Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Baltimore

4.7
National Park · Hidden Gem · Monument
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The fortress that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star Spangled Banner," Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine 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 and Historic Shrine on your trip to Baltimore, use our Baltimore trip itinerary builder app.
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Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
3,414 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Certainly an iconic moment in the early history of the United States. Nice little museum with a brief film about the anthem. The fort is mildly interesting, if you’re into history or military... 
    Certainly an iconic moment in the early history of the United States. Nice little museum with a brief film about the anthem. The fort is mildly interesting, if you’re into history or military...  more »
  • We really enjoy the fort with the actors showing how the soldiers lived, ate, loaded the canon and raised the flag. There were also female actors who talked about their role at the fort. As an... 
    We really enjoy the fort with the actors showing how the soldiers lived, ate, loaded the canon and raised the flag. There were also female actors who talked about their role at the fort. As an...  more »
  • A terrific historical monument tour. Knowledgeable guides delivered a thoroughly enjoyable narrative about the property and the part it played in the war of 1812. The movie in the monument center was....  more
    A terrific historical monument tour. Knowledgeable guides delivered a thoroughly enjoyable narrative about the property and the part it played in the war of 1812. The movie in the monument center was....  more »
Google
  • This was a great experience. We decided to go on a whim and are very glad we made the stop. The weather was super hot but it was worth it. There were reenactments and the displays were very informative and entertaining. The video at the main entrance is awesome. The displays are well thought of and there are several interactive areas. The cost is $15 per adult, with several discounts available (military, student, senior, etc.) This place is a must if you are like history. If you have kids, I think they would enjoy it more if they are 10 or older.
  • This is a remarkable visit for anyone who loves history and America. Make sure you watch the video in the museum first before heading up to the fort. There are also exhibits inside the fort and a lot to explore. There are many forts up and down the east coast that are similar, but this one is unique for its history and position. The gift shop is not run by the NPS but is still well stocked with interesting offerings. I look forward to returning.
  • I loved visiting this place! They have a nice introduction to what the Fort was used for inside and a short film to watch. On the outside there’s a beautiful view of the harbor with a nice path to walk around the Fort and see what it looks like! They have some activities throughout the day like a flag folding ceremony and it’s definitely a great place to have a picnic!
  • I wish I could give this 10 stars. The old fort is well preserved and the slice of history here is reflective of a major turning point in the American story. The presentation of the writing of our National Anthem is stirring, emotional and visually unforgettable. Walk the grounds, it's hilly and shade is at a premium, but the experience should not be missed, at all, if you've any interest in American History. My pride as an American is stoked to a flame here. Yours might be too.
  • Really nice historic site. Starting at the visitor's center there is a nice display of artifacts from the battle at the fort. The video about the battle is very well done. It is both entertaining and informative. After the visitor's center you take a walk to the fort. The views of the harbor are some of the best in Baltimore. Many locals use this area for walking, simply because it so nice. I was lucky enough to watch the flag changing ceremony. You can then go through the fort. Nearly every piece of the fort is well explained. Rangers are willing to help. You will see a gigantic statue of Orpheus (God of Music) near the front of the park. This was created to honor the Star Spangled Banner which was written here. You will also see a statue for George Armistead the commander of the fort during the battle. If in Baltimore, it is definitely worth seeing.

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