As the weather cools and weekly routines return after summer break, fall is the ideal time for a day trip or weekend getaway. Plan an autumn outing to one of these events at some of Maryland’s most scenic historic sites, recommended by Preservation Maryland and the Civil War Trust.

Defenders Day at Fort McHenry

Central Maryland, Baltimore, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

On September 9-11, celebrate Star-Spangled Banner Weekend at Fort McHenry with fireworks, live music, reenactments and a unique symbolic recreation of ship-to-shore bombardment. A state holiday since 1908, Star-Spangled Banner weekend honors the successful defense of the city from British attack and the writing of the national anthem in 1814.


For Cause & Country: Serving the Soldiers

Southern Maryland, Fort Washington Park

During the Civil War, a private relief group called the United States Sanitary Commission (USSC) organized war efforts to assist Union soldiers. The USSC was entirely funded and run by civilians, and would become the forerunner for the American Red Cross. On Saturday, September 10, living historians will help you discover the important role the USSC played in the lives of Union soldiers at Fort Washington.


Death and Destruction in Downtown Frederick

Capital Region, Frederick County, Frederick

Soldiers filled the city of Frederick during the Civil War, crowding hospitals, damaging property and fighting in the streets. On Saturday, October 1, join the National Museum of Civil War Medicine for an afternoon walking tour that reflects on the cost of the Civil War to Frederick’s 19th-century residents.


Living History Weekend at Antietam Battlefield

Western Maryland, Washington County, Sharpsburg

Over Living History Weekend on October 8-9, living history volunteers will portray the 124th New York Infantry recreating the life of a Civil War soldier. Weapons demonstrations will be held both Saturday and Sunday, with ongoing interpretation in the camp throughout the weekend.


Battlefield Hikes and a Movie at Monocacy Battlefield

Western Maryland, Frederick County, Frederick

On Saturday, October 15, Walk in the footsteps of Civil War soldiers who fought at the Battle of Monocacy. Rangers will lead hikes through the battlefield, highlighting the tactics and troop movements that saved Washington, D.C. Afterward, enjoy a showing of “The Outlaw of Josey Wales” at the Thomas Barn.


Colonial Festival at Mount Harmon

Eastern Shore, Cecil County, Earleville

See history come to life at the Mount Harmon Revolutionary War Reenactment and Colonial Festival on October 29 and 30, featuring British and Patriot encampments, a Colonial marketplace, hearth cooking, manor house tours and more.


The Civil War Trust is the premier nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of America’s hallowed battlegrounds.  Although primarily focused on the protection of Civil War battlefields, through its Campaign 1776 initiative, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.  To date, the Trust has preserved close to 43,000 acres of battlefield land in 23 states, including nearly 1,300 acres in Maryland.