Best of Anne Arundel County 2024: Residents’ favorite people, places and organizations (2024)

Looking to refresh your garden or home? Want to get out of the house for the day? Need a plumber or a dentist?

The Best of Anne Arundel County can help with a little guidance from Capital Style readers. More than 7,500 votes were cast in this year’s readers’ poll, culling a list of the 116 top people to know, places to go and things to do.

Editor’s note: Winners and honorable mentions were determined by popular vote. Readers were invited to nominate and vote online in February and March. The results are generated solely by readers’ votes. The Baltimore Sun does not take responsibility for the services offered or advertised by those listed.

Entertainment

Caterer: Beefalo Bob’s

Honorable mentions:
Main & Market
Bayside Bull
Ken’s Creative Kitchen

Charter boat: Watermark Tours, Charters, Cruises

Honorable mentions:
Wilma Lee Skipjack Tours
Ebb Tide Charters
Windsong Charters

Country club: Chartwell Golf & Country Club

Honorable mentions:
Crofton Country Club
Walden Country Club
The Cannon Club

Dance lessons: Ballet Theatre of Maryland Conservatory of Dance

Honorable mentions:
Maryland Hall
Arthur Murray (tie)
Davy Dance Academy (tie)

Day trip: St. Michaels

Honorable mentions:
Allegany County
Berlin (tie)
Chestertown (tie)

Downtown Annapolis tour: Historic Annapolis

Honorable mentions:
Watermark Tours
Richard Hillman Walking Tours
Annapolis Eventours

Festival: Renaissance Festival

Honorable mentions:
Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival
Dining Under the Stars
Maryland Avenue Fall Festival

Golf course: Renditions Golf Course

Honorable mentions:
Bay Hills Golf Club (tie)
The Golf Club at South River (tie)
Chartwell Golf & Country Club

Best of Anne Arundel County 2024: Residents’ favorite people, places and organizations (1)

Live music venue: Rams Head on Stage

33 West St., Annapolis, 410-268-4545, ramsheadonstage.com

When Rams Head On Stage opened in 1997, it was “kind of the first of its kind” in the area, said Kris Stevens, the vice president of programming for Rams Head Presents. Since then, the live performance venue has attracted a long list of acts including the folk rock duo Indigo Girls, musician Gregg Allman, singer and guitarist David Crosby, comedian Dave Attell and the band Lake Street Dive.

“That’s the beauty of offering so much diversity in our programming, is that there’s something for everybody,” Stevens said.

The venue seats over 300 for performances from musicians and comedians, said Laura Price, the director of marketing and ticketing for Rams Head Presents. Stevens said there are shows nearly every night of the week, with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays.

The space is intimate, Price said, and event-goers can dine and drink during the shows.

“Artists love playing here,” Stevens said. Even if they initially think the venue feels small, “within a few songs, they’ll be telling the audience, ‘I’d forgotten how great it feels to be this close to my fans and to be in this sort of atmosphere.’ ”

Honorable mentions:
Maryland Hall
49 West
Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (tie)
Rams Head Roadhouse (tie)

Museum: Banneker-Douglass Museum

Honorable mentions:
Annapolis Maritime Museum
National Cryptologic Museum
Museum of Historic Annapolis

Park: Quiet Waters Park

Honorable mentions:
Kinder Farm Park
Downs Park in Pasadena
Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park

Special event venue: Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland

Honorable mentions:
William Paca House & Garden
Annapolis Maritime Museum Bay
The Atreeum at Soaring Timbers

Summer camp: Maryland Hall

Honorable mentions:
St. John’s College Summer Academy
Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu & Tai Chi
Annapolis Maritime Museum (tie)
The Y in Pasadena (tie)

Theater company: Ballet Theatre of Maryland

Honorable mentions:
The Colonial Players
Maryland Hall
Theater in the Park

Health & Wellness

Addiction counseling: Waypoint Wellness

Honorable mentions:
New Journey
Tranquility Woods
Congruent Counseling

Alternative medicine: GoldLeaf

Honorable mentions:
Fang Acupuncture Center
Chesapeake Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine
Mindful Healing Acupuncture

Assisted-living facility: Brightview Annapolis

Honorable mentions:
BayWoods of Annapolis
Spring Arbor
Bay Village Assisted Living (tie)
Celebration Villa of Manresa (tie)
The Sheridan at Severna Park (tie)

Audiologist: Hearing Solutions

Honorable mentions:
Audiology Associates
Chesapeake Hearing Centers
Hearing & Balance Solutions

Chiropractor: Annapolis Family Chiropractic

Honorable mentions:
DeMaio Family Chiropractic & Physical Therapy
Atlas Chiropractic, Marc Schwartz
Living Health Integrative Medicine

