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Day 1: Shopping & Museums
There's something for the whole family in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Start your vacation in the bustling BWI Gateway Community near the airport. Arundel Mills Mall, with its 1.3 million square feet of retail space and more than 200 of the best names in retail and entertainment, places you inside the ultimate "shopper-tainment" experience.
Next, peek into the secret world of codemaking and codebreaking at the National Cryptologic Museum. Located nearby is the Historical Electronics Museum, where you can see the lunar TV camera that transmitted Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon and other electronic marvels that have shaped the world.
Check out the Chesapeake Children's Museum where you and the kids can experience the Chesapeake Bay region's ecology, history and cultural heritage. An outdoor nature trail showcases Maryland native plants while aquatic animals, including sharks, insects and toads, will delight people of all ages.
Your day's not over with yet. At the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge, explore wildlife habitats and endangered species. Twenty miles of trails and seasonal tram tours offers you a chance to see and learn about wildlife habitats and conservation.
Day 2: Touring Annapolis
Annapolis is home to over 350 years of history. What better way to see it than on a horse and buggy ride as in days of old.
Relax in style in a vintage carriage from Annapolis Carriage which takes you through the quaint and brick-paved streets of the Historic District. Then it's off to the Annapolis Ice Cream Company for handmade ice cream and the opportunity to purchase a souvenir penguin for the road.
After your fill, how about an entertaining walking tour led by colonial-clad characters? One interesting tour is Capital City Colonials’ eclectic tour of Eastport that includes information about boat building, oyster processing, glass manufacturing, and more. Another favorite is their Food and History tour that includes yummy food tastings at several restaurants along the way.
Not in the mood for walking? Discover Annapolis Tours offers you a one-hour air-conditioned (or heated in the winter) trolley tour. Tours depart from the Visitors Center at Calvert and Northwest Streets from April-November and most weekends from December-March. Travel down charming streets and explore waterfront neighborhoods, handsome colonial mansions, beautiful Victorian homes, the exterior of the U.S. Naval Academy, and colonial history.
Interested in a scary, spooky treat? No need to wait for Halloween. Ghosts of Annapolis Tours introduce the daring to haunted houses, restless spirits, and scary tales year-round.
Day 3: Family Fun on the Water
Miles of Chesapeake Bay shoreline provide great opportunities for family excursions. Hoist the sails and pull the lines during a lesson from the Annapolis Sailing School or sit back and relax on a Watermark boat ride or water taxi.
For family fun skiing, tubing, fishing, or cruising, boats are available for rental at South River Boat Rentals.
Regularly-scheduled two-hour cruises aboard a 74-foot wooden schooner are the specialty of Annapolis Sailing Cruises: Schooner Woodwind & Woodwind II. Kids get their faces painted, dress up in pirate garb, and even get tattooed during a 75-minute cruise aboard Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake. They’ll even learn about the history of shipping and piracy on the Chesapeake Bay while reading a map to find sunken treasures. Perhaps the most fun thing of all? Firing cannons to ward off enemy pirates!
Spend a couple hours at Sandy Point State Park which features sandy beaches with swimming, playgrounds, hiking, crabbing, fishing, and an excellent view of the Bay Bridge. It's the perfect ending to an adventurous day.