The historic Maryland State House, built in 1772, is the oldest state capital building in the United States still in legislative use. The Maryland State House was the first peacetime capitol of the United States. The Continental Congress met in the Old Senate Chamber from November of 1783 to August of 1784. George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army on December 23rd, 1783 in the Old Senate Chamber. A well known painting by Edwin White, commemorating this event, hangs in the State House.
The State House is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the weekends. Free walk-in tours of the first floor are usually given at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. each day. You can also look around on your own. The Senate and House of Delegates chambers are pretty impressive and there is a restored version of the Victorian Era House of Delegates chamber that is really beautiful. The adjacent Old Treasury building, built between 1735 and 1737, is the oldest public building in Maryland. In 1949, the state restored the building and it is now open to the public for viewing.
United States Naval Academy Visitor Center and Museum. The center is located at the foot of King George Street, next to the City Dock, inside Gate One. The Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center features interactive exhibits, pictorial displays, a theater showing the award-winning film, To Lead and to Serve, and an extensive gift shop and convenient snack bar.
The Historic Annapolis Foundation Museum Store and Welcome Center is located at 77 Main Street in an historic building. The Foundation owns the William Paca House and Gardens. The home of William Paca, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a governor of Maryland during the Revolutionary period and constructed between 1763 and 1765, the house stands today as one of the most impressive of Annapolis’s restored eighteenth-century mansions. The house and gardens are open for tours daily during the spring, summer, and fall, and on the weekends during the off-season.
The Chesapeake Children’s Museum is located at 25 Silopanna Road. Children’s Museum exhibits include the bay window with live aquatic and land-living animals representing regional wildlife and the watermen exhibits in which visitors climb aboard a ten-foot boat and dock to act out their own watermen scenes.
The Banneker-Douglass Museum of African-American Life and History, named for Benjamin Banneker and Frederick Douglass, houses a collection of artifacts and photographs relevant to African-American life in Maryland, African and African American art, historical documents, and rare books. The Banneker-Douglass Museum is located in the old Mount Moriah A.M.E. Church at 84 Franklin Street.
Hammond-Harwood House, 1774. Located at the corner of King George Street and Maryland Avenue. This house museum has one of the finest collections of decorative and fine arts in Maryland. Open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5:00 p.m. April through October and most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays noon to 4:00 p.m. November through March.
Cross Spa Creek to the community of Eastport and visit the Annapolis Maritime Museum. The museum is located on the banks of Back Creek in the Barge House (at the end of 2nd street). The Barge House is reputed to be one of three barges that were brought onto land at Bayshore Drive. The barges were renovated as houses, characteristic of the type built in Eastport between the 1890s and 1930s. The Barge House is now the home to an extensive collection of photographs and artifacts related to the maritime and cultural history of the area.
Historic London Town and Gardens is a 23 acre park located on the South River in Edgewater, Maryland. The park includes part of the late-seventeenth and early eighteenth-century town of London, which is currently being excavated by archaeologists.
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