Maritime Museum of San Diego: Exploring Old Ships in San Diego Bay

Located in the bay, right near downtown San Diego, the San Diego Maritime Museum is one of my favorite places to explore in the city. This museum comprises 8 – 10 different boats that you can board and traverse, much like the Maritime Historical Park in San Francisco. The boats range from a submarine and ferry to an old pirate looking ship. Here is all the information if you want to check it out.


  • Cost: $18 for adults, $8 for children
  • Hours: 9 AM – 8 PM most days
  • Location:  1492 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Read about all of my favorite places in San Diego here
  • This information is from 2018

Getting There

From the 5 South, you will get off on Front Street and then turn right on Ash St. Take this till it ends at the water, and there are a bunch of parking spots that you can utilize near the museum ($2 an hour).

The Museum

After paying for your ticket, you can enter the central area with most of the boats or head over to the Star of India, which is the old sailing ship nearby. I recommend heading over there first.

Star of India

The Star of India is the world’s oldest active sailing ship, and it began sailing in 1863.

The ship has a pretty amazing history, which you can learn more about when you are there, but it has sailed around the world 21 times, and it was once even trapped in ice in Alaska.

This ship is fun to explore with a full museum on the bottom deck.

I was in a rush, so I only got to spend about 20 minutes on this boat, but I plan to come back and explore it more as it was awesome, and there is a lot to see and interact with.

After exiting the ship, you will have to re-enter the main museum to see the rest of the ships.

The ships here range from old boats like the Star of India to submarines like the B-39 Soviet Sub.

The B-39 Soviet Sub was my favorite to explore.

You can enter this submarine, but you must be OK with small spaces as there are four small entryways you have to get through when inside the boat.

It’s fantastic to walk through and see how detailed everything is though.

I can’t imagine being on a boat like this, I would go stir crazy, but I enjoyed seeing and exploring it in a setting like this.

The other boats are more of the same, but it’s still a ton of fun to board and explore each one.

After seeing all of the boats, head into the ferry boat, which is the main museum, and has a few exhibits.

The best of these is the engine room, where you can walk down into the bowels of the boat.

It shows how massive these engines are, and it is cool to see up close.

Also, don’t forget to head to the second story and see the dining hall area with tables and booths.

Then head up to the top where you can see the wheel and get a high up view of all the ships you explored today.

If you are like me, then the $18 spent on a ticket here will be well worth it. All of the boats are a ton of fun to explore, and it is an excellent attraction for the whole family in San Diego. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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