There’s a broad area that stretches from Sandy Point State Park at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, through southern Anne Arundel County, to Rose Haven at the Calvert County line. Fill in that expanse with well over a dozen special landmarks—each representative of Maryland's rich historic, cultural, and natural legacy—and you begin to get a strong sense of Four Rivers, designated one of Maryland’s proud state heritage areas.
The symbolic label means that the region is recognized as possessing cultural, natural, and historical resources that are worth preserving and showcasing. Visit any one of the landmarks within Four Rivers for a peak into our state’s fascinating heritage. Here’s a sampling of the sites within Four Rivers that you can explore on your next visit:
Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse
This beautiful structure, circa 1875, stands strong in the Chesapeake Bay and is one of only a small number of lighthouses on the National Historic Landmarks. You may have seen it from shore or by boat, but it’s also possible to tour the interior of this, one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States. Listen to an experienced lighthouse docent discuss its history, the life of a keeper in the early days and the role of our modern-day Coast Guard. Tours leave from the Annapolis Maritime Museum regularly during the summer season.
Annapolis Maritime Museum
What better setting than the waterfront of Back Creek to learn about the celebrated oyster and its role in shaping the history and the maritime culture of Annapolis? Learn how to harvest oysters, climb aboard a locally built workboat, or wade into one of the only public beaches in Annapolis. An 850-gallon oyster tank in the museum gives visitors an up-close view of these critical life forms. The museum is located at 723 Second Street, in the Annapolis neighborhood of Eastport. Come for a visit or to enjoy one of the lively events held at the museum throughout the year.
Historic London Town and Gardens
Experience this twenty-three acre park on the South River in Edgewater, a gem of a resource featuring a fascinating blend of history, archaeology, and horticulture. There’s the William Brown House, which you can enter and learn how the inhabitants of this national landmark, circa 1760, lived and played some 350 years ago. For contrast, also stand inside a reconstructed tenement house and see how the average family of the 1700s lived. In this simple abode of just a few rooms, you might find an open fire burning, dried herbs hung above it, and very little else adorning it. While you’re here, catch a glimpse of Maryland's largest ongoing archaeological investigation, where remains of the "lost town" of London have been found. Then, wander through the ten-acre Woodland Gardens. Even in hot summer months, breezes from the South River and a canopy of lush trees and plants (native and exotic) keep this meandering, one-mile trail feeling refreshingly moderate. Peer onto the river from the overlook bordering the garden. Lastly, take in 13,000 years of Maryland history at London Town's impressive Visitor Center, with a permanent exhibit, Discover London Town, and gift shop.
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Four Rivers - Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County
Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County offers an extraordinary wealth of historic, cultural, and natural re...
Historic London Town & Gardens
Visit a "lost" colonial port town and wander a garden sanctuary on the South River. Experience history, archaeology, and horticulture at th...
Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse
Come on in... That's right, now you can come inside this historic structure! You’ve seen it in pictures, viewed it from shore, maybe boat...