Annapolis, Maryland, the historic seaport situated along the Chesapeake Bay, has lots of fun things to do and is an interesting place to explore. It is one of the most scenic towns in the Mid-Atlantic region and has a variety of museums and historic sites as well as great shopping, restaurants and special events. The following is a guide to the top things to do in Annapolis.
For additional information, see A Visitors Guide to Annapolis
Home of the 4,000-strong brigade of midshipmen, the Naval Academy in Annapolis is the training ground for officers of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Guided tours begin at the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center. Don’t miss the newly renovated chapel and its massive pipe organ. The Naval Academy Museum features more than 50,000 artifacts and is home to the famous Gallery of Ships. A visit to the U.S. Naval Academy is a “must see” – one of the top things to do in Annapolis.
Annapolis is America’s sailing capital and a great place to get out on the Chesapeake Bay. Don't have a boat of your own? Take a sightseeing cruise. Enjoy a one or two hour cruise, a half or full day cruise or even a multi-day excursion aboard a variety of boats.
Restaurants serving Maryland’s famous blue crabs dot the 400 miles of shoreline throughout Anne Arundel County. Favorites like Mike’s Restaurant and Crab House, Cantler’s Riverside Inn, Skipper’s Pier, and others help contribute to the claim that some 3.9 million crabs are cracked here each year. The Annapolis Rotary Crab Feast held at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium the first Friday in August each year is recognized as the largest crab feast in the world.
Explore historic Annapolis on an electric eCruiser and take in the sites, architecture and panoramic water views. Discover the charm of the city on a small group tour. Learn about the oldest, continually running state house in the United States; the significance of the United States Naval Academy; the lesser known St. John's College and more.
Guided tours begin at the State House Visitors' Center and are given upon request when arriving at the Visitors' Center. Learn about the rich and historic past of the oldest state capitol still in continuous legislative use.
6. Enjoy a Free Concert or Festival
On a weekend, be sure to catch the Summer at City Dock performances that bring street performers and musicians to the Annapolis waterfront every Sunday from noon until 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays on holiday weekends. Every First Sunday of the month from May through October, a First Sunday Arts Festival takes place on the first block of West Street from Church Circle to Calvert Street. During the noon to 5:00 p.m. celebrations, craft vendors, artists, musical acts and street performers gather to celebrate the arts. Other major Annapolis events held throughout the year include:
- Annapolis Sailboat and Powerboat Shows
- Blue Angels Air Show
- Fourth of July Fireworks
- Maryland Seafood Festival
- Christmas Events
- New Year's Annapolis
More than 130 sailboats race through shimmering waters around several marks in the Chesapeake Bay and return to Spa Creek for a finish in front of the Annapolis Yacht Club. Races begin the final Wednesday in April and run through the second Wednesday in September. The first gun is at 6:05 p.m.
Enjoy a fun, environmentally-friendly afternoon on the water on a ten-passenger Duffy electric boat. Board a climate-controlled, 22’ Duffy at the Chart House Restaurant pier at 300 Second Street in Eastport. No boating experience is necessary. This is a really fun thing to do with a group of friends or family.
Cycle throughout the Annapolis Historic District aboard an electric bike equipped with high efficiency electric motors. The state-of-the-art vehicles are easy to ride and require only as much effort as you want to put into your ride.
The museum explores the maritime heritage of Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay with exhibits and live entertainment. Learn about the life of watermen and the seafood industry of yesteryear in the Bay Experience Center that is housed within the area's last remaining oyster packing plant. Board a boat and take a 1.5 mile trip out to the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. Tour the last remaining screw-pile lighthouse in its original location on the Chesapeake Bay.