Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes: Hours, Address, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is a waterfront museum with outside and indoor exhibits, classes, camps, boat building, rowing, underwater research, and more on Lake Champlain. Through our work in water, on water, and underwater we inspire a new generation of leaders to shape the future for themselves and their communities. We create opportunities for hands-on and digital learning experiences for all ages to inspire a new generation of leaders to shape a healthy future for Lake Champlain. Museum exhibits open mid-May through mid-October, programs run year-round. Visit our website and learn more!
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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132 reviews
Very good

John I
Clifton Park, NY759 contributions
Never heard of it - but glad we found out.
Jul 2021
A tour guide on the "Ethan Allen" in Burlington mentioned that a replica of the "Philadelpia" gun boat of the Battle of Valcour Island was in Vergennes, Vermont. Well, we looked it up and found this wonderful museum. Right on the lake (almost). Admission was free, and most of the outdoor exhibits were open. We learned a bunch from the docent on the Philadelphia regarding Ethan Allen, the battle, and the lake's part in the Revolutionary War. Priceless info. There is one indoor exhibit centered on just the different styles of boats used on the lake. Additionally, there was a very interesting outdoor exhibit of the lake and it's relation to NYS, VT. and Canada during the trying times of Prohibition. If you are in Burlington, Vergennes, or driving Rt. 22A, this is a great place to spend 2 hours.
Written July 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Philadelphia, PA2,081 contributions
Free to Visit
Jul 2021 • Couples
While it is free to visit, donations are welcome. The parking lot is a bit tight. Bring your own snacks and beverages. Wear sturdy shoes. Bug spray may help. There are lots of placards to read. Some of the buildings are state-of-the art and have fabulous displays. Depending upon your interest level, plan to spend 1-2 hours here.
Written July 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Montpelier, VT3,037 contributions
Outdoor Exhibits Open Now, Indoor Exhibits Open July4th Weekend
Jun 2021
We were nearby and so decided to come here, even if not certain that this large yet well focused museum would be open. It was, and we were pleasantly surprised to arrive just in time for an interpretive tour of the "Lois McClure," which is an impressive full-scale working replica of an 1860s era sailing canal boat. That boat, and all of the outdoor exhibits and displays, were open for us to see, even as the last plans were being made to reopen the indoor displays in at least three buildings in time for the long weekend of July 4th.

So if you come to the museum during the Fourth of July holiday, your experience will be a larger one, with the opportunity to see many historical displays that we missed. OTOH, if now is your moment, don't hesitate: the visit and the historical narrative about the replica canal boat alone will make it worth your while to come here, and, as a bonus, you will likely be admitted for free, as we were.

The Louis McClure is a full-sized, authentically detailed working replica that you can view from both above and below deck, with expert interpretation in the particulars of the ship itself and also in the broader context of its historical heyday: the fascinating mid-19th times that were the great American era of shipping by canal. It was great fun to be there, to see the below-deck quarters and to hear the absorbing tales of a long-past way of life.

Our guide, Elisse, provided all the essential details as to the construction and operation of this traveling canal boat (which undertakes good-will historical and promotional tours throughout the region on the behalf of the museum) as well as quite a rousing rendition of what it is was like to work on a boat like this 150 years ago.

She had the answer to every question asked, no matter how technical or particular, but her great strength was in conveying the broad sweep of the canal era in American life, including but certainly not limited to commerce. You might say, appropriately, that she "covered the waterfront" in her presentation. She has been at the museum, engaged with this replica canal boat for the 20-plus years it has been on the drawing board, in the building stage, and in service. She knows everything, and she is also very friendly and welcoming. So ask away.

We also toured other outdoor exhibits and found ourselves intrigued by the current repair/restoration of Benedict Arnold's boat, Philadelphia, which sank in 1776 when he was still a patriot, not a traitor, as most people now know him. As I recall from an earlier visit, there is quite a lot here about Benedict Arnold, including his heroic days during the American Revolution. Perhaps some of the exhibits related to him and his history will be in one of buildings to open on July 4th weekend. If interested, you might call to check.

