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Staying close to BWI and Fort McHenry

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San Francisco Bay...
posts: 15
reviews: 5
Staying close to BWI and Fort McHenry

Hi - My son and I will be in the DC area for a Saturday - Monday stay. He wants to see Manassas and Fort McHenry. We're flying into BWI so I thought we'd stay Saturday night in Manassas and hang out there on Sunday. Then, drive up to the BWI area on Sunday night and go to McHenry on Monday morning. Will this help us avoid a lot of traffic issues?

I'm looking at hotels in Columbia. How long will it take to get to McHenry and then back to the airport on a Monday morning? We have to be at the airport by 1:00 pm.


Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 32,435
reviews: 51
1. Re: Staying close to BWI and Fort McHenry

Wow - that's a lot of driving around for a quick weekend trip, but if that's the agenda that's the way it is!

You could stay in Baltimore on Sunday instead, it would obviously make getting to Fort McHenry much easier. But either way, from Columbia or the BWI area you can easily make it to the Fort by 9:30 or so, spend a couple of hours, and be back at the airport by 1:00. Fort McHenry to BWI is only about 25-30 minutes tops.

Traffic can be bad anytime, but your only real stumbling block could be fighting rush hour on Monday morning into Baltimore. That's why I would hold off until after 9:00 to head into town.

You could also consider just staying in the same (BWI or Columbia) hotel for both nights and doing Manassas as a day trip. Mapquest gives it 65 miles and 1 hour 18 minutes driving time. It's all Interstate for the most part, and would be a breeze on a Sunday morning.

Baltimore, Maryland
posts: 239
reviews: 1
2. Re: Staying close to BWI and Fort McHenry

Sounds like a good plan. By staying in Columbia Sunday night, you will only be about 30-40 minutes from Ft. McHenry and more importantly, you will be going against Monday morning traffic.

After visiting Ft. McHenry, most of the traffic should be gone so you shouldn't have any problems (barring major construction or accidents) getting to BWI. Does your flight leave at 1:00pm or is that the time you have set for yourself to be at the airport to return the car and get through security? If it's the latter, you can leave Fort McHenry as late as 12:30pm.

San Francisco Bay...
posts: 15
reviews: 5
3. Re: Staying close to BWI and Fort McHenry

Thanks for the suggestions. We only need to arrive at the airport by 1:00...flight leaves later. We'll need to return the rental car so I guess we should be there by 12:30.