There are also innumerable attractions close at hand in the areas near Annapolis (both Baltimore and Washington, DC are close neighbors of Annapolis.)
Baltimore is easy to reach on Greyhound and MTA (#210) buses from Annapolis. By road Annapolis is only about half an hour from Washington (via US-50) or Baltimore (via I-97). Both neighboring cities have excellent public transportation.
84 Franklin St Off the south side of Church Circle
Tues-Fri 10-3, Sat noon-4
Named after two prominent local African-American residents, Benjamin Banneker and Frederick Douglass, this museum presents arts and crafts, exhibits, lectures, and films, designed to portray the historical life and cultural experiences of African-Americans in Maryland. The site was formerly the Old Mount Moriah African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Charles Carroll House
107 Duke of Gloucester St Behind St. Mary's Church at Spa Creek
Mar-Dec Fri noon-4, Sat 10-2, Sun noon-4; Tues-Thurs tours by appointment
Closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Dec 24, and Dec 25
Built in 1721 and 1722, and enlarged in 1770, this is the birthplace and dwelling of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the one Roman Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence. It sits on high ground overlooking Spa Creek, a block from City Dock. Visitors can tour the house plus the 18th-century terraced boxwood gardens and a 19th-century wine cellar. The Charles Carroll House hosts several public programs throughout the year. Recent programs have included mother-daughter high teas, an 18th-century dress workshop, a celtic music concert on the terraced lawns, and a candlelight Christmas dinner.
Chesapeake Marine Tours
City Dock at the foot of Main Street
A variety of cruises are offered, weather permitting, aboard one of five vessels.
Day on the Bay Cruise
A 7.5 hour tour on the Annapolis II, passes local landmarks including the Naval Academy, a Victorian lighthouse and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum across the bay in the restored fishing village of St. Michaels. There is a 3 hour stop for lunch and sightseeing.
Annapolis Harbor Tour
A 40 minute cruise of Annapolis Harbor and the Severn River.
Spa Creek Tour
A 40 minute cruise of Annapolis harbor, past the US Naval Academy, and the residential areas of Spa Creek.
90 Minute Cruises
Tour the Severn River, Chesapeake Bay bridges, or Thomas Point Lighthouse.
Discover Annapolis Tours
26 West Street
Daily: April-Nov.; Rest of the year: Sat., Sun.
Telephone for departure hours
Closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving Day, and Dec. 25.
A one hour narrated bus tour which introduces passengers to three centuries of local history, architecture, folklore, etc. The tours pass through residential areas, the waterfront, a section of the US Naval Academy, and around the State House and the governor’s house.
two blocks west of the State House at 19 Maryland Ave, off King George Street
Mon–Sat 10–4, Sun noon–4. Closed Jan 1, Thanksgiving, and Dec 25
Built in 1774, this house is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the United States. The warm redbrick Palladian villa, which consists of two symmetrical wings connected by a central hall, was built in 1774 to the designs of William Buckland. It is an outstanding example of the Maryland five-part plan that connects the central main section of the house by hyphens to semioctagonal wings. Famous for its center doorway of tall Ionic columns, the interior is a showcase of decorative arts and paintings, as well as ornamentation and wood carvings. The house is named for its original owners: Mathias Hammond, a Maryland member of the Provincial Assembly, and the Harwood family, who owned the house before it became a museum. A photo exhibit documents various aspects of the house from the 1920s to the present.
Helen Avalynne Tawes Garden
580 Taylor Street at the Tawes State Office Building across from Navy Stadium
Access on weekdays is through the State Office Building. Holiday access is between the Court of Appeals and the Department of Natural Resources buildings.
Guided tours by reservation. A booklet is available for self-guided tours.
A five acre, barrier free botanical garden featuring representations of the state’s natural environmental communities, from the forested mountains of western Maryland to the sand dunes of the Eastern Shore. Shallow ponds support wildlife such as bullfrogs, ducks, fish, songbirds, and turtles.
Maryland State House
Mon-Fri 9-5, Sat-Sun 10-4; tours daily 11am and 3pm
Closed Jan 1, Thanksgiving, and Dec 25
Located in the center of Annapolis, this is the oldest U.S. capitol in continuous legislative use. It was built between 1772 and 1779. The building also served as the U.S. capitol from November 26, 1783, to August 13, 1784. Inside the Old Senate Chamber, George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental armies at the end of the Revolutionary War. This was also the place in which the Treaty of Paris was signed in which England acknowledged the independence of their former colonies in this country.
