All You Need to Know About I-97

Planning to commute between Baltimore and Annapolis? Here's all you need to know about I-97.
Written by Brenna Swanston
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jun 27, 2022
Interstate 97 runs 17.62 miles through the state of
. It is the country's second-shortest primary interstate highway.
The north end of I-97 is located in Brooklyn Park, just south of
. The southern terminus is in Parole, a suburb of
. Baltimore and Annapolis are the biggest metro areas in Maryland, and I-97 connects them.
Here with all you need to know about Interstate 97—including places to see and things to do—is
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What is an interstate highway?

Interstate highways connect large U.S. cities and typically run through more than one state. However, I-97 is not only confined to one state but also one county: Anne Arundel County in Maryland.
In most cases, interstates are numbered with one or two digits. Routes that run north to south are typically odd numbers (e.g., I-97), whereas those running east to west are even numbers. And if an interstate ends in zero or five, this usually indicates it’s a major highway.

What states does I-97 run through?

Most interstates run through multiple states, but I-97—which is less than 18 miles long total—is an exception.
A relatively unusual case, Interstate 97 only exists within Anne Arundel County in Maryland. Of primary interstate highways, only North Carolina's I-87 is shorter than I-97. 

Major interchanges on I-97

Seeing as I-97 connects Maryland's two largest cities, it’s helpful for commuters to be aware of which important exits they'll run into along the way. Major interchanges and connections along Interstate 97 include:
  • I-695, which runs through Baltimore, Towson, Key Bridge, and Dundalk
  • I-895 North (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
  • Highway 648, which runs through the Port of Baltimore and Ferndale

Best places to eat along I-97

If you're making the commute between Annapolis and Baltimore, you might want to stop for a bite to eat. Thankfully, there's no shortage of great restaurants just a short trip from I-97. Consider the following options:
  • Illusions Bar and Theater (Baltimore, MD): Looking for ambiance, entertainment, and maybe a drink? This bar and event space has a supremely sophisticated vibe. It also features a theater, with magic shows running on the weekends. Illusions is open from 7 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and 2 to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturdays.
  • Ruben's Tacos and Burritos (Baltimore, MD): If you're in the mood for something a bit more casual, this taqueria might be the right move. Enjoy some authentic Mexican food from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
  • Hook and Reel Cajun Seafood (Glen Burnie, MD): This restaurant offers a diverse menu that’s heavy on seafood. Reviews praise the attentive service and high-quality food. Hook and Reel is open from noon to 10 p.m.
  • Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurants (Annapolis, MD): Craving something a bit more contemporary? Enjoy house-label wines and New American cuisine at this upscale spot. Cooper’s is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill (Annapolis, MD): This is a chain restaurant featuring a lodge-like theme. It offers a large menu including steaks, seafood, and a creative wine list. Stop by between 11:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Pro Tip If you have any dietary preferences or restrictions, do your homework ahead of the commute. Check out the various restaurant menus, and make sure you choose a spot that offers dishes you can eat without worry.

What is there to do on I-97?

Interstate 97 might be short, but you can still take advantage of a few activities along the way:

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If you're a commuter on I-97, chances are you'll hit some city traffic. Traffic brings increased risks to your vehicle, and increased risks call for good car insurance. That's where
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