Flag House Inn

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Annapolis: An American Story – Best Museums

(December 26, 2021) When you stay at the Flag House Inn, you are walking distance to all of the historical sites and museums in Annapolis. And what a collection we have!

We were visited recently by the CEO of Historic Annapolis, the organization that preserves the historic places, objects, and stories of Maryland’s capital city.  He shared some exciting news:  The opening of a new Museum of Historic Annapolis, where you can experience “Annapolis: An American Story”, containing 3 floors of exhibitions, artifacts and stories.

Even better for visitors, you can start your exploration of Annapolis here as this building provides an overview of 11 sites around town (and non-partisan – not all are owned by Historic Annapolis!)

Museum map of Annapolis

Museum map of Annapolis

Here’s our take on most of these sites along with links to each and our best “pairings”. We have experienced all of these and can offer our perspective.  Look for some of our own snaps below.  Always check website or with us for opening hours, many have reduced hours in winter or close one day/week in season.

We interrupt for a word from our sponsors: When you visit Annapolis, stay with us at the Flag House Inn – we are located downtown just 2 blocks from the center of town and you can walk to all the major attractions. Even better, we offer on site parking, home cooked breakfast and a modern Inn with 6 rooms. We are all about providing each guest with a great experience in Annapolis, in their own way to their own preferences.  And guests love us, check out our reviews on Google or Trip Advisor. We look forward to your stay!

  1. Annapolis: An American Story – 99 Main St – Start here for an overview of the rich and interesting story of Annapolis.  Short film, original artifacts and 3 floors of displays cover Annapolis’ role in state and national events from mid 1600’s until today. Get info on all other attractions. Entry fee $10. Pair with: A walk around City Dock or shopping on Main St and Maryland Ave

    Museum exhibit

    The newly opened Museum of Historic Annapolis is your starting point to explore all the historic sites and museums in Annapolis

  2. US Naval Academy Museum: Our fave.  First floor covers the history of the US Navy with many original artifacts, but don’t miss the 2nd floor:  A huge display of boat models dating from 1700 to 1850, some with original rigging. Find the boats built by French prisoners of war in 1780’s (we won’t give away the amazing details!). Special Exhibition on 2nd floor until December 2022: “A Midshipmen’s Journey” – 21 original oil paintings by Kristin Cronic USNA ’11 (aka Easel on Stribling), that chronicles her own experience.  Pair with: Walking or cart tour of US Naval Academy. All USNA visitor info here 
    old tattered flag

    The USNA museum houses a fantastic collection of objects describing the history of the US Navy, along with ship models and an art collection

    young men climbing a monument

    The 2nd floor of the USNA museum features 21 original oil paintings by Kristen Cronic ’11 (aka “Easel on Stribling” ) reflecting on her 4 years as a midshipmen at the US Navala Academy

  3.  Hammond Harwood House – Maryland Ave –  less well known but with great collection of objects> Docents tell you the interesting stories of the people who lived at HHH.  Pair with: Walk along Maryland Avenue, the locals street with many shops and boutiques and Galway Bay Irish Pub.

    large georgian house

    Hammond Harwood House on Maryland Ave features excellent objects and great stories

  4. William Paca House & Gardens – where the whole Historic Annapolis preservation movement got started 60 years ago to preserve this home built by a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Take a tour of this massive 1770’s home and walk the 2 acre gardens.  Check their schedule for re-enactments or special events .  You may even run into Mr Caesar RodneyPair with:  Walk thru the colonial streets of Annapolis – Prince George, King George and more.

    large colinila house in background with gardens and pond

    The Paca House was built 1763-5 by one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and features a house & garden tour

  5.  Annapolis Maritime Museum – formerly an oyster shucking factory, this musiem tells the story of the watermen of Annapolis. Experience what it would be like in the heyday of oystering on the Bay 1880-1960. Newly curated with great exhibits. Great Thursday night concerts in summer.  Pair with: 1) a sail on the Wilma Lee, a 1940 built skipjack used to harvest oysters  and/or 2) “Eastport Stroll”, hitting some of the best eating and drinking in town on the Eastport Peninsula…a) Boatyard, b) Forward Brewing c) Davis’ Pub and more

    museum exhibit with cases & displays

    The Annapolis Maritime Museum features a number of interactive exhibits depicting the lives of watermen

  6. Banneker Douglass MuseumDocuments, interprets, and promotes African-American history & culture related to Maryland. Great exhibit until March 2022 tells nine stories of resistance to bondage and servitude in the Chesapeake Region 1728-1864. Pair with:  Either walk through lovely residential Murray Hill or talk a walk out West St to the Arts District.

    museum exhibit / storyboard

    The Banneker Douglass museum documents African American culture and history in Maryland

  7. Maryland State House:  The oldest operating State Capitol building in the country, dates to 1772.  See where George Washington resigned his commission as commander of Continental Army in 1783. Pair with: Ice Cream!  The benches around the State House are our fave ice cream consumption spots.  Get yours at either Annapolis Ice Cream Co.  or Red Bean (hint: try the Chocolate base with Old Bay and pretzel, you won’t regret it!). 2nd choice check out some of the shops and restaurants on State Circle

    large colonial building and gardens

    The Maryland State House is the oldest operating state capitol in the country

So there you have it. 450 years of history with a lot of interesting attractions and fun all wrapped up in our waterfront town…..

Enjoy some of our own pics from around town. Pictures courtesy of Flag House inn, Hammond Harwood House & Historic Annapolis

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