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What to See in the San Diego Maritime Museum

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The San Diego Maritime Museum is among the most popular attractions in the United States. As the place of numeral exhibitions of historic sailing ships, submarines, and steam-powered boats, the museum represents a true attraction for all visitors. Located on the San Diego Bay, the collection of the ships is presented between the ends of Grape Street and Ash Street in San Diego.

As part of the most important ships in the museum, you can see the Star of India, the world’s oldest active ship built in 1863. The Star of India was a full-rigged vessel built originally in the Isle of Man. At the beginning, the name of the ship was Euterpe, which means the muse of music. The exciting career of the ship reminds of British history that was full of sailing expeditions and adventures. The Star of India was sailing from Great Britain to India and New Zealand along with further sailings from Alaska to California. Nowadays, the ship visits the coast of San Diego Country and usually comes back to the port within a day. Unlike many other preserved and restored ships, the Star of India’s cabins, equipment and hull are nearly 100% original.

Another attraction of the San Diego Maritime Museum is the ship called Berkeley. The ship was in service from 1898 to 1958. For sixty years, she operated between the San Francisco Ferry Building and the Oakland Pier. After the massive collision with the passenger liner SS Columbia in 1900, the renovations on Berkeley were long and complex. After the further sailing trips, the ship was taken out of the service in 1958. Berkeley was later sold to businessman Bill Conover who converted the ship into a gift shop. The business was not as good as expected, and the ship was sold to the San Diego Maritime Museum in 1973. Today, the visitors can enter Berkeley as part of the main presentation area of the museum.

Popular attractions of the San Diego Maritime Museum remain to be the ultimate collection of the maritime history of the United States. Ships like the Star of India and Berkeley are the most popular exhibitions in the museum, but there are also other attractions that get people interested about the ships’ history. The ship called Medea that was built in 1904 and it served in both World Wars as a steam yacht. In addition, HMS Surprise is a replica of a Royal Navy frigate and it made an appearance in the popular film Pirates of the Caribbean. Other ships also serve as witnesses of the exciting maritime adventures.

The San Diego Maritime Museum holds the reputation for excellence in maintaining, restoring and operating the active and non-active vessels. Many ships are docked on the San Diego Bay to present a piece of rich American history. The visitors can enjoy numerous guided tours and historic bay cruises that are part of the educational programs of the museum. It is also a venue for private and corporate events. The museum remains to be one of the biggest and most important centers of American culture and maritime history. Visitors from all over the world come here to hear the interesting stories and see some of the most important vessels docked on the San Diego Bay.


Get on CA-163 S from University Ave
3 min (0.5 mi)
Head west on University Ave toward Vermont St
0.3 mi
Turn left onto 8th Ave
0.1 mi
Turn left onto Robinson Ave
56 ft
Turn right to merge onto CA-163 S
0.2 mi
Continue on CA-163 S. Take Exit 1B to W Hawthorn St. Take exit 17A from I-5 N
3 min (2.2 mi)
Merge onto CA-163 S
1.0 mi
Take exit 1B for I-5 N/4th Ave
0.6 mi
Keep left, follow signs for Interstate 5/Los Angeles and merge onto I-5 N
0.3 mi
Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 17A to merge onto W Hawthorn St
0.4 mi
Follow W Hawthorn St and N Harbor Dr to your destination
3 min (0.7 mi)
Merge onto W Hawthorn St
0.4 mi
Turn left onto N Harbor Dr
0.3 mi
Destination will be on the right

Don’t forget to also visit Little Italy!

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