flickr/Ron Cogswell
Mariners Museum/Mariners Museum
Mariners Museum/Mariners Museum
Mariners Museum/Mariners Museum
flickr/PRORon Cogswell
AAA Editor Notes
The Mariners' Museum and Park is off I-64 exit 258A, following US 17S to 100 Museum Dr. Dedicated to preserving and interpreting the heritage of the sea, the museum features one of the world's most comprehensive maritime collections. The rambling, one-story building contains some 35,000 artifacts, including figureheads, scrimshaw, ship models, decorative arts, rare books, maps and navigational instruments as well as the USS Monitor Center.

The 15th through 18th centuries are the focus of the Age of Exploration gallery, where visitors learn about the intrepid explorers who ventured across seas to new lands.

The Defending the Seas gallery explores the history of the U.S. Navy using re-created sections of military ships, including the ready room of an aircraft carrier and the helm section of a submarine.

Detailed handcrafted models of the commercial steamships that once sailed the world's oceans form the core of the Ship Model gallery. The ORACLE Team USA's 72-foot-long racing yacht that won the 2013 America's Cup is featured in the Speed and Innovation in the America's Cup gallery.

A highlight of the museum is the gallery devoted to the intricately carved works of art created by August and Winifred Crabtree. The Crabtree Miniature Ships collection features 16 of these models, crafted in amazingly exquisite detail.

The International Small Craft Center houses close to 75 watercraft ranging from dugout canoes, fishing boats, a boat used by Cuban refugees and surfboards. The museum is set in a 550-acre park, which boasts Lake Maury, rimmed by the 5-mile Noland Trail, and the Lion's Bridge, the dam forming the lake.

Picnicking is permitted. Food is available. Time: Allow 2 hours minimum.

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