Dear Dr. Debbie,
We’re hosting some out-of-town guests for commissioning week and wanted suggestions of places to go for a wide mix of ages, from two-years-old to seventy.
Our children and some of the cousins have really enjoyed coming to Chesapeake Children’s Museum, but we wanted to add a couple of touristy-sites for relatives who are coming to Annapolis for the first time.
Family Tour Guide
Lots to choose from, especially for history buffs. Downtown Annapolis is very walkable, so be sure to take a fold-up stroller. I’ve added a few other tips to help your adventures accommodate the range of ages.
26 West Street and a kiosk at City Dock 410-280-0445
9am – 5pm Free admission.
The website is very informative with links to local attractions, including parks, and a calendar of events. Information specialists are ready to help plan your sightseeing in person or by phone.
Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park
723 Second Street 410-295-0104
11am – 3pm (Closed Mondays) Free admission.
Find out what it takes to be a Chesapeake Bay waterman in this converted dockside seafood packing plant. Indoor and outdoor exhibits including a historic workboat and a lighthouse.
84 Franklin Street 410-216-6180
10am – 4pm (Closed Mondays) Free admission.
Permanent exhibit about African-American history in Maryland from 1633 to the present. Lawrence Hurst, artist in residence, is exhibiting a fifty-year retrospective of his work. Verda’s Place pays tribute to the first African-American elected to the state senate.
19 Maryland Avenue 410-263-4683
12pm -5pm (Closed Tuesdays) Discounts for children and seniors.
Half-hour tours of this beautiful 1774 house and its famous collection of art, furniture and decorative pieces.
43 Pinckney Street
12pm – 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays only. Free admission.
Early 1800’s artifacts and replicas from the working class.
Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial
At the end of “Ego Alley” across from Market House. The statue of Alex Haley (author of Roots: an American Family Saga), attracts children with its warmth. This is the site of Kunta Kinte’s arrival from the Gambia. Although they’ll come begging, please don’t feed the ducks.
Note: it’s a very short walk from here to the Downtown Playground at Compromise St. and Newman St. This is a huge fenced-in area with swings, climbers, slides, and benches.
Maryland State House
100 State Circle 410-946-5000
9am – 5pm Free admission.
The building presents state and national history in paintings and exhibits while operating as the seat of state government. ID required for ages 21 and up. Special attraction for visitors low-to-the-ground (that two-year-old!) and amateur paleontologists: the marble floor contains many fossils!
Quiet Waters Park
600 Quiet Waters Road 410-222-1777
7am – dusk $6 per car. Free with military I.D. Free entrance for bicyclists and walkers. (Free nearby parking on Hillsmere Drive.)
The park’s 340 acres include paved trails, outdoor and indoor art exhibits, playground, picnic areas, and water views of the South River.
Paddle boat rentals on weekends: 410-271-7007.
St. John’s College – Mitchell Gallery
60 College Avenue 410-626-2556
12 pm – 5pm (Closed Mondays) Free admission.
Check website for current exhibit. The adjacent campus lawn is great for picnicking, bubble blowing, and Frisbee tossing. Established in 1696, this is the third oldest college in the United States.
Watermark: Annapolis Tours
410-268-7601 Scheduled and ticketed walking tours with colonial era guides and boat tours on the Severn River leaving from City Dock.
William Paca House & Garden
186 Prince George St. 410-990-4543
Monday-Saturday, 10am -5pm. Sundays 12-5 pm.
$10 full house tour featuring artifacts and replicas depicting the life of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and his family. $5 self-guided garden tour with rows and rows of plants to explore on the terraced grounds and a child-sized lattice-work bridge across a tiny creek.
What do you think? Email your comments or questions to Dr. Debbie at editor[at]chesapeakefamily.com.