United States Naval Academy
Whether approaching by land or by sea, the beauty of the United States Naval Academy (USNA) warmly welcomes visitors to the city of Annapolis with its stunning campus, defining the Annapolis skyline. Established in 1845, this historical institution turns young men and women into brave officers serving our country in both the Navy and the Marines.
There are many unique sites and events related to the Naval Academy that are well worth exploring. A tour of the campus will provide much history and can be organized through the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center. Be sure to check out the unique gift shop while you are there and, if you time it correctly, you can see the midshipmen’s Noon Formation to give you a true taste of life as a midshipman. If you prefer, do a self-guided tour of the academy at your own pace. The U.S. Naval Academy Museum is a beautiful display of artifacts and the Naval Academy Chapel is a sight to behold with its impressive dome and colorful stained-glass windows. Underneath the chapel, you will find the crypt of naval hero John Paul Jones, lauded as the Father of the US Navy.
There is nothing like a Navy Football Game!
The Naval Academy participates in numerous sporting events that the public may attend. You will often find Annapolitans sporting blue and gold amongst a sea of midshipmen in their crisp uniforms, all cheering on Navy with great enthusiasm. With everything from big football games and tailgates at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, to the legendary Annapolis Cup croquet match (reminiscent of a scene from Great Gatsby) with neighboring St. John’s College, there is something for everyone. Check out USNA’s diverse sports and events schedule to find one that floats your boat.
The pomp and circumstance of the United States Naval Academy are truly something to behold. Image courtesy of the United States Naval Academy.
Graduation week, known as Commissioning Week, provides tangible energy to town right before Memorial Day. The week is full of fun events like the Herndon Monument climb in which plebes, having completed their first year at the academy, work together to ascend a 21-foot-tall lard-greased monument, trying to replace a plebe’s hat with an officer’s hat on top. It is the epitome of teamwork and perseverance. The Naval air show provided by the Blue Angels is a bit of a holiday in Annapolis, as many will take the day off and watch the show. Whether watching on land or by boat, the show is not to be missed.
The Blue Angels Air Show is a Commissioning Week highlight! Image courtesy of Mike Iserman.
The USNA is located in downtown Annapolis and is well worth a visit. It is the quintessential heartbeat of Annapolis as it exemplifies the energy and nautical history of our town.
Please visit the United Naval Academy website for further information on the Naval Academy and the current happenings around campus.
*Anyone 18+ years old must present a valid form of ID for admission into the USNA.