Situated on a quiet landscape between the Chesapeake Bay and the Severn River, Annapolis is a town of cobblestone roads, salty piers and rich history. Once briefly the nation’s capital, the must-see coastal city is the home of the Maryland General Assembly, surrounded by quaint brick townhomes and seaside shacks.

Destination: Annapolis, Maryland

Travel Time From Campus: 40-50 minutes

Travel Options: Car, Bus

While Annapolis has traditionally been accessible via car, the Student Government Association provides a bus service to Annapolis on weekdays. The bus leaves at 8:05 a.m. from Stamp Student Union and picks up returning students from Annapolis’ Lawyers Mall at 5:05 p.m.

9:00 a.m. – Breakfast

Annapolis is home to some of Maryland’s most famous local breakfast chains, including Iron Rooster and Miss Shirley’s Cafe. Some of the city’s best hidden gems can be found across the brunch category.

Found just a block from the Maryland State House, Chick and Ruth’s Delly delivers a classic southern breakfast experience in the heart of the state’s capital. It serves up any combination of eggs, steak and gravy seven days a week. An Annapolis fixture since 1965, the orange-blazoned eatery serves up breakfast all day long, so there’s always a chance to grab a jumbo lump crab cake eggs benedict just a short walk from the bay.

[Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony: UMD alumni have won them all]

10:30 a.m. – Art Galleries

As much as it’s known for its waterways, history and governance, Annapolis has just as much to offer for art lovers. Just up the street from Chick and Ruth’s sits a dual offering of artistry and local craftsmanship.

Start at Circle Gallery on Main Street and make your way to McBride Gallery. Each serves up watercolors, oils and pastels, topped off with a dusting of sculpture and pottery. Although their works are for sale, each business acts as a standalone museum, showcasing the work of Maryland-based artisans and regional talents.

12:00 p.m. – Historical Tour

Further down on Main Street, you will arrive at the Maryland State House, the oldest state capital in continuous legislative use. The building’s white and gray dome is visible from across the city, jutting above the rest of Annapolis’s low skyline.

A free self-guided tour will take you through the beautiful State House and its centuries of history: It was the site of George Washington’s military resignation and the Treaty of Paris’ ratification.

[Quarters of Change defies the sophomore slump with ‘Portraits’]

1:30 p.m. – Lunch

No trip to Annapolis would be complete without taking advantage of the city’s seafood offerings. McGarvey’s is a one-stop-shop for classic bayside cuisine, and it’s just a short walk from the State House down Cornhill Street.

The saloon-style lunchroom boasts a multi-level design, complete with an arboreous centerpiece jutting from the restaurant’s ground floor. It serves up crab any way you can name, along with a fully-stocked raw bar including oysters, shrimp and mussels. Even if seafood isn’t your style, McGarvey’s well-rounded menu will have something for you.

3:00 p.m. – Boat Tour

Once you have emptied out the seafood platter, it’s time to make your way towards the docks. Head towards Ego Alley at the Annapolis City Dock where cruise and tour company Watermark hosts its hourly Harbor tours. For $25, Watermark will charter you on a 40-minute course around the historic city, providing a glimpse into the Annapolis of centuries past.

The tour provides a view of the United States Naval Academy, as well as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on clear days. If you want to expand your trip, Watermark offers transportation to Spa Creek and St. Michaels, other local destinations, and scenic tours down the Severn River. If you stick around for nightfall, the sunset cruise will provide the best views in town.

4:00 p.m. – Coffee and Shopping

To wrap up your day in Maryland’s capital, you’ll head back towards the State House. Nestled between charming storefronts sits Old Fox Books & Coffeehouse, a local favorite on the brick-lined Maryland Avenue.

Old Fox features an eclectic assortment of literary classics, stacked neatly into the dark floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that litter the townhouse. Once you have found your next great read, be sure to grab a well-brewed cup of joe and enjoy the novel out back in the store’s fairytale garden – enchanted forest included.

As you make your way back to the bus for pick-up, be sure to take one last look around the storied city. Beyond its historical significance, Annapolis is a beautiful ode to coastal living, less than an hour’s drive from College Park.