Home of the Brave
Baltimore has been at the center of some of the most momentous events in America's history. This three-day tour recounts the people and places that helped shape the nation's history.
The nation's history is no more inextricably bound with Baltimore than the War of 1812, the British attack on Ft. McHenry and the penning of the Star-Spangled Banner. Take a guided tour offered by the Baltimore National Heritage Area - called Heritage Walk - or head right to the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House. See the home where Mary Pickersgill and her daughter created the 15-star flag that Francis Scott Key spied through the "dawn's early light." Then see the Battle Monument recalling the British bombardment of Fort McHenry and the valor of its defenders. Next, visit the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (the only National Park Service site with that designation) and see the fort up close and personal with a film, tour and flag-raising program.
Enjoy lunch at one of the many group-friendly restaurants surrounding the Inner Harbor or along Historic Charles Street. This afternoon, stop by the Maryland Historical Society and see the original draft of Francis Scott Key's immortal poem that became the National Anthem. The Historical Society also provides insight into the privateers who operated from Baltimore's Fell's Point during the war, prompting the British to declare the city a "nest of pirates." Then journey on to Fell's Point and stroll those same cobblestoned streets as those who harassed the British ships nearly 200 years ago. Your group may even encounter the town crier, reading the news from 1814.
Enjoy some free time to browse the Inner Harbor before a Spirit cruise with dinner and dancing and a waterside view of the famed fort.
While the Battle of Baltimore in 1814 precipitated the end of the War of 1812 and spawned the long-term friendship with Great Britain, the first blood of the Civil War was shed in Baltimore, nearly a half century later in 1861. Visit President Street Station, where Union troops, on their way to defend Washington, D.C., encountered Southern sympathizers in what's become known as the Pratt Street Riot. Nearby are the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum, site of America's first African American owned shipyard, and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, where you can learn about the African American experience. Enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants in Fell's Point, where the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass worked and owned property. Following lunch, return to the Inner Harbor area and climb aboard the USS Constellation, the only Civil War all-sail ship still afloat that interrupted the slave trade (one of the Historic Ships of Baltimore that also include lightship Chesapeake, the World War II submarine, the USS Torsk, and the Taney, a Coast Guard cutter). Then, stop by the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards in the Camden Street Station, where the Union soldiers were heading when the riot erupted. Inside the museum, the Gentleman's Waiting Room is where President Lincoln stopped on his way to Gettysburg and may have written part of his famous address. His body also passed through the station on the way back to Illinois for burial. Finally, stand atop Federal Hill, offering the best views of the Inner Harbor. It's also where Union batteries pointed their guns at the divided city of Baltimore. The Cross Street Market is a great place to stop for light refreshments before returning to your hotel.
This evening you may wish to enjoy Toby's Dinner Theatre, the Timonium Dinner Theater or an evening tour of nearby Washington, D.C.
Today, learn how courage is instilled in men and women with a visit to Annapolis and a guided tour of the United States Naval Academy. Attend noon formation, if available. Then enjoy a deli lunch at the Dry Dock Restaurant at the Naval Academy. Following your guided tour and lunch, explore the dock area on your own and make sure you see the Alex Haley Statue and the Kunta Kinte Plaque, recalling a family courage and determination during enslavement. Main Street and Maryland Avenue offer food and shopping opportunities before you reboard your coach and travel home.
Extend your stay with a visit to Maryland's Eastern Shore and learn about Harriet Tubman and discover the story of the Underground Railroad.
It's not too early to begin planning tours to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War or the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The centennial of Harriet Tubman's death will be commemorated in 2013 with special focus on the story of the Underground Railroad and the journey to freedom.
Plan your trip!
- Passages through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War October 13, 2013 - February 28, 2014 | 8:00am - 5:00pm
- Breakfast with the Animals June 18, 2013 - December 31, 2013 | All Day
- Civil War Trains Exhibit August 16, 2012 - December 31, 2015 | All Day
- In Full Glory Reflected: Maryland during the War of 1812 June 10, 2012 - December 31, 2014 | All Day
- The War Came By Train: American Civil War 150th Anniversary April 30, 2011 - December 31, 2015 | All Day