National Parks / Natural World

Fort McHenry National Monument Baltimore

Where is it at?

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Fort McHenry National Monument
2400 East Fort Avenue
Baltimore
MD
21230
Tel: 410 962 4290

Directions

The park is three miles southeast of the Baltimore Inner Harbor and just off I-95. Follow the brown Fort McHenry directional signs along all major routes to the park. From I-95 northbound or southbound, take Exit 55 Key Highway and follow Fort McHenry signs on Key Highway to Lawrence Street. Turn left on Lawrence Street and then left on Fort Avenue. Proceed one mile to the park. From the Inner Harbor, take Light Street south to Key Highway. Turn left and follow the Fort McHenry signs to Lawrence Street. Turn right on Lawrence Street and then left on Fort Avenue to the park.

Where are we going today?

O! Say can you see....by the dawn's early light...! Now we KNOW you recognize those words - it is of course the Star-Spangled Banner, and it had to have come from somewhere! That "somewhere" is in fact Fort McHenry National Monument. And do you know why?

Here's a little fun bit of history for you! Back during the Battle of Baltimore in September, 1814, the fort was being defended so gallantly, that Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to what would become the national anthem for the United States. Pretty incredible!

Now the whole family can head down to this historic site and learn all about the history of the battle, as well as that incredible influence it had on the entire country! (What would baseball games be without it!?)  

You time at Fort McHenry National Monument should begin at the informative Visitor Center, where you can gather all the information you need for your time at the fort! There is an informative orientation film to get kids up to speed on the history, as well as exhibits!

Then, the whole family can enjoy a self-guided tour of the fort, normally about an hour. So leave a couple of hours in total for your trip!

Keep an eye out for any special events happening at Fort McHenry National Monument too! Some of the fun spectacles you might come across at the concert series, the Civil War weekend, Living American Flag, and of course, the Star-Spangled Banner weekend!

The summer months even have great activities for the family, including daily ranger talks and drill, musket and artillery demonstrations! 

And the rockets' red glare...the bombs bursting in air..!!

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How much does it cost?

  • Adults$7 valid for 7 days.
  • Free Under: 15 years.
LAST UPDATED 2015

When can we go?

9am - 6pm Memorial Day to Labor Day. 9am - 5pm rest of the year.

Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day

Teachers corner

They would happily get your students visiting for a field trip! There are lesson plans available too, so just call for more information!.

Any Top Tips?

Get kids onto the Junior Ranger program! It's two hours of fun for them where they get to earn their badge and certificate! .

Doing our bit

The national monument is dedicated to preserving the history of this remarkable landmark, so help them out and keep it clean! .

Need a little extra help?

The Visitor Center is accessible for those in wheelchairs. The fort is mostly accessible, so check at the center where you will have access to. .

Can I get one of those?

There is a museum shop where you can fill your basket with all sorts of goodies, both fun and educational! .

More information

Every May, around 4,000 school kids create the "Living American Flag" - it's a pretty impressive sight if you're there in May! .

What people are saying?

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    Fort Henry is Pretty freaking awesome! A nice, hands-on look at history. Great place of history. This is a must see in Baltimore. Home of the Star Spangles Banner so definitely enjoy it! Take the tour. It historical interpretation is the battle that took place the War of 1812 in where Francis Scott Key wrote a poem that later became the US National Anthem. Fort Henry has built a new Visitor Center with all new displays. Disability Access is available as long with disability parking. You will need an estimated 3 to 4 hours for a complete walk through...Read More

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    Made a family visit to this National Monument on a cold day in January and it was great. Seeing the 10 minute movie before walking up to the fort was a good move. My 7 yo totally connected the views from the ramparts with the 1812 battle, pointing out where British ships were and where they were trying to go. Great cannons. Worthwhile for sure if you are near Baltimore.

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    It was fantastic there. I recommend you take not only yourself, but bring a friend or even the family! It was very educational and I learned more than what I learned back at school. :)

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    I would like to say this is a place almost at least experience once and learn its history. The Star Spangled Banner was wrote from this place. from Francis Scott Key

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    This place sucked. Tourist trap with no character.

    If you ARE going to come here, just walk on through - don't pay the $7 entrance fee.

Submit a review

by Mady Jatta

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Fort Henry is Pretty freaking awesome! A nice, hands-on look at history. Great place of history. This is a must see in Baltimore. Home of the Star Spangles Banner so definitely enjoy it! Take the tour. It historical interpretation is the battle that took place the War of 1812 in where Francis Scott Key wrote a poem that later became the US National Anthem. Fort Henry has built a new Visitor Center with all new displays. Disability Access is available as long with disability parking. You will need an estimated 3 to 4 hours for a complete walk through the entire property. Make sure you check out their event page for volunteers dressed in costume for those who wants to take great photographs.

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