I Heart My City: Madeleine’s Annapolis

Annapolis-bred Madeleine Bromiley is a student at Arcadia University and an editorial business intern at National Geographic Traveler magazine. Check out her insider tips for making the most of your visit to Maryland’s bayside capital city, then follow her story on Twitter @madiebro. If you’re a local, or have tips to offer fellow travelers, please share them in the comments section below!

Annapolis is My City

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is Ego Alley (otherwise known as the City Dock) to people- and boat-watch.

When I crave steamed hard-shell crabs I always go to Cantler’s. Enjoy this traditional local specialty by the bucketful. Just don’t forget to wear your bib.

To escape the crowded downtown nightlife I head to Davis’ Pub in Eastport, a quick walk south of downtown.

If I want to grab something for dessert I go to The Main Ingredient.

For complete quiet, I can hide away at Quiet Waters Park. Pack a picnic or go hiking or biking on one of the trails. And don’t forget your skates in the winter!


If you come to my city, get your picture taken at the Naval Academy because it’s one of the most famous and historic landmarks in town, has a beautiful campus, and a great view of the Chesapeake.

If you have to order one thing off the menu from The Chart House it has to be the Belgian waffles from the brunch menu.

Chick & Ruth’s Delly is my one-stop shop for great milkshakes.

Locals know to skip Starbucks and check out City Dock Cafe instead.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go to the Harbour Center for affordable shopping and eateries. They even have a movie theater.

For a huge splurge I go to the Towne Centre, which is a newer addition to Annapolis. The shops and restaurants there are on the pricier side but well worth the splurge.

Photo ops in my city include Main Street and the best vantage points are from the dock.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Kate Winslet: sophisticated, beautiful, and personable.

The most random thing about my city is it served as the temporary capital of the newly independent United States in 1783 and 1784.

My city has the most uniformed men.

My city has the most well-dressed women.

In my city, an active day outdoors involves walking the streets of downtown, boating, and enjoying crabs on the water.

My city’s best museum is the Annapolis Maritime Museum.

My favorite jogging/walking route is around the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

For a night of dancing, go to O’Briens Oyster Bar. Or, for live music, check out Rams Head Tavern.

Double T Diner is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read Whats Up? Annapolis or check out the city’s Facebook page.

You can tell a lot about my city from how the locals treat the out-of-towners: with open arms and personal recommendations about where to find the best seafood (and we really know our seafood).

You can tell if someone is from my city if they have a deep passion for seafood and sailing.

In the spring you should check out the Blue Angels air show at the Naval Academy commencement.

In the summer you should celebrate 4th of July downtown and see the fireworks reflect in the water.

In the fall you should attend the United States Sailboat Show, a fitting event for a city that’s known as the “Sailing Capital of the World.”

In the winter you should check out Lights on the Bay at Sandy Point Park. You can see Santa Claus, Rudolph, and even Chessie (our Chesapeake Bay sea monster) lit up at night and sometimes even come alive as you drive by. It’s my favorite holiday outing with my family and friends.

A hidden gem in my city is Les Folies Brasserie.

For a great breakfast joint try Sofi’s Crepes.

Don’t miss the Annapolis Irish Festival where people gather together to celebrate their Celtic pride. There’s even a freckle contest!

Just outside my city, you can visit Kent Island, just east of Annapolis, across the iconic Bay Bridge.

The best way to see my city is on foot or by boat, or both!

If my city were a pet it would be a dog – specifically a Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

If I didn’t live in a city, I’d live anywhere else on the water.

The best book about my city is Annapolis by William Martin.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss hooking up with Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake.

Commissioning Week, when the midshipmen graduate and receive their commissions from the U.S. Naval Academy, could only happen in my city. The highlight of the weeklong celebration is watching the previous year’s freshmen climb a statue that’s been greased with 200 pounds of lard, a tradition that has been carried on for over 70 years.

My city should be featured on your cover or website because it’s a great representation of historical Maryland along with being an extremely friendly town with great food and gorgeous views of the water.


  1. […] Madeleine’s Annapolis (U.S.): Check out the Blue Angels air show at the United States Naval Academy commencement. […]

  2. Nikole Fairview - ExploringLifesMysteries.Com
    Washington, DC
    September 16, 2012, 4:32 pm

    It’s interesting that you covered Annapolis. It’s actually not that far from me and I never knew there were things to do there or that it might be worth an afternoon or weekend visit. Some of the various seafood venues sound like a good bet for me and you have shared a great listing of activities and eateries tourists probably wouldn’t stumble on.

  3. Landon
    August 17, 2012, 5:07 pm

    You forgot to add that if you want the best steak you go to Lewnes’.

  4. Judy
    August 16, 2012, 12:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing Annapolis with the world Madeleine! We’re working on Midnight Madness now. If you’re home for the holidays, we’ll see you there.
    Judy B
    Annapolis Business Association

  5. Peter shaw
    Perth, Australia
    August 16, 2012, 11:33 am

    Coming from some where so far away like Australia, Annapolis is not somewhere typically you think of to visit as part of any long term travel but it sounds like a really nice area! Might swing by in December I I can.

  6. Gwen Mayes
    Alexandria, VA
    August 16, 2012, 7:13 am

    Madeleine has captured the magic of Annapolis – by far one of the most beloved spots in the mid-Atlantic. I would just add the pimento cheese from Severn Inn and walking the labyrinth at Maryland Hall to the list as personal favorites!

  7. Vagabondette Mandy
    San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
    August 15, 2012, 8:04 pm

    I love Annapolis! When I lived in DC it was one of my favorite day trips!

  8. Kay
    August 15, 2012, 5:17 pm

    Love the overview, Madeleine. One more thought – St. John’s College deserves a mention for its unusual Program.

  9. Norma Fraser
    New Zealand
    August 15, 2012, 4:42 pm

    Very well written, Madie.
    You live in a lovely city and for new comers and visitors you have covered it all.

    Well done.