By Elizabeth Eadie
Ever wanted to get out of Baltimore but aren’t really sure where to go? I have! When White Marsh, Towson and Columbia still all feel too close and D.C. feels too far, there is really only one place left where I can get away and that is Annapolis. In the state capital, only about 40 miles from Baltimore, it feels like it’s a world away. The traffic is different, the people are different, the houses are different and yes, the shopping is different. I love the Main Street area of Annapolis and highly recommend it for a quick reprieve from the Baltimore shopping scene.
Main Street Annapolis has been hosting visitors for centuries now. I guess you could say they’re old pros. Other than the shopping, people go there for the tidewater cuisine and the pubs. There are some mass chain stores (such as White House Black Market and Chico’s) but the majority of the shopping area is filled with small locally-owned boutiques selling everything you could need for your entire family, including the dog.
Seasonal events might bring hoards of guests to the area so be sure to check the calendar before making the drive down. Parking is available all long the main streets as well as in parking decks scattered throughout the shopping area. You can also park at Navy Stadium and take a free trolley down to the harbor area, avoiding the headache of parallel parking on busy streets.
My favorite place to shop for women’s apparel is Horse Boutique on Main Street. I’ll admit that I’m kind of obsessed with this store because the lines and styles they carry reflect both my California bohemian side as well as my structured classic style. And, seriously, anyone that sells Laffy Taffy and Starburst alongside of coin purses and necklaces is a store after my own heart. At Horse Boutique, you can add to your everyday wear with brands like Splendid and buy those special occasion dresses by Milly and Tibi. Horse Boutique also carries lots of fashionable jewelry and accessories that will keep you one step ahead.
Not too far away is Snyder’s Bootery where you’ll find great classic shoes for men and a good selection of boat shoes (this is, ahem, by a harbor) and loafers for women. Snyder’s feels like it’s been around for 50 years and not a thing has changed, well, except for the subtle changes in men’s shoes. Snyder’s Bootery also sells wellies and you guessed it, boots.
There are lots of historic attractions right beside the shopping area so if you need to decide whether or not you have buyer’s remorse, you can take a walk around the capital to think about it. Be sure to take a quick break and enjoy a local crab cake, homemade ice cream or a drink at any local pub. Once you sit down, take a look around and absorb the world away that’s only about half an hour from Baltimore.