Eastport is a rather independent Annapolis neighborhood, separated from the historic downtown district by Spa Creek. Residents see themselves as the cooler, laid-back side of Annapolis.
You can easily walk to Eastport from City Dock. It’s about a 10-minute walk across the Spa Creek bridge, or take a water taxi from City Dock to the Maritime Museum.
The main part of Eastport is on a peninsula about six blocks long and three blocks wide, between Spa Creek and Back Creek going into the Severn River at the mouth of the bay. The peninsula is bordered by marinas, making Eastport a haven for boaters.
Eastport is a neighborhood in Annapolis. Don’t let the residents claiming to be the independent Maritime Republic of Eastport fool you. It’s a joke, but you can buy MRE merch in the stores there.
What to Do in Eastport
Eastport is a walkabout kinda place. Basically, it’s a rehabbed working-man’s neighborhood with spots of historic attractions and local bars/restaurants.
The streets are narrow. Cars often have to wait their turn on the tight, two-way streets. So tuck in your rearview mirror if you park there.
Parking is limited. Park only in marked areas and never on red or yellow curbs. And watch the driveways. Some don’t immediately appear to be driveways.
Eastport Waterfront Parks
Eastport has several little water-access parks with benches overlooking the water between marinas. They have tiny sandy beaches, more for wading than swimming.
Annapolis Maritime Museum
At the peninsula’s point, you’ll find the Annapolis Maritime Museum (723 Second Street). Admission is free, but they do take donations. It’s on Back Creek and overlooks the Severn River’s entrance into the Chesapeake Bay. The water view is worth walking over to see.
The Museum’s campus is the site of the last remaining oyster packing plant in the area, the McNasby Oyster Company.
Exhibits show how oysters were harvested and canned. There’s an interesting tidbit on the Oyster Wars from 1865 to 1960. The state is still fighting oyster poachers.
The museum also has several watermen boats on display, both inside and outside the building. Behind the museum are several traditional fishing boats that are being preserved for historical purposes.
From the Maritime Museum, you can catch a tour (by boat) of the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse 1.5 miles offshore. It’s the last screw-pile lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay. Those are lighthouses built on platforms over pilings screwed into the bottom of the bay. They look like hexagonal houses on spidery legs holding them above the water.
Little Boat Rentals
You can rent canoes, kayaks, paddle-boards, and electric boats in Eastport.
Annapolis Canoe and Kayak (311 Third Street) is also a distributor and lets you demo from their floating dock on Spa Creek.
Electric Boat Rentals (300 2nd Street) says their small boats are “like a Tesla… but slower.” The max speed is 5 MPH, but it’s always fun to motor about Annapolis Harbor.
The Eastport merchants host festivals and other playful events throughout the year.
The Maritime Museum hosts an annual sock burning in early Spring to mark the end of winter and the start of boating season. It also features a band and beverages.
During the summer, the museum raises funds by hosting live bands in their park. Residents take folding chairs and set them up around the band, leaving just enough room in the grassy area upfront for the dancers.
Where to Eat in Eastport
Eastport has a restaurant row. It’s on Severn Avenue and, ironically, features high-end waterfront seafood restaurants (Carrol’s Creek Cafe, O’Learys Seafood aend Chart House) as well as a couple of pricey steak houses (Ruth Chris and Lewnes).
Locals enjoy a fine-dining night out, but we’re going to tell you about some places that locals really love.
Around the corner from the Maritime Museum, is a tucked-away gem, Wild Country Seafood (124 Bay Shore Avenue). It’s a small seafood market run by a local waterman family. They go out on the boat at daybreak to catch what they can and sell it to you raw, broiled, or fried.
No inside seating. There are picnic tables set up outside, and you have to buy your crab mallets and other equipment you may need. But it doesn’t get any fresher. Be aware that they close when the seafood is sold out, so they may not be open if you go late.
The Boatyard (400 4th Street) is packed with boaters just off the water on good weather days. It’s another local favorite specializing in friendly bartenders and oysters year-round.
The Boatyard is the start of Eastport’s ‘Restaurant Row’. The others along Severn Avenue are high-end restaurants and they’re very good.
We’ll mention a couple of waterfront dining options. Carrol’s Creek (410 Severn Avenue) has open-air waterfront seating. Chart House (300 Second Street) is built on a pier and has great water views through its large windows.
More steak and seafood restaurants are on the map below.
Around the corner from the Boatyard, you’ll find Forward Brewing (418 Fourth Street), a nano-brewery featuring boating-themed beers. Forward closes relatively early, 9pm, because it’s in a residential neighborhood.
Davis’ Pub (400 Chester Ave) has been featured on several food shows. It’s famous for its not-fancy Chesapeake Bay pub food.
Several of the marinas offer short-term docking for those who want to visit the restaurants by boat. Or call the water taxi if you’re anchored out. The taxi skippers are happy to point the way for you once you get on land.
Shopping in Eastport
Eastport shops are mainly along Severn Avenue scattered among the restaurants and private homes. Some artist galleries are down side-streets.
The Boatyard is the closest thing to a neighborhood center, so a walk around that area will take you by most of the shops.
A lot of merchants in Eastport cater to boaters. There used to be a boatyard in Eastport, but now it’s just a headquarters and the boats are made in the “Annapolis of the South” — Stuart, Florida. You’ll still find sail-makers at work in Eastport though.
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