Blake Walsh

​​15 Best Things to Do in Edgewater, MD

  • Published 2022/09/13

Edgewater is a tight-knit community in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County.

It’s set along the southern banks of the South River and flanked by cities Mayo on the east, Riva on the west, and Lothian on the south.

Located just 15 minutes outside Annapolis, it’s often considered one of the capital city’s suburbs.

Its proximity to the South River and the Chesapeake Bay gives the city spectacular views, delicious seafood, and a front-row seat to watch luxurious yachts plying along its coast.

Edgewater offers a unique mix of adventure, history, and gastronomic experiences.

If you’d like to know more about what this quaint community has in store, here are the best things to do in Edgewater, Maryland:

Stroll around Historic London Town and Gardens

Publik house at London Town and Gardens

Acroterion, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Historic London Town and Gardens is a 23-acre park at the end of Londontown Road.

Founded in 1683 by Colonel William Burgess as a colonial seaport settlement, London Town was once considered the original site for the capital of Maryland.

Reconstructed colonial structures can be found in Historic London Town and Gardens—the most notable of which is the London Town Publik House, also known as the William Brown House, a National Historic Landmark.

Tourists can learn more about the site’s history and the archaeological discoveries by the Anne Arundel County Archaeological Lab at the Discover London Town exhibit at the park’s Visitor Center.

A lush garden occupies eight hectares of the park, with towering native trees and a wide variety of flowers.

The Gardens were established in the 1960s as naturalized shade gardens.

They served as a test site for developing cold-hardy camellias in the 1980s, the reason why visitors can still enjoy flowers even during the colder months.

The Sound and Sensory Garden lets children build early literacy skills through musical instruments, playsets made from logs and other natural materials, and discovery tables.

Sail Away with South River Boat Rentals

Located on Solomons Island Road, South River Boat Rentals boasts a fleet of powerboats and sailboats for rentals and charters.

The centerpiece is the 50-foot Luxury Motor Yacht best for bachelor or bachelorette parties.

Sail across the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the US and home to 300 hundred species of fish, making it the perfect spot to go fishing and crabbing.

South River Boat Rentals also hosts team-building activities where thrill-seekers can enjoy watersports like tubing, skiing, wakeboarding, and knee boarding.

Renters can be ferried to swimming spots and sand bars for a relaxing dip in the region’s beautiful waters.

Those with a license can also rent boats for a day to explore Chesapeake on their own.

Get Your Beer Fix at Old Stein Inn

Old Stein Inn is a family-owned restaurant that serves traditional German cuisine and imported craft beers.

Located on Central Avenue, the restaurant has been an Edgewater fixture since 1983.

Enjoy a cold beer while listening to German-style music and local German traditional bands.

The restaurant also has the Bier Bär music series featuring non-traditional music and acoustic artists.

So, if you want to host an Oktoberfest party, let Old Stein do it for you!

Buffet-style catering services are available, and its spacious patio offers outdoor seating for large crowds that can be rented for events.

A must-try is their short rib sauerbraten, perfect to pair with a glass of their seasonal craft beer.

Old Stein Inn also has a kids’ menu served with fries and apple sauce.

Explore the Trails of the South River Farms Park

South River Farms Park is a 170-acre nature park on Lock Haven Drive, opened to the public in 2015.

The park was originally a storage site for Anne Arundel County’s public works equipment and housed a greenhouse for marsh grasses.

It’s surrounded by Limestone Cove on the upstream side, Brickworks Creek, Selby Bay on the downstream, and the South River.

A three-mile loop will take you around the park in less than an hour for an easy hike.

A ridge at Mayo Point leads to a cluster of small beaches separated by reeds and gives hikers a view of a salt pond with a sandy pit.

Make sure to bring your binoculars for birdwatching.

Multiple paths lead to the beach from the woods, with a trail down the hillside that will let you walk close to the water.

If you’re looking for a quiet afternoon stroll, try to explore the trails of South River Farms Park.

Have a Luxurious Stay at Pier 7 Resort Marina

Pier 7 Resort Marina may be known for hundreds of catamarans docked on its shores, but this resort has much more.

The marina is located on South River Road and boasts scenic views of the South River.

Short-, medium- and long-term stays at waterfront apartments are available to tourists.

On-site restaurants offer happy hour and casual dining experiences, while its 150-person tent by the water can host private events and open houses.

Have dinner with a view at the Pier 7 Waterfront Bar & Grill and enjoy signature drinks at the lower waterfront Sunset bar.

Guests can rent captained catamarans and jet skis to explore the beautiful waters of the South River.

Other amenities in the marina include a private beach with picnic tables, fire pits, and grill areas.

Whether you’re a boat enthusiast or just looking for a great place to stay, Pier 7 Resort Marina has it all for you.

Tour the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

A moth at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is a 2,650-acre research facility located on the Rhode and West Rivers near Edgewater.

It’s focused on studying the Chesapeake estuary and the nearby wetlands.

In 1965, Chesapeake Center for Field Biology was founded on a 365-acre land donated to the Smithsonian Institute by Robert Lee Forrest the previous year.

The site of a former dairy farm, the center expanded through a series of grants, eventually becoming the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Its strategic location gives you access to Chesapeake Bay’s Western shore with miles-long hiking and walking trails and access to the water for kayaking.

Plants at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Katja Schulz from Washington, D. C., USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It also boasts beautiful marshes, fields, and forests that the public can explore.

There are guided canoe trips, annual public open houses, and public lectures offered by the center.

Volunteer docents lead free outdoor hiking tours, but maps are available in kiosks at the Reed Education Center, Contee Watershed Trail, and New Dominion Building if you’d like to explore them on your own.

If you’re the outdoorsy type that wants to be one with nature, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is a must-visit spot!

Wine and Dine at Adam’s Taphouse & Grille

Formerly Adam’s Ribs, Adam’s Taphouse & Grille was founded by the Bagasian family in 1981.

With its original location on Mayo Road, the grille has expanded to five more locations in Severna Park, Prince Frederick, Kent Island, Annapolis/Eastport, and Fruitland/Salisbury.

Adam’s Taphouse & Grille is known for their fall-off-the-bone, 10oz prime rib, which you can pair with any of their house wines for the perfect dinner.

Other bestsellers are their Maryland crab cakes and grilled salmon.

For beer lovers, they have a dedicated craft beer menu that rotates and changes seasonally.

Who wouldn’t want a slab of ribs and ice-cold beer after a tiring day exploring the city?

Eat Fresh Seafood at Yellowfin Steak and Fish House

Yellowfin Steak and Fish House is a waterfront restaurant on Solomons Island Road.

This restaurant overlooking the South River lets you enjoy fresh fish, steaks, and sushi with great window seats and a deck outside.

Japanese food fans are in for a treat with a wide selection of salmon and tuna sushi.

Be on the lookout for the Chef’s Featured Specials, which include rockfish freshly caught from the Chesapeake Bay.

Yellowfin Steak and Fish House is also known for its Happy Hour deals, with a dedicated wine and drinks menu perfect to cap off your day.

Enjoy a Round of Golf at The Golf Club at South River

Golf fans can play like the pros in this luxury golf club along Solomons Island Road.

The Golf Club at South River has a competition-level 18-hole course with lush green and perfect playing conditions.

A high-definition golf simulator is available to practice your swing.

A restaurant, bar, and fitness center are all within the club premises, so you don’t have to leave.

Whether a newbie, a seasoned golfer, or a casual fan, The Golf Club at South River is a must-visit.

Take an Art Class at AR Workshop Annapolis

AR Workshop Annapolis is an art studio on Lee Airpark Drive that lets you DIY home decor.

The shop offers group events and summer camps that can be customized by the project you’re interested in, like woodworking or knitting.

