Annapolis's National Historic District has more than 1,500 restored and preserved buildings, and its narrow streets are best seen on foot. If your visit is short, make sure to see the United States Naval Academy, the Maryland State House, the William Paca House & Garden, the Hammond-Harwood House, and the Chase-Lloyd House. Enjoy the stroll down pretty Prince George's Street on your way to the Paca House -- it's packed with striking homes from Annapolis's 4 centuries. Tours are offered from the visitor center or HistoryQuest.

The City Dock, once the destination of merchant sailing ships, now attracts pleasure boats from near and far. Sightseeing boats, both gas- and wind-powered, offer cruises from spring to fall. The area around the City Dock has plenty of good restaurants, bars, shops, and a summer theater. As if frozen in time, a sculpture of Alex Haley reaches out to the Chesapeake Bay to tell the story of Roots, his best-selling novel, to a group of children sitting on the City Dock. This display not only memorializes Haley and his African ancestor Kunta Kinte, but also recalls an actual place where enslaved Africans arrived in the New World. The sculpture is accompanied by a series of engraved plaques that complete the story and the memorial.

The Colors of Annapolis

The Historic Annapolis Foundation has spent years identifying historic buildings throughout Annapolis. When a house meets the criteria, it receives a marker decorated with the Liberty Tree, a 400-year-old tree that once graced the grounds of St. John's College. Marker colors indicate the house's style:

Green -- 17th-century "vernacular," built 1681 to 1708

Terra cotta -- 18th-century "vernacular" or Georgian, built 1715 to 1800

Bronze -- Georgian of national importance, built 1730 to 1800

Blue -- Federal-style, built 1784 to 1840

Verdigris -- Greek Revival, built 1820 to 1860

Aubergine -- Victorian, built 1869 to 1901

Gray -- 19th- or 20-century Annapolis vernacular, built 1837 to 1921

Ocher -- Distinctive homes of all styles built in the 20th century

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.