Fort McHenry © Fredlyfish4
The Fort McHenry National Monument is forever associated with the US national anthem, written by poet Francis Scott Key while watching the British attack Baltimore during the War of 1812. After more than 25 hours of constant bombing by British naval forces, the fort stood with the flag flying high.
Interestingly, it was the only action the brick fort had seen in more than 100 years of guarding the waters approach to Baltimore. A visit includes a short historical film and a guided tour, with exhibits recalling the siege as well as the fort's Civil War service.
On summer weekends there are military ceremonies and drills, as well as a living history program simulating the daily activities during the battle. There is also a daily changing of the flag ceremony, with about 20 people required to fold the enormous Star-Spangled Banner.
A short talk about the fort, flag, and anthem concludes the ceremony. The monument and its grounds are a national park and visits to the parklands are free. From the fort, there are fine views down the Patapsco River to Inner Harbor and towards Chesapeake Bay.
Address: 2400 East Fort Avenue
Telephone: (410) 962 4290
Opening times: Fort and Visitor's Center open daily from 9am-4:45pm. Grounds open 9am-5pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Admission: $10, valid for seven days; free for children under 15.