Food + Fitness
Maryland may be known for its fanatical state pride, but it’s also been called “America in miniature.” And if Maryland is a mini U.S., Annapolis is a mini-Maryland—with all types of international cuisine, a small-town feel with the offerings of a city, and dramatically different vistas within an hour’s drive, from sandy beaches to mountains, forests, and more. Make the most of it by getting outside—take a hike, go for a jog, enjoy some ice cream, or get to know the local food scene. It doesn’t disappoint.
If you want to get off campus for a special occasion or just a dinner out, you’re in luck. While Annapolis is known for its seafood, there’s a whole world of cuisine beyond the crabcakes and fresh-shucked oysters … all within walking distance. Wander onto West Street for some of the best—Thai at Lemongrass, new American at Metropolitan, award-winning brunch at Miss Shirley’s, to name a few—or make your way down Main Street to grab jerk tempeh tacos at Vida Taco Bar, a Fig & Pig pizza at Fox’s Den, or a six-pound milkshake at Chick & Ruth’s (seriously). Down by City Dock, there’s the newly renovated Market House, a sort of upscale food hall popular with Johnnies.
Looking for something sweet before seminar? There are plenty of coffee shops lining the streets and offering up tasty cappuccino concoctions and baked goods, as well as chocolate and candy emporiums stocked with fudge, caramel apples, and other treats. Annapolis also happens to be home to some serious ice cream options: Johnnie-managed Kilwin’s, the Annapolis Ice Cream Company, and design-your-own dish spot Red Bean (where you can find flavors like green tea, chili, and cinnamon).
Fun fact: The state sport of Maryland is jousting. And while you won’t see many people doing that, necessarily (except for at the annual Maryland Renaissance Festival in nearby Crownsville), Annapolis is an active town. Walk around downtown and you’ll see lots of people jogging and biking by the waterfront—including the occasional mass of Midshipmen running by. The city is host to several 5Ks, marathons, and other runs a year (including the .5K Run across town to Eastport). The small city is great for walking and jogging, but there are also some great hiking spots nearby. Round up some friends and hit the Quiet Waters Park Trail or the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail for an easy scenic hike, or kick things up a notch with the Appalachian Trail, which cuts through Maryland, or the Billy Goat Trail, which is about an hour away but offers an awesome workout and stunning views. There are more than 240 trails in Maryland, meaning there’s something for everyone.
Randall Dining Hall is great, but sometimes you want to think outside the box (or the Hogwarts-esque dining hall, as it were). For the freshest food and a chance to get to know Maryland’s makers, check out Annapolis’ farmers markets. The biggest and best is the Anne Arundel County Farmers Market, which is home to fresh veggies, meats, and cheeses, as well as honey, jams, delicious pastries, handmade jewelry, pottery, natural soap, and more. If you’re all about comfort food, check out the Amish Market, where you can find all sorts of tasty options made by the Pennsylvania Dutch.