The capital of the state of Maryland, Annapolis is a relatively small but beautiful town, home to a little less than 40,000 people and attracting many more from around the US and internationally each and every year. Located on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, Annapolis is well known for its beautiful bay waters and fascinating historical cities.
One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of Annapolis is via its waterways, so kayaking in Annapolis is a very popular activity. Kayakers can often be seen paddling along the city's waterways, admiring stunning sights like the Chesapeake Bay Bridge or getting up close with some local wildlife like herons and many other species of birds. Things to Do in Annapolis CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Best Spots to Kayak in Annapolis
2.Kayak Tours and Rentals in Annapolis
Best Kayaking in Annapolis
- Best Spots to Kayak in Annapolis, Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com
- Kayak Tours and Rentals in Annapolis, Photo: serguastock/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of KadnikovValerii - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: United States Naval Academy
Visiting the United States Naval Academy (or USNA for short) in Annapolis, MD is an inspiration, both for those who know the history and those who want to learn more. Tour the campus, watch one of the many ceremonies, visit the museum… and prepared to be moved. The American Revolution (1775 - 1783) marked the birth of the Navy in the United States, even though it was shortly after decommissioned for a few years.
Once reestablishing itself, the academy was formed in 1845 and it has been going strong, training educated and strong recruits that become a full naval officer year after year with no signs of slowing down. Women were first accepted there in 1976 and now make up over 20% of all recruits. The academy is never afraid of growth or change to fit the times and trains its officers as such.
The main attraction at the US Naval Academy is the ability to tour the grounds. This walking tour, which is led by one of the certified, professional guides from the campus, takes visitors through the Armel Leftwich visitor center. The tour will allow visitors to see the “yard,” which is the grounds of the academy where future naval officers are trained and educated. Visitors should make sure to bring appropriate identification (driver’s license, etc.) to be allowed onto the grounds. Proceeds go right back into the grounds
Museum - Also on the premises is the US Naval Museum, which welcomes over 100,000 people a year. This two-story museum features exhibits about the sea power's history, how the Navy has developed, and how the Navy trains new officers who will eventually go on to lead the military. Complete with many historical artifacts (including video as well as audio), this museum helps bring history to life.
Field House - Visit the Halsey to see a high-tech, impressive exhibit that discusses the overall mission of the naval academy, including how students live while on campus and the possible careers that going through the academy can lead to. Make sure to visit the interactive kiosks with videos that show actual students discussing life on campus, as well as looking at some of the people who have graduated and what they are doing now. There are more than 700 different photographs to view as well, featuring some of the most historic and iconic moments.
Admissions - For visitors considering either coming to the academy themselves or have family members that are interested, the academy offers twice daily admissions sessions for visitors to come and learn all about the admissions process and get more information about how to apply. It also discusses the one-week summer sessions available on campus for high school students, as well as the STEM programs offered.
Again, anyone visiting the campus should make sure to have a Department of Homeland Security approved form of identification (it is also recommended to bring a backup. Visit the Homeland Security website for a list of approved forms of identification).
The academy offers many special events, which are all posted on their website. Below are just a few.
Induction Day is always a special one. This marks the beginning of what is called “Plebe (or a new recruit)” summer, and is the graduation ceremony where they take the oath and say goodbye to their friends and families before going off to further training.
Sea Trials - Fourteen straight hours of intense mental and physical training and challenges make up the yearly Sea Trials. This training marks the end of their year as a plebe and the beginning of them becoming a full member of the navy.
Commissioning Week - The final step in the journey through the academy is commissioning week. This celebration marks the finish of the four years required to become a midshipman and is regularly attended by family, friends, and anyone else who wants to see this exciting ceremony!
Shopping and Dining
While visiting the academy, make sure to visit the gift shop, with all proceeds going back to the campus. With memorabilia, apparel (t-shirts and hats are always a favorite) and other souvenirs like stuffed animals, jewelry and home goods. There are even collars and dog leashes with the Navy logo. For visitors who get hungry during their visit to the academy campus, there are a few dining options available, both fast food and sit down.
United States Naval Academy, 121 Blake Road, Annapolis, MD, 21402, Phone: 410-293-8687
Attraction Spotlight: National Cryptologic Museum
In Annapolis, Maryland is the National Cryptologic Museum, which is focused on teaching visitors about the National Security and the Central Security Service of the United States. As a gateway to public, museumgoers are able explore the history behind the National Security Agency and cryptology.
The different exhibits are based from machines and deceives developed by national defense, the people who devoted their lives to cryptology, and the places in the world where they worked. Situated near the NSA Headquarters in Maryland, the museum is filled with thousands of artifacts that provide education about the history of the cryptology profession in America.
The museum was originally designed as a house of artifacts for employees to be able to reflect on the history of the intelligence community. Yet, the artifacts quickly accumulated and developed into a priceless collection, and in December of 1993 the Museum opened to the public. As the only public museum that gives visitors an insight to the secretive world of the National Security Agency it is extremely popular. Approximately 50,000 visitors come from different parts of the country and world to peek into the secret world of cryptology and national defense.
The diverse collection of exhibits within the National Cryptologic Museum allows visitors to have unique insight in the exciting sphere of codemaking and codebreaking. Some of these collections include the 18th Century Cipher Device, the African-American Experience, Cold War: Great Seal, Cold War: U.S.S. Pueblo, and Computer Development: RISSMAN.
In the exhibit, 18th Century Cipher Device, visitors are taken back in time to learn about the antique device that uses scrambled alphabets to cipher messages. Believed to be the oldest existing cipher device in the world, it was used during World War I with the French language.
