Maritime Museum of San Diego, San Diego

Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · 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 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
1,752 reviews
  • Enjoyed touring this museum. We were very fortunate to meet one of the volunteers that is maintaining the Star of India who provided us a lot of very interesting facts and insights concerning the...  more »
  • This was by far the highlight of our weekend trip. We spent all day exploring every inch of the boats that we could. There were plenty of docents around to answer any question you may have and all...  more »
  • We really enjoyed touring all of the ships that they had on display. It was fascinating to see a Russian sub up close. Too bad we couldn't go inside because of the restrictions, but the other ships....  more »
  • My kids and I visited the Maritime Museum on a family vacation. We spent two hours here exploring the ships and boats. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. My kiddos also enjoyed learning about maritime history. Our favorite parts were the Star of India and ferry. Do note that the museum is on the water and not stroller-friendly. I had planned for this and was able to leave my stroller at the entrance.
  • An incredible place with an amazing collection of boats and submarines. Totally worth the pass to see everything. No better deal exists to see this many historic naval vessels. Helpful and friendly staff on most of the boats, and not particularly crowded, either. Kids will love this.
  • The Star of India and all the other ships here tell a great story about the maritime history of San Diego and its environs. And what an exciting story it is. This is a spot not to be missed while visiting. If you happen to have a museum membership with Smithsonian reciprocity they will accept it for entrance as well.
  • If you like maritime history - aka you list Master and Commander as one of your favorite movies, you'll really like this. It is a pretty unique collection of authentic vessels including a Soviet submarine. Fun place to take pictures, bring kids, or bring tourists to. Tourists will like it because they get a great view of the Bay, downtown, and can walk seaport village and the embarkadero.
  • This is a really cool place to see many kinds of ships. Only gave four stars for the fact we weren't notified a couple of the ships were closed (one for a private event and the other I'm not sure why it was closed) and we most wanted to see the one with the private event. So that was a bummer. But everything else was really nice.

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