Most Americans won’t have to travel far to find a submarine museum near them. The various submarines around the United States range in age from USS Drum built in 1941 to the USS Dolphin built in 1968. The museums have something for everybody and many have programs tailored specifically to youth and scout programs.
Next time you visit one of these submarines be sure to consider a guided tour where offered. Guided tours offer an experience above and beyond a simple walk through. Many tour guides served aboard submarines themselves and lend a first hand account to daily life aboard a submarine. Where guided tours are unavailable there will often be audio tours.
Some other services typically offered are overnight stays, events, and field trip opportunities or even remote learning experiences. Dont miss out on a great opportunity. Tour a submarine today!
It is important to note, submarines are inherently tight spaces which may be difficult for some to navigate through. Come prepared to step over and through bulkheads and watch your head!
Cant make it to a sub museum near you? Check out this short walk through of the USS Torsk by Attractions 360.
Table of Contents
- German submarine U-505 - Chicago, IL
- HMCS Ojibwa - Port Burwell, ON
- HMCS Onondaga - Rimouski, QC
- Hunley Submarine - Charleston, SC
- USS Albacore (AGSS-569) - Portsmouth, NH
- USS Batfish (SS-310) - Muskogee, OK
- USS Becuna (SS-319) - Philadelphia, PA
- USS Blueback (SS-581) - Portland, OR
- USS Bowfin (SS-287) - Honolulu, HI
- USS Cavalla (SS-244) - Galveston, TX
- USS Clamagore (SS-343) - Mt Pleasant, SC
- USS Cobia - Manitowoc, WI
- USS Cod - Cleveland, OH
- USS Croaker (SSK-246) - Buffalo, NY
- USS Dolphin (AGSS-555) - San Diego, CA
- USS Drum (SS-228) - Mobile, AL
- USS Growler (SSG-577) - New York, NY
- USS Lionfish (SS-298) - Fall River, MA
- USS Marlin (SST-2) - Omaha, NE
- USS Nautilus (SSN-571) - Groton, CT
- USS Pampanito (SS-383) - San Francisco, CA
- USS Razorback (SS-394) - North Little Rock, AR
- USS Requin (SS-481) - Pittsburgh, PA
- USS Silversides (SS-236) - Muskegon, MI
- USS Torsk (SS-423) - Baltimore, MD
Submarine Museums Directory
Canada Submarine Museums
United States Submarine Museums
Visit the Friends of the Hunley Museum in Charleston and take a fascinating look at this historical artifact of the Civil War era. The Hunley was the first successful combat submarine, built by a Confederate crew and utilized in battle against Union forces in 1864.
The museum features interactive displays and multimedia exhibits that allow visitors to get an up close and personal view of this extraordinary invention. Guests will learn about the incredible story of its construction, its innovative technology, and the bravery of its crew as they fought for their cause. You can also explore artifacts recovered from the wreck site.
Make your visit even more memorable by attending one of our guided tours or educational programs led by trained docents who will share stories about the Hunley’s voyage and mission. We also have specialized activities for kids and families that help to bring this amazing piece of history to life.
Don’t miss out on discovering one of the most unique weapons ever used in warfare, the worlds first successful combat submarine!
The USS Albacore (AGSS-569) was launched in August of 1953 and served with the U.S. Navy until December of 1972. During its tenure with the Navy, the Albacore served as a research submarine with a state of art teardrop hull design. With submarine warfare reaching its peak during World War 2, and clearly being very effective, the United States was on an endeavor to upgrade their aging submarine fleet. The Albacore helped the Navy with such tests as streamlining control surfaces, a new hull shape, engine improvements, sonar systems, and sound dampening among many others.
After the Albacore served her country, she was turned into a museum ship where visitors can tour her daily. Visitors can take a self guided tour of the Albacore which starts at the visitor center which also has a very nice gift shop. The tour takes visitors through the 205 foot long hull where they can see how sailors cruised beneath the seas. The control room, engineering spaces, and bunk rooms are all available for exploration.
