Travel reviews by
National Cryptologic Museum
Based on 81 traveler reviews
Aug 28, 2014 by: Jerandnanc from Hartford, Connecticut
We took the Baltimore-Washington expressway from DC up to the museum. We were not sure exactly what to expect when we got there. We took a wrong turn and ended up at a restricted NSA entrance and were redirected to the appropriate area. We were warmly welcomed into the museum by one of the volunteers who explained the set up of the museum. As we walked through, one of the docents went into great, interesting detail on codes and ciphers. They have an exhibit with various versions of the Enigma code machine which you can use. Fascinating exhibit and much better than anticipated. The docent certainly made it fascinating due to his enthusiasm and knowledge. There were additional exhibits on the code talkers, starting with the Choctaws in WW1 to the Navajos in WW2. They have a Cray computer as well as most recent encryption technologies. The hot line established after the Cuban Missile Crisis is there as well. Overall, we though this was an excellent themed museum. The key is to engage a docent to explain the items in greater detail. The museum has numerous free booklets available for adults and kids. Visit it! It's worth the trip.
Very Interesting Visit
Aug 25, 2014 by: Ken L from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
We stayed in Laurel, MD last year and missed the exit and ended up at this museum. That was at night so this year we made a point of coming back and visiting. The museum was very interesting with some good historical exhibits related to cryptography and the history and context of how cryptography has been used. My son enjoyed the visit and spent a lot of time doing the quest activity. We would like to return for a visit next year as we will probably stay in Laurel, Md. again.
Aug 22, 2014 by: gailmath from Massachusetts
We found the directions to the museum cryptologic and it took us several miscues to finally get there. We enjoyed following a tour being given as the explanations and history offered by the guide were excellent. It really made us feel old to see so much of what we lived through as now being declassified history.
Lots of interesting stuff, could have better presentation
Aug 09, 2014 by: Everellie from Atlanta, Georgia
This museum has loads of cryptolotical equipment and spy stuff. But the presentation and set up of the museum is not very impressive. My kids did the kids' quest piece, but they weren't engaged in the actual material. The paid International Spy Museum in Washington DC has less stuff, but presents theirs in a more manageable way. This is worth a visit, especially if you're in DC and on your way to Baltimore. The best part for me was to hitch in with a docent that was already speaking to another group when I arrived. He talked about the code talkers in World War II, and how they did what they did. He also talked about the earliest computers and how they were engaged in cryptology. My boys did like the free puzzle game they got for finishing the spy quest.
Really a great place for the history buff.
Jul 27, 2014 by: tlee3379 from Huntsville, AL
Free, but a little out of the way. Could use a little paint and freshening up, but it is an absolute must if you are a history buff. Contains several German Enigma Machines - one that you can even use yourself. A U.S. Navy Bombe used to decode Enigma takes up most of a room and there were eventually over 200 of these running 24/7. Of interest was the Sigaba/ECM machine used by us that was never broken. A deciphering machine used the read the Japanese Purple Diplomatic code is on display. It was the actually machine used to read the Fourteen Point memo to the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC, on December 6/7, 1941. We actually decoded it before the Japanese did, but it was too late.
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