Cosmetic surgeon: Annapolis Plastic Surgery, Bryan Ambro

Honorable mentions:
Annapolis Plastic Surgery
Dockside Dermatology (tie)
Alan Weiss (tie)
Plastic Surgery Specialist (tie)

Day spa: Even Keel Wellness Spa (tie)
The Robert Andrew Salon & Spa Collection (tie)

Honorable mentions:
Hand and Stone Spa
Sadona Spa

Dental care: McCarl Dental Group at Shipleys Choice

Honorable mentions:
Boyd Family Dentistry
Blue Heron Dental (tie)
Drs. Lee, Bonfiglio, Vesely & Associates (tie)
Oral Surgery Specialists (tie)

Dermatologist: Anne Arundel Dermatology

Honorable mentions:
Annapolis Dermatology
Dockside Dermatology
Current Dermatology and Cosmetic Center (tie)
Mark Eaton (tie)

Dispensary: GoldLeaf

Honorable mentions:
Mana Supply Co.
Thrive Wellness
Sun Med

Eye care: Severna Park Eye Care

Honorable mentions:
Peepers
Anne Arundel Eye Center
Bay Hills Eye Care (tie)
Island Eye Care (tie)
Tarantino Cho Eye Center (tie)

Family doctor/general practice: Annapolis Family Medicine

Honorable mentions:
Maryland Primary Care Physicians
Annapolis Internal Medicine
Annapolis Integrative Medicine

Fitness/health club: True Core

Honorable mentions:
Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu & Tai Chi
Retro Fitness Annapolis (tie)
The Y of Central Maryland (tie)

Gastroenterologist: Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates

Honorable mentions:
David M. Fishbein
Gastro Center Of Maryland
Kenslisa Onwueme

Health food/supplement store: David’s Natural Market

Honorable mention:
Isaacs Vitamin Wellness

Best of Anne Arundel County 2024: Residents’ favorite people, places and organizations (2)

Home health care: Response Senior Care

Response Senior Care, 31 Old Solomons Island Road, Suite B, Annapolis. 410-571-2744. response-seniorcare.com

With 20 clients, Response Senior Care isn’t the biggest home health care service in Anne Arundel County. But that’s a plus, said owner Samantha Moyer.

“We’re small but we are locally owned, and we take time to listen to clients and what they are looking for,” said Moyer, of Annapolis. “Our caregivers create relationships with them.”

It’s the personalized attentiveness, tailored to each unique client, that helps set Response apart. Yes, the staff runs errands, does laundry and prepares meals for the elderly. But they’ve also been known to drive seniors to watch a grandchild’s soccer game or sit with their charges during a hospital stay, if family is absent.

“A lot of our clients are into [needlework], and they’ve taught their caregivers how to knit,” said Moyer, 40. Her staff has attended birthday parties for their clients as well as their funeral services.

“Our passion is to connect with people,” she said.

Honorable mentions:
Stay at Home Nursing and Companion Services
Royal Home Care & Staffing

Hospital: Luminis Health

Honorable mention:
UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center

Mani-pedi: Nails by Jacqui

Honorable mentions:
Bella Lifestyle Nail Salon and Spa
Lux Nail Bar (tie)
Stacie’s Natural Touch (tie)
Voorpret Nail Bar (tie)

Martial arts: Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu & Tai Chi

Honorable mentions:
Kogen Dojo
Rising Tide Hi Tech (tie)
Team Randori Martial Arts (tie)

OB/GYN: Women Ob/Gyn of Annapolis

Honorable mentions:
Annapolis OB-GYNAssociates
Privia Medical Group

Oncologist: Annapolis Oncology Hematology

Honorable mentions:
Maryland Oncology Hematology
Arun Bhandari, Chesapeake Oncology Hematology Associates

Orthodontist: Mairead O’Reilly

Honorable mentions:
Annapolis Orthodontics
Labbe Family Orthodontics (tie)
Spivak Orthodontics (tie)

Pediatrician: Annapolis Pediatrics

Honorable mentions:
Bayside Pediatrics
Arif Mannan (tie)
South River Pediatrics (tie)

Pharmacy: Arnold Pharmacy

Honorable mentions:
CVS
Annapolis Professional Pharmacy
Mike’s Pharmacy

Physical therapy: Annapolis Family Physical Therapy

Honorable mentions:
Rehab 2 Perform
Pivot Pivot Physical Therapy, Annapolis
Bayside Physical Therapy

