Welcome to the historic city of Annapolis, Maryland! Listed below are the top 25 things to do in the city, according to the many visitors who filter through our Visitors Center each year.
This city is a captivating destination that exudes charm through its history as one of America's oldest cities and former capital of the United States. Its blend of colonial history, maritime heritage, culinary excellence, and art scene captures the hearts of visitors worldwide. Planning your visit to Annapolis, you may have realized there are many things to do and question where to start. We hope this list makes your trip a little more manageable so that you can journey through Annapolis, where every moment is filled with discovery!
26 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Kick off your trip by visiting the Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Visitors Center, where you will be met with knowledgeable information specialists that will guide you through the history of Annapolis and offer recommendations for your itinerary. Conveniently, a visitor center booth at City Dock with the same trained volunteers will assist you in your adventures in Annapolis.
Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Visitor Center building on West Street. Image courtesy of Bob Peterson.
Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center: 52 King George Street, Annapolis, MD 21402
Founded by George Bancroft in 1845, the United States Naval Academy is home to thousands of midshipmen training to become officers in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Filled with immense history and architectural beauty, visitors can tour The Yard by walking or hopping on a five-passenger electric vehicle. The USNA museum is also on-site at Preble Hall, offering two floors of exhibits about the history of seapower and the U.S. Navy.
Bancroft Hall at Naval Academy. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401
Visit the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use by walking along the marble corridors where George Washington resigned from the Continental Army and look up at the largest wooden dome constructed without nails in the U.S. Take a self-guided tour to learn about how Annapolis used to be the capital of the U.S. and other facts that may surprise you.
186 Prince George Street, Annapolis, Annapolis, MD 21401
A National Historic Landmark, the William Paca House offers visitors a glimpse into the wealthy colonial lifestyle that lawyer, governor, and Declaration signer William Paca and his family indulged in. Georgian-style architecture and interior have been restored to their original beauty and welcomes guests to the lavish home. A 2-acre walled garden is located in the backyard, creating a serene break from the bustling of the city.
18th-century pleasure garden at the William Paca House. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
Depart: 26 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Enjoy a 60-minute tour of historic Annapolis aboard one of Towne Transport’s air-conditioned red trolleys! Along the route, visitors can admire and learn about various century-old Georgian-style homes and other points of interest in Annapolis like the colonial seaport, state capital, county seat, sailing center, and the home of the United States Naval Academy.
84 Franklin Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Operated by the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, the Banneker-Douglass Museum is the state's official Museum of African American Heritage. The museum is located in a historic church formally known as Mt. Moriah African Methodist Episcopal Church. Here, visitors are immersed in African American history with its permanent exhibit, “Deep Roots, Rising Waters: A Celebration of African Americans in Maryland,” along with temporary exhibits.
City Dock, Annapolis, MD 21401
Located in City Dock, The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial pays tribute to Alex Haley and his ancestor, Kunta Kinte, which Haley had discovered through stories told by his grandparents. Through storytelling, Haley determined that Kinte was a survivor of the slave trade who landed in Annapolis and was sold into slavery at 17. When Haley learned of his history, he wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Roots which follows Kinte's journey. Now, a bronze statue of Haley reading his book to children remains as a permanent memorial to commemorate Alex Haley and Kunta Kinte for many years to come.
Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial at sunset on City Dock. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
723 Second Street Annapolis, MD 21403
The Annapolis Maritime Museum is located in a historic water-front oyster packing plant formally known as McNasby Oyster Company. The museum’s mission is to educate and inform visitors about the enormous ecological wealth and history of the Chesapeake Bay through interactive exhibits, environmental programs, camps, and community events.
Thomas Point Shoal, Annapolis, MD 21403
This historic lighthouse is situated in the Chesapeake Bay and is the most recognized lighthouse in the state. Constructed in 1875, it is the only screw-pile lighthouse in the bay that stands strongly as a reminder of an old era in maritime history. Visitors can schedule a boat tour to the lighthouse, where they can tour the inside of the structure and learn about the fascinating history of lighthouses and the keepers who lived in them.
Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
19 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21401
This estate was built for tobacco planter and Anne Arundel native Matthias Hammond, who sold the house to Jeremiah Towne Chase and then passed it to Chase's daughter. The architecture is a five-part Anglo-Palladian mansion that is known to contain some of the best woodcarving and plasterwork in America. Visitors can partake in a guided tour or a self-guided tour through educational exhibits and Hammond-Harwood Garden.
99 Main Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
This Museum is located steps away from City Dock and introduces visitors to the cities through its current exhibits Annapolis: An American Story and Summer’s Legacy: Preserving the Beaches, which follow the history and preservation of several historically Black waterfronts.
