Historic Sites

Mother Seton House
This traditional Federal-style dwelling was home to the first American-born saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Elizabeth Anne Seton founded a girls school here in 1808 and also established the first sisterhood of nuns in the US. The gothic-style chapel where Mother Seton took her vows is a popular tourist attraction, as is her home, which still contains many personal items and furnishings from the 1800s. (410-523-3443)

USS Constellation
This is the last of the all-sail, wooden warships built by the US Navy. It was completed in 1854, and is the only Civil War ship still afloat. In the early years, she was part of the US Mediterranean Squadron, then spent a few years plying the Atlantic to discourage slave ships and Confederate ships. The Constellation was permanently decommissioned in 1955 and named a National Historic Landmark in 1963. (410-539-1797)

Westminister Hall and Burial Ground
In 1796, the Presbyterian Church moved its graves from their original location north of the city to their current home. Unfortunately, they encountered the same problems at the new site — every time it rained, the water table would rise, pushing coffins and bodies to the surface. The immediate solution was to cover the graves with heavy monuments and ornate stone markers, which in time became a prime target for vandals. So, building directly above the graves and thus creating catacombs, the church erected Westminster Hall, which functioned as a religious facility until 1977. Now managed by the University of Maryland School of Law and the Westminster Preservation Trust, the site is probably best known as the final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, although it also boasts an antique Johnson pipe organ... and those creepy catacombs. (410-706-2072)

Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine
This patriotic attraction is best known for its role in the writing of our national anthem — Francis Scott Key watched the flag wave above this fort during the 1814 Battle of Baltimore and was moved to write his moving tribute to the Stars and Stripes. After that fateful day, when the American forces stood firm, the fort continued as a military base but it never again faced attack. A guided tour and a short film tell the fascinating stories behind the fort. (410-962-4290)

Flag House and Star-Spangled Banner Museum
Everyone knows about how Francis Scott Key wrote our National Anthem while watching the American flag fly during the War of 1812, but few people know the name of the woman who sewed that flag. Her name is Mary Pickersgill, and she made that historic banner by hand. Her Federal-style home is decorated in period furnishings, and an interesting museum next door tells the story of the War of 1812. (410-837-1793)

Edgar Allan Poe House
Edgar Allan Poe, the American master of suspense writing, wrote many of his most famous works while living in this tiny duplex in the heart of Baltimore. Originally built in 1830, the small home was the main residence of Mr. Poe for three years (1832-1835). The home has been restored to its condition during the years Poe lived there. Look for period furnishings as well as historic items like his traveling desk, a telescope, illustrations from his work "The Raven,", a rare portrait of Poe's wife, Virginia and and a copy of his obituary. Call ahead to confirm hours, which may vary slightly from week to week. (410-396-7932)

Washington Monument and Mount Vernon Place
The city of Baltimore was first in the nation to construct a large-scale monument to honor George Washington — Washington Monument and Mount Vernon Park, often referred to as the heart and soul of Baltimore. Designed by Robert Mills, creator of the better known Washington Monument in our nation's capital, it stands 178 feet tall and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 228-step spiral staircase to its top more than rewards intrepid visitors with lovely views of the city skyline. (410-962-5070)

Maps and Directions

Mother Seton House 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
USS Constellation 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites, Military, Museums
Neighborhood: Inner Harbor
Westminister Hall and Burial Ground 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine 10Best List Arrow
Type: Family Friendly, Historic Sites, History Museums, Military, Museums, Sightseeing
Flag House and Star-Spangled Banner Museum 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
Edgar Allan Poe House 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: BALTIMORE
Washington Monument and Mount Vernon Place 10Best List Arrow
Type: Great Views, Historic Sites, Sightseeing
Neighborhood: Mt Vernon
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