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City Scout: Annapolis

City Scout is a blog series where we invite our savviest Brass babes to share their favorite, lesser-known spots in their local city or town. Our City Scout this month is Candice Hill who is sharing her favorite holiday spots in Annapolis.

The place to go to for a girls night out. 

With a full range of cocktails and a menu that serves breakfast all day, Iron Rooster is a failsafe plan to add some holiday spirit.  My personal favorite is the homemade pop-tart; the flavor varies by day and has more than a few nods to the holiday season.  This is my go-to place with my girlfriends when we hit Midnight Madness shopping in downtown Annapolis.  All of the local shops stay open late, and Iron Rooster hits the spot with a drink, a pop-tart, and a waffle burger.

The public place I draw inspiration from. 

Downtown Annapolis does holiday decorations like no other.  The Eastport Yacht parade is a yearly event that showcases the Christmas lights on the locals’ boats; many of those boats then dock in the Harbor, so we all can enjoy the lights for the season.  Snowflake Alley is everyone’s favorite photo opp, and the Christmas tree downtown is the height of festive.  First Night Annapolis decks out the city even further for New Year’s Eve with drink specials in all the local bars and restaurants and music in the streets.  What better way to celebrate and ring in the New Year?

The secret city spot that no one else knows about. 

The hustle and bustle of downtown Annapolis is, without a doubt, festive and merry, but my secret way to check out the city is by water.  I suit up in my neoprene, get my paddleboard on the water, and paddle down the Severn River from Jonas Green State Park into Annapolis to look at the lights and decorations from the water.  There is no sight quite like the lights reflecting from the water.  Chilly or not, this is totally worth it.  As an added bonus, the sunrises and sunsets on the water, even in the coldest months of the year, are heavenly.

When I need to get my exercise on I head here.

Mantra Fit! Carleen Birnes has perfected the small studio fitness class just outside of Annapolis.  This is where I go to destress, to work out, to sweat it out with my friends.  Mantra Fit offers classes by land and by sea!  In studio, they have Battle Ropes, Barre, Bootcamp, Piyo, Ride, Surfset, Yoga (Aerial Yoga, too!), and more! When I can’t get on the water to Stand Up Paddle, I love the studio classes at Mantra Fit to stay in shape and to connect with a great community who is just as concerned with charity as they are with staying in shape and having a good time doing it.  With the Merry Mantra Challenge, Random Acts of Kindness, and collection of goods for the homeless, Carleen keeps her Mantra Fit group on track to be healthy in body and soul.

The place I go for a caffeine fix and people watching. 

Ceremony Coffee Roasters!  With two locations in Annapolis, its own coffee roastery, signature Winter drinks, and beautiful atmosphere, Ceremony feels just like the name implies: a ceremony of coffee drinking, catching up, and imbibing the best caffeine that Annapolis has to offer. When I’m feeling particularly decadent, I go in for the lavender coffee milkshake or for their seasonal coffee cocktail.  Cheers to the season!  (I admit, when grading papers, I may go in for more than one milkshake at a time… which takes me right back to Mantra Fit.)

The store that’s great for eye candy and discovering new brands. 

Brass takes care of my work clothes and my going out clothes, but where do I turn for my play clothes?  East of Maui Boardshop in Annapolis carries a full range of what I need to get out on the water when it’s 30 degrees outside. Mark B and Mark S also know how to get into the holiday spirit and host an annual Santa Paddle into downtown Annapolis, with Mark B playing the part of Santa, handing out candy canes to spectators and posing for photos.  We may also have spotted him on the OneWheel in a Santa suit.

Love where you live and want to share your favorite spots? Email us to be considered for a City Scout post.


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