Walking Tour of Annapolis, Maryland
The capital of Maryland is a city with a very significant history. It was actually once the capital of the United States and was the scene of the ratification of the Treaty of Paris, which officially ended the Revolutionary War. It has long been a maritime center and has the dubious distinction of having processed numerous slaves which arrived here on ships from Africa. Today, it is well-known as the location of the United States Naval Academy, so that uniformed sailors are a common sight on the city streets.
My walking tour begins at the Maryland State House, located at State Circle. The oldest (1772) state capitol building in continuous use was once the US Capitol (for about 9 months in 1783-84). Before moving on, walk around the entire circle to see the Brooksby-Shaw House (1720’s), the Old Treasury, and Government House, home of the Maryland governor.
After the circuit, travel west on West Street to Church Circle where you will see St Anne’s Church. Check out, in particular,the Memorial Window, done by Tiffany.
Leave the circle via Franklin Street and, after the Court House, stop to visit the Banneker-Douglass Museum, which highlights the contributions of African American in the history of Maryland.
Retrace your steps to Church Circle, turn right and right again onto Duke of Glocester Street which leads past City Hall and on to the water. Notice, on your way, Ridout House, #120, and Ridout Row, #’s 110-114.
Next, take a left on Compromise Street which skirts the edge of the harbor. Notice the Schooner Woodwind, a replica of a classic early 1900’s yacht. Consider a cruise for later in the day.
Compromise leads to the City Dock where there are many shops and restaurants to tempt you. Be sure to find the Kunte Kinte Plaque (remember the PBS series, Roots), on the sidewalk.
Now, take Randall Street east from City Dock to the entrance for the United States Naval Academy. Head immediately for the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center to see the film and get maps or perhaps a guided tour. Stroll the grounds, being sure to visit the Naval Academy Museum and the Chapel which contains a Crypt with the remains of naval hero, John Paul Jones, among others.
When finished, leave the way you entered, heading back down Randall Street. Then turn right onto Prince George Street to check out the William Paca House and Garden. This Georgian residence belonged to a Maryland Governor and signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Continue up Prince George Street to Maryland Avenue and turn right. On your right is the Hammond-Harwood House, designed and built by noted English architect, William Buckland. Nearby, at #22, is the Chase-Lloyd House, originally owned by Samuel Chase, another signer of the Declaration.
Turn left on King George Street and left again on College Avenue, passing by St John’s College, where Francis Scott Key, composer of the Star Spangled Banner, went to school. On the campus, you will also find the Liberty Tree, which marked the meeting place for the Sons of Liberty, prior to the Revolutionary War.
Back on College Ave, continue west and take a left on North Street to return to State Circle where the walk began.