Last month we visited Annapolis, Maryland with the kids. I had never been before and we only had a day there. I wanted to make sure we got in lots of great stuff while still feeling like we were on vacation and not exhausted after the day. I did a lot of research ahead of time and hopefully this guide will help you spend a really fun 24 hours in Annapolis with Kids.
I added two things at the end that we didn’t have a chance to do because they were closed the day we were there. If you wanted to do all ten things listed below, you’d probably need an extra day because I feel like what we did cover took up most of the day. If the kids weren’t begging to go in the hotel pool, we would have tried a restaurant in the historic district as there seemed to be so many great family options right on the water. But we’ll save that for next trip!
We started out at the Maritime Museum. We drove straight there from our house. Then we parked right near City Dock and left our car there all day. We were able to walk to everything else we did. We went to lunch, followed by a walk up Main Street, a stop at the State House, a fun time at Old Fox Books, ice cream on the walk back down Main Street, a stop at City Dock to see a ship and then onto the Naval Academy. That’s the super short version of the day… all the fun details below.
24 hours in Annapolis with Kids
10 Things to do in Annapolis with Kids
1. Annapolis Maritime Museum: We drove straight to the Maritime Museum. It’s the only spot we couldn’t walk to from Main Street so we figured it was a good first stop. The museum was awesome. The kids got a map and it was small enough to let them explore a bit on their own (we could see them anywhere they were to give an idea of the size of the place). It’s very interactive and all of them enjoyed it. Then we went outside to see the boats. The Annapolis Maritime Museum was a great way to start our day in Annapolis.
2. US Naval Academy: I have always wanted to visit the Naval Academy. I was so glad we’d have a chance to stop there. The campus was beautiful and the kids really enjoyed walking around. The visitors center that you enter through is really helpful and then you spend time walking around. Maybe someday I’ll have a student there!
3. Old Fox Books & Coffeehouse: We always try and find a bookstore when we visit a new place. Looking for a bookstore to add to our itinerary is always one of the first things I do when I research where we’re heading. I was pretty excited to check out Old Fox Books. It’s not a huge store but it’s packed with books both old & new. I love old books and was able to grab a very old copy of a James Joyce poetry book.
The kids section was adorable and in the back there’s a coffee shop. Then the best part: the garden out back. There’s an amazing garden with tables & chairs to enjoy your coffee and a playhouse made of books. Yes, an actual playhouse for kids to enjoy that’s made of books. We stayed there for over an hour and even after that long it was hard to get the kids to leave.
4. Maryland State House & The Thurgood Marshall Memorial: we almost just looked at the State House from the outside because Teddy was asleep in the stroller and it’s a lot of stairs but after a walk around the courtyard to see the Thurgood Marshall statue the kids were eager to go inside. Tom took them in and they all reported back there’s a lot to see.
5. Walk Main Street: Main Street had a lot of great little shops to pop in. It’s a really pretty walk from the water towards the State House. We walked up along one side and back on the other side at the end of the day.
6. City Dock: The Annapolis City Dock is at the end of Main Street and there’s a nice little area to let the kids run around right near the water. We saw a big old ship docked which was really cool. It was a nice spot to sit for a minute and let the kids play.
7. Eat at Iron Rooster: We had an early lunch at Iron Rooster right after the Maritime Museum. We ate in the big tent outside which was really fun. It was a great spots for families and the food was excellent. The kids meals all come with one of their homemade Roostarts.
8. Ice cream at Annapolis Ice Cream Company: This cute spot is right on Main Street. It’s delicious and a great little stop as you walk up Main street towards the State House or on your walk back. They make all of the ice cream on-site and there’s not many foods better than homemade ice cream!
9. William Paca House & Garden: This is one spot I wanted to visit but it was closed the day we were there. It’s an 18th century mansion with a big garden out back.
10. Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake: This is another thing we would have loved to do but it wasn’t running the days we visited
Where to Stay in Annapolis with Kids
We decided to stop in Annapolis en route to Washington,DC really last minute. It was also Spring Break week so there wasn’t a ton left as far as hotels go. We ended up at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Annapolis. It was closer to the highway that made leaving and heading to DC in the morning easy and the rooms were big enough for our whole crew: two queens, a pull out couch and pack n play. They also had a great indoor pool that the kids loved.
We went to the hotel at the end of our busy day touring Annapolis and the kids swam while I ran out to grab everyone dinner. Then it was dinner & bed. So we didn’t spend a ton of time in the hotel. If we go back, I’d love to check out a place closer to the historic district.
We all really loved Annapolis and can’t wait to visit again someday. What should we make sure to see next time?