily affordable. It’s a highly recommended vacation destination for anyone who lives on or near the east coast. In order to give you a good head start on your Annapolis vacation experience, we will offer some valuable information below.

Let’s begin with Annapolis restaurants. The highest-rated restaurant in Annapolis is Galway Bay, which offers an Irish environment. There’s a pub, of course, as well as a family dining room. If you choose to dine here, try the cottage pie or medieval beef stew. Also check out the daily specials, which offer great value. That said, the atmosphere is the best part, and that’s saying a lot. Other highly rated restaurants in Annapolis include Pusser’s Caribbean Grille, Ram’s Head Tavern, O’Leary’s Seafood Restaurant and Chart House. Pusser’s Caribbean Grille is the place to go for signature cocktails, waterfront dining and barbecue salmon. Ram’s Head Tavern has great steak, chicken, fish and crabs. There’s a full bar and take-out is available. O’Leary’s Seafood Restaurant has some of the best seafood in Annapolis. Try the Salmon in chipotle with ginger barbecue sauce. Chart House has good food and the presentations are impressive, but it’s the views that make it such a hot spot. If you eat at Chart House, try the Snapper Hemingway or Shrimp Fresca.

Anyone who visits needs to take advantage of the Annapolis waterfront. While the Annapolis waterfront is nice any time of the year, it’s highly recommended you visit during the Annapolis boat shows. The biggest boat shows in the world take place here in early and mid-October. The Annapolis Sailboat show is from October 6-10 at City Dock and the Annapolis Powerboat show is from October 13-16.

The best Annapolis shopping can be found at the Annapolis Mall, Lilac Bijoux, Capital Comics and Annapolis Ice Cream. Lilac Bijoux is a jewelry store. The rest of these stores are fairly self-explanatory.

You will also find a lot of Annapolis events in Downtown Annapolis. These events include country fairs, a renaissance festival, book shows and more. Other downtown places of interest include USNA, the Maryland State House and Chick & Ruth’s Delly.

If you’re still looking for more to do, there are plenty of attractions. One of the best attractions for kids is Pirate Adventures. Kids can dress up as pirates and man the ship on weekends through Halloween. If your kids are like most kids, they will be talking about this experience for years to come. A great attraction for everyone, as well as one with an extremely high traveler rating, is Quiet Waters Park. This is different than most parks because it offers so much while still managing to remain peaceful. There’s a gazebo, fountains, expansive lawns, an art gallery, a lounge, walking paths, a lake with benches by the shore and a dog park.

When all else fails – it’s time to hit the movies, like Bow Tie Cinemas in the Westfield Annapolis mall.  Bow Tie Cinemas offer 11 state-of-the-art screens in a theater dedicated to returning style and elegance to a trip to the movies.

Everyone who visits Annapolis comes back with rave reviews. This should be a strong indicator that’s it’s time to arrange some new travel plans.

Where to eat in Annapolis

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The residents and visitors to Annapolis dine at many classic restaurants that are a central part to the history of the city.

Guides will often highlight the colonial era seafood pubs that opened during the 1700s in Annapolis. One example is Reynolds Tavern, considered to be the oldest tavern in Annapolis MD. Inside the Tavern is the Sly Fox Pub, which offers a number of loaded fish sandwiches and platters — along with an assortment of traditional pub fare. Besides being a fish restaurant, the Sly Fox is also known for its entertainment and casual atmosphere. The Middleton Tavern Oyster Bar and Restaurant, dating back to 1750, is located right on the waterfront, so customers will always know they are eating the freshest seafood. For a more family friendly seafood restaurant, the Boatyard Bar and Grill hosts small gatherings and includes plenty of seating for a big family. This seafood restaurant also has the honor of being voted the best family restaurant in Annapolis. If you’re feeling like Italian, Luna Blu, located on the addition to West Street is worth a try. A newer restaurant is O’Leary’s. At O’Leary’s, customers are offered New American styles of typical fish platters, such as Thai barbecued Mahi Mahi and conventional Maryland dishes like Maryland crabcakes.

Besides the seemingly overwhelming numbers of seafood restaurants in Annapolis, there are dozens of good restaurants offering something a little bit different. We might point people to Carpaccio Tuscan Restaurant. This upscale Italian restaurant serves a wide variety of Northern Italian food with wine pairings. Harry Browne’s Restaurant is located in the historic district of downtown Annapolis and offers a Sunday brunch and a dinner menu with a good combination of fish and steak. If all you want is the steak, you might head over to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, which serves top of the line steaks with upscale drinks in a relaxing lounge atmosphere.

Several Annapolis hotels also feature their own restaurants. One of our favorites is inside the Loews, called Breeze. It’s also one of the favorites of local and regional food writers for featuring local, seasonal ingredients. The food is upscale Maryland fare with a twist – like a BLT Panini or the classic crabcake sandwich served BBQ style with coleslaw on top.

From seafood to upscale dining, Annapolis citizens have any place at their disposal no matter what their appetite is. The visitors and citizens of Annapolis dine on excellent, friendly, and high-quality food — especially the seafood.

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