Annapolis is a charming city located on the shore of the breathtaking Chesapeake Bay in the US state of Maryland. It is the capital of the state of Maryland. There are a total of 50 states in the United States today, meaning that there are 50 state capitals.
Out of the 50 state capitals, Annapolis is the closest state capital to the nation’s capital, being only around 32 miles away. Here are some things to do in Annapolis, Maryland, Washington DC’s closest state capital.
Maryland State House
The Maryland State House is located on State Circle in Annapolis. The Maryland State House is the state capitol building. So, the building houses the Maryland state legislature as well as the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor. This is the oldest state capitol that is still in use today.
In fact, construction of the state capitol began in 1772, although it wasn’t completed until 1797 due to the American Revolutionary War. The beautiful state capitol is of the brick Georgian architectural style. The state capitol has a wooden dome. This is the largest wooden dome in the US to be built without nails. The building is surrounded by beautiful landscaping in a circle.
The state capitol was also used by the US Congress when Annapolis was a temporary capital of the United States from November 1783 to August 1784. It was there that the US Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris that formally ended the American Revolutionary War. The state capitol was also used for the US District Court for the District of Maryland during the first decade of the court’s existence from 1789 to 1799.
US Naval Academy
The US Naval Academy is located on Blake Road in Annapolis. The academy sits on what was once home to Fort Severn. It is one of the five US service academies. This academy is primarily used to educate the brave men and women in order to be used in various roles in the navy and marine branches of the US military. There are public tours available for visitors to tour the beautiful campus.
During your tour of the academy, you will be given an opportunity to visit and learn about some of the most notable places within the academy. These include, but are not limited to, Bancroft Hall, Main Chapel, Parade Ground, Tecumseh Court, the Wright Flyer in Dahlgren Hall, and Foremast of the USS Maine. The tours will start at the Armel – Leftwich Visitor Center.
The price for the tour is about $30 per person and comes with a free souvenir postcard book. There is also an onsite gift shop at the academy where you can buy souvenirs.
Downtown Annapolis is brimming with 17th and 18th century charm. The downtown area sits on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and the Severn River. Annapolis’ downtown is home to some of the finest 17th and 18th century buildings in the country, many of which are open to the public.
The downtown area is lined with old brick sidewalks like these on Main Street from St. Anne’s Parish to the Chesapeake Bay shore and the streets surrounding the Maryland State House. There are many compelling restaurants to choose from. One restaurant that is worth mentioning is Dock Street Bar & Grill. This is a restaurant that is known to serve the famed crab cakes of which Annapolis is renowned for.
These crab cakes are sourced from the Chesapeake Bay. The historic building that houses Dock Street Bar & Grill, once housed the city jail. Restaurants in the downtown area are usually found on Dock Street, Main Street, and Market Space. There are also many charming shops to check out in the downtown area.
During your time downtown, you can also head over to the City Dock section facing the Chesapeake Bay. You can relax on the seawall and watch the sailboat races as they head towards the harbor. Annapolis is nicknamed “America’s Sailing Capital” for a reason. If you prefer to, you can check out the regular boats as they cruise along Annapolis’ famous Ego Alley.
These are some things to do in Annapolis, Maryland which is Washington, DC’s closest state capital. Annapolis itself was under consideration to be made the permanent capital of the United States when the nation declared its independence.
But, it was ultimately decided to build a whole new city about 32 miles to the west in order to serve as the national capital. That all new city would come to be known today as Washington, DC.
If you are interested in exploring Annapolis as a part of a guided tour, you may want to consider booking the Small-Group Explore the Heart of Annapolis Tour. This guided tour is provided by Urban Adventures. The price will be $29 per person for the guided tour.
Hotels To Stay At
If you are looking for a hotel to stay overnight at in this charming state capital, I have got you covered here. Here are the two hotels that I would suggest you to book with.
The Westin Annapolis
This hotel is located on Westgate Circle in downtown Annapolis. This hotel offers breakfast, but there is a fee of $15 or $20 in order to access it. There is an onsite restaurant at this hotel called Azure. There is an indoor heated lap swimming pool at the hotel. There is also a fitness center at the hotel that you can use 24 hours per day.
Some hotel rooms and suites will offer a scenic view of downtown Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay. All of the hotel’s rooms and suites offer WiFi and coffee makers. There is also a fireplace in the rooms and suites at this hotel. The average rate for a standard room at this hotel range from $168 to $496. Be aware that you may also pay fees to access certain amenities like breakfast and WiFi.
Historic Inns of Annapolis
This hotel is located on State Circle in downtown Annapolis, just across from the Maryland State House. This hotel is technically divided into three sub-hotels across three historic brick buildings. The first sub-hotel is the Maryland Inn which was popular with statesmen, governors, and colonial and revolutionary war persona during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The second sub-hotel is the Governor Calvert House. This sub-hotel dates back to 1695 when it was the home to a prominent local family until the American Revolution. This includes Maryland’s colonial governor, Benedict Leonard Calvert who once lived and worked there from 1727 to 1731.
Today, this sub-hotel is popular with state legislators, given the fact that it is across the street from the Maryland State House. The third sub-hotel is the Robert Johnson House. This sub-hotel was once home to the Johnson family who were prominent city and state government officials from 1770 to 1880. The overall hotel has a 18th century feel to it with its decor and antique furnishings.
There is no onsite restaurants at this hotel. So, whenever you get hungry, there is obviously plenty of restaurants nearby. A few examples include Harry Browne’s Restaurant, Galway Bay, and Osteria 177. There is an onsite bar called Drummer’s Lot Pub at the hotel. There is a complimentary coffee service available at this hotel. The hotel also has a 24-hour fitness center available for you to use.
Some of the hotel rooms and suites have fireplaces in them. As I mentioned in this section of the post, this hotel has an overall 18th century feel to it. This applies to all of the rooms and suites. There is also WiFi available in all the rooms and suites. The average rate for a standard room range from $97 to $181.
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