Things to do in Annapolis

About Annapolis

Venture to landmarks such as the historic Maryland State House, the prestigious United States Naval Academy, and enjoy the waterfront views at City Dock. These attractions are cornerstones of Annapolis's heritage and offer a window into the city's colonial and maritime history.
Families with children can have a blast exploring the Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake, gaining interactive learning experiences at the Annapolis Maritime Museum, and enjoying outdoor fun at the Sandy Point State Park, which caters to young adventurers.
Enjoy sailing or cruising on the Chesapeake Bay, walking along the scenic trails at Quiet Waters Park, or joining a historic walking tour to experience Annapolis's unique beauty and rich past out in the fresh air.
On days better spent indoors, visit the governor's mansion, explore the Banneker-Douglass Museum, or enjoy a theatrical performance at the Colonial Players Theater, each offering cultural enrichment away from the elements.
The best tours in Annapolis include those that blend the city's fascinating history and picturesque scenery, such as guided walks through the Historic District, sailing tours around the bay, and culinary excursions featuring local flavors.
The Annapolis Maritime Museum and Banneker-Douglass Museum are among the most visited, offering insights into the maritime traditions of the Chesapeake Bay and the rich history of African American heritage in Maryland.
Tours at the Maryland State Capitol and indoor historic house tours offer informative and dry alternatives during wet weather. These experiences provide insight into local culture and history without the need for an umbrella.
For those short on time, there are concise Annapolis tours, such as a quick visit to the Maryland State House, a brief guided walk through the Naval Academy, or a short yet informative boat tour along the city's waterways.

Best Things to Do In Annapolis

Discover enchanting destinations and activities with our guide on places to visit in Annapolis—your gateway to a memorable cultural vacation.

Annapolis: St. John's College

What is it?
A prestigious liberal arts college known for its Great Books curriculum and historic campus.
Why you should go?
Visitors keen on exploring educational landmarks will find St. John's College to be a haven of scholarly pursuits. Its picturesque grounds are among the best places to visit in Annapolis, offering a serene environment reflecting centuries of intellectual history. The college's significance is underlined by its Great Books program, which appeals to those passionate about philosophy, literature, and history. A guided audio tour can richly enhance the experience of walking through the college's storied paths.

Annapolis: Banneker-Douglass Museum

What is it?
Maryland's official state museum dedicated to African American history and culture.
Why you should go?
For a transformative cultural experience, the Banneker-Douglass Museum stands tall amid the things to do in Annapolis. It sheds light on African American struggles, contributions, and triumphs within Maryland. The museum is house in an historic church building and is an engaging educational resource. Its exhibitions and events offer a profound perspective on the African American narrative, making it an indispensable visit for those wishing to broaden their understanding and appreciation of American history.

Annapolis: Quiet Waters Park

What is it?
340 acres of serene parkland offering recreational activities and natural beauty.
Why you should go?
The aptly named Quiet Waters Park is a natural oasis, ideal for outdoor Annapolis activities. Filled with trails, scenic overlooks, playgrounds, and art installations, it's a place where nature and creativity merge. Whether one desires to kayak, cycle, or simply relax in a tranquil setting, this park provides an escape from the urban bustle. An audio guide of the park's flora, fauna, and artworks would enhance the visit for nature lovers and families alike.

Annapolis: Watermark Cruises and Tours

What is it?
A variety of water-based tours offering a different perspective of Annapolis from the Chesapeake Bay.
Why you should go?
For an invigorating experience, Watermark Cruises and Tours showcase the charm of Annapolis from its best vantage point: the water. From themed excursions to leisurely dinner cruises, these tours encapsulate the maritime essence of the city. Visitors can savor the panoramic views of the Naval Academy, historic homes, and the bustling City Dock. A narrated audio guide complements the journey, making for an educational and entertaining adventure.

