Visiting the Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy, located in Annapolis, Maryland is the undergraduate university of the Naval Service. Students at the Naval Academy are referred to by their military rank of “midshipmen.” The Naval Academy’s mission is to develop midshipmen “morally, mentally, and physically.” The Academy gives young men and women the training needed to be effective Navy and Marine officers in their assignments after graduation.
The starting point for visits to the Naval Academy is the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center. The Center is located inside Gate 1, which has pedestrian entrances at Randall and Prince George Streets, next to City Dock in downtown Annapolis.
Guided walking tours depart from the Visitor Center daily. Visit the Naval Academy website for tour times and fees. You can also walk around on your own. Ask for a map in the visitor center before you start out. See the Naval Academy’s Tips for Visitors.
The Center also houses a theater with an inspirational film, an information center, exhibits, and a gift shop.
Visitors 16 and older must show a photo ID. Only vehicles with DoD stickers and handicapped tags are permitted on the grounds.
Note: Access to the Naval Academy is limited. Please visit the Naval Academy website for current security restrictions.
Naval Academy Graduation and Commissioning Week: Check the Naval Academy’s Public Affairs announcements for the latest news on graduation and Commissioning Week events. If you’re coming to town for Commissioning week, book your lodging early.
Places of Interest at the Naval Academy
Bancroft Hall: Visitors can see the Rotunda and Memorial Hall.
Tecumseh Court: A statue of the Indian Warrior Tecumseh watches over this court, where the noon meal formations for the Brigade of Midshipmen takes place at 12:05 on week days during the academic year (unless otherwise announced). The Tecumseh statue is often painted in various themes on special occasions and for football weekends.
The Naval Academy Chapel: The Chapel dome is visible throughout much of Annapolis. The chapel has beautiful stained glass windows, designed by Tiffany and Gorham Studios. If you’re lucky, you might hear someone playing the chapel’s big pipe organ.
The Crypt of John Paul Jones: John Paul Jones, one of the greatest Revolutionary War naval heroes, is enshrined beneath the Naval Chapel.
U.S. Naval Academy Museum: The museum includes treasures from the Naval Academy’s past, including prints, paintings, and spectacular ship models. Naval Academy Museum Information.
Herndon Memorial: At the end of each year, the Herndon Monument is covered with lard and Fourth Class Midshipmen (“Plebes”) try to climb the monument to remove a “dixie cup” hat from the top of the monument and replace it with a sailors cap. This task symbolizes the successful completion of the first year. Legend has it that the midshipman who places the cap on the monument will be the first in the class to reach the rank of Admiral.
USNA Gift Shop and USNA Museum Store. There are gift shops located in the Armel-Lefwich Visitor Center and at the Naval Academy Museum. Naval Academy gift shop hours and online ordering.
Sports fans can watch the Naval Academy compete in a wide variety of sports. The Navy football games are always a big attractions, but Navy also competes in many other college sports, including baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, and more. Visit the Navy Athletics site for details.
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