Podiatrist: Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center

Honorable mentions:
Diane Lebedeff
Podiatry Group of Annapolis

Therapist/counselor: Anne Arundel Counseling

Honorable mentions:
Benna Sherman
Erin Betz, Park Wellness Group
Clear Mind Counseling / Heather Chadwick, LCSW-C

Urgent care: Patient First

Honorable mentions:
Wise Care Urgent Care
Luminis Health

Urologist: Anne Arundel Urology

Honorable mention:
Chesapeake Urology

Vein center: Center for Vein Restoration (tie)
Maryland Vein Professionals (tie)

Honorable mention:
Vein Center of America

Veterinary care: Mobile Pet Vet

Honorable mentions:
Greater Annapolis Veterinary Hospital
Annapolis Animal Hospital
Bayside Veterinarian Hospital

Personalities

Activist: Juanita Cage Lewis

Honorable mentions:
Jaden Farris
Joe Toolan, Annapolis Pride
Vince Leggett, Blacks of the Chesapeake

Clergyperson: Pat Woods, St. Mary’s Parish

Honorable mention:
Rudolph “Rudy” White, Friendship United Methodist Church

Elected official: Dana Schallheim, Board of Education of Anne Arundel County

Honorable mentions:
Gov. Wes Moore
Sen. Sarah Elfreth
Del. Heather Bagnall

Personal trainer: Joanna King, True Core

Honorable mentions:
Maddie Poknis, True Core
Ryan Walker, True Core

Police officer: John Murphy, AnnapolisPoliceDepartment

Best of Anne Arundel County 2024: Residents’ favorite people, places and organizations (3)

Principal: Colleen McFarland, Glen Burnie Park Elementary

500 Marlboro Road, Glen Burnie, 410-766-9220, aacps.org/Page/4388

The note, scrawled by a third-grader, is dear to the heart of Colleen McFarland, principal of Glen Burnie Park Elementary School.

“You always believe in us,” it reads.

In seven years, McFarland has pumped life into a school with a disparate mix of students who speak 12 different languages and who live mostly (77%) in poverty. They embrace their diversity with multicultural activities, choose from 14 after-school clubs, hold an annual Kindness Dance and espouse the school slogan, “Be The Difference.”

“We want to build the whole child, not just the academic side,” said McFarland, 50, who has a bachelor’s degree from Frostburg State and a master’s from Loyola. As principal, she has been known to cover classes for teachers who need time to mentor individual students. And she encourages her staff to phone busy parents each morning, to make sure their children catch their bus.

“We have high expectations, yet we meet the students where they are,” she said of the learning process. “This [school] is a happy place to be.”

Honorable mentions:
Kim Jakovics, Monarch Academy Public Charter
David Intlekofer, Annapolis Area Christian
Jen Malachowski (LS), Matt McCormick (MS), Eliza McLaren (US), Indian Creek

Services

Appliances: ABC Appliance

Honorable mentions:
Bray & Scarf
ApplianceLand
Glen Burnie Used Appliances

Best of Anne Arundel County 2024: Residents’ favorite people, places and organizations (4)

Architecture firm: Purple Cherry Architects

1 Melvin Ave., Annapolis, 410-990-1700, purplecherry.com

Coastal Nantucket-style homes used to dominate on the Chesapeake Bay, said Cathy Purple Cherry, the founder and principal of the eponymous architecture and interior design firm. Now, she sees more diversity, with styles like French country and contemporary in the mix.

“We basically are responding to what our clients love,” Purple Cherry said of her company’s approach to design.

She started Purple Cherry Architects in Annapolis 30 years ago, and it has since expanded with projects primarily along the East Coast and additional staffed offices in Virginia and New York.

Having architecture and interior design “integrated under one roof” is an aspect of the business that she said sets it apart.

Most of the architectural undertakings in Anne Arundel County are “ground up” builds of custom homes ranging from around 5,000 to 15,000 square feet, Purple Cherry said. And they’re most commonly waterfront properties.

“I love the client relationship,” she said. “It’s a very personal process.”

