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Maritime Museum of San Diego, San Diego

4.6
#2 of 32 in Museums in San Diego
Specialty Museum Ship
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 to visit Maritime Museum of San Diego and other attractions in San Diego using our San Diego vacation trip planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,358 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • It is close to the midway and you notice walking northward. Don't miss it, it's exciting to enter inside of sailing ships and also in a Russian submarine. Almost better than the midway!
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  • Our 11 and 12 year old really enjoyed these ships! The staff is friendly, funny and informative and the ships provide a great way to enjoy San Diego's beautiful weather while also taking in the sights...  more »
  • This is an inexpensive and very educational way to spend 1/2 day on the water of San Diego Bay. There are 9 vessels that you board and wander about on a self guided, at your on pace tour. The vessels ...  more »
Google
  • Great price and knowledgeable friendly staff! This is one of our favorite places with lots to see and do. We were here for at least 2 hours exploring all the different ships and submarines. There were a lot of things to learn about the ships and how the history of the submarines played into the different Wars and preventing Wars. We also took a little boat tour that went out to Coronado Bridge and back. The tour guide was extremely friendly and knowledgeable. This was a great $7 addition to our ticket that was well worth it. It was a 45-minute run, the weather was great and we could see all the places and things the tour guide was talking about. He knew a lot about the different ships in the harbor and the history of San Diego. This was a great thing that we could do that was affordable with which we learned a lot about the city and the history of it.
  • After touring the Midway Museum the day before, I wasn't sure I wanted to do another "boat" tour. I then saw on their website the chance to take a cruise in a Vietnam era swift boat. Cost was just a little more in addition to the museum entrance. I'm in. It was a great ride and was like getting the rest of the museum's unique boats thrown in for free,
  • This was so much fun. We came here expecting to spend an hour or two and stayed all afternoon. The wood ships were amazing, you feel like you're exploring pieces of history. And who wouldn't want to crawl through a cold war era Soviet submarine while learning about the Cuban missile crisis?
  • So much fun! great views of the harbor and lots of great historical information offered. You get 7 vessels for cost of admission. No gimmicks or fancy stuff just a great day going through history. Star of India has 3 levels, a submarine you can walk through and a river boat were as far as we got. We visited end of March..lots of parking right in front early ...including disabled. Volunteers are always handy for questions. We live in San Diego and wish we'd visited sooner...sadly Anthony's Fish Grotto is closed would have been nice to eat close by. There is a small Claim Jumpers and a sandwich place across the street I was told. The cart outside the river boat used instant Country Time lemonade..my only disappointment of the day.
  • A place where imagination sets sail. The museum has something for all ages and interests. There is no "building," but the vessels are filled with world class art, historical pieces, and tales of their own. Pilot has daily cruises, the cheapest on the bay, Swift goes out on weekend tours, Californian and San Salvador do weekend sails. This is honestly, the coolest place in town and, best of all, it's affordable.

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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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