Maryland's Maritime Museums

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Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Photo By: Clark Vandergrift / OTD

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend your days on the bay, hauling crab pots or dredging for oysters?  Get an insider’s look at the life of a waterman, and learn about other people who worked the laborious seafood packing industry. At Maryland’s maritime museums, you can also see, touch and experience the Chesapeake Bay’s marine creatures up-close and discover what they need to thrive.  And this is just the beginning . . . there’s so much more to explore.   

1 Annapolis Maritime Museum

Welcome aboard the port city of Annapolis. Come discover how the men and women who lived and worked here were dependent upon the water for transportation on all types of vessels.  Take a guided boat excursion to the Thomas Point Lighthouse, which sits several miles out in the bay, for an authentic Chesapeake experience. 


More about Annapolis Maritime Museum


Type:
Attraction


Location:
723 Second St
Annapolis, MD 21403
410-295-0104


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C&D Canal Museum

2 C & D Canal Museum

Housed in the original canal pump house complex, the C & D Canal Museum includes a working model of a water wheel and a canal lock. Paintings, maps, documents and artifacts showcase the history of the canal waterway.


More about C&D Canal Museum (1837)


Type:
Visual Arts


Location:
815 Bethel Rd
Chesapeake City, MD 21915
410-885-5622


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Calvert Marine Museum Megaladon Shark Photo By: Calvert Marine Museum

3 Calvert Marine Museum

Sail on the William B. Tennison, a “bugeye” style boat on the Patuxent River. Discover the process of harvesting and packing oysters at the historic J.C. Lore Oyster House, and see river otters and other marine life at play in the museum. Small-craft collections and the Drum Point screwpile Lighthouse are also main attractions at this hands-on tidewater museum in Solomons that’s fun for the whole family. 


More about Calvert Marine Museum


Type:
History & Heritage


Location:
14200 Solomons Island Rd
Solomons, MD 20688
410-326-2042


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Enjoy the hands-on exhibits and overnight programs at the lighthouse at this museum.

4 Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Meet real people of the Chesapeake who work on the water or depend upon the bay for their livelihood. Decoy carvers, crab pickers and boat builders are some of the locals who you may meet here. Watch the restoration of the Bay’s traditional vessels in the museum’s working boatyard. Learn how people have depended upon the bay for centuries and continue this interaction through waterfowling, seafood harvesting, naval history, recreation and more. 


More about Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum


Type:
Attraction


Location:
213 N. Talbot St
St. Michaels, MD 21663
410-745-2916


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Tawes museum image

5 Governor J. Millard Tawes Historical Museum

Located on the waterfront at the Somers Cove Marina in Crisfield, the museum features displays on Lower Shore history, the Chesapeake Bay’s beginnings, the influence of Native Americans on the early colonists, seafood harvesting and processing, and decoy carving and painting. 


More about J. Millard Tawes Museum


Type:
Arts & Culture


Location:
3 Ninth St
Crisfield, MD 21817
410-968-2501


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Havre De Grace Decoy Museum

6 Havre de Grace Decoy Museum

See the artistry of waterfowl decoy carving and discover its history and how the decoys were used for hunting on the Susquehanna Flats.  A variety of carving and hunting styles and techniques are on display to study the finer aspects of this folk art. 


More about Havre de Grace Decoy Museum


Type:
Arts & Culture


Location:
215 Giles St
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
410-939-3739


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Have de Grace Maritime Museum Photo By: hdgmaritimemuseum.org

7 Havre de Grace Maritime Museum

A working boat shop and environmental center are attractions in this museum that features the history and ecology of the Upper Chesapeake Bay. Located on the Susquehanna River, the museum also interprets a canal that served central Pennsylvania from this area.


More about Havre de Grace Maritime Museum


Type:
History & Heritage


Location:
100 Lafayette St
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
410-939-4800


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8 Maryland Historical Society Museum

A maritime gallery displays 1,000 objects, including half hulls of ships, ship models, maritime-related navigation tools and trail boards.


