The sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the 'Star Spangled Banner'. The fort is best known for the part it played during the War of 1812, successfully holding off an attack by the British Navy. When Scott Key saw the flag still flying over the fort after surviving the attack, he wrote the poem that became the national anthem. Today, the fort is a National Historic Park. The restored barracks hold exhibits of military and historical artifacts and a well-kept trail runs along the water's edge, affording spectacular views of ships entering and leaving the busy harbor.
This 173-acre (70 hectares) woodland park in the heart of Baltimore offers nature lovers a respite from the noise and congestion of the city. Formerly an estate, the home and grounds are open to visitors today and include a horticultural reference library, a bird and nature museum and a gift shop. The grounds include formal and woodland gardens and trails. Throughout the year, symposiums, workshops and exhibits on a variety of horticultural-related subjects are held.
Commissioned in 1855, the USS Constellation was the last all-sail ship built by the United States Navy. Today, the historic vessel lies at anchor in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, where visitors can climb aboard and learn about the ship's history, including its mission to disrupt the slave trade and its latter role in delivering famine relief supplies to Ireland.
This observation area, on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center, offers panoramic views of the Baltimore Harbor. There is also a museum that displays artifacts from Baltimore's past and a gift shop featuring the famous Maryland crab. Although school groups and tours are invited to schedule an appointment to experience the Top of the World Observation Level, the space may not be reserved for private functions.
Johns Hopkins University owns and operates this 48-room, 1850s Italianate mansion decorated with post-Impressionist paintings and sculptures, rare books, Tiffany glass and chandeliers, Chinese porcelains, Japanese netsuke and 17th-century Belgian tapestries. The impressive home contains Baltimore's only private theater designed by Leon Bakst, who is best known for Ballet Russes sets. Call for information on lectures, sculpture shows and other activities. Guided one-hour tours are offered on the hour. Closed major holidays.
Housed in the renovated American Can Co., the Chesapeake Wine Co. offers tastings every Tuesday beginning at 7p. Each tasting features about eight wines that share a common theme, accompanied by bread and cheese. On occasion, a local restaurant will offer food. After the tasting, you can buy the wines that were featured at discounted prices. Chesapeake also offers the chance to learn about your favorite wine. During each class, students taste six to eight wines and hear about their history. Reservations are required.
Maryland's goodwill ambassador to the world was modeled after the Baltimore clippers, the topsail schooners that helped America win the War of 1812. Since its launch in 1988, the 173-foot vessel has represented Maryland in 44 countries. The Pride has sailed more than 180,000 miles and played host to some 500,000 visitors. If you're lucky enough to be in Baltimore when the Pride is in port, take a tour of the vessel or stay on board overnight and sail with the crew.
Made with honey, water, sublime essences and a lot of time, Baltimore's Charm City Meadworks is the first commercial meadery of its kind. A versatile beverage, these can be consumed independently or mixed for some imaginative cocktails for good effect. Patrons are encouraged to carry food with them, taste the lovely mead flavors available on rotating tap, and take some home!
The Spirit of Baltimore is a great option for an entertaining time aboard a ship. Themed cruises with dining and dancing are offered as you enjoy some sightseeing along the Patapsco River. The elegant triple-decked vessel with an open-air top deck is popular for its dining cruises and holiday cruises. Embark on a thematic river voyage to explore the city with family and friends on the Spirit of Baltimore.