Flowers are blooming. Leaves are budding. Boats are back in the Chesapeake Bay. Spring is in full swing in Annapolis! Whether it’s food or history, sailing or art, there’s something going on for every interest in Annapolis this spring.
Springtime means many things to Annapolitans and their visitors: It means getting outside and enjoying the charm and history of Maryland’s capital city, the return of outdoor dining; the start of the festival season; sailing cruises on the Chesapeake; casual nightlife that features nightly entertainment, or simply moseying around the brick streets throughout the downtown area. With so much to choose from in Annapolis this spring, the only thing you’ll be left wanting is another day to explore. Here’s a list of “musts” when you visit Annapolis this spring!
Many of the city’s most cherished events and festivals take place in springtime. There’s a tradition of celebration at the Naval Academy for graduating Midshipmen; three arts festivals; a wine festival; and one of the world’s largest, in-water boat shows. These events are the perfect way to experience the Annapolis’ range of things to do throughout spring.
Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show
When: April 20-22
Where: City Dock
Annapolis is often referred to as the U.S. Sailing Capital. Being home to the National Sailing Hall of Fame, and three of the world’s largest in-water boat show, it’s easy to see why. Jumpstart the boating season with the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show. Annapolis Boat Shows, a leading management company, has been producing these in-water demonstrations since 1970, drawing over 150,000 people from all over the world to the Chesapeake Bay who want to see the latest and greatest in boats and related gear.
First Sunday Arts Festival
When: The first Sunday of every month May through November
Where: West and Calvert Streets
From noon until five -- a portion of historic West Street above Church Circle is closed to cars and transforms into a fun festival of live music, dance, art and crafts. The Festival, which continues around the corner into Whitmore Park on Calvert Street, is free and a family affair for all ages. It’s the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon outdoors surrounded by talented performers, musicians, and over 100 booths of arts and crafts. Plus several of the West Street restaurants become outdoor cafes with perfect seating to watch the fun and people go by!
USNA Commissioning Week
When: May 18-25
Where: U.S. Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy prepares for a week of tradition, ceremony, and celebration for its graduating class of 2018. Commissioning Week involves a full week of celebratory events beginning Friday, May 18, 2018, culminating with graduation day at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Friday, May 25, 2018. Even if you don't know anyone graduating from the Academy this year, each of the week's events has something special to offer guests. However, there is one event that is not to be missed when visiting Annapolis during Commissioning Week: The Blue Angels. Crowds gather on the banks of the Severn River on the USNA campus to witness the amazing aerial performance of the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squad.
Annapolis Arts Week
When: June 1-10
Where: Downtown Annapolis and throughout Anne Arundel County
Newly added in 2017, the annual Annapolis Arts Week is a celebration of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County’s talented and diverse local arts community. The week-long event encompasses all the wide ranging artistic creativity that has made the area a haven for art lovers with its many art galleries, performance arts studios, musicians, and all around artistic talent. With block parties, classes and workshops, four major events/festivals, live music, art exhibits, and much more, Annapolis Arts Week is the perfect way to get a sense of all the amazing art available to visitors and locals alike.
Annapolis Irish Festival
When: June 1-2
Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds
Celebrate everything Irish at the only festival of its kind in the region: The Annapolis Irish Festival. Enjoy traditional Celtic music and Irish rock bands on three different stages, along with workshops and exhibits. When you get hungry, try some delicious Irish beef stew and other Irish favorites. Little Leprechaun Land (open on Saturday only 11am– 4pm) provides pony rides, face painting, and other free activities for the kids.
Annapolis Arts & Wine Festival
When: June 9-10
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
If you're in the area and consider yourself an art fanatic, the Annual Arts and Wine Festival is a great way to spend your next weekend in Annapolis. Held on June 9 and June 10, 2018, the weekend-long festival showcases the works of Annapolis' premier artists, set in the shadows of the famed Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Along with over 200 artists selling their work, there will be an artist’s pavilion with live art demonstrations, 17 food trucks, over 20 Maryland Wineries to sample, and live music played throughout the weekend. Take the opportunity to view and purchase the area's fine artwork while enjoying some of Maryland's best wines in one of Annapolis' most recognizable landmarks. It's also the perfect way to end Annapolis Art Week.
Get on the Water
Though Annapolis’ history, art, shopping, and dining scene draw in hundreds of thousands each year, it’s the water’s accessibility that remains at the top of the list. When it comes to bountiful aquatic resources, we've got a lot to brag about. Anne Arundel County's rivers, streams and coves form over 533 miles of shoreline. We claim the Chesapeake Bay, the nation's largest estuary, as our very own playground. Glimpses of sparkling water can be had even from the middle of downtown Historic Annapolis. It's no wonder countless people come to play on the water here.
Give paddleboarding a go. Book a historic water tour for a unique view of Annapolis. Head out to open water on a fishing trip. There are plenty of options to choose from.
Annapolis is quickly becoming a haven for foodies of all palates – and for good reason. In recent years, the city has seen a surge in restaurants, offering everything from fine, waterfront dining to speakeasy-style gastro pubs.
Get messy cracking into a bushel of world-famous Maryland Blue Crabs or enjoy a waterfront meal in style at one of Annapolis’ fine-dining restaurants. Dine outside – on a rooftop or on the bustling streets in downtown – for a perfect meal overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. Our cuisine is as diverse as the clientele we serve. Want to go international? Enjoy casual pub fare? Experience elegant dining? Happy hour? Whatever you're in the mood for, Annapolis and Anne Arundel County can deliver. Whether you’re looking to dive into the area’s freshest seafood, or sample Annapolis’ locally-sourced, artisanal dishes, Annapolis’ is quickly becoming a foodie’s paradise.
After you’ve had your fill on the city’s wide range of dishes, enjoy the many nightlife options available. Maybe your perfect night out involves strolling quaint streets lined with bars, restaurants, and boutiques. Maybe it’s dancing into the wee hours of the night. Maybe it’s enjoying some live music (many of Annapolis’ restaurants host nationally-recognized performers and local favorites).
For more about the Annapolis food and nightlife scene, visit our blog, Foodie Annapolis, to find out what our local bloggers are talking about.
The BWI Region
Baseball is back! Head to Camden Yards for an Orioles game in Baltimore before enjoying Maryland Blue Crabs in the Inner Harbor or visiting the National Aquarium with the kids. Or, take a short drive to D.C. for a Nationals game before visiting all the major attractions in our nation’s capital.
The Hotels at BWI are a great option when you visit Anne Arundel Country. Only a short drive from Baltimore, D.C., Annapolis, and the BWI Airport these hotels act as the perfect home base if you’re bouncing between cities.
If you're looking for shopping and entertainment while you’re in the region, head over to Arundel Mills, Maryland’s largest outlet mall, to do some shopping then heading over to Live! Casino and the new Live! Hotel to try your hand at the tables or slots or dine at one of the many restaurants. If it’s something for the kids, the Mall features the Cinemark Egyptian 24 and XD Theatre, of you can step back in time at Medieval Times Dinner Theater.