Experience colonial life in historic St. Mary’s City.

Maryland is a state full of rich history. Discover its origins with a visit to St. Mary’s City! Situated on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, St. Mary’s City is one of the first settlements in North America, as well as Maryland’s first city. The 800-acre site has been transformed into a living museum where visitors can experience life in colonial Maryland. Interact with period actors at four historic sites on the property, visit the first monumental Catholic Church and explore St. John’s Museum.

Woodland Indian Hamlet

The Indian hamlet is a reproduction of the village shared by early colonists and the Yaocomaco people. Learn how the two groups of people coexisted peacefully, the Indians teaching colonists about farming and fishing the Chesapeake Bay.

Yaocomaco Hut

Yaocomaco Hut

Godiah Spray Tobacco Plantation

Explore a 17th-century tobacco plantation and interact with indentured servants working the farm. Europeans came to St. Mary’s to work on the plantation, fulfill their contract, and become a free person in the colonies. Practice farming tobacco and visit the plantation’s farm animals.

Town Center

The center of colonial life, Town Center features a storehouse, inn, and a print house. At the storehouse, learn about the types of goods sold and the colony’s first currency system. The Van Sweringen Inn hosted some of Maryland’s first prominent residents and still has its original 17th-century brick floor. The Print House features a reproduction printing press where visitors can print the news of the day. The Town also features ghost houses that mark the location of archaeological building sites.

The Maryland Dove

The Maryland Dove

The Maryland Dove

One of the most popular attractions at St. Mary’s City is the tall ship Maryland Dove. Guests can board the replica ship, interact with the crew, and learn about the hard life of sailors. The Dove sometimes sets sail for other ports, so check the calendar before your visit.

Round out a visit with a tour of the replica Chapel of St. Mary’s and learn archaeological processes used to discover the colony at the St. John’s Museum. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for students, and free for children under 5. Guided tours are available for large groups, or access the free audio tour via your phone. St. Mary’s City is open March through November and has a schedule of special events throughout the season.

Have you visited St. Mary's City? What was your favorite exhibit at the site? Tell us in the comments!

Have you been to the American Visionary Art Museum? Check out this Maryland gem here!