Learn at the Museum of Historic Annapolis. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
Dock Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
City Dock has been an important staple in Annapolis and Chesapeake Bay history for at least 350 years. Today, it is the heart of Annapolis and is home to bay-side restaurants, boat tours, and shopping. Visitors can watch boats slowly turn around at Ego Alley, a narrow waterway in City Dock where boatowners parade their expensive yachts. Conveniently, Main Street is only a few steps away.
Main Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Located in Historic Downtown Annapolis, Main Street is a lively strip that houses an assortment of everything Annapolis has to offer. Lined with well-preserved historic architecture, many shops settle in this sought-after location. There are plenty of shops, restaurants, and art galleries to check out that will satisfy everyone.
Shops and restaurants line Main Street. Image courtesy of Jeff Voigt Photography.
1 Dock Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Watermark offers Annapolis visitors an impressive range of boat tours that provide leisure as well as an intriguing history of the Chesapeake Bay. Popular cruises include the Annapolis Harbor & USNA tour, Spa Creek Cruise, Chesapeake Bay Bridge cruise, and more that are suitable for the whole family to enjoy. Watermark’s boats also have a bar serving drinks and light snacks on board, as well as a restroom, and most are handicap-accessible and temperature controlled.
7 Church Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401
The Reynolds Tavern is an enchanting building with a rich history that dates back to the 18th century. The building was constructed by hatter and dry goods salesman William Reynolds in 1747. Many businesses have operated inside, but many historic features remain as they were hundreds of years ago. Today, the Tavern is a unique dining experience that offers afternoon English Tea, lunch, dinner, a beer garden, and a full-service pub.
Tables set inside historic Reynolds Tavern. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
16 Church Circle, Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Locally owned and operated for over 20 years, Tours & Crawls has been serving visitors and locals with spooky ghost tours that highlight Annapolis' dark history and the many haunted sites that the historic town holds. Take a 90-minute walking tour or join a haunted pub crawl tour offering alcoholic spirits with...spirits. Pub crawl tours visit 3-4 haunted bars, giving visitors 20-30 minutes at each location.
22 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21401
One of the first three-story brick houses to be built in the 13 colonies, the Chase-Lloyd House was built in 1769 by Samuel Chase, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The house was passed down to a relative named Hester Anne Chase, who then left the house to her nieces, who then turned the home into a home for elderly women in 1888. While the house no longer operates as a living facility, the main floor and garden are available for the public to tour.
Outside view of the Chase-Lloyd house. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
An anchor in Annapolis for the past 60 years, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra aims to inspire, educate, and enrich the public by providing extraordinary musical experiences. The orchestra is composed of 70 professional union musicians who perform music for all ages.
40 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Mission Escape Rooms has four different rooms that range in difficulty and are perfect for beginners or experienced problem solvers. Explore their new escape room titled "Battleship," where you and your fellow sailors are under attack and need to defend your ship. There are three other escape rooms titled "The Legend of Sasquatch," "The Bureau.," and "Once Upon a Crime." No matter which room you choose, an unforgettable, puzzling experience awaits.
"Once Upon a Crime" at Mission Escape Rooms. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
33 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Rams Head On Stage is the top club with under 500 seats in the world! The venue hosts talent from all over the globe, including lots of musical artists from different genres. Rams Head On Stage also has dining options in the venue itself, and the Rams Head Tavern is located directly next to the building. Check out their current calendar of events here.
A band performing live at Rams Head on Stage. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
196 Main Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
For 19 straight years, the Annapolis Ice Cream Company has consistently won "Best Ice Cream in Annapolis," and their hand-crafted ice cream definitely reflects the award. The store in Annapolis makes its ice cream on-site, creating premium, homemade ice cream using only the finest ingredients.
144 West St, Annapolis, MD 21401
A newer addition to the city, GameOn is a unique mix of bar and arcade. There are many games to play, including skeeball, giant Jenga, Foosball, and several pinball games. There are also a ton of classic arcade games like PAC-Man and Tetris but also more recent games like Fast and Furious and Mortal Kombat 3. Of course, tasty drinks are served from the bar, including their very own 21+ Capri Sun.
Skeeball and hangout spot at GameOn. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
107 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Once inhabited by Charles Caroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence and the only Catholic man to do so, the house contains more than 300 years of history and three generations for the public to view. Gain insight on Maryland and American history by partaking in public or private tours that take visitors inside the Caroll's home, as well as their extensive gardens.
Thurgood Marshall Memorial, Lawyer's Mall
100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401 (outside of the Maryland State House)
Civil rights leader and Maryland Native Thurgood Marshall became the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court. In his 24 years of service, Marshall is best known for the Brown v. Board of Education case that ended racial segregation in American public schools. This memorial is a stunning tribute to commemorate Marshall's legacy as a lawyer, jurist, and influential leader of the civil rights movement.
The Statue of Thurgood Marshall stands outside of the State House. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
For Top Attractions just outside the city in Anne Arundel County, scroll through the blogs below.