As you walk along the quaint, brick-laid streets of Annapolis, you will experience her rich architectural past. In fact, Maryland’s capital city boasts more surviving 18th-century buildings than any other city in America.
Maryland's four signers of the Declaration of Independence all had homes in Annapolis at one time and three of them are open to the public today.
Historic homes open for tour in Annapolis include: William Paca House & Garden (186 Prince George Street, Annapolis, near State Circle), Chase-Lloyd House (22 Maryland Ave, Annapolis), Charles Carroll House (107 Duke Of Gloucester St, Annapolis), and Hammond-Harwood House (19 Maryland Ave, Annapolis).
Historic buildings open to the public in Annapolis include:
Maryland State House,
U.S. Naval Academy Chapel,
Annapolis Maritime Museum in Eastport,
St. Anne's Episcopal Church;
Banneker-Douglass Museum, housed in the historic Mt. Moriah Church,
and History Quest.
See also: 'must-see', top attractions and Museums
Visitors are also invited to explore historic buildings located throughout Anne Arundel County. The Benson-Hammond House (ca. 7101 Aviation Blvd, Linthicum, MD 21090), located near Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Northern Anne Arundel County, is a 19th-century farmhouse and home to the Anne Arundel County Historical Society.
Today, as in the past, the rhythm of life in Southern Anne Arundel County moves to the tides and the seasons. Maritime villages such as Deale, Galesville, and Mayo invite visitors to escape to a simpler time.
Individuals can experience the life of a 19th-century waterman at the Captain Salem Avery House Museum (1418 E West Shady Side Rd, Shady Side, MD 20764) in Shady Side.
See also: Museums. Three-hundred-fifty years of the history of a historic waterman’s village and surrounding community are on display at the Carrie Weedon House, home of the Galesville Heritage Society. See Heritage Museum: Museums
Historic London Town & Gardens (839 Londontown Rd, Edgewater, MD, Tel. (410) 222-1919) in Edgewater is the site of one of Anne Arundel County's first colonial settlements and home to the largest ongoing archaeological dig in Maryland. The William Brown House is open for tours Tuesday through Sunday.
Visit an 1830s farmhouse and learn what it was like to live on a truck farm in the days when refrigerated trucks carried fruits and vegetables from farm to market. See the picker’s checks that workers used like cash to buy what they needed. The headquarters of the Ann Arrundell County Historical Society is home to an international doll collection featuring dozens of dolls from around the world. Located at Aviation Boulevard and Andover Road, Linthicum, MD 21090; Tel. 410-768-9518.
Explore the history and aquatic life of the Chesapeake Bay at a restored 1860s waterman’s home. Our family-friendly house tours take you on a journey back in time to experience how a rural fishing family would have lived 150 years ago. Costumed interpreters are often accompanied by elementary school-age junior docents who give our young guests the opportunity to experience history through the enthusiasm of their peers. Following the house tour, kids head to the pier where they can hoist up an oyster cage and learn about the live shrimp, shellfish, worms, fish, and crabs they find inside. Free. 1814 East West Shady Side Road, Shady Side, MD 20764; 410-867-4486.
Learn about the life and times of the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence as you tour his partially restored 18th-century home and terraced gardens overlooking Spa Creek. 107 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, MD 21401; 410-269-1737.
The circa 1774 Anglo-Palladian masterpiece features the most beautiful doorway in America. Built by English architect William Buckland, the house boasts one of America’s 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. 19 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21401; 410-263-4683.
Learn about tavern life in a major 18th-century seaport town with a visit to the National Historic Landmark William Brown House. Discover native and imported medicinal plants in the Richard Hill Garden, and give your legs a workout by strolling London Town’s eight-acre woodland garden.
Talk to archaeologists at work rediscovering the lost Town of London in the largest ongoing archaeological dig in Maryland. Watch as workmen recreate a town using materials and tools that would have been used in the late 17th-and early 18th-centuries.
During special events at London Town, you can hearth cook your own meal over the fire in the circa 1710 Lord Mayor’s Tenement using period recipes and ingredients; play colonial games and learn about 18th-century medicine; try your hand at colonial carpentry, and help fire a cannon; live, work, and play as a colonial child; dip your own candles; and throw tomahawks. 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater, MD 21037; 410-222-1919
Stroll the two-acre 18th-century pleasure garden of Declaration of Independence signer William Paca. Learn about the family members and slaves who once inhabited the National Historic Landmark home. Daily tours and year-round events bring our nation’s heritage to life for children of all ages year-round. 186 Prince George Street, Annapolis, MD 21401; 410-990-4538.