What To See and Do
Oceans of Discovery
Admission to our Museum and Exhibits includes the following:
- The Sea Pocket Touch Tank Aquarium offers visitors – especially young people -- a chance to become very familiar with the creatures of Cape Ann’s coastal habitats. Fishermen and divers routinely offer new specimens for our tanks. Educators and interns are there to help you touch and learn about the animals and their habitats.
For the remainder of the season, during the National Grid harbor clean-up, admission to our exhibits is free! Due to turbulence resulting from the clean-up we've had to close up the aquarium and touch tanks early this year.
- The Gorton’s Seafoods Gallery houses “Fitting Out” an exhibit focusing on the shoreside industries that supported the local fleet at the dawn of the 20th century. This exhibit celebrates the Gloucester port and fishing fleet and includes elegant ship models, historic photos, a standing rig, artifacts ranging from oilskins to foghorns to sailmaker’s tools, and multiple interactive stations.
- Our Marine Research Laboratory, adjacent to the Aquarium, is used in our educational programming as well as by high school and college students to grow specimens and conduct marine research. Check out the lab during our Drop-in Programs and Special Events.
- The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Exhibit is an extraordinary interactive exhibit that describes and provides images, video, audio and real-time data access to an amazing narrative of its marine life and unique features. Gloucester is the northern gateway to this 842 square mile marine plateau between Cape Ann and Cape Cod.
- The Admissions Center and Museum Shop offers admissions tickets to Maritime Gloucester as well as tickets on the Schooner Ardelle and other boat excursions that we may offer. The store offers an extensive selection of books, locally crafted wares, one of a kind gifts and a wide variety of items that are aligned with our maritime heritage and educational programming.
Stay outside on the waterfront and connect to Gloucester’s past and present.
- Maritime Gloucester features the oldest continuously operating marine railway in the country. Check out a boat on the rails. At low tide, see the old wooden support structures that lead into the harbor. Ask for one of our staff or local experts about the rich history of schooner repairs on this cherished site. The railway was built in 1849-1850 by Crandall Dry Dock
- Take a sail on the Schooner Ardelle our latest addition to the site. Offering daily public sails from May through October, the Ardelle is a 49-passenger traditionally built, 55' pinky schooner built and operated by Captain Harold Burnham. Captain Burnham was recently named a National Heritage Fellow, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. We also use the Ardelle for our educational programming.
- Take a walk on the Harriet Webster Wharf. Named after our first Executive Director, this wooden pile timber wharf extends 200 feet out into Gloucester Harbor. From here, visitors have a great viewing perch to watch draggers, trawlers, lobster boats and pleasure boats in the harbor.
- The Dory Shop is often active with students, friends and visitors checking in with heritage dory builder and fisherman Geno Mondello. He builds sailing and rowing dories from scratch in his woodworking shop and his observation deck offers a comfortable spot to relax and check out the working waterfront.
- Visit the “Diving Locker” and let former diver and school teacher Paul Harling tell you all about the scuba equipment in his collection. It includes the homemade rig he used when he made his first dive in 1949 to contemporary helmets produced by Morse Diving, the oldest manufacturer of diving equipment
- After your visit, be sure to check out our Museum Store!