Arabia Steamboat Museum, Kansas City

4.7
#3 of 14 in Museums in Kansas City
Dedicated to the riverboat that sank in 1856, Arabia Steamboat Museum houses countless artifacts from the ship and a glimpse of life on the American frontier. The steamer was more than 52 m (171 ft) long with paddle wheels 8.5 m (28 ft) in diameter. It sank in the Missouri River loaded with more than 181 metric tons (200 tons) of cargo for general stores and homes. Examine the museum's extensive collection of items, including fine china, tools, and toys, preserved for more than 130 years in the mud until the ship's excavation in 1988. Take a guided tour for an introduction to the vessel's history and the role it played supplying the pioneer settlements of the American West. For Arabia Steamboat Museum and beyond, use our Kansas City road trip planning website to get the most from your Kansas City vacation.
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Arabia Steamboat Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,699 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Amazing is an understatement. This certainly a must do if you like museums. Totally amazing story, recovery and seeing how Mother Nature preserves items was underground.  more »
  • It might seem tedious to stack up masses of near identical manufactured items but the quantity, range and state of preservation of the recovered goods are what makes this museum so impressive as a pan...  more »
  • All in all, a very interesting tour. Lighting on many of the displays was subdued to preserve the artifacts (so forget getting good pics unless you have a very good lens, as no flash is allowed in mos...  more »
Google
  • Very interesting. And totally worth the admission fee! One of the excavation team, David, happened to be here today. So a few people got to ask great questions. Ashlee was a great tour guide. Well come back to bring my family/friends when they finish.
  • For lovers of history and those who admire the grit it takes to make stuff happen. The Steamboat Arabia sank in the mud and became a time capsule. Tools, shoes, kitchen implements and many more items were perfectly preserved. The boat's sinking and recovery has more than a little drama. A great outing for old and young, or for visitors from out of town interested in life on the frontier.
  • This is a must see. The Manor of how the thousands of items were displayed really led to our understanding of the era. It was amazing how these brothers , father and two friends , with no experience could discover the Arabia steamboat and bring it back to life. There is an active restoration lab in the museum. We even met one of the brothers who currently is working on digging up another steamship . Our tour guide, Hibberd, was extremely knowledgable. Worth every penny.
  • Absolutely phenomenal. A bit pricey but, the history and the ability to see how preserved some of the items are, more than made up for the price. We've gone a couple of times.
  • An incredible story. Awesome exhibition. An amazing collection, pain-staking restored. A top quality job by the families involved. Highly recommend a visit.

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Where to stay in Kansas City

If you want to sample the city’s nightlife, consider a hotel in the Power and Light District, home to a wide array of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The 39th Street District is a good choice for those on vacation who prefer quirky independent venues. The city boasts an array of cozy bed and breakfasts both within and on the outskirts of the city. Those with access to a car can enjoy Kansas City on a budget by staying at a nearby campground or RV park.
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