By Jay Lloyd

NORFOLK, Va. (CBS) — In case you missed it, this year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812.  Starting this week, 1812-inspired pageants and festivals offer exciting getaway opportunities.

It was a war about sailors, the Crown, Napoleon, and most of all the sea.

But in the course of the conflict, the White House burned, a national anthem was born, and a variety of nondescript buildings earned the title “Cannonball House.”

To salute the history, a fleet of tall ships and warships sails into Norfolk, Virginia -– not your father’s Norfolk, but one with a gleaming waterfront studded with restaurants, bars, and boutiques.

Norfolk is a scenic drive down the Delmarva Peninsula and across the Bay Bridge Tunnel.  The pageantry unfolds June 1st to 12th.

Then, head to Baltimore, where a battle in the harbor inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the “Star Spangled Banner.”

constellation  jlloyd Jay Lloyds Getaway:  Events Mark 200th Anniversary of War of 1812

(The frigate USS Constellation fought in the War of 1812 and is now a floating museum in Baltimore’s inner harbor. Credit: Jay Lloyd)

If you have a boat, you can follow the fleet on June 13th to the Inner Harbor. The ships will be open for visitors at the Inner Harbor and Fels Point.

Fort McHenry, where Key sighted the famous flag, will come alive with events.  It can all be reached easily by water taxi.


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