Annapolis is a laid-back place of narrow cobblestone streets, 18th-century brick buildings and colonial mansions and a proud naval heritage. Although now home to many high-tech industries, the city has retained its historic charm.

Situated on the south bank of the Severn River, the state capital of Maryland has been the center of marine activities for years. It’s a port and the site of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Annapolis was founded in 1649 by Puritan settlers and renamed Annapolis in 1694 after Princess Anne of Denmark and Norway. For 9 months between 1783 and 1784 it served as the nation’s first peacetime capital after the American Revolutionary War.

Make City Dock your first port of call. It’s the heart of the city’s waterfront. Walk along the promenade to view the boats, peruse the shops and dine in the restaurants and bars. Walk on the dock to see the memorial of Kunta Kinte’s arrival from Africa in 1767. His story was told in Alex Haley’s novel Roots.

The U.S. Naval Academy was founded here in 1845. Within its walls future naval officers undergo 4 years of training. Take a guided tour of the grounds where you’ll learn about the history of the academy and its traditions. Visit the U.S. Naval Academy History Museum and view medals, swords and multimedia presentations that chart the history of sea power and the development of the U.S. Navy.

Gain further insights into Annapolis’s history at Maryland State House, the oldest state house in the United States that’s still in legislative use. Stop by Chase-Lloyd House, the Georgian brick mansion that was constructed for Samuel Chase, one of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence.

Annapolis is the gateway to Chesapeake Bay, and its shoreline is dotted with marinas. Get out on the water with a day cruise or charter your own boat. You can also rent canoes, kayaks and pedal boats. If you don’t want to get on the water you can enjoy it from land by watching one of the sailing races. From the end of April to early September there are sailboat races every Wednesday night. More than 150 boats sail around several markers in the bay before heading for the finish in front of the Annapolis Yacht Club.

Annapolis is less than an hour’s drive from Washington D.C. and is a popular daytrip destination for visitors to the nation’s capital.

Known for

Shopping, Dining and Universities

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Where to stay in Annapolis

Historic District
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Historic District

Historic District is a neighborhood that welcomes all visitors.

Arundel on the Bay
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Trover photo by KaiG

Arundel on the Bay

Arundel on the Bay is a neighborhood that welcomes all visitors.

West Annapolis
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Trover photo by Eric Mondres

West Annapolis

West Annapolis is a welcoming neighborhood.

Oyster Harbor
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Trover photo by KaiG

Oyster Harbor

Oyster Harbor is a neighborhood that welcomes all visitors.

Hillsmere
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Hillsmere

Hillsmere is a neighborhood that welcomes all visitors.

Top Hotels in Annapolis

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
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Crowne Plaza Annapolis
3.5 out of 5
173 Jennifer Rd, Annapolis
$87/night
Aug 15 - Aug 16
4.1/5Very Good! (1,558 reviews)

"The entire property was great, except the pool. Not very clear, not sure if the right chemicals were in."…"

Reviewed on Jul 16, 2019

Crowne Plaza Annapolis
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Hotel Annapolis
4 out of 5
126 West St, Annapolis
$91/night
Aug 18 - Aug 19
4.4/5Excellent! (1,291 reviews)

"We loved the room decor and the bed was very comfortable. Wished we could have stayed longer. The only downside was having to constantly track down the valet guy."…"

Reviewed on Jul 15, 2019

Hotel Annapolis
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Historic Inns of Annapolis
3.5 out of 5
58 State Circle, Annapolis
$131/night
Jul 29 - Jul 30
4.2/5Excellent! (1,619 reviews)

"Decor was lovely. Room was comfortable. Location is great."…"

Reviewed on Jul 17, 2019

Historic Inns of Annapolis

Popular things to do in Annapolis

U.S. Naval Academy
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U.S. Naval Academy

See where future generations of Navy and Marine Corps officers are trained at this historic federal service academy within a former fort in Annapolis harbor.

Maryland State House
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Maryland State House

Appreciate the superb architecture and fascinating history of America’s first peacetime capitol and the oldest state capitol still in legislative use.

William Paca House
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William Paca House

Learn about the life and explore the historic home of 18th-century lawyer and signer of the Declaration of Independence, William Paca.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge
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Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Attempt the nerve-racking drive across this long and notoriously scary bridge, which provides fabulous views of Chesapeake Bay for passengers. 

Sandy Point State Park
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Sandy Point State Park

Sunbathe on the beach, enjoy unrivaled views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and go hiking, swimming, fishing and boating in this vast park. 

Maryland Quiet Waters Park
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Maryland Quiet Waters Park

Stroll along miles of trails through grassy parkland, hardwood forests and riverfront promenades and check out the visitor center at this pretty park.

Top activities in Annapolis

Small-Group Original Annapolis Seafood Crawl
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Small-Group Original Annapolis Seafood Crawl

$59

Explore the historic harbor, colonial architecture, and luxury boat scene of Annapolis an Eastport on this tour of America's sailing capital. Eat seafood, dig into delicious local seafood specialties, and hear naval tales of Chesapeake Bay.

Small-Group Explore the Heart of Annapolis Tour
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Small-Group Explore the Heart of Annapolis Tour

$29

Discover the heart of waterfront Annapolis on this guided tour, taking in its colonial-era architecture, revolutionary sites, and maritime ambiance aboard a comfortable and sustainable eCruiser.

New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
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New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

$35

Discover New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, via a highly enjoyable double-decker bus tour. You'll have unlimited access to 18 bus stops for your chosen time period, seeing everything the city has to offer on your sightseeing adventure.

Washington, D.C. Day Trip from New York
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Washington, D.C. Day Trip from New York

$169

Take a day trip out of the city to soak up the history and architecture of another East Coast metropolis—Washington, D.C. Check out the monuments and memorials of the National Mall, see the White House, and dive into the fascinating exhibits at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Washington DC Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
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Washington DC Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

$50

Jump on a double-decker bus to explore Washington, D.C. at your leisure. As the authorized concessionaire of the National Park Service, this is the official tour of the National Mall and an ideal way to explore the Nation’s Capital.

DC Hop On-Off Tour + Arlington Cemetery Tour + Water Taxi
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DC Hop On-Off Tour + Arlington Cemetery Tour + Water Taxi

$49

Named “Washington's Best Tour” by the Washingtonian Magazine, the Old Town Trolley offers the most comprehensive tour of the Nation's Capitol. Sit back while expert tour guides help you discover the beauty and majesty of Washington D.C.

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Trover photo by Matthew Brickel