Honorable mentions:
SPIRE Architecture
Buxton Architecture
T. Averill Architect

Attorney: Scott MacMullan

Honorable mentions:
Hillman Brown & Darrow
Rice, Murtha, Psoras Trial Lawyers
Amanda Schmidt, Ward & Co. Law

Auto dealer: Koon’s Annapolis Toyota

Honorable mentions:
Annapolis Subaru
Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis
Browns Honda

Bank/credit union: Navy Federal Credit Union

Honorable mentions:
SECU
Bank of America
Shore United Bank

Barbershop: Capistrano Barber Shop

Honorable mentions:
Cuttn Up 21122
Savvas Barbershop
Bourtdakis Barber Shop

Car repair: Dave’s Auto Repair

Honorable mentions:
Severna Park Automotive
Accurate Auto Service
Nealey Tire & Auto Service

Charity/nonprofit: H.O.P.E. for All (tie)
Light House Shelter (tie)

Honorable mentions:
Providence of Maryland
Chesapeake Bay Association Inc. (tie)
SPAN (tie)

Day care center: Kiddie Academy

Honorable mentions:
Bright Beginning Children’s Learning Center
Tender Years Child Development

Doggie day care: Dogwood Acres Pet Retreat

Honorable mentions:
Cozy Canine Camp
Chesapeake Dog Training
Beechnut Kennels (tie)
Stay Pet (tie)

Dry cleaner: ZIPS Cleaners

Honorable mentions:
Admiral Cleaners
Clock Tower Cleaners
Kings Cleaners (tie)
Riva Cleaners (tie)

Electrician: Chesapeake Electric Co.

Honorable mentions:
Bailey and Shipp
Walter Electric
All Spark Electric

Financial advisor: Mark Humphries, Sentinel Financial Planning

Honorable mentions:
Brian Conrad, Edward Jones Investments
CovingtonAlsina
Mike Calabrese, Severn Financial Solutions

Funeral home: Barranco Severna Park Funeral Home & Cremation Care

Honorable mentions:
Donaldson Funeral Home
Lasting Tributes Cremation & Funeral Care
WM Reese & Sons Mortuary

Hair salon: Vaughan Diann Salon and Spa

Honorable mentions:
Hudson & Fouquet
John James Salon & Spa
Cape Hair Scene & Barber Shop

Home improvement: Clarksville Construction Services

Honorable mentions:
About Kitchens and Baths
Greg Lauer Custom Builders
Brantley Builders

Homebuilder: Greg Lauer Custom Builders

Honorable mentions:
K. Hovnanian
Khov Homes

Housecleaners: Ivania’s Cleaning Service

Honorable mentions:
Always Sparkle
The Maids
Spouses Cleaning Houses

HVAC: Clarksville Heating & Air

Honorable mentions:
BTR HVAC Services
Grove Heating & Cooling
A.P. Mathews Heating & Air Conditioning (tie)
Belair Engineering (tie)

Insurance company: Huff Insurance

Honorable mentions:
Kelly Insurance & Investments
CNR Insurance
Stanger Insurance Group

Interior design: Purple Cherry Architects

Honorable mentions:
Be Home
Annapolis Interiors
Anna Graham Interiors

Landscaping: Homestead Gardens

Honorable mentions:
McHale Landscape Design
Himmel’s Landscape and Garden Center
Jams Lawn & Gardening

Mortgage lender: Shore United Bank

Honorable mention:
First Home Mortgage, Mike Archer

Pest services: Bugout Termite & Pest Control

Honorable mentions:
ATC Pest Control
Barrett Pest Control
Brody Brothers Pest Control

Pet grooming: Bark ‘N’ Bean

Honorable mentions:
Kitty’s Canine Clips
Stay Pet
Groomingdales Pet Salon

Plumber: Heidler

Honorable mentions:
Mahon Plumbing
Belair Engineering
Millersville Plumbing

Pool services: Chesapeake Spas, Inc.

Honorable mentions:
Goudy Pools
Oasis Pools

Real estate agent: Long & Foster Annapolis

Honorable mentions:
The Kristi Neidhardt Team | Waterfront Annapolis Homes
The Curtis Real Estate Company
Blair Kennedy – Waldner Winters Team of Keller Williams Realty Centre

Retirement community: Brightview Senior Living (tie)
Ginger Cove (tie)

Honorable mentions:
BayWoods of Annapolis
Spring Arbor

Roofing: Clarksville Construction Services

Honorable mentions:
Fichtner Home Services
Wells Home Improvements
Just-in-Time Renovations

Shoe store: Charm City Run

Honorable mentions:
Fleet Feet Sports Annapolis
Van Dyke & Bacon

Stone & tile: In Home Stone

Honorable mentions:
Atlas Marble & Tile
The Stone Store
Compass Tile

Tanning salon: Beyond the Beach Tanning

Honorable mentions:
Palm Beach Tan
Sunset Tanning Salon
Bella Bronze

Travel agency: McCarl Travel

Honorable mentions:
Going Places
STS Travel

Shopping

Antiques: Roberta Bell Vintage Treasures

Honorable mentions:
Evergreen Antiques & True Vintage
Vintage By the Bay
Antiques on the Go (tie)
Gypsy Faire (tie)

Apartment/condo: Park Place

Honorable mentions:
Watergate Pointe
Stonecreek Condominium

Art gallery: Maryland Hall

Honorable mentions:
Art Farm
Nancy Hammond Editions
Gallery 57 West

Best of Anne Arundel County 2024: Residents’ favorite people, places and organizations (5)

Bicycle shop: Pedal Pushers

546 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., Severna Park. 410-544-2323. pedalpushersmd.com

At 53, Rod Reddish can still pop a wheelie. Dare him to do so and the bike shop owner will comply in the parking lot in front of his store, which sits, not by chance, at the 5-mile mark of the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail.

