Discovering the Historic Charm of Annapolis, Maryland

We love the history and character of many of the towns and cities all along the east coast. It had been many years since we had visited Annapolis, so we certainly enjoyed having the opportunity to stay a couple of nights and explore the historic town. The United States Naval Academy is located in Annapolis, but there are many other historic homes, churches, restaurants, and other locations that are well worth visiting. Just walking along the water and seeing all of the various yachts and sailboats is enjoyable in and of itself.

Historic Building and Restaurant Where We Ate a Couple of Times
Walking the Streets
Colonial Architecture
Watching the Boats in the Harbor

The architecture in Annapolis has a little bit of everything from the coastal seaside village cottages to the colonial mansions with an abundance of history. It even served as the capital for the fledgling country and was the location where George Washington surrendered his commission in order to eventually become the first president of the United States. There are several historic mansions that offer tours, which we would definitely recommend doing at least one of them during a one or two day trip to Annapolis.

Shops with a Seaside Cottage Feel
Classic Architecture
Statue of George Washington Resigning His Commision
St. Anne’s Church

As with any place that we visit, food is definitely a highlight of our trip and Annapolis was certainly not any different. There are many wonderful places offering a variety of food choices, but seafood is certainly top on the list at many of them. Maryland is known for their crabs, but seafood in general can be found on many of the menus and you will often find that several places will claim to have the best Maryland crab soup. In addition to restaurants, there are plenty of locally owned shops selling clothes, antiques, and novelty items where you can find a unique gift or just take time to window shop.

Historic Hotel
More Shops
Stopping for a Glass of Wine
Sailboat Competition

The historic district in Annapolis is quite popular, so the crowds tend to grow throughout the day, but people seem to start their days a little later and take time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. We really enjoyed our weekend getaway and found it to be a great place to recharge our batteries and walk the historic streets.

Another Historic Tavern
Walking a Quiet Street in Annapolis
More of the Architecture
Colorful Summer Flowers
Painting of George Washington

The Historic and Beautiful Oak Hill Cemetery Near Georgetown in DC

It might seem odd to visit a cemetery, but they are often very beautiful, historic, and tranquil, which Oak Hill Cemetery certainly is. In fact, more than 200,000 people visit this particular historic cemetery on an annual basis and it is even possible to get a tour. We simply enjoyed walking the paths that led us amongst the tomb stones, mausoleums, and tree lined hills. It was a beautiful day and the autumn foliage made it even more wonderful to see. There was only one issue with our visit, we didn’t notice a sign at the entrance that stated that the cemetery closed at 4:30 pm and we ended up being there until 5:00 pm, so we got locked in the cemetery.

Dramatic Tombstone
Colorful Scenery
Renwick Chapel

When we arrived back at the gate, we were surprised to see it chained up and locked. The fence around the cemetery is very high and not something that can easily be scaled, so great for keeping people out or, in our case, people in. The caretaker’s house is located at the gate, but there is no guarantee that they would be there, but fortunately for us, he was. He was pleasant enough and we probably weren’t the first people to get locked in, but it was embarrassing. Far better to feel a little bit of chagrin than to spend a night in a cemetery with graves that date back hundreds of years.

Hundreds of Tombstones
Tree Lined Hilltop
Walking the Paths

In addition to the graveyard and trails, there is also the Renwick Chapel in the cemetery. It was designed by the same person who designed the famous Smithsonian Castle, James Renwick. If you do decide to visit the cemetery and are a history buff, you can visit their website, The Oak Hill Cemetery – Washington, D.C. ( to get a map and a list of notable figures from history who are buried there. We’d also recommend that you make note of the current hours in order to avoid getting locked inside.

Another Interesting Tombstone
Caretaker’s House in the Background
History with Autumn Colors
John Joyce Tombstone, Famous Poet Who Coined the Phrase “Laugh and the World Laughs with You”

Some of Our Favorite Pub Experiences

It is quite common for us to grab a glass of wine or a beer in a casual pub when we are traveling. We often use the time to people watch and relax our legs after spending the day visiting all of the various sites. There have been a few occasions where visiting a pub was more than just a place to grab a quick drink, but was part of the experience of visiting the location. Having a drink with locals is always an interesting experience, but here are some of our favorite memories of going to pubs while traveling.

Eclectic Decorations
Upstairs in Szimpla Kert

Going to a Ruin Pub in Budapest, Hungary – Ruin Pubs are bars that have been opened up in dilapidated buildings that were partially destroyed during WWII. They are usually decorated with random furniture and decorations that have been gathered from anywhere that they can find them. The decorations are colorful, whimsical, and don’t follow any particular themes other than uniqueness. Because of their popularity, they can be quite busy, noisy, and sometimes a little rowdy. We went late afternoon to early evening and stayed away from the late night crowds.

Enjoying a Pint in Brazen Head
Inside of The Brazen Head

Brazen Head Pub in Dublin, Ireland – This is officially Ireland’s oldest pub. The pub itself has the feel that you would expect from the oldest pub in Ireland, stone walls and a dark atmosphere, but over time the pub has grown into a full restaurant and hotel with many floors of rooms to serve eager guests. We preferred the atmosphere of the old pub, but could certainly see the beer garden being a lively spot during a warmer time of year. No visit to Dublin is complete without visiting this famous spot, especially if you are a fan of historic pubs as we are.

View from the Pub
Sitting in the Booth of One of Our Favorite Pubs in Frankfurt

Alten Limpurg in Frankfurt, Germany – Located in the old town area of Frankfurt, this historic pub became our favorite watering hole while we were living in Frankfurt. We became friends with all of the staff and enjoyed talking about the behavior of the “tourists” who would visit the bar and often were rude to the staff. The bar itself has been in operation since 1495 and is small, but very welcoming. There is no doubt that we have very fond memories of this location and if you are in Frankfurt, stop in and say hello to the staff for us.

The Local Pub
Irish Pub

These aren’t the only places where we’ve enjoyed a pint in an interesting location, but these are our favorite memories. Some other locations that we enjoyed finding a local pub were in Reykjavik, Gibraltar, and Lima. There is something very comfortable about going to these casual locations that serve cold drinks and often some of the best local foods as well.