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Top 10 Ship Museums To Visit

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

We've compiled a list of some of the Top 10 Ship Museums in the United States, in no particular order. There were many to choose from, so we based our picks on personal experience, reviews, and what each ship has to offer!


For our paying subscribers, at the end of the post we have conveniently added military lodging & camping that you will find nearby to assist you in your travels. Please be sure you are logged in to your account!


USS Midway (CV-41) & the San Diego Maritime Museum

https://www.midway.org | 619-544-9600

910 N. Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101


Located in downtown San Diego at Navy Pier you will find USS Midway and the San Diego Maritime Museum. You can see various aircraft and exhibits, listen to volunteers tell their stories, and check out the many activities offered aboard!


Lodging & Camping available at the Navy Lodge & Navy Gateway Inns & Suites. Details below.

 

USS Yorktown (CV-10), USS Laffey (DD-724) at Patriot’s Point

40 Patriots Point Rd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464



Located in the beautiful town of Mount Pleasant, SC is Patriot's Point, home to USS Yorktown. The Yorktown was the 10th aircraft carrier that served in the US Navy, a historic ship nicknamed the "Fighting Lady". She offers beautiful views of the Ravenel bridge over the Cooper River and is just around the corner from downtown Charleston.


Bonus - Visit the Hunley in nearby Charleston, a Civil War submarine. Website: https://www.hunley.org


Lodging & Camping available at the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites and Joint Base Charleston FamCamp locations. Details below.


USS Yorktown at Patriot's Point | Photo by Jaxon Matthew Willis on Pexels
 

USS Wisconsin (BB-64) & Nauticus Museum

https://nauticus.org | 757-664-1000

1 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510


Located in downtown Norfolk along the Elizabeth River is USS Wisconsin and the Nauticus Museum. The battleship Wisconsin is an Iowa-class battleship that served in the Pacific Theater in WWII, as well as the Korean War and Persian Gulf War. Directly next to battleship Wisconsin is the Nauticus Museum, which is a fun, maritime-themed science center and museum, with plenty to see and do - including a small aquarium and a touch tank!


Lodging & Camping available at various Navy Lodge & Navy Gateway Inns & Suites in the Hampton Roads area. Details below.

 

USS Arizona (BB-39) & USS Bowfin (SS-287) | Pearl Harbor National Memorial

1 Arizona Memorial Pl, Honolulu, HI 96818


The Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii offers visitors a lot to see and do. Start your tour by taking a boat over to the USS Arizona memorial - a solemn reminder of what launched the US into WWII. Also located here is the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & park, which is sure to keep you busy.


Bonus - After your visit, take a short drive to Ford Island, where you will find the USS Missouri (BB-63) aka "Mighty Mo" - the battleship that hosted the surrender of Japan, marking the end of WWII in the Pacific Theater on 2 September 1945.


Lodging available at the Navy Lodge & Navy Gateway Inns & Suites. Details below.


USS Arizona Memorial & USS Missouri | Image by Clarence Alford from Pixabay
 

USS Lexington (CV-16)

https://usslexington.com | 1-800-LADY-LEX (361-888-4873)

2914 N. Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78402


USS Lexington has been nicknamed "The Blue Ghost", rests in the Corpus Christi Bay, across from downtown Corpus Christi, TX. Onboard the ship, you will find various exhibits and attractions, including an escape room with various missions! You can sign up for a tour or take a self-guided tour, and there is even a 3D MEGA Theater which is free with your paid ship admission.


Lodging & Camping available at the Navy Lodge & Corpus Christi NAS RV Park. Details below.


 

Historic Ships in Baltimore

301 E. Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21231


There are several historic ships in Baltimore's Inner Harbor for you to see, including USS Constellation (a sloop-of-war built in 1854, the second Constellation ship), a Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC 37) , LV116 Chesapeake (a lightship built in 1930), the submarine USS Torsk, and the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse. Walk the decks, tour the ships, and learn about life at sea!


uss constellation
USS Constellation | Photo by Smash the Iron Cage on Wikimedia Commons

Lodging available at the Coast Guard Station. Details below.

 

USS Alabama (BB-60) & USS Drum (SS-228) | Battleship Memorial Park

https://www.ussalabama.com | 1-800-GANGWAY (426-4929)

2703 Battleship Parkway, Mobile, AL 36602


Battleship Memorial Park offers a lot for visitors to see and do at Mobile Bay, between the battleship, the submarine, and the collection of aircraft. USS Alabama served in WWII and ended up in Mobile, AL as a National Historic Landmark. USS Drum is a WWII submarine and the oldest of her class still in existence.


Lodging & Camping available at Pensacola. Details below.

 

Battleship Cove Mariners Museum

5 Water St, Fall River, MA 02721


Battleship Cove has 5 National Historic Landmark Naval ships and other craft for you to explore. USS Massachusetts, USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., USS Lionfish, Hiddensee, PT-617 and PT-796, and various others. You'll find aircraft, several memorials, exhibits, and a maritime museum!


Lodging & Camping available at the Navy Lodge & Navy Gateway Inns & Suites. Details below.


Battleship Cove, Fall River, MA | Photo by Java Gypsie from Pixabay
 

USS Intrepid (CV-11) & USS Growler (SSG-577) | Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

https://www.intrepidmuseum.org | 1-877-957-SHIP (7447) or 212-245-0072

Pier 86, W 46th St & 12th Ave, New York, NY 10036


Sitting in the Hudson River at Pier 86 you'll find USS Intrepid, USS Growler, and an impressive collection of aircraft. To top it off, aboard the ship within a pavilion on the flight deck is also the Space Shuttle Enterprise! Submarine Growler is the only American guided missile submarine open to the public. Aboard Intrepid you'll find all about her efforts in WWII and the Vietnam War. There are guided tours offered, plenty of exhibits to see, 3-D films, and more!


Lodging available at the Navy Lodge. Details below.


 

USS Constitution Museum

Building 22, Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA 02129


USS Constitution is the world's oldest ship still afloat, launched in 1797, with approximately 75 active duty US Navy sailors on board who participate in ceremonies, educational programs, and special events. For those history buffs out there, she is truly a sight to see with various interactive exhibits, and is conveniently located on Boston's Freedom Trail in the historic Charlestown Navy Yard.


Lodging & Camping available at the Fourth Cliff Recreation Area & Hanscom AFB FamCamp. Details below.


USS Constitution | Photo by David Mark from Pixabay

Don't see a ship museum on the list that you think should have made the cut? Leave a comment below or feel free to send us an email at Editor@militaryliving.com. We would love to hear your feedback!


 

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