Prepare to feel warm patriotic vibes during your visit to the Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine. Best known for its role in the War of 1812, when American troops defeated a British navy fleet, the site was also the inspiration for “The Star-Spangled Banner,” written by Francis Scott Key, who witnessed the battle and America’s victory. Located in the Locust Point neighborhood of Baltimore and set within a 42-acre park, Fort McHenry includes a visitor and education center, exhibits displaying war artifacts, and a variety of ranger programs.
Admissions And More Information
There’s a $15 charge to enter the fort for everyone age 16 and up, and your ticket is good for seven days. Free parking is available, and the park is also accessible by public transportation and by the Baltimore Water Taxi. Feel free to bring your own picnic lunch, as there’s no fee to enjoy the park grounds.
Regular Hours 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Summer Hours 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at the visitor center.
What It's Like
Start your visit with a 10-minute orientation film about the Battle of Baltimore and the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The film is shown every hour on the hour beginning at 9 a.m. Visit the National Park Service’s website for the Fort McHenry schedule and find out when you can help a park ranger make a flag change or meet up for an educational talk. After checking out the exhibits and the gift shop, stretch your legs on the Sea Wall Trail, which goes all around the Fort McHenry peninsula.
Kids who complete the park activity book earn a Fort McHenry Junior Ranger badge and certificate. They’ll get a kick out of being sworn in by a park ranger as a new steward of the national parks. If you’re visiting during the summer, the Fort McHenry Guard provides cannon and musket firing demonstrations, and fife and drum performances.