Whether your idea of getting out includes a picnic in a park with the kids and family dog, an invigorating bike ride, a hike that doubles as a Colonial cultural tour, a sailing excursion, a zip line ride through the trees, or a walk through the pedestrian-friendly streets of downtown Annapolis, we can accommodate.
The parks and trails sprinkled through Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay are an enormous source of pride to Anne Arundel County. With over 87 miles of trail to explore by foot or bike or rollerblade—some which eventually will connect to a much broader, national network of trails—there’s plenty of terrain to cover. But our parks offer so much more than scenic pathways. Many allow you to launch a boat in the summer. One lets you glide around on ice skates in the winter. In some, you can fish off a pier or laze in the sun on a sandy beach. Many welcome, and even cater to, dogs.
The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are the preferred playgrounds of Annapolitans and our visitors. Want to sail, fish, windsurf, kayak, canoe, paddle board, or motor on a boat? There’s no better place to do it than in Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay. Check out the complete list of fun water-related activities for the whole family, and the best ways to access them.
Experience nature and learn how Annapolitans lived in the past—at the same time.
A great place to start is the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, or SERC. This hidden gem, where scientists conduct world-class research on the Chesapeake Bay and other global coastlines, doubles as a public nature and cultural center. Nestled on the Western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, SERC encompasses 2,650 acres and three separate trails. Interpretive signs demonstrate how Native Americans once used the land. Trail heads point the way to remnants of a former tobacco plantation which was later a dairy farm. Visitors also can take part in one of several family-oriented activities, including guided canoe excursions along the shores of Muddy Creek and the Rhode River.
Historic London Town and Gardens is another must-experience cultural and natural resource. Situated on the South River in Edgewater, it combines history, archaeology, and horticulture. Its Historic Area includes the 1760 William Brown House, a National Historic Landmark, plus reconstructed colonial buildings and an archaeological investigation in search of the "lost town" of London. Nature lovers enjoy roaming the site’s eight-acre Woodland Garden, a one-mile trail bursting with native plants and exotic species. The seasonal Ornamental Gardens overlook the South River, a magnificent sight.
Sports fans of all types regularly congregate in Annapolis and throughout Anne
Arundel County. With over 17 turf fields, multiple sports complexes capable of hosting a variety of sporting events and tournaments, and the 34,000-seat Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium—home of Navy Football and the professional lacrosse team the Chesapeake Bayhawks—it’s no wonder. We’re also a quick drive to the home fields of several professional sports teams: Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals, and Bowie Baysox.
Adventure seekers can find the thrills they’re looking for here. Terrapin Adventures, an outdoor adventure center in Savage, Maryland, lets visitors swing through the trees on a zipline, climb towers and rope swings, and more. Like heights and want to get an aerial view of the area? Take a helicopter ride over Anne Arundel County. An active local sailing community hosts regattas and sailing races for water-based adrenaline junkies. Regardless of the thrills you seek, adventures await in Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay.