Fort McHenry National Monument, Baltimore

4.7
The fortress that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star Spangled Banner," Fort McHenry National Monument displays artifacts from all the wars fought near its walls. Soldiers at the fort successfully defended Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812. The fort was used in military operations until World War II, acting an army hospital in World War I and as a Coast Guard base in World War II. You can reach the military establishment by water taxi from Inner Harbor in the center of Baltimore. Historical reenactments of the siege of 1812 and other periods take place regularly. To visit Fort McHenry National Monument on your trip to Baltimore, use our Baltimore trip itinerary builder app .
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Fort McHenry National Monument Reviews
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  • October 4, 2017
    Had such a nice time walking around this important piece of history. The staff and tour guides are wonderful and know a lot. We went in the summer on a weekend and it was incredibly busy but it accomo...  more »
  • October 4, 2017
    Obviously Fort McHenry is where Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner. When you look up and see that huge flag waving in the wind, you can't help but feel proud to be an American. In these ...  more »
  • October 3, 2017
    This is my 'go-to' spot for visitors and relatives. You can park and walk around and just enjoy great views of Baltimore harbor or you can visit the historic Fort McHenry and stand with that grand old...  more »
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  • July 6, 2017
    Fort McHenry is an awesome experience for all the family. In the main building, where you get the tickets, they had a film that they showed every thirty minutes. It was very well done and very touching. It told the important role of Fort McHenry in America's history. At the fort, the wind struck up now and then, rather consistently, which was wonderful, especially when the sun shone intensely. I loved that people were actually dressed in the time period and gave you the feeling of army life. Every once and a while, soldiers drilled, a drummer played and a flutist whistled. A group of girls sewed and washed clothes outside of the fort under a tent. Fort McHenry is a must-see attraction.
  • June 29, 2017
    Great historical destination when out-of-town family come to visit. Lovely park next to the water and the fort is fun to explore. Staff dressed in period costumes are on site. Don't miss the introduction video when you first walk into the visitor's center. No food or drink sold except vending machines (which take credit cards at least). And go on a cooler or overcast day. There is little shade in the fort and it gets hot. On the water taxi route but you can not originate at the Fort stop.
  • July 5, 2017
    Great park. $10 per adult seems steep but can come back for 7 days. Bring a picnic! The movie in the visitors center is a must. Great ending! Great for out-of-town guests.
  • June 28, 2017
    We love national parks, and this is a nice one. Museum is great at explaining the time period and what has happened at the fort in the past 200 years. If you like Junior ranger programs, this one is good. Areas are closed off sometimes, and being right by the water, it can be very cold.
  • July 5, 2017
    You never know what you will get when you go to historic locations. This is an excellent place to stop with really interesting history. You can almost feel like you were in the moment as you look out on the water and imagine the British fleet pounding away with their rockets and mortars.

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Where to stay in Baltimore

For quick and easy access to practically all of Baltimore's major attractionswhile on holiday, follow the example of most tourists and stay near the Inner Harbor neighborhood. Few cities boast such a well-defined tourist district, it shouldn't come as a surprise that all the major chain hotels in the city are located right in this busy neighborhood. If you prefer to stay in a quieter area offering a bit more local character, consider one of the city's outlying districts, offering affordable accommodations and plenty of dining and shopping options.
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