It was a cold and rainy day, so what better time to make my way into the sailing capitol of the world? Clearly not the best weather for setting sail, but it wasn’t so bad for exploring Annapolis, Maryland. When I arrived it was pretty cold and windy, but as soon as I entered the city I could tell it was somewhere I would like. It definitely had the look and feel of a typical port city. The streets were lined with unique English style storefronts outfitted with pubs, shops, and offices. Right in the middle of town was the city dock that was lined with row after row of sailboats. It wasn’t the nicest weather to walk around in, so after driving around for a bit I decided to visit the Annapolis Maritime Museum.
The museum is located in the Eastport section of Annapolis and offers free admission. Contrary to what I was expecting, the museum focused mainly on the oyster industry history in the area and the conservation efforts that are being taken now to repopulate the Chesapeake Bay with oysters. It was a really enjoyable stop, though, because I got to learn about the oyster police. Yes, that used to be a real thing, and they had cannons. Along with the main museum, there is also a small art gallery off to the side that features a rotating collection of local art. The museum doesn’t take a whole lot of time to explore in its entirety, but it was a great pastime while the weather wasn’t the nicest.
By the time I left the museum the weather had cleared up a bit, so I decided to make my way back to main street and walk around for a bit. Parking on the main strip is really difficult to come by, and it’s meter parking. However, within a short walking distance is residential parking that is free, but it is a two hour max. That worked out just fine for me, though. I’m not a huge shopper, so I was able to breeze through most of the shops on the strip pretty quickly while still taking in the scenery. I think my favorite shop had to be the Spice & Tea Exchange of Annapolis. As soon as I walked in I was completely engulfed in the potent scents of dozens of different spices, teas, sugars, candles, etc. I ended up buying some teas that smelled good enough to eat. After a bit of shopping, I was getting peckish, so I decided to stop into Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls for, well, a lobster roll. I got the classic roll which was chilled lobster tossed in lemon butter served on a warm bun. It was pretty fantastic, I must say.
A couple of blocks away from Main Street was another nice street called Maryland Avenue. It first caught my attention because I saw a music store on google maps, but when I got there I was also greeted with a coffee shop, book store, vintage shops, and a couple of restaurants. It wasn’t as busy as Main Street, but there was still plenty to explore, so I parked up and set out on foot. First off I spent a long time perusing the rows of vinyl at KA-CHUNK! Records. They had an incredibly vast collection of albums from artists old and new, so there was definitely something for everyone. Once I was able to pull myself away, I headed down the street to Old Fox Books & Coffeehouse. You guessed it, they’re a book store and coffee shop. It had the coziest atmosphere with brick walls, couches, and every nook and cranny filled with books. Be sure to not miss out on the downstairs portion of the shop where the book store continues down a spiral staircase. After ordering myself a delicious chai latte and browsing through the shelves of books for a while, I decided it was probably a good time to head to the gym before it got too terribly late.