Annapolis: Hammonds Lane Theatre

What is it?
A prominent performing arts venue hosting a variety of live theater productions and cultural events.
Why you should go?
The Hammonds Lane Theatre is a centerpiece of Annapolis's vibrant arts scene. Aspiring to both entertain and educate its audience, it showcases local and regional productions, including plays, musicals, and concerts. This theater offers a splendid night out for those interested in the performing arts and seeking an engaging cultural dimension to their visit. With a regular schedule of performances, it's easy to find a show that aligns with any itinerary.

Annapolis: Maryland State House

What is it?
A historical building and the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use.
Why you should go?
As one of the most important things to see in Annapolis, the Maryland State House holds a distinguished place in American history. Not only is it a prime example of Georgian architecture, but it also once served as the nation's capitol. Visitors should not miss the opportunity to stand in the very room where George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, a pivotal event that shaped the emergent United States.

Annapolis: United States Naval Academy

What is it?
A prestigious institution offering a glimpse into the naval and military traditions of America.
Why you should go?
For those contemplating what to see in Annapolis, the United States Naval Academy is an essential stop. Visitors can explore the stunning campus grounds, learn about naval warfare history at the museum, and pay respects at the crypt of John Paul Jones. Audio tours provide rich narratives, bringing the academy's significant role in educating officers for the Navy and Marine Corps to life.

Annapolis: Historic Annapolis

What is it?
The preserved core of Maryland’s capital, offering a journey through American history.
Why you should go?
Embarking on Annapolis activities isn't complete without meandering through Historic Annapolis. This area boasts a collection of 18th-century buildings, giving visitors an authentic feel for colonial America. Strolling through its streets with an audio guide, one uncovers the stories behind the brick facades, historic taverns, and the famed William Paca House and Garden—echoes of the city's rich past.

Annapolis: Annapolis City Dock

What is it?
A bustling harbor area known for its picturesque waterfront and lively atmosphere.
Why you should go?
The heartbeat of Annapolis, the City Dock is where the best things to do in Annapolis converge. Overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, it is the ideal spot for dining, shopping, and people-watching. Yachts and sailboats add to the scenic backdrop, while the occasional street performer brings the maritime spirit of Annapolis to life. An audio tour can guide listeners through historical events and current attractions, weaving the old with the new.

Annapolis: Annapolis Maritime Museum

What is it?
A museum dedicated to the area's maritime heritage, ecology, and community art.
Why you should go?
For an educational angle on things to do in Annapolis, the Annapolis Maritime Museum is not to be missed. Situated in the historic McNasby Oyster Company building, the museum offers insights into the Chesapeake Bay's oyster industry, the ecology of the bay, and the area's nautical history. The interactive exhibits and Oyster Wars displays are particularly enlightening, making this destination as educational as it is entertaining.

TOP-5 tours in Annapolis for first-time visitors

  • Explore the historic charm of the state capital with an "Annapolis tours" audio guide, diving into a city rich with American legacy and waterfront scenery.
  • Find out what to do in Annapolis with a focus on the United States Naval Academy, an institution steeped in prestige and maritime tradition.
  • Engage in fun things to do in Annapolis by following an audio path through the cobbled streets, vibrant local markets, and colonial homes.
  • Experience the best Annapolis tours that reveal hidden gems and lesser-known stories of the city's centuries-old maritime heritage.
  • Join Annapolis excursions through the audio guide featuring the majestic Maryland State House and surrounding historic district's architectural wonders.

Fun Things to Do in Annapolis with Kids

From interactive historical experiences to engaging outdoor adventures, Annapolis offers a plethora of activities tailored for families. Begin with a trip to the Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake, where young buccaneers can embark on a thrilling voyage along the Annapolis harbor, engaging in treasure hunts and water cannon battles. For a more subdued yet equally captivating outing, the Annapolis Maritime Museum provides little explorers with a hands-on look at the city's seafaring past, complete with touch tanks and exhibits on local wildlife. To cap off a day of adventure, Sandy Point State Park invites families to relax by the Chesapeake Bay's sandy shores, enjoy picnics, and dip their toes in the calm bay waters. Whether opting for spirited pirate escapades or serene beachside leisure, families will find that Annapolis excursions offer varied and delightful experiences for children of all ages.

