Visit the historical star shaped coastal fort that is best known for its role in protecting Baltimore Harbor against the British Navy in the War of 1812. It was this battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner which would later become the National Anthem of the United States of America.
The star shaped fort was built with a dry moat around its borders. This Fort was also used in WWI, WWII and the Civil War and the history of its many uses is intriguing. Fort McHenry is designated at both a National Monument and a Historic Shrine and it is the only National Monument to hold that dual distinction.
Things to Do
- Self guided tour of the fort and the grounds which should last about an hour or two
- Short film
- Picnic area
- Scenic area
- The fort can be accessed by water taxi which can add to the fun of the trip.
- Flag raising Ceremony
- Fife and Drum Performance
- Junior Ranger Program for kids to learn and fill out an activity book as they explore the fort to earn a Junior Ranger Badge
- Seasonal Events like the Star Spangled Spectacular
- Explore the visitor center museum
Fort McHenry National Mounment Insider Tips
- Cannons fired off at 11am and 2pm
- Short film is free to watch, but in order to access the fort there is a small admission fee. I think it was well worth the 7 dollars to explore the grounds and truly get a historic feel.
- Your receipt is actually valid for 7 days if you feel like visiting again during your stay in Baltimore
- There is a large park with picnic tables overlooking the water. It's great for packing up a cooler and enjoying a relaxing picnic lunch in between the two cannon firings.