Anne Arundel County
Anne Arundel Citizen Information Center, www.co.anne-arundel.md.us.
Anne Arundel Premier Area Guide, www.annearundelcounty.com.
Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau, 26 West St., Annapolis, (410) 280-0445, www.goannapolis.org, www.visit-annapolis.org.
Annapolis Opera, Maryland Hall for the Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis, (410) 267-8135, www.annapolisopera.com. For 31 years this self-described "artistic gem" has brought the art of opera to Anne Arundel County residents, and the fat lady hasn't stopped singing yet. The opera house is also a common starting place for young Marylanders with a passion for opera.
Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, 143 Compromise St., Annapolis, (410) 268-9212, www.summergarden.com. The theater is situated in an old blacksmith's shop, a building which has been in city records since 1696, and features a "theatre under the stars." Its first play was Brigadoon in 1966 and this year's schedule includes Evita, The Many Wives of Windsor, and My Fair Lady.
Banneker-Douglass Museum, 84 Franklin St., Annapolis, (410) 216-6180, www.marylandhistoricaltrust.net/bdm.html. The museum, named of course for two of Maryland's own, Benjamin Banneker and Frederick Douglass, is dedicated to preserving African-American history in Maryland. Its collections include artifacts, photographs, historical documents, African-American art, and rare books.
Hammond-Harwood House, 19 Maryland Ave., Annapolis, (410) 269-1714, www.hammondharwoodhouse.org. The house was built for the extremely wealthy 25 year old tobacco planter, Mathias Hammond, in 1794 and now houses a mass of educational artifacts from colonial times. Come see the house that tobacco built.
Kunta Kinte Plaque and Alex Haley Memorial, City Dock, Annapolis. It "is the only memorial in the country that commemorates the actual name and place of arrival of an enslaved African." If you don't know the story, rent or read Roots. Now.
London Town and Gardens, 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater, (410) 222-1919, www.historiclondontown.com. This 23 acre park contains an 8 acre woodland garden and is one of the sites of the Lost Towns Project, an archeological excavation of colonial areas in Anne Arundel County. Dig?
Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery, 18 State Circle, Annapolis, (410) 268-4566, annearundelcounty.com/art/circle. The Circle Gallery is the older sister gallery of the MFA's City Gallery in Mount Vernon's Cultural District. Operating continuously since 1968, it provides a place for local and regional artists to hang their work and a place for local and regional visitors to gaze at it.
McBride Gallery, 215 Main St., Annapolis, (410) 267-7077, www.mcbridegallery.com. The land this gallery sits on was once owned by William Paca (shocking, no?), and still keeps up its Georgian-period facade. The art inside its cozy home-like atmosphere ranges from still life to marine scenes, and from country landscapes to city views.
Presidential Pet Museum, 1102 Wrighton Road, Lothian, (410) 741-0899, www.presidentialpetmuseum.com. Now here's a museum Dubya's mom would be proud of. It contains over 500 useless yet intriguing artifacts from presidential pets. It is not officially affiliated with the White House in any way, shape, or form. But then again, some might argue Bush the Second isn't either.
Three Centuries Tours of Annapolis, 48 Maryland Ave., Annapolis, (410) 263-1901, www.annapolis-tours.com. Follow the natives decked out in colonial garb and learn about the oldest state capital in continuous use. Ghost tours are also available for those less interested in legislature.
Watermark Cruises, Annapolis city dock, (410) 268-7601, www.watermarkcruises.com. Take a sightseeing tour on the Chesapeake's largest luxury liner--the Catherine Marie--or any of Watermark's other five yachts. Narrated tours are 40 or 90 minutes along the Severn River, Annapolis Harbor, or Chesapeake Bay. Boats are also available for private parties.
William Paca House and Garden, 186 Prince George St., Annapolis, (410) 263-5553, www.annapolis.org. The Paca house is packed full of 18th century miscellany like silver pieces, antiques, and exhibits recreating life in the 1700s. The garden surrounding the house is much like the original garden because, well, a rose is a rose is a rose.
U.S. Naval Academy, Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center, 52 King George St., Annapolis, (410) 263-6933, www.navyonline.com. If you ever wanted to know if the sailor's life is the life for you, check out the exhibits featuring midshipmen life and the model of the USS Maryland. Guided walking tours of the Naval Academy are also available.
Annapolis Art Walk, 5-9 p.m. Aug. 8, 215 Main St., Annapolis, (410) 267-7077, www.artinannapolis.com/artwalk. Walk to just about every art museum and gallery in Annapolis in just one day. Refreshments, music, and unidentified entertainment also included.
Blue Angels Air Show, 1:15-3:15 p.m. May 21 United States Naval Academy, 121 Blake Road, Annapolis, (410) 280-0445 ext. 10. The Blue Angels pilots do their thang over the Severn River.
