Everyone has heard The Star-Spangled Banner, but how many people know the story behind America’s national anthem? It all began with Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, where in September of 1812, a lawyer and poet named Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of U.S. soldiers by the British Royal Navy during the Battle of Baltimore.
The fort, now a historic shrine and national monument, is a beautiful place for families to visit during your trip to Baltimore. Explore the Star Fort, Park and Visiting Center at your leisure, or participate in self-guided tours that begin with a 10-minute orientation film at the Visiting Center, which play twice per hour. An entire visit should expect to take about two hours, but there are plenty of things to do and see at Fort McHenry.
In the summer months, families will enjoy things like daily activities like talks delivered by park rangers, and musket, drill and artillery demonstrations by the Fort McHenry Guard! A junior ranger program is also available for kids to enjoy.