August 13, 2005
Gems of Maryland's
Western Shore: Annapolis
Part 2 The Naval Academy
Annapolis Dining and Bed & Breakfasts
The Naval Academy
No Annapolis visit
is complete without a visit to the world's
preeminent maritime university, The United
States Naval Academy. Of all five federal
academies (Naval Academy, Military Academy, Air
Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and the
Merchant Marine Academy), Only the Naval
Academy's gates spill out into the center of a
you are a U.S. military retiree, reservist, or
active duty member with a valid sticker, you can
probably park within the Academy grounds and
save yourself the headache of toll parking.
Circumstances and parking availability dictate
of course. See the
Academy security guidelines regarding access
to the Academy.
Start at the
Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center which is adjacent
to the Admiral Halsey Athletic Center. It
is a bit of a museum unto itself, plus you can
arrange for tours there. The Navy gift
shop is located there as well.
The Naval Academy
Chapel is beautiful. Most weekends you may
see a wedding (or a few weddings) there, but if
you can get into the Chapel, look around to see
some of the most interesting Nautical Stained
Glass windows. Halfway down the nave, turn
around and look above the entranceway to take in
a most fascinating ship.
Once you have
completed your view of the Chapel, head outside
to go below to see the crypt of John Paul Jones.
Mind that you enter with the most solemn respect
and decorum. Here lies the father of the
United States Navy in one of the most ornate
crypts you may ever see. There is always a
Marine guard keeping watch, though you may not
see them at first due to the dim light within
the crypt. They are always there to guard this
most sacred of naval memorials.
respects to Admiral John Paul Jones, make your
way to Preble Hall, Home of the Naval Academy
museum. You will be intrigued by the
historical treasures to be found there.
More fascinating is the lower floor of the
museum with it's vast array of wooden and bone
model ships. Some of these ships date back
to the 1700's in the days when shipwrights would
present models to the British Admiralty to show
ship design, and to estimate costs.
Details such as drawers and tile floors have
been found inside these great wooden marvels.
More information can be found at the
Naval Academy's website Visitor Page.