The United States Naval Academy is the No. 1 attraction in Annapolis. The campus is beautiful and pays homage to the naval branch of the military, while raising up the new generation. The free U.S. Naval Academy Museum offers a self-guided tour through US Navy history. The academy is located on the Annapolis harbor with pedestrian entrances on Randall and Prince George streets. Keep in mind that all visitors 18 years and older will need to show a government-issued identification card, driver's license or passport.
Main Street and City Dock are the historic heart of Annapolis, a vibrant 21st-century neighborhood with 18th-century charm. Dozens of unique, locally owned boutiques and specialty gift shops are tucked in between art galleries, pubs, restaurants and historic inns. Watch boats parade around the turning basin of "Ego Alley", shake out your sea legs aboard the tour boat Harbor Queen, visit historic landmarks, or take in the sunshine while sitting outside at one of several outdoor dining establishments. Don't forget to see the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial located at the heart of City Dock, built to celebrate the novel Roots.
The William Paca House is an 18th-century Georgian mansion. William Paca was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence and three-term Governor of Maryland. The house was built between 1763 and 1765 with architecture largely designed by Paca himself. The 2-acre walled garden, which includes a two-story summer house, has been restored to its original glory.
The museum is the official state repository for African American cultural materials and named for two famous Marylanders: Benjamin Banneker and Frederick Douglass. Inside, you'll find permanent exhibits highlighting the lives of slaves in Maryland, important Maryland turning points in the Civil Rights Movement, and highlights of important African American Marylanders like Matthew Henson, credited with discovering the North Pole with Admiral Robert Perry in 1909. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
The Annapolis Maritime Museum campus features a state-of-the-art 2,500 sq. ft. permanent exhibition space where visitors can discover the rich maritime heritage of Annapolis. The campus also features an art gallery, public docks, a small Bay-side beach park, and outdoor wooden boat exhibits. The museum is open to the public year-round.
Across the South River, about eight miles from downtown Annapolis, is Historic London Town and Gardens, a twenty-three-acre park featuring history, archaeology, and horticulture on the South River in Edgewater, Maryland. Part of the Four Rivers Heritage Area, this fascinating former merchant town combines history, archaeology, and horticulture. Learn about the history of the Chesapeake slave trade, walk through a historical house from 1760, and glimpse an active, ongoing archaeological investigation in search of the "lost town" of London. Roam an eight-acre Woodland Garden on a one-mile trail bursting with native plants. The seasonal Ornamental Gardens overlook the South River, a magnificent sight.