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 4.5
1,439 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Very varied and interesting ships, boats and subs. Employees were full of knowledge and happy to share when asked! :) Great military discounts. Need to wear good shoes as the ladders can get slick. Al...  more »
  • I enjoyed every bit of it. Ancient sail ships to submarines. My favorite is the Russian submarine captured during the cold war with the enacted incident of launching a nuclear warhead. Admire the hero...  more »
  • Very nice place to visit, this promise all guest an unforgetable experience. Highly recommend it, love it  more »
Google
  • We go there frequently to look around the bay. This paticular morning a ship was coming in. It turned out to be a floating classroom sponsored by the University of Colorado. For 4 months the students traveled to 12 countries studying the same subjects they would have studied in their stationary classrooms back in Colorado! It was a beautiful site this particular morning with the ships in and a beautiful sunrise shining on all the happy students racing to see their greeted loved ones!
  • As museums go, it's interesting. There's kind of a fair amount to see and the material is interesting. However there are a lot of exhibits (as of late 2017) that are under construction or renovation making it hard to really take in the ships and understand what the place is about. The location is good, it's probably easier to take a Lyft than to try to park down there, and it's a lovely walk to seaport village if you feel like it. There's not really much food, despite the sign saying there's a cafe, and people who have limited mobility will have a lot of difficulty getting around.
  • What a wonderful way to spend the day! We sailed on the America for whale watching. I wish we could have stayed out on the water until sunset. We saw grey whales and dolphins. The crew was great. It’s a bargain.
  • Wonderful place! I love old ships and boats. If you love them as well you just have to come! The Star of India is a real ship from 19th century. You can visit all 3 levels of it and observe and feel. There is Russian submarine here with very interesting story aboard. The Surprise ship from the movie Master and Commander. The ferry Berckeley right now is a museum but y still can imagine how many people it was transporting just a 100 years ago.
  • Superb! I'm not a fangirl of Naval vessels but the tall ships and the submarine were pretty outstanding. I had a great conversation with one of the volunteers who told me about his experiences with that particular ship. He even offered a little behind the scene tour and showed off the engine room.

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Where to stay in San Diego

Offering accommodations at a wide range of price levels, San Diego is one of the easiest cities to stay in, regardless of whether you're simply passing through or hanging around for a long vacation. If you don't mind splurging, book your stay at a luxury downtown hotel or a lavish bayside resort. You can also rent a spacious private cottage within walking distance of the city's popular beaches. For a more affordable alternative, try a family-friendly hostel or quaint inn in a quiet residential area.
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