Pilgrimage Places in Baltimore

If you’re looking for something you won’t find anywhere else, you’ve come to the right place. As a city that is almost 300 years old, Baltimore is home to a lot of history and a lot of firsts. Learn about the first commercial railroad, see where “The Star-Spangled Banner” was written, explore the country’s first cathedral and more. Whether you’re traveling 50 miles or 500, this pilgrimage of American history is certainly worth it.

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Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” while watching American soldiers defend Fort McHenry against the British in the War of 1812. At Fort McHenry, you can watch a video depicting the 1814 battle, learn about the causes of the War of 1812 and how the flag and anthem became symbols of the American spirit, as well as take a tour with a park ranger.

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Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum

This museum is located in the home where Babe Ruth was born, just a few blocks from Camden Yards. The stadium is the home of the Baltimore Orioles, the team that offered Ruth his first baseball contract. At the museum, you can view artifacts of Babe’s life, including his childhood catcher’s mitt and baseball jersey.

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Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum

Famed macabre writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe found great success in his career and in love in Baltimore, which is also his final resting place. Explore his recently renovated home and check out some of his original possessions, like his writing desk and chair.

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Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Named America’s most beautiful ballpark by Conde Nast Traveler, the retro-style Camden Yards attracts fans from across the country. Watch an Orioles game while enjoying such specialties as a crab mac and cheese hot dog or bacon on a stick, and wash them down with a Baltimore favorite, a National Bohemian beer.

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The George Peabody Library

This building dates back to 1871 with the founding of the Peabody Institute of Music in Mount Vernon. The Peabody Library building is described as “a cathedral of books,” and it is truly one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. The neo-Grec interior features an atrium that, over a black and white marble floor, soars 61 feet to a latticed skylight surrounded by five tiers of ornamental cast-iron balconies and gold-scalloped columns. (Image by Matthew Petroff)

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B&O Railroad Museum

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is credited with the start of American railroading. Today, the museum’s historic roundhouse, which was built in 1884 to accommodate work on passenger cars, holds historic locomotives that are part of the B&O’s most comprehensive collection of railroading artifacts. Outside, hop aboard a train to ride the first mile of railroad track laid in America.

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National Great Blacks In Wax Museum

The National Great Blacks In Wax museum is the first of its kind in the nation dedicated to African American history and is well-known for its moving Middle Passage exhibit about the slave trade. More than 150 life-size and lifelike wax figures, of greats like W.E.B. DuBois, Harriet Tubman and Langston Hughes, come to life here.

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Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Baltimore Basilica is America’s first cathedral, built from 1806-1821. After the United States Constitution was signed, church leaders wanted to build a symbol of their newfound religious freedom and that is what the Basilica still represents today. It is open every day for mass and tours.

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Star-Spangled Banner Flag House

Built in 1793, the Flag House was once the home and business place of Mary Pickersgill, who sewed the garrison flag Francis Scott Key witnessed flying over Fort McHenry that inspired him to write our national anthem. At the house, you can imitate life as Pickersgill, her mother and daughter knew it – design your own flag, cook in the kitchen and learn the story of the making of our nation’s flag.

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Orchard Street Church

The original Orchard Street Church structure dates back to 1837, when the church was founded and organized by Truman Pratt, Basil Hall and Cyrus Moore, all free black men. The building itself was erected by slaves and black freedmen who worked by torchlight in the night, and it remains the city’s oldest standing structure built by African Americans. And, while its exact role is not certain, tunnels under the church were long associated with the Underground Railroad, and the Orchard Street Church was reportedly a stop on Harriet Tubman’s passage to freedom.