The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort collects, preserves, researches, documents, and interprets the maritime history, culture, and environment of coastal North Carolina.
The museum holds special workshops and training programs for school teachers, some of them for renewal credits. Its Education branch sends teacher packages to thousands of the state's teachers to prepare them for museum tours and for special programs. Several museum programs provide scholarships for low-income school children.
The regular museum schedule does not begin to cover the extracurricular evening and weekend programs provided by the museum. The museum is open numerous evenings for special lectures, concerts, and community functions. The Watercraft Center offers evening and weekend classes in boatbuilding, model building, and half-model construction. The Cape Lookout Studies Program (suspended as of 2008) conducts overnight field programs of several days' duration. The museum's Gallants Channel Annex is used evenings and weekends for special classes and community programs. Field trips are often offered after-hours and on weekends.
The museum, recognizing its diverse audience and need for flexible scheduling, strives to make its facilities available to the greatest number of people at all times. Its "shoulder month" programs solicit nearby Elderhostel groups and late-fall vacationers; its "Summer Science School" and "Junior Sailing Program" are aimed at young students on vacation.
While the museum is small, its still free to go and check out which is a major bonus when your looking for places to visit with a budget in mind. Enjoy looking at the boats, learning about all about the museum has to offer and the biggest addition to the museum, what is believed to be part of black beards flag ship which they believe sunk off the coast of NC. It wont take you long to go threw the museum but its a nice place to check out.
We have visited this museum many times. The first time we visited however, we thought it would have more info and exhibits regarding pirates but that was not the case! But we still had fun. It was interesting seeing the early boats and diving gear! The gift shop was pretty affordable as gift shops go and the best thing is that it is in the heart of downtown Beaufort which is lovely in itself!
The skill of the seafarers of yesteryear comes alive at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. The museum features full-size watercraft and displays that help you dismore cover many of the mysteries of the sea. One exhibit highlights artifacts recovered from the shipwreck believed to be the former flagship of Blackbeard the pirate, the Queen Anne's Revenge. Artifacts, recovered from 25 feet of water by state underwater archaeologists with the aid of the museum, are being housed and conserved and prepared for exhibit here.
At the Harvey W. Watercraft Center, located across the street, you can see how these wooden boats were made as skilled craftsworkers construct them in front of you. The museum also sponsors special programs throughout the year, including the Strange Seafood Exhibition and trips on a research vessel, where you can actually help collect and identify marine life. No admission is charged to the museum, but call ahead for information on special events and trips.
This museum is small. There are some interesting exhibits, especially if you like nautical things, boats, and historical facts. But it is not incredibly kid-friendly, and none of the exhibits are really interactive. If your child can't read and does not stay still for very long or does not enjoy small, crowded spaces, they will probably drive you crazy and make you want to leave fairly quickly. This was our experience with a two-year-old.
Admission is "free", but a donation is suggested, actually, more like expected.
If you go, don't expect to spend more than an hour here.
The museum is in one of our favorite places to visit. Take a break from walking and shopping the unique shops of Beaufort and explore the Maritime Museum. Admission is free, but we always leave a donation. View old and new ships and their components' and the history of why a boat or components was designed.
It's free to get in, but they ask for a $2 donation per person. Very educational and fun for kids that like boats and ocean stuff. Great little gift shop has lots of pirate stuff and books. You can see a boat being made by hand across the street when you're done with the main building.