We are after our fantastic time in New York City settled down for a few days in the cute little town of Annapolis in the state of Maryland. Because we still have to wait at least a week before our camper arrives in the port of Baltimore, we decided to explore Annapolis and Washington DC in the meantime.
This article is part of a large one-year tour the United States en Canada, with a Dutch 4×4 camper that we shipped ourselves… It is a bucket list worthy and an once in a lifetime experience that will never be forgotten.
We wrote almost 100 articles about this ultimate tour. Visit our North America page for more information.
Table of contents
A piece of history
Maryland, Washington DC and Annapolis
How about that? The state of Maryland has about 6 million inhabitants and Annapolis is the capital of this state. That is remarkable because the town has only 38.000 inhabitants and both the city of Baltimore (600.00 inhabitants) and Washington DC (700.000 inhabitants) are only half an hour by car from here, also in the state of Maryland. There are actually two reasons why Annapolis has become the capital of this state.
Washington DC does not belong to America
The first reason is that Washington DC is the political center of the United States of America and believe it or not, it doesn't even belong to the United States of America. Washington DC is not a state, nor does it belong to a state and is therefore not part of the US (source).
Washington DC is a district, or a neighborhood. DC stands for District of Columbia, the name of the district. Its creation comes directly from the US Constitution, which stipulates that the district, which is no larger than 10 square miles, would become the seat of government of the United States.
But why then did Annapolis and not Baltimore become the capital? That has everything to do with George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799). The American Revolutionary War came to an end in 1783, and here in Annapolis, the end of the war was celebrated Peace of Paris treaty, drawn. George Washington was an American military officer during this war and after the war he was promoted to statesman. George Washington brought together a group of influential people (the Founding Fathers), which eventually declared independence from the United States.
The Independence of the United States
Then Britain actually recognized the independence of the United States, the country was officially a country of which George Washington from 1789 to 1797 the first president was.
So the end of the war and the birth of the United States of America all happened here, in Annapolis. Now that you know all this, it is actually not so strange that Annapolis is the capital of this state. In a way it is the capital of America because this is where it all started!
Annapolis is a beautiful colonial town
While Washington DC and Baltimore grew into major, important cities for American politics and logistics over the past century, Annapolis actually remained unchanged for a long time. You will not see any high-rise buildings and virtually no industry in this town. Because so little has changed about this town, much of its history and culture has been well preserved, making it all the more fun to visit.
Annapolis is located on the sea, has good hotels and is therefore a popular place for sailors to come ashore and relax for a few days. The city's economy relies mainly on tourism, fishing and the US Naval Academy which is located there, where countless marines are trained.
US Naval Academy
One of the most important places in Annapolis is the US Naval Academy, and you can visit it. Admission is free and if you wish you can join a free tour where you learn a lot about the Navy and how they train their cadets there.
Beautiful colonial houses
What you immediately notice in the village are the colorful colonial houses, often with an American flag of course.
The harbor is small but cozy. There are a number of large outdoor bars that are not open at the moment (it is the end of March). According to hearsay, it is very pleasant here in the spring, summer and autumn with holidaymakers from Baltimore and Washington, among others.
Annapolis may be the capital of Maryland, a state with 6 million inhabitants and the birthplace of the United States as a country, but it still feels like a village. Some people greet you on the street and it feels very friendly.
We walked around and actually saw a closed street because it was 'tutu Tuesday'. The name says it all; everyone is in a tutu. Even the dogs, lampposts and the mayor! Of course, the beer and wine also flowed freely. Cosy!
Of course you can't miss the 100 American flags, because here people are very proud of their country. That had nothing to do with this party, by the way… The whole village is full of it anyway.
The local church is located in the middle of the large roundabout that connects the entire village/town. There is sometimes quite a bit of traffic on the roundabout and there is actually no official place to cross. I'm curious how they arrange that on days when there is a lot of run-up to church.
There are a few restaurants that really stand out in Annapolis. In the low-budget category, our Chick & Ruth's Delly recommended by both Google Maps and the locals.
This restaurant has been around since 1965 and many celebrities have preceded you. The entire place is covered with photos of celebrities and political figures who have eaten there, including autographs.
For $12-15 USD (excl. tip and taxes) you can already have a whole meal here with meat, a sandwich and 2 sides (for example fries, fried vegetables, a salad or mashed potatoes).
For $25-30 USD you have the world famous Crab cakes here that they make fresh themselves. We tasted them and they tasted really fantastic! You must try this specialty while you are here!
You can also have breakfast at Chick&Ruth's. They have low-budget options starting at two dollars and you can order the 'breakfast deals' all day long. I've included the 12-page menu below. use it to your advantage!
For example, other good restaurants in Annapolis are 'Level a small plates lounge', where they serve small dishes/plates of excellent quality. It is kind of American variant of tapas and the price is average (about $100 USD for 2 people dining + drinks).
In the slightly higher segment there is still Vin 909 Winecafe, the top rated restaurant in the area. Of course you have good wine here and they also serve some kind of tapas. Expect to spend about $100-150 USD here for two people for dinner + a few wines.
Graduate Annapolis Hotel
We chose the beautiful Graduate Annapolis Hotel during our stay in Annapolis. We found here namely a good deal + we receive a standard 15% discount via booking because we are regular customers, in other words Genius Level 3 to be. We paid a total of $460 for three nights, which is considerably less than the standard price for this hotel. Click on the photos to enlarge them.
We found the hotel colorful, beautifully decorated and cleaner than clean. What we also really appreciated were the free bicycles and the many games they have available in the restaurant! Jenga, chess, checkers, 4 in a row, tic-tac-toe, rubix cubes and even beer pong. It was lovely to have a beer, play a game and relax here. Much better than watching TV!
We didn't eat at the hotel unfortunately as there were so many other good restaurants we wanted to try. We'll leave that up to you…
Until the next blog!
Plan your vacation to America here
- Camper rental You can book this in combination with a tour Travelhome.
- Tours and Fly & drives compare to TUI, Americaplus, sawadee en Djoser.
- Flight tickets for America you book with TUI, KLM en Skyscanner.
- Rental cars : Sunnycars, Alamo en rental cars.
- Tours and Activities in America you book via GetYourGuide.
- Campsites in National Parks you book on RECREATION.gov.
- Travel insurance for America you will find at Allianz.
- Hotels & Resorts in America you can book with a discount Booking.com.
- SIM cards : USAsim en International sim.
- Parking at the airport you can arrange via Parkos, park care of iParking.
- travel items (suitcases, bags, world plugs, etc. can be ordered at Bol.com.