I'd rather be sailing
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: The state of s/v/ Pelican
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 10
The boat show is great. We haven't missed a year for the past 10 years. You could spend all five days there and still not see everything. Two days is a must if you want to check out the boats. The VIP day CAN be worth the money as there are almost no lines to get on the boats. Saturday and Sunday can be VERY crowded depending on the weather.
With regards to where to stay - the Marriott, while being at ground zero, has their service focus elsewhere from their guests during the show. They are the staging area for show management, seminars and there is constant traffic through the lobby. They do a decent job managing the large crowds, but the cost is huge. Also, there is a high noise level on many of the floors from nighttime parties. On the other hand, if this is what you're looking for then it's a great place. Keep in mind that the boat show is as much of a get together for vendors and locals as it is a place for you to visit. I had the pleasure of being involved with this side of the show for a year or two and it's one HUGE party for the vendors.
So.. where to stay. There are several places downtown and midtown. You can also do the B&B thing and looking up Historic Inns of Annapolis. Chick & Ruths has some nice rooms above it that are reasonably priced. We usually stay in an area called "Riva Road", which is about 10-15 minutes from the show. We drive to Eastport which is just across Spa Creek and walk over the bridge to the show (you can also take a water taxi). Free on street parking is usually available over there, but if it's not you can usually get a parking spot on someone's lawn or at someone's business for $10. This way you're not reliant on the pay shuttle from the official pay lots, and you can leave whenever you want (and have a place to put stuff).
Places to drink and eat... our normal is Chick & Ruths for lunch (usually not too tough to get in to - maybe a 10-15 minute wait at lunch), Joss Cafe for dinner one night (one of the best sushi menus on the east coast, and awesome Sukiyaki), Cantler's for dinner (best crabs, awesome steamers), Boatyard Grill for drinks (this is where the Americas Cup guys go when in town), Buddies for Sunday brunch (tourist place for dinner, but HUGE and good brunch on Sundays), Adam's Ribs for dinner (great BBQ). We tend to stay away from Pussers except for painkillers (which are a must and a tradition).
There are often offsite sales of things during the show too. For example, Weems & Plath has a sale at their warehouse in Eastport. Several of the other businesses in Eastport also have special sales.
Also, there has traditionally been a Sailnet get together on the Friday night of the show at the Port Annapolis Marina.
Lastly, on Monday afternoon all of the sailboats leave and they reposition the docks for the power show. This is an amazing feat with great choreography. Hang out on shore by Pusser's to watch the event - it's well worth it.
s/v "Pelican" Passport 40 #076- Finished Cruising - for the moment -
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"Don't dream your life, live your dream" - Bob Bitchin'
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