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Annapolis Family Vacations Include Chesapeake Pirates, a Children’s Museum, and the U.S. Naval Academy. Annapolis combines history, Americana, and seaside adventures with a casual comfortable ambiance, great seafood, and friendly people. Outdoor cafes line the square and costumed guides lead curious visitors along historic streets. Annapolis Maryland Harbor Boats

Batten the hatches. Pirate Adventures of the Chesapeake offers child-friendly entertainment for families. Kids will love experiencing the magic of sailing and looking for buried treasure while learning the rules of the sea. A message in a bottle leads crew members on a hunt for Pirate Pete, followed by an earnest battle-at-sea with water cannons. If the brave new pirates can defeat Pirate Pete they’ll have what they need to find the sunken treasure and save the day. Discovery: Only two blocks from Pirate Adventures is the Boatyard Bar and Grill, a fantastic kid-friendly restaurant with casual food served in a great nautical atmosphere. (Pirate Adventures of the Chesapeake 311 Third Street, Annapolis 21403. (410) 263-0002 or Museum Annapolis, Maryland

Walk the line. 
Visitors to the United States Naval Academy can experience “life on the yard” on one of the public walking tours which occur all year long, an catch noon meal formation when the brigade lines up for uniform inspection. All tours leave from the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center, which is located on the ground of the United States Naval Academy, just inside Gate 1 at the very end of King George Street. At the end of the tour visitors can check out the USNA gift shop, home of the official USNA shopping experience. Discovery: Also located on the academy grounds is the US Naval Academy Museum, which hosts a number of collections and exhibits utilizing three-dimensional and graphic materials. The museum explores the Navy’s role in war and in peace, and in defending and preserving the ideals of the United States and mankind. Need to Know: You will need a government-issued photo ID to enter the grounds of the Naval Academy. Also, children in pre-school are admitted free, while students and seniors receive ticket discounts. (United States Naval Academy 52 King George Street, Annapolis 21402. (410) 293-TOUR or Blue Bus Children's Museum Annapolis, Maryland

Indulge your inner child along with your child.  The Chesapeake Children's Museum is a great environment designed to encourage self-discovery, as well as exploration of the peoples, technologies and the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay area. Inside exhibits include the Bay Window, home to live animals representing the regional wildlife, Center Stage, a real stage with a dramatic curtain, theatrical costumes and impromptu performances, and Everything Under the Sun, a NASA designed exhibit for learning about the earth and the sun, sun safety, the food chain, solar activity and ancient calendars. The museum also has an extensive outdoor section, with gardens, trails, and outdoor classrooms. Bonus Points: The museum hosts several family-orientated events through the year, including the Tri-It Fun Festival, the Summer Tea Party, Bubble Festival and Family Dinosaur Camp. Also, throughout the summer there are workshops for kids at the museum, some of which are free of charge with museum admission. (Chesapeake Children's Museum 25 Silopanna Road, Annapolis 21403. (410) 990-1993 or

Take a moment and stroll into history. The William Paca House and Gardens, one of the most elegant landmarks in Annapolis, honors William Paca, former governor of Maryland and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Built between 1763 and 1765, the five-part Georgian house is well known for its two acre pleasure garden which features five terraces, a fish-shaped pond, and a wilderness garden. The house itself is furnished with a beautiful collection of antique furniture, silver and decorative arts. Rotating exhibits explore different aspects of everyday life in the 1760s and 1770s. Bonus Points: Tours are offered every half hour, and only take about 45 minutes, leaving plenty of time to explore the gardens at leisure. Discovery: Climbing to the top of the two-story summer house in the gardens will give visitors a great bird’s-eye view of the entire garden and the house. (William Paca House and Gardens 185 Prince George Street. (410) 267-7619 or

Content researched and posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Copyright updated 2017.

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