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Fort McHenry National Monument
Based on 766 traveler reviews
Interesting, a piece of history
Dec 05, 2013 by: Smileycat16 from Carshalton, United Kingdom
This was fairly interesting given we are from the UK and don't know much about the history. There wasn't all that much to see in terms of the buildings but there are some rooms with exhibitions inside and things to read, though we never actually saw the full text of the star spangled banner written anywhere (despite it having been inspired by events here) or heard it playing which would have been good. Getting here wasn't all that easy as our taxi driver had never heard of Fort McHenry and even when I gave him a map he had trouble working out where and what it was! Be warned there won't be any taxis waiting outside for you to get back; there is a car park but it seemed to be at the end of a residential district. There is however a free bus called the circulator which goes from outside the main gate back into the centre of town/harbour area.
National Monument, a MUST see
Dec 03, 2013 by: Star R from Fallston, Maryland
I enjoyed walking the grounds of Fort McHenry and could just imagine what it was like in 1814 when the British conceded to the Americans. Powerful and Wonderful experience.
Visit Ft. McHenry, then LP Steamers!
Nov 30, 2013 by: edwardsjbe from Houston, Texas
If you read my review of LP Steamers restaurant, you'll see that I visited Fort McHenry and then ate at LP Steamers. This is a course of action that I very highly recommend to your consideration. The fort is an interesting, educational, and fun visit. If you have kids with you, they'll enjoy it, too. The small museum is far from overwhelming and very active and interactive. And, it doesn't take too long to see all the cool stuff, so kids won't be tired and bored at all. The fort also doesn't take all that long but the visit is a good one. There's lots of cannons in and out of the central bastion trace and the construction itself - a "star fort" - is interesting and fun. Good views out over the water and climbing up on the ramparts will keep kids and adults interested. The whole visit can be well and completely done in less than two hours unless you're like me and want to read every single thing. Actually, as I think about it, I pretty much did read every single thing and I was still done in less than two hours. One thing's for sure: After a visit to Fort McHenry, neither you nor your children will ever hear the national anthem again without remembering the day. (Now, I recommend you visit LP Steamers on TripAdvisor and read my and the other reviews.)
Nov 26, 2013 by: javl from Washington, DC
We visited the Fort with our 12-year-old son. We didn't have much time, but it was a perfect one-hour outing. Great film really catches the emotion of the history and the flag and song. Wonderful ranger whom the SMithsonian had "borrowed" to write the history of the physical flag. Beautiful fort--fun to climb and explore, etc.
Best Cheap Date/Family Outing in Maryland
Nov 26, 2013 by: 637C_O from Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Fort McHenry National Monument has a long and storied history. It was the sight of the bombardment by the British fleet that inspired Francis Scott Key to compose our national anthem. The visitor's center is nearly new, with a far better exhibit, gift shop, introductory video theater, in fact everything, than I remember growing up. The movie giving the history of the fort, whe War of 1812, and Baltimore's part in it, is compelling and informative. Even the drinking fountains don't taste like pool water anymore. There is an admission charge, but it gets waived for certain times, such as the Park Service's Birthday in early September. Check online for the events calendar, especially this year, because 2014 will be the 200th anniversary of the bombardment. The grounds are large, keeping the noise of the city away. Due to its strategic position, the fort is surrounded by water on three sides. Daters can walk or bike around the fort, on the path next to the seawall, or spend hours just sitting on a park bench and watch mighty ships bring goods to our country, or watch endless pleasure craft go to and fro. You can become a connoisseur of boaters after a while. The main attraction, however, is the fort and its history. Baltimore, and our country, were in real danger on that night of bombs and rockets, and the story the fort tells is worth remembering. In keeping with contemporary practice, the exhibits put more emphasis on real people, both the major figures like the commander, Major Armistead, but also prominent citizens who raised money for the defense, civilians who volunteered to fight, as well as the six ordinary people who were killed in the bombardment.The exhibits have been recently updated and bring home the stories of these people. They don't let kids climb on the Civil War era Rodman guns anymore, (boo) but kids will love the fort anyway. Bring a picnic basket, or drive a short way down Fort Avenue to nearby restaurants. All around, it is an important place every American should see, and a relaxing and pleasant experience to visit again and again.
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