One year from today, you will be in Annapolis taking part in the 5O5 World Championships. To help make your journey to Annapolis easier, our team has assembled some key information on the history of our fare city, places to go and see, and places to stay.
Annapolis the City
Annapolis --in the State of Maryland -- is the State Capital, an historic port, a great sailing venue, and an interesting place to hang out.
The 2017 505 World Championship will be held out of Severn Sailing Associationand Eastport Yacht Club, two adjacent sailing clubs in the Eastport section of Annapolis, Maryland, USA. Boat launching will be into the outer harbor area where Spa Creek meets the Severn River, just about where the Severn River opens into the Chesapeake Bay (local map).
Settlement in Annapolis dates back to 1649. In addition to being the State Capital it was briefly the capital of the United States of America, during 1783 and 1784. It was an early port city on the Chesapeake Bay, predating the nearby cities of Baltimore and Washington DC (which is on the Potomac River which in turn flows into the Chesapeake Bay).
Downtown Annapolis is full of older buildings, many of which house restaurants, pubs/taverns, coffee shops, galleries, and ice cream stores. Originally being a port, all of downtown Annapolis is on or very close to the water, just across Spa Creek from Severn Sailing Association. The Eastport area is more residential than downtown Annapolis but also has several very good restaurants and the best sailor’s bar in the USA, all a very short walk from SSA/EYC.
Greek and Roman ruins: The Greeks and Romans never made it here; there are no Greek and Roman ruins; 1649 is very old by US standards, though not by European standards.
While development has taken place outside the old downtown, everything you will need is close by. You can cycle or even walk from the sailing clubs to downtown Annapolis (and bed and breakfasts and some hotels), or take the water Taxi, City buses, or the eCruiser electric shuttle (Getting Around)
There is no cycling-specific infrastructure but downtown Annapolis is single lane roads with 25-30 mph (40-50 kph) speed limits, not appropriate for novice cyclists, but fine for anyone used to riding on roads with cars. Bring a bicycle and a lock; some bicycles can be rented in downtown Annapolis near the harbormaster’s office. We’ll probably find time to do a group ride for everyone interested.
We are working on negotiating rates with one of the larger hotel chains but here are four hotels larger “corporate” hotels to take a closer look at:
- Annapolis Waterfront (formerly a Marriott under new ownership) (1.4 km from SSA/EYC)
- O’Callaghan’s (2.75 km from SSA/EYC)
- Loews (2.4 km from SSA/EYC)
- Westin (3 km from SSA/EYC)
Some of these are an easy walk, all are an easy bike ride, and they have hotel shuttles, or you can ride the City circulator bus, the eCruiser electric shuttle, or the water taxi (Annapolis Waterfront is just across Spa Creek from SSA, the others would be a walk after the water taxi).
These are all clean and comfortable with all the expected amenities of a national chain. But Annapolis is known for great Bed and Breakfasts of which there are a number. There is a group run by Historic Inns of Annapolis but also Inn at Horn Point (only steps from the clubs), Gibsons, Blue Heron, Georgian, Flag House and others (video).
There are several lower priced hotels further away from downtown. These typically also have hotel shuttles. A limited number of 505 sailors can be billeted with local sailors.
Also Annapolis Accommodations rents homes, and of course Airbnb.
Annapolis describes itself as “America’s Sailing Capital” as it is a state capital and a sailing center. Annapolis also describes itself as “a drinking town with a sailing problem.”
Multiple major sailing events have been held in Annapolis including multiple class World Championships, North American and National Championships. On a typical spring, summer or fall weekend there are at least three sailing clubs running races nearby on the Chesapeake Bay. Annapolis was a stop on the Volvo Ocean race
Annapolis Yacht Club is situated on either side of Spa Creek, and SSA and EYC are adjacent to each other, at the tip of Horn Point in Eastport.
There are at least three chandleries in Annapolis, with Annapolis Performance Sailing – the most oriented to dinghies/one designs – being a two minute walk from SSA/EYC. Other marine services are listed in Annapolis’s Marine Service Guide, PortBook and sailing in Annapolis is covered by SpinSheet Magazine.
The US Naval Academy is on the Annapolis side of Spa Creek, facing SSA. It is open to visitors. It is much easier to visit walking, than driving a car onto the campus.
The old Annapolis downtown is a tourist mecca, full of restaurants, bars/taverns, galleries, T-shirt stores and more. This is a ten minute walk from SSA/EYC. The City Dock portion, on the old port area, is full of restaurants, bars, and stores.
The two Woodwinds schooners and other excursion boats leaving from City Dock (or adjacent to the Pusser’s bar in the Annapolis Waterfront hotel) for various cruises on the Chesapeake Bay, and up the Severn River. There is also a “pirate ship” cruise for kids:
Washington DC (50 minutes drive), the Capital of the USA. Lots of monuments, museums and more. The Smithsonian Museums are all free entry:, as is the National Zoo
With enough interest and depending on who gets elected we might try to organize a White House Tour on the lay day.
Baltimore Maryland (40 minutes drive), a larger port (containers will ship through Baltimore) with a “touristy” inner harbor area with historic ships (WWII submarine USS Torsk, and USS Constellation, an early sailing warship, and others), restaurants and the National Aquarium.
The Chesapeake Bay - The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary. It is the largest in the United States and third largest in the world. The Bay itself is about 200 miles long, stretching from Havre de Grace, Maryland, to Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Bay’s width ranges from four miles near Aberdeen, Maryland, to 30 miles near cape Charles, Virginia.
Atlantic Ocean beaches on the Eastern Shore (of the Chesapeake Bay) are 2 hours to 2 hours-fifteen minutes’ drive from Annapolis.
There are three airports nearby, with Baltimore Washington International (closest, 30 minutes’ drive) and Dulles (60 minutes’ drive) being the primary international airports, but Washington Reagan National airport is also close (50 minutes’ drive). Airport shuttles can get you from all three airports to Annapolis; taxis are more expensive; there is no airport to Annapolis train service. You can also fly via New York, and take the train to Baltimore (2.5 hours) or even closer to Annapolis (but not all the way), or take the train to New York and visit there.
Containers will ship in and out of the port of Baltimore and will be trucked between the port of Baltimore and Annapolis.
September temperatures in Annapolis should range between nighttime lows of about 17 C and daytime highs of about 28 C. The water will be warm, probably above 25 C. You can check now and recent weather conditions (and wind) at the Thomas Point Light weather site.