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“A great place to visit”

The Mariners' Museum & Park
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Mariners' Museum, America's National Maritime Museum, includes the USS Monitor Center, home to the Civil War Ironclad's iconic gun turret. The Museum has over 35,000 maritime artifacts, including ship models, paintings and small craft. Located on a 550-acre park, they also feature a 5-mile hiking trail and paddleboat rentals.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

There are lots of delicate ship models as well as detailed but transparent information in the museum. By the way, I like the museum store although most of stuff there are made in China.

Thank 574_2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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564 - 568 of 720 reviews

Reviewed September 3, 2013

We visited this museum about 30 years ago and wanted to see what extra might have been added to it. WOW, were we SURPRISED! The "original" section seems VERY small compared to all of the added sections. When we entered, we were advised to start in the Monitor section and go from there, which we did. We learned a LOT about the Monitor and other ironclad boats. The Monitor actually sank off our our coast here in NC, but we had a lot to learn about it. There is a replica of it and the Merrimac including the cabin areas, which was interesting. It was interesting to learn that the concept of iron ships had never been considered until that time. The rest of the museum was quite interesting with information about ships in various war and there were many models of boats of all kinds to enjoy. There is also an exhibit area outside with more wooden boats from around the world to enjoy. We were in the Monitor area for about 3 hrs., then had lunch in the small "cafe" on site. They have delicious sandwiches, salads and desserts and beverages. We spent about 3 hrs. more in the rest of the museum, but you could easily spend longer. There is a nice gift shop near the front entrance, which has a nice variety of gifts at reasonable prices. We would recommend a visit to this museum to anyone.

Thank 69clammer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2013

I visited the Mariners Museum in August and was very impressed. I went for the photography exhibit, "Fragile Waters" which was a beautifully done exhibit. I was lost in the sensory images and written pieces of the photographs. Such talent. I then moved on to the Monitor section. Around every turn is something new, many interactive displays, all clean and well lit. I started on the stories of survival of people who survived shipwrecks. Very moving. I did not get through the whole museum but will be returning soon. Do not miss this one. I think it would be great for kids as well as adults.

1  Thank pm0403
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

This museum (which also includes the Monitor Center) is a must see when visiting the area. All of the Monitor's artifacts, including the gun turret, that were raised from the Atlantic Ocean floor are housed in this museum. This ship participated in the Battle of Hampton Roads or better known as the battle of the ironclads. The museum also houses a large collection of small boats (including a gondola from Venice)

Thank Travelersf0rfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Have gone to this museum repeatedly for over 45 yrs. It has evolved in a mostly good way over the years. Offers more for mature kids up to seniors rather then little ones. You can easily spend a full day in the exhibits. They do have changing exhibits that are usually 6 month runs. There is a permanent display of the Monitor, the Union ironclad that faught the CSA Virginia (better known as the Merrimac to a stalemate. This was the first battle between steel sided ships). The only negative in that display is the outside recreation of the Monitor , which is built to scale , is a bit tired ..showing signs of age and weathering. There are alot of outside boats, anchors cannons etc that give kids a chance to get rid of energy. The Museum is located in a 800 acre park with wonderful woods and trails. Lot of picinic areas as well. There is a 5 mile walk that goes over the property that circles Lake Maury. Even though the area appears flat this trail follows the lake closely so there is alot more up and down then would expect. There are many small wooden bridges that go over the lake and it's coves, you will enjoy depending on time of the year seeing many birds, turtles sunning and even fish at times. Make time to go to the south end of the property after visiting the museum if you don't do the whole trail. There is very nice bridge with massive lions on each end. There is a large statue on one end of the bridge that honors Colis Huntington, one of the original rail barons. Without Colis most likely there would be no N News or N News Shipyard where all of your Navy Carriers are built. The property actually originally belonged to this tycoon, and his son founded the museum 80+ yrs ago. If you find time to go down to the Lion's bridge walk over to far side of the road and you will have a wonderful view of the mouth of the James River ( 5 miles wide at this point). You can look out over the water and view the same view that Capt's Christopher Newport and John Smith had as the original first three english ships to come to America and found a continous English Settlement in 1607. The Pilgrims were more then 10 years later up north. If you are here in mid spring to early summer you may also be treated to seeing soaring Ospreys circling above look for dinner. If you wait a bit you will see these fish hawks dive into the water and often rise with a wiggling fish in their talons as they head to their nearbye nest to feed their young. Lots of blue herons as well.

Having lived off on an on in N Newport for close to 1/2 of my life I would say if you are going to do just one worthwhile thing in the city it would be to spend a 1/2 to full day at the Mariners Museum and it's grounds.

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

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