More about Maryland Historical Society Museum


Type:
Visual Arts


Location:
201 West Monument St
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-685-3750


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The National Aquarium in Baltimore Photo By: Visit Baltimore

9 National Aquarium in Baltimore

The “Maryland: Mountains to the Sea” exhibit displays aquatic animals living in mountain stream, tidal marsh and coastal beach habitats, including bullfrogs, diamondback terrapins, striped bass and the iconic blue crab. The aquarium offers numerous other exhibits with live animals in their simulated native habitats. Come explore!


More about National Aquarium in Baltimore


Type:
General Attractions


Location:
501 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-576-3800


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Image of Richardson Maritime Museum

10 Richardson Maritime Museum

Located in the heart of Cambridge, this museum invites you to discover the wooden boat building heritage of the region. A unique collection of traditional Chesapeake Bay wooden ship models brings that heritage alive. Learn the skills of boatbuilding at the Ruark Boatworks facility where you can watch boatbuilding and restoration in action. Major exhibits include displays of boatbuilding tools and watermen’s equipment and gear used to dredge and tong for oysters, scrape or bait crabs, and trap eels and fish.  


More about Richardson Maritime Museum


Type:
Attraction


Location:
401 High St
Cambridge, MD 21613
410-221-1871


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St Clements Island Museum

11 St. Clement’s Island Potomac River Museum

Museum exhibits explore the voyage of Maryland’s first colonial settlers who came from the Isle of Wight, England to St. Clement’s Island in the Potomac River in 1634. Other displays share the Potomac River’s heritage, including the Blackistone Lighthouse on St. Clement’s Island, and the industries of hunting, crabbing, fishing and oystering. 


More about St. Clement's Island Museum


Type:
History & Heritage


Location:
38370 Point Breeze Rd
Coltons Point, MD 20626
301-769-2222


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Maryland Flag on Schooner Sultana Photo By: Clark Vandergrift

12 The Sultana Education Foundation

Based in Chestertown, the foundation provides hands-on educational programs for children and adults focusing on the history and natural environment of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Public sails aboard the Schooner Sultana, a full-sized reproduction of the 1767 vessel, explore the Chester River where passengers are encouraged to help sail the vessel and explore the authentic crew’s quarters below deck. Themed public kayak paddle programs visit a variety of habitats on the Eastern Shore.


More about Sultana Education Foundation


Type:
Attraction


Location:
200 S. Cross St
Chestertown, MD 21620
410-778-5954


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Image of Upper Bay Museum

13 Upper Bay Museum

This museum interprets the heritage and lifestyle of the waterman and hunter on the Upper Chesapeake Bay and the famed Susquehanna Flats. Commercial waterfowl hunting helped support the communities that grew around the Bay. This history is brought to life through exhibits as diverse as outlawed gunning rigs and skillfully carved decoys. On display are an extensive collection of hunting, boating, and fishing artifacts.


More about Upper Bay Museum


Type:
Attraction


Location:
219 Walnut Street
North East, MD 21901
410-287-2675


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Featured Places
Lighthouse photo
01
Location:
723 Second St
Annapolis, MD 21403
C&D Canal Museum (1837)
02
Location:
815 Bethel Rd
Chesapeake City, MD 21915
Lighthouse photo
03
Location:
14200 Solomons Island Rd
Solomons, MD 20688
Lighthouse
04
Location:
213 N. Talbot St
St. Michaels, MD 21663
J. Millard Tawes Historical Museum
05
Location:
3 Ninth St
Crisfield, MD 21817
Man carving decoy ducks
06
Location:
215 Giles St
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
Havre de Grace Maritime Museum
07
Location:
100 Lafayette St
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
Brick exterior of Maryland Historical Society
08
Location:
201 West Monument St
Baltimore, MD 21201
National Aquarium in Baltimore photo
09
Location:
501 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202
Richardson Museum
10
Location:
401 High St
Cambridge, MD 21613
St. Clement's Island Museum exterior view
11
Location:
38370 Point Breeze Rd
Coltons Point, MD 20626
Photo of a large ship
12
Location:
200 S. Cross St
Chestertown, MD 21620
Decoys at Upper Bay Museum
13
Location:
219 Walnut Street
North East, MD 21901
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