Maritime Museum of San Diego, San Diego

4.6
See and visit historical sailing ships, steamboats and submarines at Maritime Museum of San Diego, and even sail on some of them. Established in 1948, this open-air museum hosts one of the largest collections of historical sea vessels in the United States. Take a self-guided tour through the ships and mind your head--it can be quite cramped inside. See the oldest ship in the world still able to sail--the 1863 Star of India, which used to sail the seas for up to a year at a time--and a 1,814 metric ton (2,000 ton) diesel-electric Soviet submarine, among others. Visit the archives and exhibits to learn more about that mystical connection that people and sea have always shared. Arrange your visit to Maritime Museum of San Diego and discover more family-friendly attractions in San Diego using our San Diego travel route tool .
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Maritime Museum of San Diego Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,502 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This place is so much cooler than I thought it would be! I was blown away by the huge number of ..... ships! Or boats. Whatever. Including not one but TWO submarines - one an old school Russian. It wa...  more »
  • The staff at the museum was professional, helpful and friendly. We took the San Salvador 4 hour cruise and really enjoyed it.  more »
  • This was so fun! Several ships are part of this “museum.” It’s self-guided so you can go at any pace you wish. The Russian submarine was so cool; however, you have to crawl through small openings on i...  more »
Google
  • What an awesome place to visit! We had some down time during our business conference and stopped by to see the ships. What a great collection of history! Really loved the Star of India. Everyone on board seemed to really care about the ship and loved to give details. They even had kids aboard ready to stay the night on the ship! They had them marching around singing sea songs. It was awesome. Definitely check this place out!
  • Fun and interesting museum for kids and adults, and also very informative. Especially great for those with a big imagination. Star of India and the Berkley Ferry are the largest and have the most displays/info. Accessibility is mixed. Ramps lead to each of the ships/subs, but with the exception of the Ferry they all have at least a few stairs to get onto the vessel, and plenty of steep stairs once you get on. If you use a wheelchair and stairs are 100% not an option, there's good stuff to look at in the Ferry and even just looking at the vessels from outside is pretty cool. If you are able to navigate stairs with help, the Star of India is probably the most reward for your effort, and definitely worth trying (most displays are one level below the main deck). The subs and larger ships are pretty steady in the water and shouldn't make you seasick. The smaller ones can be a little wobbly, so proceed with caution or take Dramamine ahead of time if you're sensitive. All the bathrooms are very clean and modern, although some are wedged into whatever corner was available for retrofitting, so it might be a little awkward to use. The Russian submarine is cool but EXTREMELY cramped, so if you are the LEAST bit claustrophobic, don't go inside. If you are a larger person, have bad knees or back, or don't think you can fit through the four 2.5 foot portholes, don't go in. (They have a replica of the porthole so you can make sure you can get through before you go on.) The American Sub (USS Dolphin) is much better, but still a tight fit. Overall a great way to spend an afternoon and definitely worth the price of admission.
  • This place was pretty neat. I wish they had more details, labeled somehow so I knew what displays I was looking at. Some of them are marked. It would be nice to have a map with a description numbered to correspond with a number on a display. So I think they could spend a little more money on explanations. Other than that it was a great place to explore and look around. At times I found myself alone in the sub and it gave me an eerie sense of what it must have been like to be a sailor waiting for the signal that war was about to breakout. Creepy and also reflective of the men who came before us and lived these jobs. If you like submarines and ships you are going to enjoy this Museum.
  • I went here to take my nephew and was pleasantly surprised instead of kind of bored(which I thought I would be). Quite a few ships to see, even tho two were closed when I visited. I liked the variety and easy metered parking.
  • Museum was nice but we missed the boat ride because they didn't tell us the times on boat and they were unable to refund us the money. Its $18 each for the museum and an extra $7 for the 45 min boat ride around the bay. Bring good walking shoes you will be walking in and out of 7 ships.

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