Monday, June 4, 2012

A Banner Day for Camden Yards visitors

Baltimore's very popular (FREE) shuttle service around downtown has sprouted another appendage.

The new "Banner Route" will be of particular interest to Camden Yards visitors because it is within easy walking distance of several points on our campus, and it provides transportation to Fort McHenry.

In this Bicentennial year of the War of 1812, Fort McHenry merits even greater attention because of the pivotal role it played in defending the young nation against British Naval Forces, and also the inspiration for the Star-Spangled Banner.

The State of Maryland has been gearing up for this celebration for several years now, including a complete renovation of the Visitors Center at Fort McHenry.   The new interpretive film relates the circumstances that led to the War, and the importance of Baltimore's stand after significant losses in Washington and other parts of Maryland.

With the opening of the new Banner Route, Fort McHenry is now connected to the Inner Harbor and Federal Hill.

For Oriole Park visitors, that means just a short walk down Conway Street (by the light rail station) to Light Street, where the Banner stops at the intersection.
From the M&T Bank side of the complex, crossing either Hanover Street or the pedestrian bridge will take you to the Gwynns Falls Trail.  Follow north to Henrietta, and east to Williams.  The Banner Route stops a few blocks north at Key Highway.

As Camden Yards (and the nearby Convention Center and hotel) are magnets for out-of-town visitors, this new and convenient transportation option is going to make it much easier for them to add on a trip to Fort McHenry and pick up a valuable American history lesson in the process.

(Does anyone else wonder if the Tottenham delegation will stop by when they're visiting Under Armour in the same neighborhood?  The irony is delicious.)

And speaking of Under Armour, they have their very own stop on the Charm City Circulator route, too.  Only it isn't by bus.  The transportation system also includes two water taxi routes, and one of them connects the Maritime Park in Harbor East with Tide Point, home of Under Armour.

With the opening of the Banner Route and the seasonal water taxi routes, it is now possible to visit just about anywhere you want to go in Baltimore for free -- and from within walking distance of Camden Yards.

For some other suggestions on the entertainment and dining options available along the Charm City Circulator line, look at the maps here:

But be sure to include Fort McHenry.  The Star-Spangled Banner will never sound the same after you experience what inspired it.

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