Highly recommended.
Written June 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Anne A
Montpelier, VT79 contributions
Kids can learn about history and try glass-blowing.
Jul 2019
Lake Champlain's military history is very interesting. But the best part about our visit to this fun museum was the glass shop, where people can make glass items themselves.
Written February 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Frisco, TX1,020 contributions
Out of the way Museum
Oct 2019
Even though this is a small out of the way museum, I enjoy my visit thoroughly. The drive out is also very nice and I enjoyed the scenery. There is a nice visitor center where you can pick up a map/self-guided tour and enjoy a movie. There is a neat Saw Mill restaurant nearby, with a discount for Museum attendees. The Museum has a fee, but also a senior rate. I enjoyed the more local focus on Maritime History, with good displays with lots of information. Some unusual displays, like the Ice Boat and the Horse Powered Ferry. Worth a visit if you're in the area. It is closed during the winter months, so check the status and hours of operation.
Written December 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Meryl B
San Francisco, CA110 contributions
Interesting, well-done local museum
Oct 2019
We enjoyed reading the history, seeing the exhibits, and walking out on the dock; the scenery is, indeed, gorgeous in October. If you're in the area, it's well worth an hour or so; but I wouldn't drive too far out of my way to get to this museum.
Written October 31, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Curtis S
Kingsport, TN2,187 contributions
A pretty cool museum documenting all things “boat” with respect to Lake Champlain
Sep 2019
while it may be out in the boonies it is certainly worth the little effort it might take to find this museum. Whenever there is something water-related or boat-related I try and make the effort to find it. This museum is actually pretty interesting in that it covers various facets of people's lives that intersect with Lake Champlain. Starting with the Abenaki Indians that inhabited the area historically and are still in the area, then moving to the evolution of boats, from dugout canoes all the way up to the warships used by Benedict Arnold and his crew on Lake Champlain. You get a sense of all the goings on that happened historically on the Lake. It will probably take about 1 to 2 hours to wander through all the exhibits. Highlights include the evolution of various boats used on the Lake, as well as a waterfront replica of one of the ships similar to what Benedict Arnold would have used during hostilities on the Lake. Entrance fees were quite reasonable, and it is not likely that this particular museum will be crowded. There are various buildings on site where Craftsman will demonstrate everything from boat building to metalworking. This one would be good for your kids and should hold their attention for a reasonable amount of time. Recommended.
Written September 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Joe Oliansky
3 contributions
fascinating history and beautiful boats
Aug 2019
Our first stop in Vermont this past Saturday afternoon. We had a great time listening to and talking to two wonderful docents on board the Philadelphia and the Lois McClure. Both gentlemen were wonderfully informed, great storytellers and just very pleasant.
We also loved the Storm King ice boat, gorgeous wooden Chris Craft and Revolutionary War building.
Written August 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wilmington, DE249 contributions
A Mini Mystic Seaport
Jul 2019 • Friends
During a cruise along Lake Champlain it was mentioned that the a replica of the gun boat Philadelphia was located at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. As we had see the original in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC we thought it would be fun to see it. We were surprised at the scope of the museum. There are a number of buildings all dedicated to the boating history of Lake Champlain and several short videos. Worth the visit.
Written July 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bangkok, Thailand523 contributions
Varied interesting exhibits
Jun 2019 • Friends
This was a surprise !
A very interesting museum. I have always had an interest in all things nautical and this museum has a treasure trove of artifacts from lake Champlain and the native people.
There are 16 different buildings all close to each other. The advantage to my thinking , is that you don’t get overwhelmed , as each building promotes different aspects of the boats of yesteryear on the lake.
There are volunteers on hand to explain the different exhibits and also they are very well explained in the descriptions alongside.
A “ Smithy” demonstrated his skills and I also was shown caulking a boat with cotton .
We intend to come back again with the grandchildren in the summer holidays.
Educational and fun but probably not for the very young.
Written June 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

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