The African-American Experience is an exhibit that tells the story of African- Americans and their involvement working for the federal government and different government organizations such as NSA. In the 1950s the society within the United States began to change and many African-Americans were allowed to start moving into the mainstream workforce. Before segregated offices were abolished, they were given tasks not wanted to be preformed by white employees. Yet the exhibit tells the stories of African- Americans who were able to receive higher positions at work as segregation was abolished.
Visitors can learn more American intelligence in relation to Russia and intelligence tactics in the exhibit, Cold War: Great Seal. In 1945 a Soviet school children gifted a carving of the Great Seal to an American Ambassador. Six years later, in 1952, it was discovered that the carving was bugged, and today there is a replica inside the museum.
To learn more about American intelligence following the end of WWII, the exhibit Cold War: U.S.S Pueblo displays the attack on in 1968 on the ship Pueblo. After the war between Koreas, the U.S. navy was in national waters while trying to gain information on North Korea, at this moment North Korea attacked the American U.S.S. Pueblo. The ship remains in North Korea today, and represents the largest single loss of sensitive information. In the exhibit Computer Development: RISSMAN, it focuses on how custom-designed hardware was created to collect telemetry signals by the NSA in the 1980s. Throughout all of the exhibits, visitors have the ability to learn about some of the crucial moments in the history of cryptology in America.
The Museum is an education tool for the public and for students; there are tours and programs offered by the institution to teach about the history of cryptology. Some of the educational outlets include the Scout Programs, School Field Trips, and Guided Tours.
Cub Scouts are welcomed to the Museum to take part in an interactive and fun program, which includes using the Enigma and a simple cipher wheel to create cipher messages.
During the School Feld Trips in the museum, students are able to discover the secret world of ciphers and codes. With a variety of engaging programs students can learn about world history and understand how math is essential to cryptology. The Guided Tours take visitors through American’s role in history and world events. Beginning with the Civil war, the museum has exhibits that cover all of the defining moments in American history, concluding with the development of computers and Information Assurance programs. Along with the tour there are special talks on specific aspects of cryptologic history. The Museum is dedicated to giving visitors an insight into the history behind the National Security Agency.
8290 I Rd, Colony Seven, MD 20701, Phone: 301-688-5849
Attraction Spotlight: Annapolis Maritime Museum
In the north-western state of Maryland is the Annapolis Maritime Museum, which is home to the rich maritime heritage around Chesapeake Bay. Through exhibits and community events, the museum strives to educate youth and adults in the beautiful building overlooking the bay. Founded in 1990, in the location of the last remaining oyster packing plant called the McNasby Oyster Company. Within the building it functions as a learning center, an exhibition gallery and an assembly hall used for lectures, classes, concerts, and meetings. The exhibits have over 10, 000 objects on display of various photographs, and archival documents. The Maritime Museum strives to encourage visitors to learn about the story of how Annapolis is connected to the water.
The maritime history in the areas surrounding Annapolis dates back to 1649, when English settlers first arrived in Chesapeake Bay. Native Americans had been living in the area for centuries, however the European settlers developed the area with their small boats and began to catch fish and crabs. Becoming an important port 1695, from Annapolis barrels of tobacco, slaves, and an assortment of goods were traded. The port thrived until the Revolutionary War, due to the use of bigger ships; the shallow bay in Annapolis lost most of its business to Baltimore. Yet, throughout the second half of the 1800s to the mid-1900s the bay continued to be profitable because of its oysters. During the Second World War, the nature of Chesapeake Bay switched over to building boats for the British and Russian navies. It is now known as ‘America’s Sailing Capital’ and is the host to many national and international sailing events year round. Now through exhibits the museum is committed to telling the history of how society functioned because of the bay.
The museum uses a variety of displays to provide an educational background on the Chesapeake Bay and the maritime history of Annapolis. Some of the exhibits at the institution include Oyster Eye, Chesapeake Habitats, Miss Lonesome, Art exhibits, and explore the building in the previously McNasby Oyster Company. In Oyster Eye visitors can see all of the different animals that are native to Chesapeake Bay in an 850-gallon aquarium. In Chesapeake Habitats, museumgoers can see the different animals that like in back creek. On the Miss Lonesome boat, visitors can climb aboard the deadrise workboat that was built locally for the purpose of tonging oysters. In the Buchanan Bay Room, there is a Gallery filled with beautiful pieces of art created by local artists and art organizations. All of the art is depicts Chesapeake Bay or Maritime themes, during the year the art shows run from 6-8 week and all paintings are for sale. Within the building housing the museum, the public has the opportunity to learn about how authentic processing equipment was used in the oyster industry. There are a variety of interactive touch screens and displays that teach visitors more about the history behind the facility. The Annapolis Maritime Museum wants to share its knowledge with visitors and during operating hours people can enjoy a free tour by trained docents.
Providing education is one of corner stores of the museum and they have created an Education Center to help students to learn through hands-on programs. Annually, the center has more than 6000 students that are able to explore the environment through outdoor experiences. By stimulating critical thinking skills, the museum hopes that the experiences will help inspire students to think about how to create a sustainable environment in their future. The Maritime Museum also offers field trips, afterschool and family programs, and summer camp as a way for the community to get involved and discover the history of Chesapeake Bay.
The museum has a variety of events that run throughout the year that are open to the public. A few of these programs include the Boatyard Beach Bash, and the Annual Oyster Roast & Sock Burning. Throughout ten weeks of the summer, concerts of different music genres are held at the museum for the community to enjoy. The Annual Oyster Roast & Sock Burning takes place at the beginning of spring, with a tradition that dates back to the 1980s. Winter socks are thrown in a fire to celebrate the beginning of boating season and spring equinox. At this event there is live music, and an oyster-shucking contest, with a variety of activities, exhibits, and food the public is encourage to join and celebrate the ending of winter.
723 I St, Second, MD 21403, Phone: 410-295-0104