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Nauticus National Maritime Center

Learn, touch and observe at the waterfront maritime science museum dedicated to Norfolk’s naval history. 

Step inside a deep sea submersible, pet sea creatures and learn how to pilot a tugboat. 

Nauticus is a maritime-themed science center with hands-on activities, an aquarium and movie theater. It celebrates naval power and Norfolk’s seafaring past and present.

Experience what it’s like to make discoveries on the sea floor at the Secrets of the Deep exhibit. Operate the robotic arm of a submersible called the Clelia and retrieve objects from a simulated seabed.

Learn how to navigate a tugboat at Our Mighty Seaport. Visitors stand in a model boat and steer through a computer-generated waterway. Step outside the exhibit and onto the Elizabeth River Observation Deck to watch real-life river traffic of cargo ships, tugs and sailboats.

View artifacts, uniforms, weaponry and model ships that chart the rise of the U.S. Navy after its decline during the Civil War. Take a seat in the Nauticus Theater to watch digital high-definition films on the giant 50x24-foot (15x7-meter) screen. This includes a movie exploration of the flora and fauna of the deep sea.

One of the most popular attractions for children is the Horseshoe Crab Cove. This simulated tide pool houses native Chesapeake Bay inhabitants including starfish, urchins and crabs. Some of the animals can be petted. 

Located on Norfolk’s downtown waterfront, the museum is easily reached by public transport. NET is a shuttle bus services that runs through the downtown area. It stops in front of Nauticus on the weekends and one block away on weekdays. Alternatively, several nearby garages offer paid parking options.

Nauticus is open daily between Memorial Day (the last Monday in May) and Labor Day (the first Monday in September).  For the rest of the year the museum is open every day except Monday. The admission price includes a tour of the decks of the USS Wisconsin battleship.


Guide to Exploring Nauticus National Maritime Center


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 262 Properties near Nauticus National Maritime Center
Hilton Norfolk The Main ¥19,170
Hilton Norfolk The Main

Hilton Norfolk The Main

100 East Main Street, Norfolk, VA
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown, this hotel is steps from USS Wisconsin BB-64 and Nauticus National Maritime Center. Moses Myers House and Norfolk Scope are also within 15 minutes. MacArthur Square Station is only a 4-minute walk and Civic Plaza Station is 8 minutes.

    Wyndham Garden Norfolk Downtown ¥15,043
    Wyndham Garden Norfolk Downtown

    Wyndham Garden Norfolk Downtown

    700 Monticello Avenue, Norfolk, VA
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Chrysler Museum of Art, Nauticus National Maritime Center, and Waterside Festival Marketplace. Children's Museum of Virginia and Old Dominion University are also within 3 mi (5 km). Monticello Station is 6 minutes by foot and York Street-Free Mason Station is 9 minutes.

      Norfolk Waterside Marriott ¥18,668
      Norfolk Waterside Marriott

      Norfolk Waterside Marriott

      235 E Main St, Norfolk, VA
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Waterside Festival Marketplace and Nauticus National Maritime Center. Moses Myers House and Norfolk Scope are also within 15 minutes. MacArthur Square Station is only a 3-minute walk and Civic Plaza Station is 7 minutes.

        Courtyard by Marriott Norfolk Downtown ¥12,841
        Courtyard by Marriott Norfolk Downtown

        Courtyard by Marriott Norfolk Downtown

        520 Plume street, Norfolk, VA
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Douglas MacArthur Memorial and Nauticus National Maritime Center. Moses Myers House and Norfolk Scope are also within 15 minutes. MacArthur Square Station and Civic Plaza Station are within a 5-minute walk.

          Residence Inn Norfolk Downtown ¥14,999
          Residence Inn Norfolk Downtown

          Residence Inn Norfolk Downtown

          227 West Brambleton Avenue, Norfolk, VA
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Chrysler Museum of Art, Moses Myers House, and Norfolk Scope. Nauticus National Maritime Center and Sentara Norfolk General Hospital are also within 1 mi (2 km). York Street-Free Mason Station is only a 3-minute walk and Monticello Station is 7 minutes.

            Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel ¥17,374
            Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel

            Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel

            777 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated on a river, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Waterside Festival Marketplace and Nauticus National Maritime Center. Moses Myers House and Norfolk Scope are also within 15 minutes. Civic Plaza Station is only a 5-minute walk and MacArthur Square Station is 6 minutes.

              Glass Light Hotel & Gallery, Autograph Collection
              Glass Light Hotel & Gallery, Autograph Collection

              Glass Light Hotel & Gallery, Autograph Collection

              201 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Wells Theater and Nauticus National Maritime Center. Moses Myers House and Norfolk Scope are also within 15 minutes. MacArthur Square Station is only a 3-minute walk and Monticello Station is 6 minutes.

                Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel ¥14,460
                Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel

                Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel

                425 Water St, Portsmouth, VA
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in the historical district, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum and Children's Museum of Virginia. Moses Myers House and Nauticus National Maritime Center are also within 3 mi (5 km). Harbor Park Station is 30 minutes by foot.