Chesapeake Bluegrass Festival, June 21, Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, 1450 General's Highway, Crownsville, (410) 923-3400, www.aacountyfair.com. Aside from live bluegrass music, this first annual event also has workshops for those whose are dying to try out the fiddle, banjo, or the mandolin. All that toe-tapping fun might make you hungry (or want to buy something handmade) so partake of the food and craft booths.
Evita, 8:30 p.m. May 23, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, 143 Compromise St., Annapolis, (410) 268-9212, www.summergarden.com. The story of Eva Peron, Argentina's most famous rags to riches tale--minus pregnant Madonna and her little songs too.
Fine Art Wheel Thrown Pottery Exhibit, June 1-30, ARTFX Gallery, 45 West St., Annapolis, (410) 990-4540, www.geocities.com/artfx_in_annapolis. The title says it all--wheel thrown pottery in exhibition form.
Fourth of July Celebrations in Annapolis, 1 p.m. July 4, Historic Annapolis, (410) 280-0445 ext. 10, www.visit-annapolis.org. Typical Fourth of July events like fireworks over the Annapolis Harbor, the oohs, the ahhs, and the mad dash to miss traffic after the finale. Fun for the whole family.
Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival, Aug.10-11, 1517 Ritchie Highway, suite L-5, Arnold, (410) 349-0338, www.kuntakinte.com. A celebration of African culture, history, heritage, music, and cuisine featuring jazz, African dancers, Gospel, Caribbean steel bands, blues, and ethnic arts, crafts, and clothing.
Maryland Renaissance Festival, 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. weekends Aug. 23-Oct. 19, 1821 Crownsville Road, Crownsville, (410) 266-7304, www.rennfest.com/mrf. Throw historical accuracy to the wind and enjoy spectacles of medieval, renaissance, and other time periods from the days of yore. Gnaw on ye old fat turkey leg, knock back ye old plastic cup of ale, and watch ye old jousting with ye faire eyes.
Sports and Recreation
Amphibious Horizons Kayaking, 600 Quiet Waters Park Road, Annapolis, (410) 267-8742, www.amphibioushorizons.com. A kayak is navigable in only a few inches of water, but lucky for you the bay is much deeper. Sea kayaking classes are taught by instructors who love the bay and its environs, and want you to as well.
Annapolis Sailing School, 601 Sixth St., Annapolis, (410) 267-7205, www.annapolissailing.com. Sailing classes by the self-proclaimed first and largest sailing school in America. Learn to sail the "Annapolis Way."
Balloons O'er the Bay, 1700 Wickham Way, Crofton, (410) 721-8539. Not the party kind, the hot air kind that, just like the name describes, float up high over the waters of the Chesapeake.
Lake Waterford Park, 830 Pasadena Road, Pasadena, (410) 222-6248, web.aacpl.net/rp/ parks/lwp. You know what a park is and this one has 108 acres of it. Now that's a big park.
Patuxent Research Refuge, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, (301) 497-5761, patuxent.fws.gov. Established in 1936 by FDR, it's the only refuge created to research wildlife. So, you know, it offers educational wildlife seminars and workshops for the young and old alike.
Renditions Golf Course, 1380 W. Central Ave., Davidsonville, (410) 798-9798, www.renditionsgolf.com. A premiere golf course offering 18 holes and a view of the Patuxent River. Fore!
Sandy Point State Park, 1100 East College Parkway, Annapolis, (410) 974-2149, www.dnr.state.md.us. You've probably driven by it on the way to Ocean City, but this park and (small) beach is a lot closer than the Eastern Shore.
A. L. Goodies General Store, 112 Main St., Annapolis, (410) 269-0071, www.algoodies.com. An assortment of hard-to-find outdoor/lawn paraphernalia for when you finally have enough dough to furnish the outside of your living space.
Annapolis Country Store, 53 Maryland Ave., Annapolis, (410) 269-6773, www.annapoliscountrystore.com. This old-fashioned store is 2,400 square feet of crafts, toiletries, foods, linens, and seasonal specialties that would make your grandma, or Carol Duvall, swoon.
Arundel Mills, 7000 Arundel Mills Circle, Hanover, (410) 540-5110, www.arundelmillsmall.com. A mall, yes, but 1.3 million square feet of mall. When it's hot and you just want to shop, any one of the more than 200 air conditioned retail chain stores will do just fine. Plus there's an awesome movie theater.
Before & After, 50 Maryland Ave., Annapolis, (410) 263-7075, www.beforeandafterannapolis.com. The garden accessory and home décor mecca of Annapolis.
Mudbug Pottery, 113 Brewer Ave., Annapolis, (443) 822-8676, www.toadhouse.com. Handmade pottery and statues--and lots of them.
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