Things to Do in Annapolis with Family

Annapolis is brimming with activities that families can enjoy together, ensuring every trip is filled with education and entertainment. First, explore the historic Annapolis Harbor on a family-friendly Annapolis tours that delve into the area's rich maritime history; children can learn about colonial times and nautical adventures, making it an experience that combines fun with learning. Next, make a stop at the Annapolis Ice Cream Company, where everyone can savor a delicious, handcrafted treat—a perfect break between sightseeing. Lastly, a visit to Quiet Waters Park lets families immerse themselves in nature. The park's playgrounds, picnic areas, and canoe rentals allow for quality family time set against the backdrop of the beautiful local scenery. Each of these Annapolis activities guarantees precious memories and enjoyable moments for visitors of all ages.

Free Things to Do in Annapolis

Experiencing the charm of Annapolis doesn't have to come with a price tag. Stroll through the United States Naval Academy, where the grandeur of military tradition is accessible to the public. Visitors can walk the grounds and marvel at the architecture and monuments that pay homage to naval heroes. For art enthusiasts, the First Sunday Arts Festival, held monthly, transforms the historic streets into a vibrant arts district teeming with live music, street performers, and artisanal crafts—all free to peruse. Additionally, the Maryland State House is open to visitors who wish to delve into America’s past, offering self-guided tours where one can admire the historic building’s design and discover its role in U.S. history. These free things to do in Annapolis activities not only save on expenses but also enrich the visit with cultural and educational experiences.

Cheap Things to Do in Annapolis

Annapolis offers a treasure trove of activities that are easy on the wallet yet rich in experience. Begin your journey at the Annapolis City Dock, where you can revel in the charm of the waterfront. Enjoy people-watching, see boats cruise by, and soak in the historical ambiance without spending a cent. Next, visit the Maryland State House, which intrigues with its significant role in American history and stunning architecture at a minimal cost. This is an excellent chance to educate and entertain simultaneously with insights into the legacy of one of the oldest government buildings in use. Lastly, absorb the natural beauty of Jonas Green State Park. Offering stunning views of the Severn River, picnic spots, and fishing opportunities, it makes for an idyllic and affordable day out in Annapolis, perfect for visitors of all ages looking to explore the outdoors.

Things to Do in Annapolis for Couples

Annapolis, with its quaint charm and romantic ambiance, is a wonderful destination for couples. Start your visit with a leisurely stroll along the cobblestone streets of Historic Annapolis, where you can explore cozy cafes and boutique shops. For those seeking a touch of nature, a sunset sail on the Chesapeake Bay offers an unforgettable experience; grasp the tranquil beauty of the water while enjoying the shared serenity of the sail. Art-loving couples will appreciate the myriad of galleries and exhibitions at the Annapolis Arts District. This location presents a cultural journey through local artistry where pairs can find inspiration and even take home a shared piece of Annapolis. Together, these activities create memorable and intimate experiences, solidifying Annapolis as an idyllic getaway for lovebirds.

Things to do in Annapolis at Night

Annapolis transforms as the sun sets, offering a variety of nighttime activities that cater to different interests. Begin the evening by catching a live performance at Rams Head On Stage, an intimate venue known for hosting a diverse array of artists and bands. Music enthusiasts will find this spot an essential visit for a memorable night out. Following the rhythm of the city, take a moonlit stroll through the historic streets around the Maryland State House, where the city's rich past whispers in the night air, and the buildings bask in a soft, ethereal glow. Cap off the twilight hours at City Dock, where the reflective waters of the harbor pair beautifully with the ambient lighting of dockside restaurants and bars. Enjoy a romantic dinner, or simply unwind with a nightcap by the water’s edge, making the most of Annapolis’s evening charm.