United States Naval Academy#1 in Best Things To Do in Annapolis
Price & Hours
The United States Naval Academy is the No. 1 attraction in Annapolis. The campus is beautiful and pays homage to the naval branch of the military, even while it raises up the new generation. The "noon meal formation," where the midshipmen march in formation, is a must-see as well, and it's held weather permitting. In the free U.S. Naval Academy Museum, you can take a self-guided tour through the navy's history. But recent visitors highly recommend taking advantage of the guided walking tour of the campus — not only will you gain insight into naval history, but you'll also learn about the academy's Beaux-Arts architecture and landscaping.
The Naval Academy is also known for its music department. Throughout the year, multiple choral and instrumental ensembles, including the Naval Academy Band, put on performances that are open to the public. Check the website before your visit to purchase tickets.
One recent visitor raves about the U.S. Naval Academy, saying: "Bancroft Hall is a must see for architecture alone! The fairly new on-campus museum is excellent. Be sure to find the waterfront for [a] photo op of the bay dotted with sailboats."
The academy is located on the Annapolis harbor, and you'll find pedestrian entrances on Randall and Prince George streets. Keep in mind that all visitors 18 years and older will need to show a government-issued identification card; international visitors will need their passports. Guided public tours cost $10.50 per adult; $9.50 for seniors and $8.50 for children. From March through December, the U.S. Naval Academy is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In January and February, the academy is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the website.
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#2 Banneker-Douglass Museum
Although the Banneker-Douglass Museum is small, it's loaded with history. It's named for the black scientist Benjamin Banneker and black social crusader Frederick Douglass. Both of these men were involved with the fight against slavery during the Civil War era, and the museum does a good job of telling their stories. The museum is housed in the former Mount Moriah African Methodist Episcopal Church, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Visitors to the museum say it presents a well curated overview of African American history in Maryland, and the staff is more than happy to tell the stories of lesser known figures who influenced the Annapolis and Baltimore communities. A TripAdvisor user, who calls the museum "a great learning experience," makes a suggestion: "Be sure to see the mosaic made from the glass that was saved from the windows that were broken during the Civil Rights Movement."
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