We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Surprisingly entertaining and informative”

Houston Maritime Museum
Ranked #81 of 328 things to do in Houston
Attraction details
Reviewed September 1, 2012

For the next year or so, the Maritime Museum will still be in Southwest Houston near the Medical Center, West University Place, and the Astrodome. There is a stretch of fast food restaurants including a Whataburger, a Taco Bell, and a McDonald's while heading on Holcombe Blvd towards the Medical Center. The Maritime Museum is hidden on the block behind the food chains on Dorrington. It looks like a residential house, but there are enough display rooms that you might want a bit more than an hour to see the museum. We don't have a special interest in maritime history, but were curious about the attraction. As expected, they had a large number of detailed model ships, but they also had an ancient amphora from a Roman ship, a deck chair from the Queen Mary, a large collection of cups and saucers given as gifts to the locks' master at the Panama Canal by ships that appreciated his help, and many other artifacts.

The most fascinating aspect was the section on the history of the Texas Navy (when Texas was an independent nation). Not having grown up in Texas, learning about how Texas' attempts at sea power seriously affected a war in the Yucatan and the stability of the Mexican government was eye-opening. The history of the individual ships and the colorful characters in charge was also fun.

There's also information on modern shipping (even oil platforms) in the area and plenty about historic vessels from the Phoenicians to the Santa Maria to the Swedish Vasa and German u-boats.

The one drawback of the museum was the sewer gas odor which did not dissipate throughout our visit. Probably their restroom needed work and that's something that will be fixed soon.

For kids interested in model ships and maritime history, this would be fun, and there's ample information (much of it aimed at kids and teens) about careers at the port. But it's not a museum with buttons to push, test your knowledge games, or videos of sea battle re-enactments, etc. Perhaps when it moves (in 2014, maybe?) to its new Ship Channel location it will have more modern amenities. However, as it is, it's a great hidden treasure.

Thank Darshan1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (29)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
All reviews
"ship models"
in 7 reviews
"private tour"
in 2 reviews
"two hours"
in 2 reviews
"navy"
in 3 reviews
"boats"
in 3 reviews
"skiing"
in 5 reviews
"shipping"
in 4 reviews
"milt"
in 2 reviews
"docent"
in 3 reviews
"war"
in 2 reviews
"modelling"
in 2 reviews
"lecture"
in 2 reviews
"admission"
in 4 reviews
"facility"
in 3 reviews
"oil"
in 2 reviews
"collection"
in 3 reviews
"artifacts"
in 2 reviews
Filter

26 - 29 of 29 reviews

Reviewed August 26, 2012

I went to the museum, located in the University District, on a Saturday morning. My visit started out quietly, with only one other group at the museum. It has many excellent ship models, which is what the majority of the museum focuses on, but these models go from about 12 inches (smaller if you include the ones in the light bulbs) to about 5 or 6 feet (long and high) with beautiful detail. There is an older gentleman there who will tell you about the models and the ships they represent, who served on a Liberty ship during WWII - he's very interesting and knowledgeable and gave me an overview of the museum, then let me wander on my own. I was there when a group that had something to do with the Merchant Marines came in and they were amazed that this little hidden gem was here. On the upper floor are some models available for purchase as well as a library with many books on naval history. I even found a book with a picture of my grandfather's ship from WWII. A very enjoyable visit!

Thank profesorak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2012

When you have an hour or so to spend while in downtown, go to the Marine Musem, fun place.

Thank sawsan22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2016
Google Translation

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Houston Maritime Museum also viewed

Houston, Texas Gulf Coast
Houston, Texas Gulf Coast
 
Houston, Texas Gulf Coast
 

Been to Houston Maritime Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing