Hotels, Car-Rentals, and Flights

Most of the decisions relate to your family's budget, so there isn't a 'one size fits all' answer. If you have never stayed in Annapolis, need to know that some downtown hotels have no onsite parking (you park at a public parking garage, but logistics of luggage, etc. can be challenging) or many charge for parking, so be sure to inquire when making a reservation. Rental car gives you much more flexibility, since you can't plan every minor trip ahead of time. The cost of whatever taxi service you use will be greater then the cost of a rental car if you make even a few trips. Hotels that say 'walking distance to USNA' can still be quite a distance as it depends on how you define 'walking distance'. Motels near the mall have free parking, much cheaper and you are still just a short drive to USNA. Some of those hotels also run free shuttles to USNA.

Most of these topics have been covered in several older threads you can find by doing a search.
Just as a heads up for anyone traveling to Annapolis, be aware that MD and DC traffic can be absolutely terrible, especially around days like I-day. I live in Maryland and I can tell you for a fact that it is usually terrible around the morning or afternoon. I wouldn’t book any flights that “cut it close”, and also make sure to leave ahead of time for everything to accommodate for traffic.
36falcon36 +1
Very few people elsewhere in the country can fathom the horrors of DC traffic. What looks like a 30 minute drive can take 90 minutes on a bad day... leave ample time! (Former DC resident now enjoying the ease of NJ traffic... yes, seriously).
Hence my post about allowing 2 hours for the 38 miles Annapolis-Bethesda!
I think our worst nail-biter is when we occasionally take a flight out of Dulles, and all the delays that could happen with the Beltway and feeder roads, between Annapolis and there.
This was posted in the Annapolis paper on Monday, March 19, 2018. It is a list of 5 restaurants in Annapolis. Luna Blu is in DTA , within walking distance of the Yard. West Street is also close to the Yard.

I'm not sure where in Annapolis the other restaurants are located. Maybe someone local can help with the locations? For those attending Iday and PPW, it might be worth checking these places out as places to eat, in addition to the Iron Rooster. There is also an Italian pizza/sandwich/salad place in a mini-strip mall across from the Yard that has been there for years. Sorry, I can't remember the name of it, but the pizza is delicious.
IHO, I found IDay to be very anti-climactic. Once DS walked thru the doors of Alumni Hall that was it....poof! The 30 minutes after swearing in flew and by. He was tired and hungry and anxious to get on with it. I'm lucky enough to be able to drive but if I had to fly cross country I would make this a minimal trip. Like Just Dad said, this would be a good time for a one parent visit. PPW completely different story. That is a precious three days where there is tons of quality time together. Welcome aboard! GO NAVY! BEAT ARMY!
If you think I-Day is very anti-climatic you have no heart. It is something they have strived for and they need parental support on Stribling. It is not "POOF" and it is not a minimal trip when they
have committed their life to nine or more years of service. Contact someone in your Parents Club and meet them.
Last edited:
Good morning everyone,

My parents and I are discussing our future trip to Annapolis for I-Day, and are running into some trouble finding the best hotel, and if we should be renting a car.

Coming all the way out from California, we are deciding to catch a morning Tuesday flight and spend Tuesday/Wednesday out in Annapolis before saying our goodbyes until PPW. The trip is racking up in expenses already, and we don’t have a very large budget to work with; i.e already dipping into savings. We are trying to minimize expenses so they can afford to attend PPW as well. What hotels are the best, and is renting a car a viable option, or is everything generally within walking distance?

Also, we have their return flight scheduled at 2000 on Thursday, I’m sure that is enough time from the end of the I-Day Ceremony to going back to the airport. Any insight is appreciated, we aren’t ones to travel much at all so this is new to all of us. Thank you!

DYLAN7130, We are also from California and I would be happy to Private Conversation your parents regarding places/flights etc... Please feel free to reach out.
We've been through three I-days and have always stayed in one of the hotels over by the mall. Country Inn and Suites, Residence Inn, and/or Spring Hill Suites. We fly in to BWI and rent a car. We have always brought the entire family, and have a great dinner the night before. Be prepared for a solemn, contemplative kid after dinner the night before Iday! For the actual drop off at report time Iday morning, its usually been just Plebe, Mom, and Dad. We drive to stadium and take bus to Alumni for reporting. After Plebe gets swallowed up by Alumni Hall, we board the bus back to stadium and drive back to hotel to get breakfast and gather the rest of the family, go for lunch somewhere, grab a bite and drink to go for Plebe, then leisurely head back to yard in time for visit to the mid store and the swearing in. We usually park on the yard, since DH is retired military, but you could just as easily park at stadium and take bus to the yard, or park downtown and walk in. The first year we tried to get up front for the swearing in, but chances of seeing your plebe in the sea of white is minimal, so the two years after that we just found a shady spot off of stribling and put put down our neat sheet and hung out there until after the oath. We pre-arranged with our Plebe where we'd be, and they headed to us after the oath. We had a sub sandwich and gatorade in a cooler/lunchbox for our Plebe to enjoy after the oath. That time goes quickly, and they are very anxious about getting back to their company in time, but it's priceless! All mine were very thankful to have their siblings and grandparents there!
Sandydesert - that place is Bella Italia, right next to Naval Bagels and Graul's. Our mid and his buddies get take-out from there - they like it a lot. We were there this weekend - not bad at all - yes the pizza case is impressive! The CVS is right there too; it has the beer and wine as Graul's is dry.