Fort McHenry: An Underrated Baltimore Gem

When you think if Baltimore, you probably think of the Orioles, The Wire, Freddie Gray, Serial Podcast, the Ravens, or maybe even good old fashioned crab cakes, but one of my favorite Baltimore traditions is the Star Spangled Banner and Fort McHenry.

Fort McHenry is a star shaped fort located at the mouth of the Baltimore harbor, famous for defending Baltimore from an attack by the British navy during the War of 1812. The sight of a garrison flag, signaling an American victory, on the morning after the battle, inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that became our National Anthem. This national treasure is located just over a mile from our house!

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The Fort and its grounds are a National Monument and open to the public seven days a week from 9am to 5pm. The park and grounds are free of charge, but admission to the Star Fort and Visitor’s Center are a small fee. Parking at the fort is free but may be crowded on popular summer weekends like the Fourth of July, but you can also park in nearby Locust Point for free for up to two hours. Bring a picnic lunch and a nice blanket and enjoy the wide open spaces and beautiful views.

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One of the things that initially concerned me about raising a child in the city was the lack of outdoor activities and opportunities to feel the grass under her bare feet. I’ve been making it a point, especially as Blair has become more mobile, to find ways to expose her to those simple things in life, even while in the city. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the opportunities before us! Baltimore really has so much to offer if you’re open to looking for it.

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