by Howard Clemens
Annapolis, Maryland is an historic naval stronghold and seaport with colonial influences and a distinct character. Student trips to Washington D.C. are adding a much broader educational experience with a day trip to Annapolis, Maryland. The U.S. Naval Academy is one student destination, but not the only point of interest. Annapolis is also a city with a rich selection of historic buildings and colonial architecture. Some leading figures in Early American history were entertained in Annapolis, including many of the nation’s founding fathers.
Annapolis: A Short Bus Drive From Washington D.C.
The city of Annapolis is a short bus ride from Washington D.C. During the colonial era Annapolis was just as important as Washington D.C. and served as a focus for politics and commerce. Annapolis was named for Princess Anne. Not long after, she became Queen and chartered Annapolis as a city in 1708.
With the lure of a lucrative shipping industry, wealthy merchants and planters built their lavish estate homes in Annapolis. Many of these homes are representative of the European architecture of the colonial period. This history makes the seaport town stand out, mainly due to the grandness and splendor of homes and the lifestyles lived there.
Student Travel to the Annapolis Historic Downtown District
Student travel groups do not want to miss out on historical homes and public buildings in Annapolis that date as far back as the American Revolutionary period. The best way to take in all of the points of interest is to take a short walking tour in the historic part of Annapolis. Some of the highlights students will see include the City Dock, State House, St. John’s College, and William Paca House and Garden. The connection between Annapolis and later prominent statesmen in Washington D.C. will be evident after this walking tour. Student travel groups can enjoy some souvenir shopping or grab a light snack or cold drink while touring downtown Annapolis.
Harbor Boat Tour: Annapolis
The Annapolis Harbor boat tour is one of the best opportunities for students to see the U.S. Naval Academy from the vantage point of the Chesapeake Bay. The boat cruises around the Annapolis Harbor for less than an hour. The professional tour guide narrates the history of Annapolis, the U.S. Naval Academy, and some of the strategic battles that were fought here or nearby. Student travel groups will learn about history, commerce, social life, journeys at sea, and more, when they take Annapolis Harbor Tour. The Annapolis Harbor Tour is a great complement to the walking tour of downtown Annapolis.
Maryland State House
This historic building is the oldest capitol building in continuous use in the U.S. It served as the Capitol from 1783-1784, when the Continental Congress met there. The building was rebuilt three separate times. It was burned in 1704; the government outgrew the new building by 1769; and, an Annapolis architect helped create the plans for and execute the third Maryland State House building. The new building had a dome, an extraordinary engineering feat. Student travelers will marvel at the lightning rod atop the Maryland State House, built to specifications by Ben Franklin. Franklin had a theory that lightning rods attached to high buildings prevented lightning strikes on the structure. The Maryland State House was an integral part of Early American history and political life. Some of the earliest forms of representative government were practiced at the Maryland State House; therefore it is a necessary stop on any student trip.
Student travel groups touring the Washington D.C. area will want to consider adding a full day or half day trip to Annapolis to their itinerary. For more information regarding student travel trips to Washington D.C., Annapolis, or other areas, visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.