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Sunday, February 10, 2008


Every lodging in historic Annapolis is convenient to everything else. My top picks:

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* The Annapolis Inn (144 Prince George St., 410-295-5200, http://www.annapolisinn.com) is widely considered the most luxurious choice in town. Six signers of the Declaration of Independence stayed here, along with numerous escaped slaves who used a tunnel in the basement. Prices most weekends for the three suites begin at $295 a night, including breakfast.

* Prices vary significantly at Historic Inns of Annapolis (58 State Cir., 410-263- 2641, http://www.historicinnsofannapolis.com), but when they drop as low as $119 on a slow winter night, they are a real bargain. The 124 rooms are located in three buildings, each a beautifully restored historic property. The Governor Calvert House is the most luxurious; the Maryland Inn has a good restaurant.

* Chez Amis (85 East St., 410-263-6631, http://www.chezamis.com) was never a stately house; in fact it was once a corner grocery. But it is cozy and brightly painted, with original tin ceilings, brass beds, quilts, lace curtains. Prices start at $150.

* Perhaps the most authentic lodging, because it hasn't been beautified and was built in 1747 as a tavern, is Reynolds Tavern (7 Church St., 410-295-9555, http://www.reynoldstavern.org). Rates of $220 to $295 suggest luxury, but don't expect that: Prices are more about location and authenticity.

* The owner of the Queen Anne-style Inn at 30 Maryland (30 Maryland Ave., 410-263-9797, http://www.30maryland.com), a former restaurant chef, cooks a la carte breakfast. Weekend winter rates beginning at $176 are a relative bargain.


* Osteria 177 (177 Main St., 410-267-7700) is an upscale Italian/Mediterranean restaurant with gourmet fare. Entrees range from $18 to $40; my homemade pasta stuffed with gorgonzola, pear and porcini mushrooms was well worth $19.

* Chick and Ruth's Delly (165 Main St., 410-269-6737) has sandwiches and entrees starting at less than $10.

* For Irish fare: Galway Bay (61 Maryland Ave., 410-263-8333).

* Boatyard Bar & Grill (400 Fourth St., 410-216-6206) has a huge menu including breakfast, pizza, sandwiches, crab cakes and seafood. Dinner entrees begin at about $10.

* Locals also praise Luna Blu (36 West St., 410-267-9950) for down-home Italian; Yin Yankee Cafe (105 Main St., 410-268-8703) for sushi; Harry Browne's (66 State Cir., 410-263-4332) for a solid American meal.


* Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau, http://www.visitannapolis.org, 888-302-2852.

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