Introducing Annapolis

Annapolis is as charming as state capitals get. The Colonial architecture, cobblestones, flickering lamps and brick row houses are worthy of Dickens, but the effect isn't artificial; this city has preserved, rather than created, its heritage.

Perched on Chesapeake Bay, life in Annapolis (motto: 'Come Sail Away') revolves around the city's rich maritime traditions. It's home to the US Naval Academy, whose 'middies' (midshipmen students) stroll through town in their starched white uniforms. Sailing is not just a hobby, it's a way of life, and the city docks are crammed with vessels of all shapes and sizes. For landlubbers, the food is great, and a beer on the pier cooled by a salty headwind is even better.

There's a visitor center and a seasonal information booth at City Dock. A Maryland Welcome Center is inside the State House, and runs free tours of the building.

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