Annapolis, Maryland Visitors Guide

Maryland's State Capital and America's Sailing Capital

Annapolis, MD Aerial View

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Annapolis, the state capital of Maryland, is a beautiful historical seaport situated along the Chesapeake Bay. Annapolis is an easy day trip from Washington, DC. It is located in Anne Arundel County, approximately 32 miles from Washington and 26 miles from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The city boasts more 18th century buildings than anywhere else in the United States, including the homes of all four Maryland signers of the Declaration of Independence. Annapolis, Maryland is a fun place to explore, with lots of great museums, shopping, and restaurants.

Top Annapolis Attractions

Annapolis City Dock: Stroll along the Annapolis City Dock and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The Annapolis waterfront is known to local boaters as "Ego Alley" because it is the weekend and evening scene of a steady parade of expensive yachts. This is the main attraction for most visitors to Annapolis--shopping, dining and watching the boats saunter by.

United States Naval Academy: 121 Blake Road, Annapolis, MD (410) 293-8687. You can take a tour beginning at Armet-Leftwich Visitors Center. Highlights include the Ship-building Museum, Chapel, Herndon Monument, Crypt of John Paul Jones and the Statue of Tecumseh.

Annapolis Cruises: Take a sightseeing cruise on the Chesapeake Bay. Enjoy a one or two-hour cruise, a half or full day cruise or even a multi-day excursion aboard a variety of sailboats.

Annapolis Maritime Museum: 723 Second Street, Eastport, Annapolis, MD (410) 295-0104. The museum explores the maritime heritage of Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay with exhibits and live entertainment. Learn about the life of watermen and the seafood industry of yesteryear in the Bay Experience Center that is housed within the area's last remaining oyster packing plant. Board a boat and take a 1.5-mile trip out to the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. Tour the last remaining screw-pile lighthouse in its original location on the Chesapeake Bay.

Chesapeake Children's Museum: 25 Silopanna Road, Annapolis, MD (410) 990-1993. The hands-on museum features a ten-foot aquarium with native sea life, a "touchable" turtle tub, an earthen habitat for box turtles, and sundry other native and exotic species. Weather permitting, take a nature hike in the woodlands along the headwaters of Spa Creek.

Market House: 25 Market Place, Annapolis, MD. Since 1788 Market House has been open at City Dock offering a wide selection of foods, from crab cakes to homemade fudge to freshly baked bread to Italian pastries.

William Paca House and Garden: 186 Prince George Street, Annapolis, MD (410) 990-4538. Visit the restored home of William Paca, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Revolutionary-era Governor of Maryland. Guided tours are available and the beautiful garden can be rented for weddings and other special occasions.

Banneker-Douglass Museum: 84 Franklin Street, Annapolis, MD (410) 216-6180. This African American history museum displays artifacts and photographs documenting the history of Black life in Maryland. The museum was recently expanded adding an Annapolis Underground exhibit that explores the archaeology of African American life in Maryland’s capital city.

Maryland State House: 100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD (410) 974-3400. The Maryland State House is the oldest state house still in legislative use. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. The Maryland State House hosts the offices of the Maryland General Assembly, the Speaker of the House of Delegates and the President of the Senate, the Maryland Governor and Lt. Governor. The State House Visitors' Center is open daily for self-guided tours.

National Sailing Hall of Fame: 67-69 Prince George St. Annapolis, MD (877) 295-3022. This museum, just opened in May of 2006, explores the history of sailing and its impact on our culture, honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing. Exhibits display artifacts, works of art, literature, film photographs, and memorabilia related to sailing.

Charles Carroll House: 107 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, MD (410) 269-1737. This national historic landmark is the home of Charles Carroll, the first Attorney General of Maryland who settled in Annapolis in 1706. Open weekends only, June – September. Tours are available by request.

Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial: Annapolis City Dock. This memorial, located at the City Dock in Annapolis, commemorates the place that Alex Haley's African ancestor, Kunta Kinte, arrived in the New World. The Memorial is a sculpture depicting Alex Haley, author of the book “Roots,” reading to three children of different ethnic backgrounds.

Hammond-Harwood House: 19 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis, MD (410) 263-4683. The circa 1774 Anglo-Palladian masterpiece, built by English architect William Buckland, boasts one of finest collections of 18th-century decorative and fine arts. Children enjoy the colonial kitchen and herb garden as well as learning about the lives of the men, women, and children who lived in Maryland during the Golden Age of Annapolis.

Annapolis Restaurants: Dining by the Chesapeake Bay

Annapolis has dozens of restaurants featuring a wide range of cuisine. Most people visit Annapolis to eat steamed crabs and crab cakes, the specialty of the Chesapeake Bay. Some of Annapolis favorites include: