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  #1  
Old 10-21-2010
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Best Maritime Museum.

I just got back from a few days vacation in San Diego. While there I visited the Maritime Museum. I enjoyed the city and the museum, but wondering what is the best maritime museum in the country?
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  #2  
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for what?
the whaling museum in New Bedford is probably the best for whaling related stuff.

the essex shipbuilding museum is a pretty good one for the older boat/ship building industry in the USA.
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For full size ships: the San Fransisco Maritime museum. The last time I was there you could board and wander through a fair number of different ships and boats(all afloat). I haven't been in several years though so it might be different now.

For model ships (especially in bottles) the Los Angeles Maritime museum is really good. They have a 14' galleon that looks like it was actually meant to sail, as it has a large hatch built into the deck.

Have Fun
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The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, VA is the best I've seen on the east coast. It includes military vessels, work vessels and recreational vessels, as well as great maritime art.
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The Mystic Seaport in CT, and Herreschoff (sp) Museum in RI, have both surprised me at how good they are.
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Mystic, St. Micheals in MD, (not in country) the Navy Yard in Bermuda, Newport News.
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I'll second the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, VA. You can spend a day there and not see everything. I don't have a lot to compare it to though. Still, if you are passing through this area, it would be worth your time to check it out.
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Vancouver, BC's maritime museum is rather small scale, but has a good model display, and also has the St Roche, intact and inside the building. This is the RCMP vessel that was the first to transit the Northwest Passage. They also have ongoing feature displays, right now on the two WW's submarines and torpedoes.
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I second the San Diego Maritime Museum.

Outside the country, the best that I've been to is Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (UK). HMS Victory, Mary Rose, plus it's an active dockyard.
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while i dont know if you would classify this as a museum, per say, but it is really really neat if you get a chance to check it out.

Tall Ships Chicago 2010 - Overview

they do stop at some other places, if you goog 'tall ships'
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