ENJOY A GUIDED TOUR OF THE US NAVAL ACADEMY
The U.S. Naval Academy, in downtown Annapolis, Md., has history, architecture and a plethora of blooming trees and flowers in spring. Founded in 1845, the academy today is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in the naval service.
More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. The best way to see
this historic landmark is to take a guided walking tour from the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center, located inside Gate 1 (King George Street) of the academy.
The Visitor Center has an 84-seat theater which shows a free film, “The Call to Serve.” In addition, there are exhibits about USNA Graduates in Space and John Paul Jones, who is buried beneath the USNA Main Chapel. Visitors see an original Dahlgren boat howitzer; a model of the USS Maryland; the original figurehead off the USS Delaware, from which the statue of Tecumseh was caste; and a wall of fun facts about the U.S. Naval Academy and its history.
Also located in the Visitor Center is a sample midshipmen room, for those who don’t have time to take the walking tour.
Visitors are greeted at the Visitor Center by information specialists who answer questions, sell tour tickets and direct people to the Drydock Restaurant. Located in Dahlgren
Hall, just above the Drydock, is a replica of the Wright aeroplane that the Navy officially designated as U.S. Navy Aeroplane No. B-1. This year is the anniversary of the B-1’s
first flight in Annapolis in 1911.
After seeing the sights and taking time for lunch in the Drydock Restaurant in Dahlgren Hall, one can shop at the Naval Academy Gift Shop for memorabilia, videos, books, art prints, gifts and clothing for men, women and children. The Gift Shop is located on the first floor of the Visitor Center. Proceeds from the sale of tours and merchandise benefit the Brigade of Midshipmen.
The Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; tours are given daily. Guided walking tours are $9.50 adults, $8.50 seniors 62+ and $7.50 students 1st through 12th
grades. Pre-school children are free. Only vehicles with DoD stickers and handicapped tags are permitted on Academy grounds; all visitors 16 and older must have a photo ID
to enter the grounds. Extended parking is available in the Hillman Garage on Main Street and at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Rowe Blvd.
For more information, visit the Visitor Center website
at www.navyonline.com or call 410-293-8687. For information on other attractions in Annapolis, go online