THE BALTIMORE SUN -Many beloved literary figures, including Edgar Allan Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Rachel Carson, have left their marks in Maryland. Here are the best places to relive a bit of bookish history.

Fort McHenry. Francis Scott Key's poem, "The Defence of Fort McHenry," was inspired by the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812, but it would take more than a century for it to be officially recognized as our national anthem, renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum (203 N. Amity St.). The former home of Edgar Allan Poe is the place to learn about his life, and death, in Baltimore. Later, stop by the Westminster Burying Grounds, where his remains remain.

Rachel Carson Conservation Park (22201 Zion Rd., Brookeville). The celebrated author and biologist worked on "Silent Spring" at her Silver Spring home, a one-story rancher she designed and lived in until her death in 1964. This park is a great place to commune with nature.

Mencken House, (1524 Hollins St.) You can't tour the inside of H.L. Mencken's former home - or the rowhouse at 1307 Park Ave. where Jazz Age pal F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote "Tender is the Night." But you can toast them at The Owl Bar, 1. E. Chase St., where they threw back quite a few drinks.

Smith Island. Former Baltimore Sun columnist Tom Horton's "Island Out of Time" follows the independently minded watermen who live here. You'll find food here, including crab cakes and authentic Smith Island cake, to fuel the kayaking, canoeing and wandering this 300-year-old fishing community inspires.

Roland Park. Anyone who's read Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Anne Tyler's books can tell you about the beauty (and lovable oddballs) of this North Baltimore neighborhood, which makes appearances in books such as "The Accidental Tourist" and "Ladder of Years."

Annapolis. Fans of Tom Clancy's books, video games and movies can enter Jack Ryan's world, traveling over the same Severn River Bridge that the intrepid Ryan does, touring the U.S. Naval Academy or just enjoying the scenic waterfront.

Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum (1471 Thames St.). Abolitionist Douglass is one of the most celebrated African-American heroes in America; here's the place for the whole family to learn about the one-time slave's life.

Fells Point. Laura Lippman's novels celebrate the city's quaint and quirky neighborhoods, and here you can find such landmarks as Bertha's and the Daily Grind, with Matthew's Pizza a short drive away.

Captain John Smith National Historic Trail. The explorer's journey along the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries was meticulously recorded in his diary. Now you can experience Maryland much as he did, in the country's first national water trail.

Each Friday until 2010, Baltimore Sun bloggers will present their top-10 lists in print and online.

what you said

The rowhouse at 1307 Park Ave. in Bolton Hill, where Scott Fitzgerald lived while he was writing "Tender Is the Night" and Zelda, while writing "Save Me the Waltz," was being treated at Johns Hopkins and Sheppard Pratt.

John McIntyre

nothing could be quirkier than the poe house!

jon sussman

If any neighborhood can be nominated for Anne Tyler, it's Homeland where she took her daily 7:15 AM walks around "The Lakes." Some of us here set our clocks by her (until she moved and left us bereft).


naturally, you must go to Ft. McHenry and bawl yr. nationalistic eyes out screaming the Francis Scott Key poem as the movie ends and they draw open the shades to reveal?!?!? a humongus AMERICAN FLAG!!!

david eberhardt

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