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Downtown Annapolis offers a mix of big hotels, historic inns, and bed-and-breakfasts, while Eastport is blessed with several good B&Bs. Accommodations in the historic district are convenient but pricey. Note: All major hotels have rooms accessible for travelers with disabilities, but most inns and bed-and-breakfasts do not. Also keep in mind that special events -- the Naval Academy's Parents' Weekend in late summer, Commissioning Week in May, Army-Navy games, and the Annapolis Boat Show in October, to name a few -- send hotel prices skyrocketing.

A number of more affordable chain hotels are located out on Route 50, a 15-minute ride or so to the historic district. These generally cost less and offer pools and larger rooms; some have shuttle service to downtown and Eastport. The Country Inns and Suites by Carlson, 2600 Housley Rd. (tel. 800/456-4000 or 410/571-6700; www.countryinns.com), is across the street from Westfield Annapolis and has a shuttle into downtown. The Courtyard Annapolis, 2559 Riva Rd. (tel. 800/321-2211 or 410/266-1555; www.marriott.com/bwian), has an indoor pool. Sheraton Annapolis Hotel, 173 Jennifer Rd. (tel. 800/325-3535 or 410/266-3131; www.sheraton.com/annapolis), has a downtown shuttle and indoor pool.

Across the Spa Creek Bridge -- Eastport is gaining interest as a place to live and a place to play. For centuries, it was home to Annapolis's working people: watermen, boat builders, and those who worked downtown or at the Naval Academy. Sailing schools and marinas, a handful of comfortable B&Bs, and Restaurant Row -- down Severn Avenue -- make this an attractive part of town for tourists. It's easy and friendly and can be a lot of fun.

Renting a Home Away from Home -- During U.S. Naval Academy's Parents' Weekend or Commissioning Week, many Annapolis homeowners clear out and rent their houses to the families of midshipmen. Annapolis Accommodations (tel. 410/263-3262; www.stayannapolis.com) offers dozens of homes in the historic district and on the waterfront, within about 12 miles of downtown, for rental of a few days, a week, or longer. They range from one to five bedrooms. All are fully furnished, including linens and well-equipped kitchens; some have pools. Rates start at phew! and go to wow! (Luxury homes can go for as much as $1,250 a night.) House rentals are popular, with some dates such as boat-show weekends very much in demand, so if you're interested, book well in advance.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.