U.S. Naval Academy

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

TOURING THE ACADEMY: The U.S. Naval Academy's Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center (52 King George St., Annapolis, 410-263-6933, offers daily 75-minute tours year-round. Cost is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6 for students. A 13-minute film about plebe summer and academy life is shown every 15 minutes. Pick up the weekly newspaper, Trident, for a schedule of swim meets, wrestling matches and basketball games, or click on Visitors enter through Gate 1 (King George Street); everyone 16 and older must show a photo ID. Coolers and alcoholic beverages are prohibited, and all bags are subject to search. Cars with a Department of Defense decal or handicapped tags are allowed on the Yard, but everyone else must park in the neighborhood. There is two-hour street parking outside Gate 1 and at City Dock, and there is longer-term parking at a garage on Main Street and during the summer at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, with round-trip shuttle service for 75 cents.

EATING AT THE ACADEMY: The Yard offers two lunch options for the public: Drydock Restaurant, Dahlgren Hall (410-293-2873), open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., has a rec room/sports bar feel and serves sandwiches on pretzel rolls, burgers and pizza. The Officers' and Faculty Club, 2 Truxtun Rd. (410-293-2632), is open for lunch during the week and offers a more upscale menu.

FOR LITTLE-SHIPMEN: Children ages 6 to 12 can participate in the Navy Way Boot Camp on Saturdays July 21 and Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon. Kids learn to tell military time, communicate in Navy-speak, take orders, march, chant and eat in a simulated mess. Morning graduates can continue for the advanced program from 1 to 3:30 p.m. to learn knot-tying and advanced marching. Each program is $30; advance registration required. Call the visitor center or e-mail for information.

EATING AND SLEEPING IN ANNAPOLIS: Yin Yankee Cafe (105 Main St., 410-268-8703, is more Yin than Yankee and offers excellent sushi and such unexpected dishes as shrimp and veggie beignets. Cozy up with a book and a cuppa joe at Hard Bean Coffee & Booksellers (36 Market Space, 410-263-8770, And then go to 49 West Coffeehouse Winebar & Gallery (49 West St., 410-626-9796, for the soups and salads, but stay for the live music and the always-changing wine list. Chez Amis Bed & Breakfast (85 East St., 410-263-6631, is hidden on a quiet side street half a block from the state capitol and steps from the harbor. The building was a grocery at the turn of the 20th century and now has four guest rooms, from $150 to $180 a night. Historic Inns of Annapolis has three lodging options near the historic downtown (410-263-2641, Rooms start at $139 during the off-season, but can shoot up to the mid-$300s for Navy football games in the fall and for graduation in May.

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