The USS Albacore is a seasonal museum and open on the weekends only. Be sure to check out their website before for any updates and follow them on social media!
*Image Citation - Dmoore5556, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
The USS Batfish rests at the Muskogee War Memorial Park in Muskogee Oklahoma. The Batfish is Oklahoma’s only submarine! Visitors coming to see the USS Batfish will quickly learn there is much more to this park than just the submarine. Visitors are treated to over 8 acres of land dedicated to military history. Aside from just a great day learning about the USS Batfish, visitors also have the opportunity to take part in overnight experiences or even host events on location. Be sure to check out the Muskogee War Memorial Park website and Facebook for more information. As usual, we recommend calling locations in advance if traveling from afar.
USS Batfish (SS/AGSS-310), is a Balao-class submarine, known primarily for the remarkable feat of sinking three Imperial Japanese Navy submarines in a 76-hour period, in February 1945. USS Batfish is the first vessel of the United States Navy to be named for the batfish, a fish found off the coast of Peru, at depths ranging from 3 to 76 metres.
Originally to be named Acoupa, hull SS-310 was renamed Batfish on 24 September 1942 prior to its keel laying on 27 December 1942. The Batfish was constructed at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Kittery, Maine and launched 5 May 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Nellie W. Fortier; and commissioned 21 August 1943, with Lieutenant Commander Wayne R. Merrill in command.
USS Razorback (SS-394), a Balao-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named after the razorback, a species of whale (Balaenoptera physalus) found in the far southern reaches of the Pacific Ocean. She is arguably the longest-serving combat front-line submarine still existing in the world, having been commissioned by two different countries for 56 years of active duty. In 2004, the state of Arkansas adopted the submarine (although she was not named after the University of Arkansas mascot) and is now a museum ship at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.
Image Citation: Cliff, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
The USS Silversides, a World War 2 Gato class submarine, was launched in August of 1941 and successfully completed 14 war patrols. Through the duration of the war, the Silversides would serve across the Pacific attacking Japanese shipping, saving downed airmen, laying minefields, and other supporting roles. Following the war, the Silversides would go on to become a Naval Reserve training ship in Chicago. In 1962, the Silversides was reclassified as an auxiliary submarine and eventually stricken from the U.S. Naval register in 1969.
Since the Silversides became a museum, she has been lovingly care for by her volunteers. The ship is in immaculate condition. Amazingly, the museum is available 7 days a week 365 days a year. While visiting the museum, visitors should be sure to save some extra time to view the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter McLane The McLane has an amazing history with the Coast Guard which lasted through the Prohibition era. Dont miss out on touring this one.
Image Citation - Joanna Poe from Munith, MI, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
The USS Torsk is a Tench Class submarine built launched in September of 1944. Despite being launched so late in World War 2, the Torsk was still able to have a formidable impact on the war. The Torsk would go on to serve throughout the Pacific, attacking Japanese shipping and aiding downed Allied aviators. It was during this time the Torsk was credited with scoring the last strike on an Japanese warship during World War 2.
Following the war, the USS Torks would continue her service all along the American east coast. The USS Torsk would primarily serve as a training vessel during her time after the war and would end her service as a Navy Reserve training submarine. In 1971, the Torsk was stricken from the U.S. Naval register, in 1972 she was officially turned over to the State of Maryland to be converted to a museum ship.
As a museum vessel at the Historic Ships in Baltimore museum, visitors can walk across her decks and view all of her spaces. According to the museum, "Traversing the boat from stern to bow, visitors have the opportunity to view the torpedo rooms, the navigation station, the operation station, the engine room, the crews mess and crew berthing areas. If you arrive at the right time, you may have the chance to meet a former crew member." Visitors to the museum will want to give themselves plenty of extra time to see other nearby exhibits such as the National Aquarium or USS Constellation.
Image Citation - Davidwells75, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons