Maritime Museums | Image Gallery

American Fleet Tug Museum: (CA) The AMERICAN FLEET TUG MUSEUM in San Rafael, CA, was founded to provide an educational forum as well as to increase public awareness regarding the historic significance of our nation's fleet of ocean going rescue/salvage vessels and all those who proudly served aboard them. Their rich history and varied successful missions, spanning the decades from World War Two forward, have had a positive and everlasting impact on our nation's maritime industry and its' development


Banning Residence MuseumBanning Residence Museum:(CA) General Phineas Banning has been called the father of Los Angeles Harbor where he was the first to row his small boat out to anchored vessels with water and food. He was the founder of Wilmington, CA naming it after Wilmington, DE from wence he came. His home is now The Banning Residence Museum, a facility of the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, and is operated in cooperation with Friends of Banning Museum.

Cabrillo National Monument: (CA) Portuguese sailor Cabrillo, first explorer from Spain, is recognized at this monument overlooking San Diego, for his discovery. A personal visit will long be remembered.

Catalina Island Museum: (CA) Beautiful Catalina Island beckons one and all to visit California paradise where maritime history was made hundreds of years.

Channel Islands National Park: (CA) Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo explored California and the Channel Islands in 1542. Long before Cabrillo explored the Channel Islands, the Chumash Indians were navigating around the Channel on 10-to-30 foot canoes, one of the most advanced watercrafts of their time. These "tomols" were most often constructed from the light-weight, sea-cured redwood logs that floated down from the coast from northern California. Comprised of five in a chain of eight southern California islands near Los Angeles, Channel Islands National Park is home to a wide variety of nationally and internationally significant natural and cultural resources.

Civil Engineer Corps/Seabee Museum: (CA) The CEC/Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme, CA, is a lasting monument to the history and fighting spirit of the Seabees and Naval Civil Engineering Corps. The Museum contians a wide variety of weapons, hunting and farming implements and many other items of maritime interest.

East Brother Light Station: (CA) East Brother Light Station, just off Point Richmond in northeast San Francisco Bay, is a beautifully restored Victorian Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast inn perched atop an island in the straits that separate San Francisco and San Pablo Bays.

Liberty Ship Jeremiah O'Brien: (CA) One of only two surviving liberty ships of 2,751 built in WW II and the only liberty ship to attend the 50th anniversary of D-Day at Normandy, France in 1994, is moored at San Francisco. She sails occasionally and you will want to visit her personally.

Los Angeles Maritime Museum: (CA)

The Los Angeles Maritime Museum is housed in the 1941 Public Works Administration (WPA) "Streamlined Moderne" building in San Pedro. It was the base for an Los Angeles Harbor to Terminal Island. This 75,000 square foot facility features more than 700 ship and boat models, a variety of navigational equipment and an operating amateur radio station.

Exhibits include Native American artifacts relating to the sea, ship figureheads, maritime arts and crafts and an 18-foot scale model of the TITANIC. Historical exhibits of the whaling industry, tall ships, commercial shipping, the Navy, the Merchant Marine and recreational sailing.

Maritime Heritage Project: (CA) The Maritime Heritage Project is a California non-profit dedicated to preserving California's shipping history from the 1850s to the turn of the Century. The Project focus is on steamships, their captains, and passengers. The Project will include all the ships sailed by Captains James H. Blethen and James H. Blethen, Jr., ancestors of the Project's Founder. The Blethens, both Master Mariners, plied the Pacific Ocean from 1850 through the early 1900s, bringing passengers from Nicaragua and Panama, mail to New Zealand and Australia, and goods from exotic Pacific seaports to San Francisco.

Monterey Maritime Museum: (CA) Portraying the sailing ship era, the fishing, and whaling days in Monterey, California, the Museum is at the site where Commodore John Sloat captured the village making California a part of the United States.

The Nautical Heritage Society: (CA) A mainstay of The Nautical Heritage Society, located in San Clemente, CA, includes the tallship CALIFORNIAN, a full-scale re-creation of the 1848-vintage Revenue Marine Service Cutter, C.W. Lawrence, one of the fastest and grandest ships in the evolution of the United States Revenue Marine Service, and the first to be assigned to the California coast. The CALIFORNIAN was built at Spanish Landing in San Diego, California, and launched in May 1984. The Californian exemplifies the highest level of speed and elegance achieved during the Revenue Marine era.

Newport Harbor Nautical Museum: (CA) Step aboard! Join us for a seafaring adventure. The Newport Harbor Nautical Museum first opened its doors in 1986 in Newport Beach, California. Growth demanded a new, larger, and more spacious site which was found. The showboat, a landmark in the harbor, was built in 1963 to replicate a traditional Delta paddlewheeler and was located at the head of Newport Bay. Through a generous gift of the riverboat and restaurant, "Reuben E. Lee," was rechristened the "Pride of Newport" in 1995. The Museum moved into its new home that fall and today, boasts three galleries as well as a classroom, conference room, library, restaurant, and gift shop. Come visit.

Port Hueneme Lighthouses (Port Hueneme) (CA) The ornate two-story Victorian was identical to the light at Point Fermin, and both lights were first lit on December 15, 1874. The light flashed white until 1889, when the signal was changed to fixed red. In 1892, the light displayed an occulting white signal. A new lens installed in 1899 displayed flashing white. The light is on the grounds of the Port of Hueneme. In recent years, the Coast Guard has refurbished the building, and there are plans to make the site part of an Aquaculture center, complete with interpretive facility and Coast Guard maritime museum. the Point Hueneme Lighthouse is open monthly from Feb thru October for tours on the third Saturday of each month from 10 am to 3pm, admission is free. The Oxnard Harbor District recently completed a pedestrian pathway from the Port Hueneme beach/Wharf Plaza to the lighthouse.. The "Lighthouse Promenade" as it is aptly named, runs parallel to the port fence on the seashore. It is a ½-mile stroll on flat terrain offering visitors an enjoyable stroll to the lighthouse.

Point Vicente Lighthouse: (CA) Situated on eight acres at Palos Verdes, this historic lighthouse was erected in 1926, in response to a petition from ship's masters who deplored this disastrous stretch of costal waters. The two million candlepower white light is developed from a fifteen-watt bulb focused through a handcrafted five-foot lens. Made in Paris in 1886, the lens saw forty years of service in Alaska before being brought to the Peninsula. The 67 foot high tower is perched on a cliff, resulting in a light source 197 feet above sea level, which can be seen twenty miles at sea. Located next to Point Vicente Lighthouse, this small natural history museum is an ideal whale-watching spot. Exhibits highlight the peninsula's geology, flora and fauna. Open daily, 10 AM to 5PM, year-round, with extended hours during summer. Picnic areas are available. Click on hyperlink for Museum.

Old Sacramento Waterfront and Riverboat Delta King: (CA) Welcome to The Delta King Riverboat in Sacramento, CA, (sister ship to the Delta Queen) still floats but no longer cruises. The famous Riverboat of the 1920s is beautifully restored and converted to an upscale hotel with a popular restaurant, entertainment, lounge and meeting and banquet facilities

Pitcairn Island Study Center: (CA) The Pitcairn Island Study Center, is a museum/research facility on the campus of Pacific Union College, Angwin (Napa Valley) California. The Study Center contains the largest North American collection of materials relating to the Mutiny on the Bounty, Captain William Bligh, H.M.S. Bounty, Pitcairn and Norfolk Islands.

Point Arena Lighthouse & Museum (CA) Originally built in 1870, it was felled by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Later it was reconstructed out of steel and is now an historical site with museum.

Point Pinos Lighthouse: (CA) Built in the 1850s and shining its beacon since February 1, 1855 in Pacific Grove, CA, this is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast. It marks the entrance to Monterey Bay and sits on the northernmost tip of the Peninsula. Although now powered by electricity, the building, lenses and prisms are all original. During the late 1800s, two of its lightkeepers were women.

Point Sur Lightstation: (CA) South of Carmel, CA, this historic aid-to-navigation still guides ships along the California Coast. In the 1880s, lighthouses and lightship provided invaluable warnings to the many ships that traveled close to shore, especially during bad weather. Point Sur Lightstation was one of the many such lightstations providing such navigational aid.

Queen Mary Maritime Museum (CA) "The Gray Ghost" now resides in Long Beach, California and is, itself, a complete maritime museum for all to see.

San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum - USS Midway : (CA) Soon, the aircraft carrier USS Midway will be heading to San Diego where she will become the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum. Commissioned on September 10, 1945, she was named for the Battle of Midway. The carrier was the lead ship of her class More than 200,000 American veterans served aboard her during her 47 years.

San Diego Maritime Museum: (CA) Housed in three ships: the Star of India (the world's oldest active ship), the steam ferry Berkeley, and the Scottish yacht Medea, the museum, besides it fine collections and displays, has become an excellent example of how to reach out to the community with its education programs. A visit in person or on the web is in order. The world's largest active wooden sailing vessel, HMS Rose, a reproduction of an 18th century Royal Navy frigate that cruised the American coast during the Revolutionary War was purchased by 20thCentury Fox for the filming of the movie "Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World." The ship is now located at the San Diego Maritime Museum under the movie name of HMS Surprise.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical: (CA) This unique Park, located at the west end of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, includes the fleet of historic vessels at Hyde Street Pier, the Maritime Museum, and the Maritime Museum Library. Board turn-of-the-century ships, tour the Museum and learn traditional arts -- like boatbuilding and woodworking The Park offers history, music and craft programs for all ages, and provides unique opportunities for docents, interns and volunteers to become part of history

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum: (CA) Santa Barbara's seafaring tradition, well before the 15th century, was the native indigenous peoples, the Chumash, who paddled 28-foot-long, six-man, wood-plank tomols across the Channel to Santa Cruz Island. The museum, in its new site On the Breakwater, presents to the public the maritime history of California's Central Coast.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography - Flip: (CA) FLIP: The World's Strangest Research Lab, has doors in the floor, portholes in the ceiling, tables bolted sideways to walls, stairs leading to nowhere! What kind of a research lab is this? Meet FLIP, a very strange piece of oceanographic equipment used by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. FLIP isn't a ship, even though researchers live and work on it for weeks at a time while they conduct scientific studies in the open ocean. FLIP stands for Floating Instrument Platform: it is actually a huge specialized buoy. One of its creators described it as looking like a 355-foot long ( 108 m) baseball bat. If that isn't unusual enough, it really flips!

SS Lane Victory (Victory Ship): (CA) The Lane Victory built in Los Angeles in 1944, a WWII Victory ship, with cross-compound steam turbine with service speed of 15-16 knots. It was named after Isaac Lane, a black man who rose from slavery to become a Bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church and founded the Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee in 1882. His granddaughter christened the ship in 1945. The ship saw service at the end of WWII and returned home after 44 years most recently sailing commercially as a US flaged ship. She was laid up, then called back into service twice, once for Korea and once for Vietnam. Laid up once again until 1989 when she was deeded to the US Merchant Marine Veterans of WWII. She is now restored and fully operational, offering 6 day cruises a year. The Lane is also the site of many movie and TV shoots.

SS Red Oak Victory (Victory Ship): (CA) Red Oak Victory is one of the few remaining Victory ships, and one of the last produced at the Kaiser Shipyard. And currently is located at Richmond, CA. She is named for the city of Red Oak, Iowa which suffered the highest per capita casualty rate of any American community during World War II. She then began her career as an ammunition ship and departed Hawaii loaded with munitions needed in the Marshall and Caroline Islands. She arrived in Ulithi (1,000-miles east of Leyte, Philippines) on February 28, 1945. She was turned over to the Richmond Museum of History and returned to her new permanent home on September 20, 1998.

Tahoe Maritime Museum: (CA) The Tahoe Maritime Museum is dedicated to preserving Lake Tahoe's maritime history through innovative interpretation and public education.

USS Hornet Naval, Air, and Space Museum (CA) The USS HORNET U.S. Naval Air and Sea Museum, is a National Historic Landmark, a naval historical and technology education center, and a much-loved ceremonial ship.

USS Pampanito (SS-383) (CA) USS Pampanito (SS-383) is a World War II Balao class Fleet submarine that is open for visitors daily at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.

The Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum: (CA) The Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum focuses on the history of Vallejo, California, and the adjacent area, including the Navy at Mare Island and on the San Francisco Bay.

Ventura County Maritime Museum: (CA) The Ventura County Maritime Museum provides a cultural center dedicated to the interpretation of maritime history through interactive exhibits and educational outreach. Collections include: Ship design and development, ship model building, local coastal history, maritime art. 17th - 20th centuries. Also Library - 1300 volumes, 100 vessel technical drawings. Collection includes British Admiralty charts, W.A. Fairchild shipbuilding documents and the William Webb (2 vol) Plans of Wooden Vessels, 1840- 1869. And paintings: 70 displayed, 8 stored. Mostly oil on canvas, some engravings.

The Whalers Cabin and Whaling Station Museum: (CA) In days gone by the building was simply called "the shack." Originally built by Chinese fisherman in the early 1850's the cabin overlooks Whalers Cove and Carmel Bay just as it has for over 140 years, where over the years many people have lived in the cabin. At one time in the late 1870's, when the area was a fishing village, there were over ten similar structures as part of the village. Now the cabin is the last and the oldest structure built by the Chinese on the Monterey Peninsula.