Located on the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis is a picturesque community with fine old buildings and scenic ocean views. As the state capital, Annapolis is also home to some of the best museums and historic sites in Maryland. Highlights include the US Naval Academy and its Academy Naval Museum, the Old Senate Chamber in the State House, the Governor’s Mansion, and the William Paca House and Gardens. The city also has a vibrant theater scene, some lovely parks and water sports opportunities, especially during the summer months.
1 William Paca House and Garden
This grand colonial era home was completed in 1765 for William Paca, a wealthy young planter who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. It has a 2-acre garden with five terraces, a fish-shaped pond and a wilderness garden. The William Paca House has two floors decorated with a collection of antique furniture, Paca family silver, and decorative arts. The property is a National Historic Landmark.
2 U.S. Naval Academy Museum
The US Naval Academy Museum was founded in 1845. It features exhibits related to naval history and the training of sailors and marines by the US Naval Academy.
Address: Maryland Avenue 118
Official site: https://www.usna.edu/homepage.php
3 Maryland State House
Steeped in history, the Maryland State House was once the capital of the US. It is the oldest state house still in continuous legal use. Construction of the building began in 1772 and was completed 7 years later. The State House’s wooden dome was completed in 1794, making it the oldest and oldest wooden dome of its kind in the United States. The interior of the original section of the Maryland State House is made of wood and plaster. The newer section, added between 1902 and 1906, has Italian marble walls and columns.
Address: 100 State Circle, United States
Official Site: https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdstatehouse/html/home.html
4 Maritime Museum of Annapolis
The Annapolis Maritime Museum is located on the banks of Back Creek in the last oyster packing plant to operate in Annapolis. It highlights the history of boat building and the local oyster industry. Annapolis depended on the supplies of all types of boats, from small craft to coastal vessels.
Exhibits include maps, photographs, and documents describing the area’s business and culture. Special exhibits feature various topics related to local maritime history.
Address: 723 Second Street
Official site: https://www.amaritime.org
5 Governor’s Mansion
Government House has been the official residence of the Governors of Maryland since 1870. Built in the style of the period, this Georgian-style mansion features portraits of Charles Willson Peale, one of America’s foremost portrait painters. There is also furniture by Potthast, prominent Baltimore furniture makers of the 19th century.
Address: State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, United States
Official Site: https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/homepage/html/govhouse.html
6 Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial
The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial marks the arrival location of Alex Haley’s African ancestor, Kunta Kinte, as told in the book “Roots”. The Memorial features a seated Alex Haley reading from a book to three children of different ethnic backgrounds.
Adres: City Dock
7 St John’s College
St John’s College’s original focus was the traditional liberal arts, but it switched to a classics-based curriculum. St. John’s College was chartered in 1784 and housed in a building completed in 1789. This building is now known as McDowell Hall, the third oldest academic building in continuous use.
Address: 60 College Avenue
Official Site: https://www.sjca.edu/
8 Thurgood Marshall Memorial
This memorial honors Thurgood Marshall, who in 1967 became the first African-American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. The memorial with the statue of Marshall is outside the Maryland State House.
Where to Stay in Annapolis for Sightseeing
We recommend these excellent Annapolis hotels near top attractions like the Maryland State House and the US Naval Academy Museum:
- Westin Annapolis: 4-star luxury green hotel, comfortable bed, indoor pool, Aveda spa free downtown shuttle.
- Loews Annapolis Hotel: mid-range pricing, great staff, modern decor, Keurig coffee maker, 24-hour gym.
- Historic Inns of Annapolis: 3.5-star historic hotel, great location, antique-style furnishings, valet parking, free coffee, and local shuttle service.
- Comfort Inn Annapolis: budget hotel, comfortable rooms, free hot breakfast, fitness center.
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