Originally named Church Street, the five-block-long Main Street lies between Church and Memorial Circles and was part
of the 1696 physical plan for Annapolis that was created by Governor Francis Nicholson.
He based his city and street design on baroque urban planning principles that were popular in Europe during the 17th century.
Read more: Main Street
Alex Haley Memorial at City Dock commemorates the arrival of Kunta Kinte, a young African from The Gambia, who, according to Alex Haley’s novel Roots, was sold into slavery in Annapolis. Haley’s research identifies the slave ship the Lord Ligonier, which sailed into Annapolis on September 29, 1767. Today, the Kunta Kinte – Alex Haley Memorial is believed to be the only memorial in the United States to commemorate the arrival of an enslaved African.
Annapolis, America’s Sailing Capital, is home to the U.S. Naval Academy with its 4,000-strong Brigade of Midshipmen.
Tours of The Yard begin at the Academy’s Armel-Leftwich Visitors Center.
Read more: U.S. Naval Academy
Maryland’s capital city boasts more 18th-century buildings than anywhere else in the country, including the homes of all
four Maryland signers of the Declaration of Independence.
William Paca’s home features the only two-acre 18th-century pleasure garden of its kind in the country.
The Hammond-Harwood House boasts the most beautiful doorway in America.
Read more: Historic Buildings
Annapolis is home to the oldest State House in continuous legislative use in the nation.
It was here that General George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army
in 1783 and Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War.
Read more: Maryland State House
The Banneker-Douglass Museum is the State’s official repository for African-American history
Read more: Museums
Boat cruises as well as trolley and Colonial walking tours provide informative overviews of the city.
Check out following:
Discover Annapolis Tours: Annapolis’s rich history comes to life during a one-hour narrated tour aboard an air conditioned trolley. Travel past 18th-century National Historic Landmark homes, City Dock, the U.S. Naval Academy, waterfront neighborhoods, and more. 410-626-6000.
Looking for a quick overview of Annapolis’s four centuries of history before you go out and explore the Museum without Walls that is Annapolis? Located across from City Dock, History Quest's films and exhibits highlight Annapolis’s rich history -- from the Revolutionary War, to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, to archaeology and the birth of the city’s preservation movement, to life in America’s Sailing Capital today. Free. 99 Main Street, Annapolis, MD 21401; 410-267-6656.
Travel through the mists of time to a forgotten age and tale of devotion, courage, and love. The show features heroic knights on spirited horsed, astounding athletic feats and thrilling sword play -- all against an exhilarating backdrop of brilliant lights and a sweeping new musical score. 7000 Arundel Mills Circle, Hanover, MD; 443-755-0011.
Bask on some of the Chesapeake Bay’s finest beaches, complete with picnic areas, lifeguards, and a snack shop; work for your dinner on the crabbing and fishing pier; catch the air while windsurfing the Chesapeake. 1100 E. College Parkway, Annapolis, MD; Tel. 410 974 2149. Fee.
Climb aboard the Sea Gypsy pirate ship and sail away in search of sunken treasures. Kids dressed up like pirates learn the rules of the sea and how to read a treasure map. When they retrieve a message from a bottle floating by, they discover that a rotten, smelly pirate lurks nearby. Then, it’s off to battle with the water cannons. 311 Third Street, Annapolis, MD; 410-263-0002.
Opportunities for shopping, boating, and exploring history and the rural countryside abound in Anne Arundel County. The county is home to Maryland’s largest, ongoing archaeological dig at Historic London Town and Gardens in Edgewater.
Popular sites in the county’s BWI Gatewa Community include:
one of the top three shopping attractions in the nation, Arundel Mills Mall (read more: Shopping);
the National Cryptologic Museum (read more: Museums); and the Benson-Hammond House (read more: Historic Buildings).
Southern Anne Arundel County is home to the Captain Salem Avery House Museum in Shady Side and the Heritage Museum in Galesville.
The best starting point for visitors is (as always) the official Annapolis Visitor Center:
26 West St, Annapolis, MD 21401 and seasonal a booth at the City Dock.