On the site where this 18th-century Renaissance man once had a humble farmstead, a bright and airy museum now pays tribute to his accomplishments. Benjamin Banneker is best known for his work surveying the land that would become the District of Columbia, as well as for his successful series of almanacs. A free African-American born in 1731, he was mostly self-taught. He famously corresponded with Thomas Jefferson on the topic of racial equality. Visit during the museum's quiet hours for a closer look at the small collection of Banneker's writings, and a few of his trinkets that shine a light on the life and family of this exceptional man. Items unearthed during an archaeological dig, a telescope and wooden clock, similar to one Banneker built, are on display. A replica of his cabin is open behind the museum. On weekends, the museum has a lively schedule of family-friendly activities, festivals, nature presentations, and summer jazz concerts. Bring a picnic lunch and spend an afternoon in the leafy 142-acre park that surrounds the museum. It's filled with a colonial orchard, native plants, and six miles of walking trails including the paved Number Nine Trolley Trail of less than a mile, which leads into historic Ellicott City. I recommend pairing a visit to the museum with a leisurely walk to the old mill and railroad town for lunch.