Steeped in colonial history and home to the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland makes a fun and easy day trip from Washington, D.C., less than an hour’s drive away. Anyone interested in maritime cultures or American history will find plenty to do in Maryland’s capital, and the crab cakes, of course, can’t be beat.
Bring out your inner sailor at the Naval Academy for a guided tour and free film, or explore the Maryland Statehouse, once used for the Continental Congress, and now home to the Maryland State Legislature. Immerse yourself in Annapolis’ history at HistoryQuest, an orientation center with exhibits on Annapolis’ African American history, maritime heritage, and the Civil War. Or learn about seafaring history at the Annapolis Maritime Museum.
To glimpse early Annapolis life, visit the Benson-Hammond House, one of the last surviving farmhouses in the area. Bringing kids along? Then visit the Chesapeake Children’s Museum for exhibits, an interactive nature trail, and events.
Arts lovers will want to stop by Annapolis Pottery to watch potters at work, catch a performance at the Bay Theatre Company, or explore one of the many art galleries downtown. Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts is also a great place to visit. It houses artisan and dance studios, and regularly hosts symphony, ballet, and opera performances.
For a good overview of the city, take a Discover Annapolis tour. Visit the Annapolis Visitors Center at 26 West Street for one-hour trolley tours or at HistoryQuest at the waterfront for 40-minute trolley tours. These tours will show you the exterior of the Naval Academy, colonial mansions, the State House, the city dock, crossing bridges, and many boats on the waterfront. The schedules vary from week to week, so check the web site.
Prefer to go on foot? The Historic Annapolis Foundation Museum offers digital guides for self-led walking tours. Or you can get out on the water in a narrated boat tour of the harbor with Watermark Tours.
Directions: Driving from Washington, D.C., take US-50 East to MD 665 East.
For more information:
Discover Annapolis Tours
Annapolis Visitors Center
Historic Annapolis Foundation Museum
Annapolis Maritime Museum
Chesapeake Children’s Museum
Bay Theater Company
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts
Parking: Parking meter hours are 10am to 7:30pm seven days a week. Parking garages are also available for a fee.
Metrorail: No Metro