The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is one of the premier indoor/outdoor museums focusing on the history and traditions of the Chesapeake Bay. It is dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and people of the Chesapeake Bay.
Located in St. Michael's, Maryland on 18 acres fronting the Miles River, the complex houses examples of historic bay working boats, numerous exhibits, guns, decoys, ship models, and the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse. An array of interactive programs, workshops, and lectures are offered throughout the year.
The Museum and Museum Store are open year-round.
May to October, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
November to April, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
Free for Museum members and active military; $15 Adults; $12 Seniors over 62, retired military, and students; $6 Kids 6-17; 5 and under free.
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum was founded in 1965 on Navy Point in St. Michaels, a Talbot County riverfront village on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Museum’s 18-acre waterfront campus was once the site of a busy complex of seafood packing houses, docks, and workboats. A landmark on the campus, the Hooper Strait Lighthouse, has not always resided in its current location. In 1965 it had been condemned by the United States government and was slated to be demolished. The Museum purchased it from the demolition contractor for $1,000 and through the generosity of the Arundel Corporation, barged it sixty miles north to its new home on Navy Point in 1966.
Today, there are 35 buildings, 10 of which house exhibitions that are open to the public. Ten exhibition buildings trace the geological, social, and economic history of the Chesapeake Bay through the age of sail and the steamboat era to the advent of the gasoline and diesel-powered engines. The Museum’s Howard Chappelle research library holds more than 10,000 volumes. The Museum’s collection of Chesapeake Bay watercraft is the largest in existence numbering about 85 boats. Eleven of the collection’s largest vessels are on floating display at the Museum’s docks. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is the only museum devoted to interpreting the entire maritime region of the Bay.
The museum offers a number of tours for 2nd through 12th grade groups, bird watching cruises during fall migrations, carving workshops, and lectures on history of the Bay. Two large annual events are the OysterFest and Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival.
Museum includes 18 acres on the waterfront and 14 historic structures housing exhibits, boats, and workshops. The spacious grounds and piers are the setting for festivals, sailing lessons and educational boat tours.
The Museum’s facilities are handicapped accessible, with the exception of the Hooper Strait Lighthouse and the upper decks of the Boat Shop.
During CBMM festivals and special events, dogs ARE NOT permitted on Museum grounds, with the exception of certified service dogs. Leashed dogs ARE permitted on Museum grounds during regular business hours.