MARS Restoration has been serving the Southern Maryland area for over 30 years, and we may be biased, but this place is the best. From museums to parks to historical landmarks, there are so many fun things to do in Annapolis.
Locals and tourists alike can enjoy all that Maryland has to offer by visiting any (or all) of these top spots! Check out our favorite things to do in town, and see why we love it here so much.
1. HISTORIC LONDON TOWN AND GARDENS
Annapolis boasts several historic sites, including the Historic London Town and Gardens. Sitting on 23 acres of land, it includes a museum, a visitor center, reconstructions of historic buildings, and extensive walking gardens. You can join a scheduled walking tour, wander the grounds on your own, or attend one of their special events and programs held throughout the year.
Established in 1863, London Town served as the original county seat and was an influential early site in establishing trade in the area. Its growth lasted for about a century until tobacco inspection was moved to other ports, leading to a decline in the local economy.
The site is also home to the William Brown House, the only original building surviving on the site. Built first as a tavern and community meeting place, it also spent time as an almshouse before becoming the museum it is today.
2. BANNEKER-DOUGLASS MUSEUM
The Banneker-Douglass Museum serves as Maryland’s official African-American heritage museum. The museum is named after Benjamin Banneker and Frederick Douglass, two prominent Maryland-born men who advocated for the abolition of slavery. It’s housed within the former Mount Moriah African Methodist Episcopal Church, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and officially became the museum in 1984.
The museum’s permanent exhibit explores the history of African Americans in Maryland, and it also hosts many temporary exhibits showcasing various aspects of African American history and culture.
3. CHESAPEAKE BAY BRIDGE
At 4.3 miles long, this bridge was the longest steel structure to cross over water when it was built. It’s a feat of engineering and a sight to behold. Don’t try to cross during inclement weather, though; it’s been closed several times throughout its history to keep drivers from going out in perilous conditions.
4. KUNTA KINTE-ALEX HALEY MEMORIAL
Across the water from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, next to the Annapolis City Dock, stands the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial, the only memorial of its kind in the nation.
Dedicated to Kunta Kinte, ancestor of Roots author Alex Haley, the memorial observes his name and place of arrival in America as an enslaved African. The memorial includes a sculpture of Alex Haley reading to children, a Story Wall with plaques displaying excerpts from Haley’s book, and a Compass Rose showing a world map.
An estimated one million people visit this powerful memorial every year, which is meant to promote Haley’s vision of national racial reconciliation and to stress the importance of knowing and honoring your family history.
5. OTHER HISTORIC SITES IN ANNAPOLIS
In addition to the ones already listed, Annapolis has several other historic attractions right in the heart of downtown. If you love historic sites and museums but don’t want to drive all over the city to find them, this area of Annapolis is for you.
The Hammond-Harwood House belonged to a tobacco planter in the 18th century and now serves as a museum of architecture and fine art from the time period. William Paca was a governor of Maryland and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the William Paca House and Gardens give contemporary visitors a glimpse into the life of his family and other upper-class households of the time. The Chase-Lloyd House was also first owned by a signer of the Declaration, and today it is a museum and a shining example of Georgian architecture.
6. THOMAS POINT SHOAL LIGHTHOUSE
The Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is the last of its kind in the United States to remain standing on its original foundation and is still active to this day. Boat tours depart for the lighthouse every Saturday from the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Visitors can tour the inside of the building, discover the history of this National Historic Landmark, and learn how lighthouse keepers lived throughout the centuries. Space on the tours is extremely limited, so get there early if you want to save your seat!
7. US NAVAL ACADEMY
Any day trip to Annapolis would be incomplete without a visit to the US Naval Academy. This prestigious school graduates around 1,000 students each year who go on to become officers in the US Navy. While most of the campus is not accessible to the public, the grounds do host the US Naval Academy Museum, the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center, and the Naval Academy Chapel which are all regularly open to visitors.
8. PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH FARMER’S MARKET
If you’re in the shopping mood, head down to the Pennsylvania Dutch Farmer’s Market (also known as the Amish market) to purchase some of the highest-quality produce, baked goods, and other items produced by the Amish of Lancaster County.
The Market is only open Thursday through Saturday, so it’s a must-visit on a weekend trip to Annapolis. While you’re there, take some time to explore the other businesses located in the Annapolis Harbor Center!
CREATE YOUR OWN LIST OF THINGS TO DO IN ANNAPOLIS
There are so many things to do in Maryland’s capital city that this list is just the beginning! From the city center to the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, you’re sure to want to visit again and again.
While you focus on planning your next trip to Annapolis, let MARS Restoration handle your next roofing project. We’ll take care of you every step of the way, from inspection through completion of the project. In fact, most of our roofing projects can be completed in one day. By the time you’re back from your Annapolis adventure, your new roof will be ready and waiting!
Ready to get started? Contact us today to set up your free inspection!