The shop is a convenient break point on the 13-mile path for cyclists to stop for gear adjustments or to check out the new models (road, mountain or BMX) in the shop, established in 1989. Or maybe passersby just want to grab a drink from the nearby coffee shop, hang out behind the store, enjoy the heavy metal music blaring from within and scratch the head of Conner, the owner’s playful labradoodle.

“We do quick turnarounds [on bike repairs] and we’re honest,” said Reddish, of Severna Park, who has worked here from the start. “We’ll talk to you while we work on your bike. We’ll fix your lawn mower, if you like.

“We’re a bike shop that cares about you.”

Honorable mentions:
Family Bike Shop
Annapolis Velo

Boat dealer: Backyard Boats

Bookstore: Old Fox Books and Coffeehouse

Honorable mentions:
Park Books & LitCoLab
Back Creek Books (tie)
St. John’s College Bookstore (tie)

Bridal shop: Mary’s Designer Bridal Boutique

Honorable mentions:
Bridals by Elena
Amanda’s Bridal Loft

Consignment/resale: Savvy Consignment

Honorable mentions:
Return to Oz
Play It Again Sports – Crofton
Petticoat Lane

Convenience store: Wawa

Honorable mentions:
Royal Farms
Geresbeck’s
Main Street Mini Mart

Farmers market/stand: Anne Arundel County Farmers Market

Honorable mentions:
Amish Market
PA Dutch Farmers Market
Severna Park Farmers Market

Fence & deck: Fence & Deck Connection

Honorable mentions:
Mid-Atlantic Deck & Fence Co.
Just-in-Time Renovations
Brantley Builders

Fine jewelry: Zachary’s

Honorable mentions:
Cezanne Jewelers
Smyth Jewelers
Ron George Jewelers

Flooring: Carpet One

Honorable mentions:
National Carpet & Flooring
Brothers Flooring
CLB Flooring

Florist: Wildflower

Honorable mentions:
Flowers by Donna
Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm
Blooms Florist

Furniture store: Evergreen Antiques & True Vintage

Honorable mentions:
Gavigan’s Furniture
Annapolis Bay Area Furnishings
Restoration Hardware

Garden center: Homestead Gardens

Honorable mentions:
A.A. Co. Farm, Lawn & Garden Center
Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm
JAMS Lawn & Gardening

Grocery store: Graul’s Market

Honorable mentions:
Trader Joe’s
Wegmans
Aldi

Handbags: Hobo

Hardware store: K&B True Value

Honorable mentions:
Cape Ace Hardware
Costello’s ACE Hardware (tie)
Home Depot (tie)

Kids’ clothing boutique: Return to Oz

Honorable mentions:
Once Upon A Child
The Children’s Place

Kitchen & bath: Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Honorable mentions:
Park Hardware
ApplianceLand
Reico

Liquor store: Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits

Honorable mentions:
FishpawsMarketplace
Edgewater Liquor
Mills Fine Wine & Spirits

Lower private school: Montessori International Children’s House

Honorable mentions:
Key School
Annapolis Area Christian School
St. Phillip Neri

Marina: Bert Jabin Yacht Yard

Honorable mentions:
Smiths Marina
Safe Harbor
Blake’s Bar Harbor Marina

Mattress store: The Mattress Store

Honorable mentions:
Mattress firm
Mattress Warehouse

Montessori school: Montessori International Children’s House

Honorable mentions:
Acton Academy Annapolis
Chesapeake Montessori School

Place to buy seafood: Wild Country Seafood

Honorable mentions:
Arundel Seafood
Pasadena Seafood
Geresbeck’s Food Markets

Public school: Broadneck High

Honorable mentions:
Annapolis High
South River High
Monarch Academy Public Charter

Silver jewelry: Blanca Flor Silver Jewelry

Honorable mention:
Little Treasury Jewelers

Upper private school: Archbishop Spalding

Honorable mentions:
Key School
Severn School
Annapolis Area Christian

Best of Anne Arundel County 2024: Residents’ favorite people, places and organizations (2024)

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