The Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, VA, has a little something for everybody – or maybe a lot! It is one of the largest maritime museums in North America, with a rich collection of artifacts that includes the turret of the USS Monitor. At the same time, the museum is also home to the largest privately-owned, free, public park in North America.
The Mariners’ Museum is so prestigious that Congress designated it as America’s National Maritime Museum. The museum collection contains over 35,000 artifacts, including maritime paintings, working steam engines, carved figureheads, scrimshaw, ship models, and so much more.
The Mariners’ Museum Library is the largest maritime collection in the western hemisphere and one of the most comprehensive in the world. The collection contains hundreds of thousands of international documents and photos, dating back to the 1500s.
Visiting Mariner’s Museum and Park
The Mariner’s Museum offers a fascinating look through history. From the days of the earliest European explorers to today’s modern, United States Navy.
Attractions include the International Small Craft Center, where you can explore all manner of watercraft from around the world. Enter the Explorers Theater to watch a high-definition, 3D movie about undersea exploration and life in and around the world’s oceans. View the intricate and amazing ship models of Winnifred and August F. Crabtree.
One of the museum’s biggest attractions is the USS Monitor Center and Batten Conservation Complex. Here you’ll see many artifacts from the the famous Civil War ironclad ship, including its gun turret! You’ll also learn the incredible story of the ship’s creation, battle, sinking, and recovery.
Even those not particularly excited by maritime history will enjoy the beauty of Mariners’ Park.
Mariners’ Park is home to Lake Maury and the award-winning, Noland Trail. Noland Trail is a 5-mile long hiking trail that winds gently through the park and around the lake shore. The park is also home to a number of bridges, including the iconic Lions Bridge that overlooks the James River.
Visitors can enjoy hiking the trail and may even picnic along it. Many find that it takes an entire day to truly explore and experience all the Museum and Park have to offer.
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