Are you a dog owner looking for a destination that combines history, charm, and beautiful scenery plus special places to visit with your pooch? Look no further than Annapolis, Maryland! This picturesque city is located on the Chesapeake Bay and is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture.
I visited with my Golden Retriever dog (Parker). Here are 10 things to do in Annapolis that will make your visit with your dog unforgettable:
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Explore the Historic District
Take a leisurely stroll through the historic district and admire the beautiful architecture of the 18th-century buildings in dog-friendly Annapolis. Stop by the Maryland State House, the oldest state capitol still in continuous use, and the William Paca House and Garden, a National Historic Landmark.
Visit U.S. Naval Academy
Annapolis is home to the United States Naval Academy, where future Navy and Marine Corps officers are trained. Take a guided tour of the campus and visit the Naval Academy Museum, which features exhibits on naval history and the academy’s role in shaping the country’s military leaders.
Your dog will enjoy meandering around the campus. There is a lot to explore, including the Commodore John Barry Memorial, in dog-friendly Annapolis.
Pose At A City Mural
While you are visiting the Naval Academy, be sure to stop and take photos in front of the huge Annapolis mural. It is located near the gates. This dramatic painting features the Chesapeake Bay set against the skyline, as well as a boat, fisherman, and the Baltimore oriole.
Your dog can pose with a photo of a cat and a dog. The painting of the white cat was so realistic that I think Parker was afraid the feline would hiss at him.
See Chesapeake Bay
Wander along the Chesapeake Bay harbor and let your dog sniff the salty air in dog-friendly Annapolis. Let him gaze out on the Chesapeake Bay and watch the ducks bobbing on the water.
Take a sunset cruise on the Chesapeake Bay and enjoy the stunning views of the coastline. Alternatively, rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the bay at your own pace.
Eat Maryland Blue Crabs
Dogs should not eat Maryland’s famous blue crabs, as raw crab often carries intestinal parasites. But no trip to Annapolis is complete without trying Maryland blue crabs. Head to a local seafood restaurant and indulge in this local delicacy. Be warned: the thick Old Bay seasoning will soil your clothes and paint your hands permanently orange-red. But it is worth it.
And be sure to take your pooch to visit Salty Paws, Annapolis’ Doggie Ice Cream Bar and Bakery. Because doesn’t he deserve a treat too?
I think my favorite part about my visit to dog-friendly Annapolis was just wandering up and down streets in the city, looking in yards, staring at the houses, and pondering life four centuries ago.
“You will pass middling homes and gentry mansions on your way to explore the Maryland State House.”Watermark Journey
Annapolis is the perfect city to explore if you love Georgian architecture. Three examples of Palladian-style homes in the city are Hammond-Harwood House, the William Paca House, and the Chase-Lloyd House. (Sadly, dogs are not permitted inside!)
Visit the Annapolis Maritime Museum
Learn about the city’s rich maritime history at the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park. The museum features exhibits on oysters, boatbuilding, and the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay. “The Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park (AMM) educates youth and adults about the Annapolis area’s rich maritime heritage and the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay through programs, exhibits and community events,” according to the website.
Go Find Street Art
Go on a street art scavenger hunt. Annapolis has murals hidden on the sides of brick buildings, painted on rooftops, and clustered in a parking lot. Learn about the city’s history by studying these local artists’ work. Don’t miss visiting the Pearl Bailey Mural. It was created in collaboration with George “Lassie” Belt and the children from the Stanton Community Center.
According to FutureHistoryNow.org, “The mural is painted on the exterior of the Whitmore Parking Garage, which, during urban renewal and the civil rights movement, replaced 33 minority-owned businesses and numerous homes. On this once-thriving block existed a number of entertainment venues such as Susie’s Tea Room, Dixie Hotel, and The Washington Hotel, where singers such as Pearl Bailey once performed.
“While this history is new to some of our young collaborators, older residents reminisced about having known Pearl Bailey or attended her performances in the old neighborhood.”FutureHistoryNow.org
Visit St. John’s College
While many visitors think that the Naval Academy is Annapolis’ oldest college, this distinction belongs to St. John’s College. This is the “Great Books” college. It was founded in 1696 as King William’s School.
Visitors are permitted to roam on the college green and sit on the lounge chairs. In addition, admission is free to the college’s Mitchell Art Museum. Spring exhibitions run April 9 through June 5; special events include musical performances, poetry readings, gallery talks, and more.
“St. John’s College is the third oldest college in the United States (reportedly behind Harvard, established in 1636, and College of William and Mary in 1693).”St. John’s College
Little Black Dog General Store
Ok. You have worn the paws off your dog. Every inch of Annapolis has been explored. Isn’t it time to visit a general store named after the honorable dog?
Let’s take a moment and stop. Also, be sure to say hello to the bear outside the front door. He might even direct your dog to wear he could buy some souvenir kibble.
Annapolis is the perfect destination for a female solo traveler looking for a mix of history, culture, and relaxation. With so many things to do, you’ll never be bored in this charming city on the Chesapeake Bay. And your dog will have a blast exploring the city with you.