The dome of the building is made of cypress beams and is held together by wooden pegs. The State House contains exhibits that depict life in Annapolis in colonial times. There are free 30-minute guided tours at 11am and 3pm that emanate from the visitor center on the first floor.
Also on the grounds of the State House is the cottage-sized Old Treasury Building, built in 1735 to hold colonial Maryland’s currency reserves.
William Paca House and Garden
186 Prince George St
Mar-Dec Mon-Sat 10-4, Sun noon-4; Jan-Feb Fri-Sat 10-4, Sun noon-4.
Closed Thanksgiving, Dec 24, and Dec 25
Admission Charged to tour house and to tour garden. A combination package covering both the house and the garden is available.
Among the great historic residences in Annapolis is this former home of William Paca, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a governor of Maryland during the Revolutionary period. Built between 1763 and 1765, and restored by Historic Annapolis from 1965 to 1976, it is a five-part structure, with a central block, hyphens (much smaller sections each consisting of a hallway and small rooms) and wings. It contains a total of 37 rooms. Behind the Paca estate is a two acre garden consisting of five elegant terraces, a fish-shaped pond, a Chinese Chippendale bridge, a summer house, and a wilderness garden.
Tobacco Prise House
4 Pinkney St
This pastel 18th century building is a colonial tobacco warehouse that now presents tours explaining the handling and storage of tobacco leaves.
18 Pinkney St
Built in 1715 as a tavern, this building now is now a small museum of Annapolis history, with an herb garden in the rear containing assorted medicinal plants grown in colonial times.
St. Anne’s Church (Episcopal)
The third church on the site since the parish was founded in 1692. King William III presented the communion silver in 1695. The St. Anne’s Memorial Window by Tiffany & Co. won first prize for ecclesiastical art at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
St. John’s College
60 College Avenue
King George Street
The school was chartered in 1784 and offered a traditional liberal arts education until 1937 when it adopted a curriculum based on a study of the classics. Francis Scott Key was one of its students.
The Elizabeth Meyers Mitchell Gallery on campus displays changing exhibits during the academic year. The gallery is open Tues.-Sat. noon-5.
U.S. Naval Academy*
52 King George St
(see note below)
Founded in 1845, this national historic site is the U.S. Navy's undergraduate professional college, spread over 338 acres along the Chesapeake Bay and Severn River on the eastern edge of town.
Among the attractions on the academy grounds are the chapel and crypt of John Paul Jones and the U.S. Naval Academy Museum in Preble Hall, which contains collections of nautical relics, paintings, ship models, and other historic items.
At noon formation (held in Tecumseh Court at 12:05pm Monday through Friday), all the midshipmen line up and are accounted for before marching in for the noon meal. Commissioning Week, usually the week of the last Wednesday in May, is a colorful time of full-dress parades.
* Unfortunately, at this time, US Naval Academy public tours have been suspended and the grounds closed to all pedestrians and vehicles without US Defense Department identification and authorization.
London Town House and Gardens
839 Londontown Rd Edgewater
Take Rte. 50 to Rte. 655 (exit 22), then take Rte. 2 south, over the South River Bridge. Turn left on Mayo Rd., then left on Londontown Rd
Mar-Nov Tues-Sat 10-4, Sun noon-4
house tours by appointment
Just south of Annapolis, across the South River is the 1760s Georgian home of William Brown. This is the only remaining structure from what was once a bustling trade town called London Town that rivaled Annapolis in size and importance. The London Town Foundation, in conjunction with Anne Arundel County, has begun the archaeological task of unearthing the 23 acres around the William Brown House and rebuilding the lost town. Meanwhile, the house is open to visitors. The 8-acre woodland gardens, and the dig sites are also open to the public on a limited schedule. On the third Saturday of each month from March through October, when archaeologists are on-site, visitors can participate in the digging, as well as tour the gardens and the house. The foundation’s goal is to educate the public regarding about the social history of the town and the history of the times. Education about the process of restoration and excavation is included in their aims.
Pusser’s Landing at the Annapolis Marriott Waterfront Hotel
800 Comprise Street
Tues-Sun. 11,1:30, and 4. Mon. at 6:30, from May 1-end of Sept. Call for Fall schedule.
A replica of classic early 20th century yachts, this 48 passenger vessel is outfitted with mahogany woodwork and gleaming chrome. Two hour cruises cover a tour of the Annapolis harbor, waterfront views of the US Naval Academy, and a trip up the Severn River.