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Fort McHenry helped shape the identity of the nation. It was a critical defense post during the War of 1812 and inspired Francis Scott Key to write a poem that later became the national anthem. Today you can tour this harbor-side attraction to learn about its fascinating history.
On the morning of September 14, 1812, though the British navy had bombarded the harbor all day and all night, the fort still held. As the British fleet withdrew, a new flag was erected at the fort. This was the scene that inspired lawyer Francis Scott Key to write The Defense of Fort McHenry, which won the hearts of Americans when it became The Star-Spangled Banner.
Take the family to see the setting of "the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave." The tour starts in the Visitor Center with a short orientation movie about the fort’s history. There are also interactive displays, which show uniforms, weapons, maps and animations of the Battle of Baltimore, the Civil War and World War I.
Continue to the barracks and officer's quarters outside. When you see the cannons and stare out over the bay it is easy to imagine the fierce battle that took place here over 200 years ago. Read the displays throughout the park to learn interesting facts, such as the story of the gunpowder store which miraculously didn’t explode during a bomb raid. You can take part in the changing of the flag ceremony with a replica of the original flag, with 15 stars and 15 stripes. It is so large that a handful of people are needed to fold it.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is situated on the edge of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and is accessible by water taxi, car and bus. The fort is open daily, with extended opening hours in summer. Take a self-guided tour or follow a volunteer. The cheap entrance ticket is valid for a whole week and children under 16 enter for free.
Located in Downtown Baltimore, this historic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Inner Harbor, Walters Art Museum and Washington Monument. National Aquarium in Baltimore and Oriole Park at Camden Yards are also within 15 minutes. Charles Center Station is only a 2-minute walk and University Center-Baltimore Street Station is 4 minutes.
Located in Little Italy, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Inner Harbor and National Aquarium in Baltimore. Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina and Baltimore Convention Center are also within 1 mi (2 km). Shot Tower-Market Place Station is 12 minutes by foot and Johns Hopkins Hospital Station is 21 minutes.
Located in Downtown Baltimore, this hotel is steps away from Battle Monument and Inner Harbor. Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina and Baltimore Convention Center are also within 10 minutes. Charles Center Station is 5 minutes by foot and Shot Tower-Market Place Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Fells Point, this luxury hotel is steps away from Vagabond Players and Inner Harbor. Johns Hopkins Hospital and National Aquarium in Baltimore are also within 2 miles (3 km). Johns Hopkins Hospital Station is 25 minutes by foot and Shot Tower-Market Place Station is 26 minutes.
Located in the heart of Baltimore, this historic holiday home is within a 15-minute walk of Baltimore Cruise Terminal and Inner Harbor. Fort McHenry and American Visionary Art Museum are also within 2 miles (3 km).
Situated in Baltimore, this historic houseboat is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Canton Waterfront Park and within 3 miles (5 km) of Johns Hopkins Hospital and National Aquarium in Baltimore. Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina and USS Constellation are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Located in Downtown Baltimore, this hotel is steps away from Charm'tastic Mile, Inner Harbor and Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina. Baltimore Convention Center and National Aquarium in Baltimore are also within 10 minutes. Convention Center Station is 8 minutes by foot and Charles Center Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Downtown Baltimore, this hotel is 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from Canton Waterfront Park and 2.8 mi (4.4 km) from Inner Harbor. Patterson Park and Vagabond Players are also within 3 miles (5 km).