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. While planning your visit to Annapolis, you may have realized there are many things to do and might wonder where to begin. We hope this list inspires you so that you can journey through Annapolis, discovering the past and the present and the beautiful Chesapeake Bay along the way.


an aerial view of historic Annapolis and the Naval Academy Chapel with the Severn River behind it.
Explore all 7+ square miles of Annapolis, Maryland, with this list of top things to do!

U.S. Naval Academy

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 second lieutenants in the 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. 


Naval Academy
Bancroft Hall at Naval Academy. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.


Maryland State House

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. 


A view of the Maryland State House through an alley
The Maryland State House.


William Paca House & Garden 

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. Its Georgian-style architecture and interior have been restored to their original beauty, and guests are invited to tour the lavish home. A 2-acre walled garden is located in the backyard, creating a serene break from the bustling of the city. 


a view of a garden at William Paca House and Garden

18th-century pleasure garden at the William Paca House. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.


Trolley Tour with Towne Transport 

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.


a red trolley
Join the Annapolis Trolley Tour; pick is at the Visitor Center, 26 West Street, Annapolis, MD.


Banneker-Douglass Museum  

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.


A father and son celebrate Black History month with a visit to the Banneker Douglass Museum.
Visit the rotating exhibits at this state museum dedicated to African American history, heritage, and culture.


Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial  

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.


a sunrise photo of the Kunta Kinte Alex Haley Memorial at Annapolis City Dock
Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial at sunset on City Dock. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. 

Annapolis Maritime Museum and Park

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. 


Boats and oyster dredging tools at the Annapolis Maritime Museum
Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park, Eastport, MD.


Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

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
Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. 

Hammond-Harwood House

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. 


Hammond Harwood House
A visit to this Anglo-Paladian mansion on Maryland Avenue is a must, celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2024.


Museum of Historic Annapolis  

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.


Museum of Historic Annapolis brick building
Learn at the Museum of Historic Annapolis. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. 


City Dock

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.


People and Boats at City Dock
City Dock and Ego Alley, Annapolis, MD.


Main Street

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. 


Main Street
Shops and restaurants line Main Street. Image courtesy of Jeff Voigt Photography.

Watermark Tours

1 Dock Street, Annapolis, MD 21401 

Watermark offers Annapolis visitors an impressive range of boat tours that provide leisure and an intriguing history of 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.  


watermark journeys
Board the Harbor Queen for a perfect day on the Bay!


Reynolds Tavern  

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.  


Reynolds Tavern
Tables set inside historic Reynolds Tavern. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.


Ghost Tours with Tours & Crawls Annapolis

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. 


Annapolis Tours & Crawls Ghost Tour gathers in front of a haunted site
Meet at the Maryland Inn for a spooky tour around town!


Chase-Lloyd House

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.


The Chase Lloyd House front facade.
Outside view of the Chase-Lloyd house. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. 

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra

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. They also put on an outdoor concert and Quiet Water's Park each summer!


people on a grassy hill in front of an outdoor ampitheatre for a concert
Visit the outdoor symphony concert this summer.


Mission Escape Rooms

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.


Mission Escape Rooms - Once Upon a Crime room

"Once Upon a Crime" at Mission Escape Rooms. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.


Rams Head On Stage

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 black man in a blazer plays a guitar and sings into a microphone

A band performing live at Rams Head on Stage. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. 

Annapolis Ice Cream Company 

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. 


A boy and his dog sitting on a bench eating ice cream
Enjoy a treat with your kids and a pup cup for your furry friends!


GameOn Bar+Arcade

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, as well as 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. 


An old school arcade with skee ball and stolls

Skeeball and hangout spot at GameOn. Image courtesy of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. 

Charles Caroll House

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. 


a brick house with a white portico porch
Visit the Charles Carrol House on the grounds of historic St. Mary's Church.


Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Visitors Center

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 who 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. 


Visitor center exterior

Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Visitor Center building on West Street. Image courtesy of Bob Peterson.


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. 


Thurgood Marshall Statue

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.