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Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

The History of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historical Shrine

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is in Baltimore, Maryland. The park commemorates the Battle of Baltimore which took place during the War of 1812. This was an important battle that prevented British troops from invading Washington D.C.  The star attraction at Fort McHenry is the flag display.  

What you must see at the park

The star attraction at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is the Fort McHenry Flag Display. This is a large display of the original Star-Spangled Banner that was flown over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore. The flag is on display in a glass case, and it’s very impressive to see!

Other popular attractions at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine include the Visitor Center, the cannons on the ramparts, and the interpretive exhibits. The park is also a great place to go for a walk or a picnic.


How do I get there?

The best way to get to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is by car. The monument is located at 2400 East Fort Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland. There is a paid parking lot on-site, but there is also street parking available. If you’re taking public transportation, the Light Rail’s Penn Station stop is the closest stop to the monument.

When is the best time to visit the park?

The fort is open every day from 9:00am to 5:00pm EST.  and admission is free. There is a Visitor Center on-site which has exhibits about the battle at Fort McHenry and the history of the fort. The fort itself is a preserved battlefield, so you can expect to see cannons and other fortifications. There is also a flag exhibit which displays the original Star-Spangled Banner

Note that the Fort is Wheelchair accessible, however the Visitor Center is not, but there are wheelchair accessible restrooms throughout the Fort.


Can I bring my dog to the park?

Pets are not allowed on the grounds of the monument, but there is a designated pet area near the parking lot.


A visit to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine would include touring the fort, visiting the museum, and enjoying the park grounds. The fort features exhibits that tell the story of how Francis Scott Key saw the flag still flying over Fort McHenry after a British bombardment and was inspired to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The museum has displays of period rooms, uniforms, weapons, and other artifacts. The park grounds include a nature trail and a view of the Baltimore skyline. There is also a gift shop on-site.

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