Founded in the mid 17th century, capital of Maryland since 1695, Annapolis was the first peacetime capital of the United States (1783-84). Since 1845, it has been the home of the United States Naval Academy.
The United States Department of the Interior has designated the entire downtown section of Annapolis as a Historic District. This distinctive honor was awarded in recognition of the role Annapolis played in the founding of our Nation, coupled with the fact that it has preserved so many of its landmarks and retains so much of its historic atmosphere and charm. Annapolis remains a living, vibrant city, with distinguished architecture spanning three hundred years.
Internationally famous as a yachting center, Annapolis has been a port of call for the watermen of the Chesapeake Bay for generations. The Harbor affords sailing and powerboat cruises, an excellent way to view the nautical scene. The Dock area offers a variety of restaurants, including the restored Market House. Shops, galleries and additional eateries line Main Street.
Special events abound in Annapolis. The Summer Garden Theater offers starlit entertainment Thursday through Sunday evenings during the warmer months. October brings the United States Sailboat and Powerboat Shows to town. The Christmas Season comes alive with holiday festivities through November and December. May Day ( May 1 ) welcomes Spring with traditional flower baskets hung throughout the Historic District. Museum houses sponsor special programs and presentations yearround. In addition to tours of the Historic District and Naval Academy, Annapolis Tours by Watermark offers group meal arrangements, museum house tours, Ghost Tours and Tavern Suppers.
Anne Arundel County, surrounding Annapolis, presents a multitude of interesting sights and things to do, including golf courses, beaches, marinas, and miles of scenic countryside and farmland. Each autumn, Sandy Point State Park hosts the Maryland Seafood Festival, offering delicious bounty from the Bay, and Chesapeake Appreciation Days, a salute to Maryland's maritime heritage. The County is also home to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, a rollicking celebration of medieval times.