Come climb the Washington Monument in Baltimore year-round for spectacular views of the city! And history buffs can get an extra history lesson on a walking tour of the neighborhood on May 20.

Forget about another boring session on your gym’s Stair Master -- there’s a better way to get your heart rate up. Nestled in the heart of Baltimore is the stoic Washington Monument, and you can climb all the way to the top. The climb consists of 13 stories (or 227 steps) and takes about three to five minutes to complete. Hopefully you haven’t been skipping leg day! Since space inside the stairwell and up at the top is limited, groups of no more than five are allowed to trek up every 20 minutes. If small, enclosed spaces are not your cup of tea or you have any heart or respiratory issues, please refrain from making the climb.

The monument is open to climbers year-round, from Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last group of climbers let in at 4:40 p.m. You are welcome to drop by, but it is best to secure your spot ahead of time by getting your tickets online. Adult tickets are $6, while children under 14 get in for $4 and must be accompanied by an adult.

And for an extra bit of local history, you can join the Mount Vernon Place walking tour prior to the climb on May 20. For $10, which includes both the tour and the climb, you’ll learn all about the local families (Garrets, Walters, etc.) who built the beautiful mansions in the area surrounding the monument. The tour and climb take an hour, from 10 to 11 a.m., and space is limited to 15 people, so get your tickets in advance here.

According to the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy website, the monument’s cornerstone was laid over 200 years ago on July 4, 1815. Built using white marble from local quarries in Baltimore County, this homage to George Washington (seen as the statue on top of the column) has further significance. It is an illustration of a source of pride for Baltimoreans, commemorating their role in securing American liberty during the Battle of Baltimore, which took place in the fall of 1814 and was a turning point in the War of 1812. There is so much for us to learn about Baltimore and its rich history!

And can you really call yourself a true Charm City dweller if you’ve never observed it from 130 feet above the ground? Lace up your comfiest pair of sneakers (close-toed shoes recommended) and get a bird’s eye view of the streets and buildings of the place you call home. It’s a breathtaking and peaceful place to get away from the hustle and bustle of your day. Forget taking a million selfies up there: just unplug and take in the 360-degree view.

Have you ever climbed the Washington Monument? What did you think? What would you recommend to first-time climbers? What other events do you enjoy attending at the Mount Vernon Place? We love it when you share with us, so drop a line or two in the comments section below!

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