Annapolis: City Dock

City Dock is Annapolis’ downtown waterfront. It’s the city center of Annapolis and wraps around “Ego Alley,” a waterway from the harbor that dead ends in downtown Annapolis. This is your water view! 

 

Ego Alley

It’s called “Ego Alley” because boats of all sorts and sizes continuously motor down to see what’s happening downtown and to be seen. They “pivot” (a boating term for a tight turn) at the end of main street and go back into the main harbor.

People like to watch pivots because a bad one can be disastrous for the boat.

Ego Alley in Annapolis, MD
Power boat heading into Ego Alley for a pivot

This happens continually through boating season (early spring to late fall). Sailboats, power-boat cruisers and yachts are typically tied to the Ego Alley wall throughout the year.

Ego Alley in Annapolis
This is THE photo spot in downtown Annapolis with “Ego Alley” and the boats in the background.

Musicians, jugglers and other small local artists often set up on the weekends at the end of City Dock where the boats turn.


Market House is the renovated indoor market across from City Dock with a small food court inside. It also has public restrooms and an ATM.

The Ego Alley courtyard also has the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial, marking the former port of entry for slaves. Kunta Kinte, the African ancestor of author Alex Haley, arrived  on a slave ship in 1767. The memorial features life-sized bronze sculptures of Haley and three children of different ethic backgrounds.

Kunte Kinte Memorial in Annapolis, MD
The idea for the memorial started in 1979 when Alex Haley’s best selling story Roots won national acclaim, but it was finished in 2006. According to research done by Alex Haley, Kunta Kinte was an African from The Gambian town of Jufferee. According to Haley family history he was sold into slavery in a town called “Naplis.”

 

Alex Haley Memorial in Annapolis, MD
Alex Haley reading “Roots” to children. Haley’s research identified a slave ship, the Lord Ligonier, which salied from Gambia River, July 5, 1767, with 140 captured Gambians. It arrived in Annapolis, Maryland on September 29, 1767, with only 98 survivors. Haley believed one of those survivors was a seventeen-year-old Kunta Kinte. The Alex Haley Memorial marks where slaves landed in the 17th Century

 

City Waterfront Park

There’s a nice place to sit and watch the boats at the end of Main Street, but.. (shhhh)… if you walk along the water (with the water on your right when facing the harbor), through the parking lot, you’ll find a wider park with benches that’s even better and slightly less crowded.

Susan Campbell Park in Annapolis, MD
Susan Campbell Park, hidden on the far side of the city parking lot, in Annapolis offers the best waterfront view in Annapolis.

That’s where you’ll find the city marina. You catch the tour boats for cruises on the Chesapeake Bay and water taxis there.

Harbor Queen tour boat in Annapolis City Dock
The Harbor Queen is one of several tour boats out of the Annapolis city marina. This is a 40-minute ride. There’s also a day cruise across the Bay and a pirate ship for kids.

 

It’s also where historic ships often dock on their way through the Chesapeake Bay.

L'Hermione & Woodwind sailing yacht
L’Hermione is 145 feet long, 37 feet wide, and carries up to 255 people. Sailing near her is the 74-foot Schooner Woodwind yacht (the boat from the movie, “The Wedding Crashers”) which sails out of Annapolis with as as many as 48 passengers. Woodwind is considered a big sailing yacht for the Chesapeake Bay.

Annapolis tall ship One of the many other “tall ships” that stop in Annapolis as they make tours around the Bay and the U.S. coastline.

 

Dock Street

There are a number of shops in that area as well as restaurants with outside tables facing the water from a distance. Some of the oldest Colonial bars are along Dock Street paralleling City Dock, including Middleton Tavern (2 Market Space) established in 1750,

Prince George Street in Annapolis
Prince George Street in Annapolis, a former colonial warehouse row. Now, with shops and historic pubs

 

Waterfront Dining

There’s not much dining by the water in downtown Annapolis. Most tables near the water or with a water view are in Eastport, across the water from Ego Alley.

View of Annapolis Harbor from Susan Campbell Park.
View of Annapolis Harbor from Susan Campbell Park.

But you can buy a take-out meal from the Market House, or a number of downtown restaurants, and picnic by the water. Or, try Pusser’s Caribbean Grill (80 Compromise Street). It has dockside seating and live outdoor music on summer weekends.

 

Water Taxis

Catch the water taxi at City Dock. It takes you across the harbor and around Spa Creek. The taxi’s don’t have a regular schedule. Just walk over and wait, or call the number on the sign to find out where they are and how long a wait. Pay the skipper when you board.

Annapolis waterfront & water taxis
An easy place to catch a water taxi, which take you to Eastport or other sections of Annapolis. You can also use it for a cheap waterfront, informative boat ride.

Use it as a cheap tour boat, or as a taxi service to Eastport’s restaurant row across Spa Creek.

The skippers know the restaurants and will help you out.


Click for More…

6 Reasons to Visit AnnapolisW

What’s on Main Street?

City Dock/Ego Alley (downtown waterfront)

State Circle (state capitol area)
West Street (hipster area)
Maryland Avenue (antique row)
Eastport (historic waterman-neighborhood)
Colonial Annapolis
U.S. Naval Academy
Haunted Houses & Pubs
What Else?
Getting Around

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