Points of Interest in Annapolis
Annapolis ...the "Athens of America"
Location - 30 miles to the west is Washington, D.C., our nation’s Capital. The Baltimore International Airport (BWI) is located about 20 miles to the north of Annapolis, and a short distance beyond is Baltimore, Maryland, with its famous waterfront and Little Italy Community. The five-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge interconnects immediately to the more rural/seaport communities on the Eastern Shore. All are connected to the Interstate Highway System and easily traveled during non-rush hour traffic.
History - From its earliest days as a colonial capital city,
Annapolis was known as the "Athens of America". Here, one could find a wealth of cultural activities, a glittering social season, gracious hospitality and intellectual stimulation. The small seaport brought visitors from around the world who shared the news of the
day while enjoying the ambiance and exquisite tidewater cuisine of the local pubs. Founded in 1645, Annapolis became a capital city in 1694 and incorporated as a city in 1708; it is home to the famous Liberal Arts St. John's College, founded in 1696. Now the capital of the State of
Maryland, two other goverment entities also lie within the city - the county government of Anne Arundel - and the local city government.
Of further historical significance - in 1783 - General George Washington, the nation’s father, voluntarily resigned his military commission to the Continental Congress, which was located in Annapolis at that time. A dedicated space in the State Capital now houses the newly refurbished room named for the General. That same year, the ending of the
Revolutionary War with Great Britain was agreed to in Paris in September of 1783. The treaty, known as the Treaty of Paris, was finally ratified in January of 1794 at the temporary home of the Continental
Congress in Annapolis. A well-known local restaurant named after the treaty resides in the Maryland Inn (a B&B type hotel) adjacent to the Governor’s House and the State Capital. Annapolis is also the home of the U. S. Naval Academy, which was founded in 1845, and has trained many of our nation’s leading Naval Officers since its founding. In December, 2015, the Naval Academy chant of “I Believe That We Will Win” resonated when midshipmen beat Army for the 14th straight year (21 to 17). The Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy was returned once more to the Naval Academy at a White House ceremony with the President of the United States. The annual award is in recognition for football dominance over both Army and the Air Force (33-11). This is the 10th time since 2003 that Navy has won this trophy.
America’s Sailing Capital - In addition to its proud public history just noted, Annapolis is also recognized as America’s "Sailing Capital" and is home to the world famous Annapolis Yacht Club. Tragically, a major fire recently destroyed most of the clubhouse, but the club’s Commodore announced that the 135-year-old club will be rebuilt with a bigger and better facility for its two thousand members.
The city has 10,000 boats within its limits of 38,000 residents,
ranging from sail boats, motor yachts, kayaks, dinghys, fishing boats, paddle boats, charter boats, and water taxies. All are daily reminders of the many activities and fun opportunities available to residents, tourists, and visitors to the city.
Throughout the year, weekend regattas attract local, national and international sailors who compete for trophies recognized around the world. A national Hall of Fame for sailors is to be built adjacent to both the Naval Academy and Ego Alley, which has always been the city’s focal point for fisherman and cruisers alike. The largest in-water sailboat show is held annually in October, immediately followed by the motorboat show in Ego Ally at City Dock. Ego Alley was also a point of entry for the slave trade during the early days of our country's colonization. A bronze statue of Kunta Kinte today rests at the head of Ego Alley as a reminder of the city’s history, and was immortalized in Alex Haley’s book Roots.