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Transient boaters in Maryland can enjoy full-service marina amenities along with easy access to City Dock restaurants, bars and shops when renting a slip at Port Annapolis

A weekend trip to Annapolis, MD is usually on our boating agenda at least once or twice a season. Home of the U.S. Naval Academy and the bustling City Dock center, Annapolis, Maryland is truly a boater’s town (also known as “the sailing capital of the world”… or more fondly as “a drinking town with a sailing problem”) and a hot-spot for transient boat stays.

Located on Back Creek, just a short water taxi ride from City Dock, Port Annapolis Marina is a great choice for boaters looking for a transient slip rental at an Annapolis that provides that has more amenities and conveniences than dockage or moorings on Spa Creek.

Advantages of Transient Slip Rentals at Port Annapolis Marina on Back Creek

Although Annapolis is known as “the sailing capital of the world”, it is a great destination for boat sail boaters and power boaters. Boaters looking for a transient slip rental in Annapolis have several choices for docking:

  • Boaters can stay on the hook on Spa Creek near City Dock with a public mooring. But there are no transient reservations with moorings – they are first-come, first-served – so you must arrive early on a Friday morning to try to get a mooring for the weekend. Also, boaters will of course not have access to power or fresh water while on the hook. The busy creek means lots of bumping around on your boat while on the hook. But the water taxi will come right up to your boat to take you into town – a fun convenience in the heart of Annapolis.

  • Boaters can stay at a transient slip at the public City Dock along Ego Alley – but again, there are no reservations so slips right at City Dock are a hot commodity. There is little privacy at the dock as people in town will walk right by your boat all day and night. However, there is access to power, water and a surprisingly clean City Dock bathhouse. Of course, you simply need to jump off your boat and cross the street to enjoy the action.

  • Boaters can stay at marinas along Spa Creek within walking distance to City Dock. There are many private marinas around the City Dock area that accept reservations, but most are very small with limited slips and limited amenities (i.e. no pool).

  • Boaters can stay at a marina on Back Creek. Marinas on Back Creek (like Port Annapolis Marina or Mears Annapolis Marina) have full-service amenities for transient boaters and are only a short water taxi ride to the downtown Annapolis City Dock area.

We enjoy renting a transient slip on Back Creek because most of those marinas have pools, more spacious grounds and other amenities you can’t find closer to town. Port Annapolis Marina is typically our marina of choice because it almost always has transient slips available (whereas slips at Mears Annapolis Marina can be difficult to get if your boat is in the 40 foot range).

A marina with a pool is a must-have when visiting Annapolis in the summertime (especially with kids), and the pool at Port Annapolis is a nice family-friendly spot to relax during the day in between trips into town. When staying close to City Dock, there is no escaping the heat or crowds when you want a break from the hustle and bustle of the town. Finally, the water taxi ride into town is always an adventure… we look forward to our Annapolis water taxi rides into town almost as much as our first drink and oyster shooter at Middleton’s Tavern (well, almost!)

Review of our Boat Arrival at Port Annapolis Marina

Back Creek approaching
Port Annapolis Marina

As we pulled into Back Creek (just port of the downtown Annapolis City Dock area), we hailed Port Annapolis Marina on the radio and informed them of our arrival. The dockmaster asked us if we were familiar with the docks at the marina and gave us thorough directions to our assigned slip for the weekend.

The dockmaster also asked if we needed to have someone greet us at the slip to help us dock… my boat’s captain politely declined assistance because he likes to be as self-sufficient as possible… but I think it would have been nice if someone would have just showed up at our slip to assist regardless. Although we are usually fine docking in a new slip, the slip we were assigned didn’t seem to have clearly marked power and water hook-up locations.

After we got settled (and figured out which station to plug in and power-up) we got our things together to make our usual trip up to the pool to cool off after arrival. The marina office was on the way to the pool for check-in. One of my favorite parts of checking in at Port Annapolis Marina is the goody pack they give you at check in. They treat each transient visitor as true guests at the marina. The welcome pack included a folder with information about the marina (bathhouse, pool, etc.), water and land taxi information, downtown Annapolis map, Annapolis area attractions and some souvenir Port Annapolis pens and can koozies (nice touch!)

View of swimming pool at Port Annapolis Marina.

Amenities for Transient Boaters at Port Annapolis Marina

The docks at Port Annapolis Marina are situated so that there is easy access to everything the marina has to offer transient boaters on shore.

Port Annapolis Marina amenities include:

  • Bathhouse. The bathhouse building includes a nice outdoor covered deck and seating, as well as an indoor area with free book library and desk area with internet access. There are separate entrances to the very clean men’s and women’s restrooms and showers.
  • Swimming Pool. A modest sized pool is available with an on-duty lifeguard, separate lap lane for serious swimmers and ample seating with tables and lounge chairs around the pool.
  • Poolside Cafe. The Wet Dog Cafe has some of the best breakfast and lunch sandwiches at any marina cafe we have ever visited. There is limited indoor seating or you can eat at one of the tables outside the cafe or poolside.
  • Playground. Kids can enjoy a small playground with a climber, slide and swings located in a shady area just outside of the pool area.
  • Outdoor Pavilion. Overlooking the marina, the pavilion is a nice covered picnic and barbeque area.
  • Ship’s Store. A fully stocked ship’s store has a variety of marine necessities for transient boaters in need of a few parts or maintenance supplies.
  • Multi-hole Putting Green. Boaters can even practice their putting on the way to the bathhouse or pool (if you golf fanatics must).
  • Laundry and Exercise Room. Boaters have access to a laundry room and a newly outfitted exercise room during their stay.
  • Bikes. Transients have access to free bicycle access if they are fitness types that would like to bike around the area (yes, Hydro Therapy, that means you).
  • Water taxi ride into Ego Alley
    by City Dock in Annapolis.
  • Water Taxi Access. A minor draw-back to staying at Port Annapolis is the inability to walk into town (believe me, we tried it ONCE and it took about 2 1/2 hours). However, the water taxi service in Annapolis is great… and a lot of fun. Call ahead and they pick you up at the end of the dock at Port Annapolis and take you into town for only $3.50 per person. A cool 15 minute ride around the bend to City Dock drops you off right in front of one of our favorite bars in town – Middleton’s Tavern 😉

Other amenities offered at Port Annapolis Marina that you expect include a fuel dock, free pump-outs, ice (even ice blocks) and water and electricity included in the transient slip rental rate. When making reservations, be sure to ask for Jan – the Port Annapolis Marina slip administrator.

Enjoy your visit to Annapolis – we always do!

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Diane Seltzer

Founder & Editor at My Boat Life
Diane is the founder of MyBoatLife.com as well as the boating lifestyle site for kids BoaterKids.com. She is also active in the boating industry, serving as the marketing director for a marine sunshade product, SureShade, and founder of Marine Marketing Tools, a collaborative site for sharing marine marketing best practices. Diane is also the author of the children's book The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl.

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