Saunter down Main Street from Church Circle to City Dock - the same distance as the walk from Macy's to Nordstrom's in the Annapolis Mall - and you'll discover dozens of unique, locally-owned fashion boutiques and specialty gift shops tucked in between art galleries, pubs, restaurants and historic inns. Many of these small shop owners import their hand-crafted goodsfrom far-off lands just as town merchants have been doing for the past 350 years.
City Dock is the historic heart of Annapolis, where it connects with the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, and where you can connect with the water, too. Watch the boats parade around the turning basin of "Ego Alley," shake out your sea legs aboard the tour boat Harbor Queen or man the wheel of the graceful SchoonerWoodwind.
Open all year.
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
None -- Contact Historic Annapolis Foundation for walking tour fees.
Because it was a port town and state capital, Annapolis feared it would be a British target during the War of 1812. But with a military camp and four forts to protect it, the British passed it by for easier marks. The British fleet blockaded Annapolis in April 1813 and again in July. In August 1814, British warships came close to Annapolis on their way to Baltimore after burning Washington. Annapolis residents panicked, thinking they were next. Lookouts used the dome of the Maryland Statehouse to track the movements of British navy, and alarm guns and signals sounded from Forts Madison and Severn, calling militiamen to their posts. Residents also moved state documents and other valuables out of the city for safekeeping. But Annapolis was lucky—the British never landed near the city, and it survived the war untouched.
Around the Annapolis City Dock Area you will find the Market House, harbormaster's office, work boats, tour boats, pleasure craft, and visiting ships. Numerous shops and restaurants line the waterfront. Sightseeing cruises and water taxis leave from the dock regularly. During the summer, the Dock hosts outdoor Navy band concerts and festivities. In the fall, the largest boat shows in the world are held at the Annapolis City Dock. During the holidays, view a splendid display of sailboats decked out with Christmas lights.
At the foot of the dock, find the Kunta Kinte plaque, commemorating the site where the young African, immortalized in Alex Haley's "Roots," was sold into slavery in the 18th century. Consider taking a Historic Annapolis African-American Heritage Walking Tour and see the one-time homes of John Maynard, William Butler and William Bishop; African Americans who lived as free men at the time of the Revolutionary War. The Historic Annapolis Foundation (HAF) also offers several other walking tours, all of which begin at HAF's Museum Store at 77 Main Street at City Dock. Additionally, near the City Dock visitors can tour the historic Naval Academy and learn about this lasting military institution.
The Annapolis City Dock is wheelchair accessible.