You can also buy their DIY To-Go Kits with instructional videos if you’d like to work in the comfort of your home.

If you don’t have time but still want a personalized piece, AR Workshop Annapolis can do it for you with their “Make It for Me” service that lets customers pick designs, paint, and technique options.

Unleash your creative side and take home a unique art piece you did yourself!

Make Accessories at The Twisted Bead & Rock Shop

The Twisted Bead & Rock Shop offers jewelry-making classes on Mitchells Chance Road.

You can take stringing, weaving, wire, or metal classes using high-quality gemstone beads and healing crystals.

They also offer metaphysical workshops for those who want to learn about crystals and their healing benefits.

If you want to purchase pieces, the creations of local artists are available in their shop.

Drop by The Twisted Bead & Rock Shop to learn, discover, and heal.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit the Maryland World War II Memorial

Daytime view of Maryland World War II Memorial

Felix Lipov /

The Maryland World War II Memorial’s park-like setting and view overlooking the Severn River and the US Naval Academy give you an excellent spot for a quiet afternoon.

The memorial is an open-air amphitheater built in 1998 to honor the men and women of Maryland who fought during World War II.

It was designed by Cuba-born, New York-based architect Secundino Fernandez.

A memorial at Maryland World War II Memorial

Felix Lipov /

Surrounding the memorial are 48 rectangular stone columns symbolizing the 48 US states at the time of the war and black stone panels inscribed with the names of 6,454 Marylanders who died in the war.

Commemorate those who have sacrificed for the country by paying a visit to the Maryland World War II Memorial, 12 minutes from Edgewater.

Night scene at Maryland World War II Memorial

Something Original at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go Wine Tasting at Great Frogs Winery

Located in Annapolis, across the South River, Great Frogs Winery is a 15-minute drive from Edgewater.

The farm specializes in artisanal wines from carefully produced grapes they grow on-site.

Take a romantic stroll in the vineyards and enjoy a sip on the grounds while listening to live music.

You can also do a self-guided wine tasting where they give you pre-bottled 2oz flights of six wines that will go well with their wine-friendly snacks.

Be sure to drop by Great Frogs Winery and take home a bottle or two.

Learn about the Chesapeake Bay at the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park

Exterior of the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park

Preservation Maryland, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to learn more about the ecology and maritime history of the Chesapeake Bay, drop by the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park, 20 minutes from Edgewater.

Located at the mouth of Black Creek, the museum features three thematic exhibits: Bay Health, Oyster Economy, and Annapolis Waters.

A live fish cam features the museum’s aquariums, and on The Then & Now aquariums, the change in Chesapeake’s water quality over time is demonstrated.

Assembly hall in the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park

Preservation Maryland, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is known for its Skipjack Tours, where you can take a two-hour guided heritage trip aboard the Wilma Lee.

Take an educational trip to the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park and learn about the Chesapeake Bay.

A wooden boat displayed in the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park

Preservation Maryland, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Experience the Amish Culture at the Pennsylvania Dutch Farmer’s Market

Known locally as the Amish Market, the Pennsylvania Dutch Farmer’s Market sells traditional PA Dutch products made by Amish merchants in Lancaster County.

The market is located at Annapolis Harbour Center and houses a large selection of fresh produce, homemade snacks, sweets, and baked goods.

Try traditional PA Dutch recipes at the Dutch Market Restaurant, with their full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu.

Check out Mill Furniture for quality handcrafted solid wood furniture and decor.

For unique finds and cultural experiences, visit the Pennsylvania Dutch Farmer’s Market on Solomons Island Road.

Final Thoughts

With its ideal location on the outskirts of Annapolis, Edgewater is the perfect quick getaway spot for those who enjoy the outdoors.

From watersports to hiking trails, visitors won’t run out of activities to do.

The community is a mix of modern and rustic, with its rich history and culture forming part of its charm.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or the laid-back type, it promises to be a worthwhile visit.

Start packing your bags and try the best things to do in Edgewater, Maryland!

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