What is the Capital of Maryland?

annapolis maryland harbor on summer afternoon
annapolis maryland harbor on summer afternoon

Maryland is a state that lies in the eastern portion of the United States. To its north lies Pennsylvania, east the Atlantic Ocean, and south lies Virginia and the District of Columbia. Maryland is known for being the home of many horse farms, the birthplace of the national anthem, and crabs from Chesapeake bay. But what is the capital of Maryland?

The capital of Maryland is Annapolis, a city situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the river Severns mouth. In 1694, Anne Arundel Town, which would later become Annapolis, was announced as the state’s permanent capital. 

This article will discuss what the capital of Maryland is. So keep reading! We have everything you need to know about Annapolis, the capital city of the state of Maryland. 

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Where is the Capital of Maryland Located?

Where is the Capital of Maryland Located
Where is the Capital of Maryland Located

Maryland’s capital is Annapolis, a city located in the central part of the state on the Chesapeake bay. It lies 25 miles south of Baltimore and 30 miles east of the White House in Washington, D.C. 

Annapolis is known for being a small yet beautiful city with lots of colonial architecture. It has some of the best seafood restaurants in the country, thanks to its proximity to the north Atlantic sea. 

In Annapolis, you will also find The United States Naval Academy, where some of the best fighter jet and aircraft pilots in the world are trained. It even has one of the coolest mottos of any state, vixi liber et moriar, meaning “I have lived, and I shall die free.” 

A Brief History Of Annapolis

Annapolis, Maryland, USA from Annapolis Harbor at dusk - What is Maryland Known for
Annapolis, Maryland, USA from Annapolis Harbor at dusk – What is Maryland Known for

The area around Annapolis has been continuously inhabited for thousands of years by the ancestors of multiple Native American peoples. Evidence such as fluted projectiles gives us an idea that people have lived in the area for 10,000 years. Algonquian-speaking tribes succeeded these early indigenous peoples from the Eastern shores.

As we begin to come into modern history, a short time before the arrival of European settlers, tribes such as the Pamunkey, Piscataway, and Nanticoke lived in the Annapolis area. The Lenape and Susquehannock were other major indigenous peoples that lived in the wider Maryland area, who most likely had contact from time to time with each other. 

When the first Europeans began arriving in the 17th century, The Alogonquian-speaking Piscataway tribes, also known as the Conoy, lived on the land around the Potomac River that flows into the Chesapeake Bay. They were eventually taken over and somewhat replaced by the Susquehannock tribes.

The first settlers in the area were Puritan colonists from Virginia who first lived along the James River. The Puritans decided to move in 1649 to a site at the mouth of the River Severn. They called this settlement Providence and built a defensive fort, as this new territory was in an area controlled by the warlike Susquehannocks. 

By 1660, Providence had grown into quite a successful settlement, with agriculture being implemented along the plains of the Broadneck Peninsula. Tobacco was grown in huge quantities and improved thanks to a strain from the West Indies.

The name of the settlement was eventually changed to Anne Arundel Town and then finally to Annapolis in 1694, in honor of Princess Anne, who was an heir to the British throne. The arrival of European settlers, mixed with the warlike tendency of the Susquehannock, had forced the Piscataway tribes to establish a new settlement close to Point Of Rocks in Maryland in 1699. 

By the early 18th century, Annapolis had become a place of culture and wealth, thanks to its merchants and planters and political influence. Large colonial houses started to appear, each with its stables and gardens. Outside the city lay the vast plantations and small farms dotted along the Severn River.

When did Annapolis become the Capital of Maryland?

Annapolis, Maryland, USA downtown view over Main Street with the State House.
Annapolis, Maryland, USA downtown view over Main Street with the State House.

St Mary’s was the first seat of the Colonial government of Maryland, but Sir Francis Nicholson would begin to realize the potential of Annapolis as a capital city. So in 1694, he moved the seat of the government to Annapolis.

Thus, Annapolis has been Maryland’s capital for more than 300 years. It also became the capital of the newly formed American nation in 1783, when the Continental Congress began meeting there. 

Why is Annapolis the Capital of Maryland?

Annapolis, Maryland, USA town skyline at Chesapeake Bay
Annapolis, Maryland, USA town skyline at Chesapeake Bay

Annapolis was chosen as the capital of Maryland for multiple reasons. The settlement lay on the Atlantic coastal area, which allowed easy access to the outside world, including trade and resources. 

This was one of the main reasons why the Royal Governor at the time, Francis Nicholson, decided to move the capital from St. Marys to Annapolis. While many people often wonder why Baltimore was chosen, it didn’t become a major city until the end of the 18th century. 

Best Places to visit in Annapolis

Annapolis is a beautiful city full of culture, fun activities, and many historical sites. If you plan to travel to the area in the near future, here are the best places to visit.

1. U.S Naval Academy 

The U.S. Naval Academy was founded in 1845 and is nestled comfortably between the Severn River and Chesapeake bay. It is one of America’s most picturesque service academies, and you can take a guided tour around the area to learn more about its history. 

2. Annapolis Historic District 

The Annapolis Historic District was established over 350 years ago in 1649 and is a little gem in the city. You can find a cozy Airbnb, then go out and enjoy the restaurants, bars, shops, or even a simple stroll where you’ll meet the kind locals. 

3. Quiet Waters Park

A trip to the Quiet Waters Park is a great idea if you need a break from the city’s many social activities. Whether you want to have a stroll around this rural park, kayak on the water, or bike through the scenic pathways, you’re sure to feel at ease when you take a trip here.

4. Maryland State House

The Maryland state house is an excellent option for lovers of history. It’s the oldest state capital still in continuous use and is designated a national historic landmark. You can wander into the house and through the senate chambers at your leisure, taking in all this monument has to offer. 

5. Sandy Point State Park

A trip to Saint-Point state park is an excellent option if you’re looking for a cheap and fun family day out. It has an area for picnics and barbequing, trails for bike riding, and even a tennis court. There is also a water area perfect for the whole family to dip in; just be weary of the jellyfish. 

See Also

Capital Cities 

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!