We flew in late Wednesday evening to make sure we were there for Thursday’s VIP day. If you attend a boat show in the future I would highly recommend being there on Thursday. That was by far the best day to get on any of the boats for display. The crowd was minimal, making it easy to get on and off many of the boats. We went to the show Thu, Fri, Sat, and Sunday. Thursday and Sunday were the best days to attend by far. Friday and Saturday, the show was a madhouse. There were people everywhere. I have no doubt the vendors loved it, but I hate fighting with people to get on and off the boats and into the display tents.
I recommend the Annapolis boat show and if you do attend here are a few tips to ensure your trip is a great one.
1. Use parking with a shuttle to the docks. The traffic within a mile of the show is horrendous. You may find a spot within a couple blocks of the show, but the time you'll spend driving around wondering how you can kill half your fellow drivers will be better spent calmly reading a brochure or two as your driver takes you to and from the show.
2. Wear easy slip on boat shoes. Don't be that guy everyone is hoping falls into the water because you're holding up the line getting on the boat untying your shoes.
3. Enjoy the local restaurants. There are lots of great seafood places and several ice cream and dessert places within a block of the show. We had great meals all weekend long without traveling more than a couple blocks away from the show.
4. Purchase all your tickets online in advance. You can buy tickets at the show along with the other 200 people waiting in the ticket line or have your tickets printed out and proceed directly to the gate.
5. Go to the VIP day. If you really want to enjoy looking at boats without the crowds go to the VIP day. It was easily the best day of the show.