Chicago Maritime Museum

Chicago Maritime Museum: Hours, Address, Chicago Maritime Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Chicago Maritime Museum
4.5
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
From its earliest beginnings, Chicago has been defined as a city rising from the lake. From French fur traders paddling canoes to lumber-laden schooners and freighters transporting grain and coal to today's canoes and kayaks plying the Chicago river and streamlined sailboats racing north to Mackinac Island, the city continues to evolve from its strategic post at the foot of the Great Lakes. Since 1982, the Chicago Maritime Museum has collected more than 6,000 items that commemorate Chicago's maritime history, including ship models, articles, books, displays, art, images, and nautical artifacts. he new Chicago Maritime Museum adeptly tells the story of how Chicago's history and development stem from its axis between the Great Lakes and the waterways that flow into the Mississippi River. The museum offers visitors a chronological walk through local maritime history, including the Ralph and Rita Frese canoe collection.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
23 reviews
Excellent
17
Very good
4
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
1

StorytellerG
Chicago, IL1 contribution
Solo
Chicago's growth is in large part based on it's maritime history. The Chicago Maritime Museum is the only place in the city that tells this story. If you like boats or history, or both, you're going to love the CMM!

This relatively small, brand new museum interprets nearly every decade of Chicago's waterborne trade and transportation with fresh displays, clear interpretation, compelling stories and objects large and small from the river and the lake (in Chicago there's only one of each!).

Just as interesting as what's inside the museum is the setting it's in. Bridgeport is an ancient neighborhood, as neighborhoods go in Chicago. But it's current revival from a place full of empty old warehouses and dead factories to one of the liveliest hotspots of art, culture and diversity makes a visit to the CMM even more of a deep Chicago experience than a visit to many of the City's larger museums. The big downtown museums may have more stunning views of the skyline but they are isolated from the real Chicago where we live, work, play and celebrate our common history.
Written April 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for a terrific review - thorough and thoughtful! We very much appreciate it. I would add one note - unlike the big museums, CMM has free parking (in the North lot!)
Written May 2, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TomKastle
Madison, WI1 contribution
Friends
Last year, a dozen tall ships brought out about a million visitors to Navy Pier, but, in the 1880s, Chicago regularly hosted over 200 tall ships on any given day. Indeed, Chicago has an amazing maritime history that is seldom taught in schools. This museum opens the door to this amazing past from the voyageurs and Chicago canoe legend Ralph Frese to schooner rigging, the Eastland disaster, yacht racing, models, archives, and more. As a maritime folklore person and tall ship sailor, I can't tell you how much this place means to the maritime heritage of Chicago. Bravo!
Written April 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your supportive review that is very much appreciated! One of the museum goals is to preserve the maritime culture here, including music and poetry. In that vein, each of the past two third-Friday lectures started with music!
Written May 2, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rick R
1 contribution
Business
Great Museum easy access with big parking lot. Active exhibits, ship models canoes small sailing craft and archive with references.
Written April 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Venegeo
Itasca, IL20 contributions
Small, but very interesting collection of artifacts and displays relating to maritime history in the Great Lakes. An enjoyable few hours.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you very much for your review. We were pleased to have you visit!
Written February 12, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ron R
Oak Lawn, Illinois, United States43 contributions
Couples
My wife and I were on our weekly Friday outting which often includes some day hikes during the summer or museums during the winter. As we had an errand on the near South side, I searched travel advisor for a nearby museum. While a bit out of the way for many out of town visitors, it was quite accessible for locals like us.

While not large the museum offers an enlightening perspective on early Chicago's importance as a maritime center with interesting maps and exhibits. We were fortunate in having an impromptu tour by the curator which added some very interesting narrative to the exhibits. Though we are native Chicagoans, we learned a great deal about the part the local waterways and Great Lakes played in the early development of the area.

We highly recommend a visit for anyone wishing to learn about a unique aspect of Chicago's history.
Written January 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your review which is very much appreciated. Your comments on the value added by the museum are spot on and a fine addition to the other comments. We hope you will come back to visit as other exhibits open and that you check events on the museum's web site for listings of open houses and maritime related lectures.
Written January 8, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Doug S
1 contribution
Friends
Great - Great Lakes and Chicagoland Waterways maritime History and info! It has a nice selection of artifacts on display. A true Chicago treasure.
Written April 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gerald T
1 contribution
Friends
Not many people are aware of chicago's long maritime history. This museum brings that history to you with interesting stories supported by relevant artifacts. This is a must see.
Written April 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

thatcherw2016
Chicago, Illinois1 contribution
Friends
Great small museum that deals with a much overlooked historical fact that Chicago is great maritime city. Lots of good information and stories here. Bubbly Creek does bubble but is home to wildlife and Sculling activity which can be seen right from the CMM landing.
Written April 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ronnie C
1 contribution
Solo
The museum may be small but it is a great place to learn a bit about Chicago maritime history. My favorite aspect is that it is right on the banks of the legendary Bubbly Creek. The story of how Chicago was founded via waterways is such an interesting one and the curators are very knowledgeable about their Chicago history!
The museum is slightly difficult to find; it is easiest to drive to the north entrance parking lot (FREE!) on the corner of Racine and 34th, then walk through the door under the big blue awning. The museum is located on River Level floor. Admission is $10 adults, $5 for students. Adults 65+, children 12 and under, and members have FREE admission! Also, I recommend visiting the website, twitter, and facebook page!
Written April 18, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ryan M
1 contribution
Solo
Not open during hours listed on website. I showed up at 10:15 and stayed until 10:30 on a Saturday; the doors were locked and the lights were off the whole time.
Written July 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Chicago Maritime Museum

Chicago Maritime Museum is open:
  • Tue - Sun 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM


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