Maine has arguably the most extensive maritime history in the United States – a history that continues to play a large role in the state’s culture and sense of pride. Nowhere in Maine is the history of the maritime experienced more than in the Midcoast region. Bath’s location along the Kennebec River was geographically ideal for shipbuilding, and therefore grew to become one of the most important shipbuilding spots in the world. The first English-built ship in North America, The Virginia, was constructed in 1607-1608 at Popham Colony’s Fort St. George in the neighboring town of Phippsburg.
Founded in 1962, the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, is one of the top area attractions in Midcoast Maine. The Museum is located on the site where the country’s largest wooden ship, The Wyoming, was constructed. Today visitors to the museum can see the life-size sculpture of the ship that is, not surprisingly, the largest sculpture in all of New England.
Museums not only appeal to history buffs. Any age group can enjoy learning about history when it is displayed in a fun and interactive way—and that couldn’t be more true of the Maine Maritime Museum. With ten acres of interactive and breathtaking exhibits, impressive galleries with over 16,000 ancient artifacts and a historic shipyard with five original buildings from the 19th century, there is truly something for everyone.
During the summer months, the museum offers a variety of river cruises that vary in length. Visitors cruise by historic Maine lighthouses and see the unique wildlife from aboard the Schoodic, a Maine-built wooden boat. The price of admission includes entry for two days that can be used within a seven-day period. On the first visit, explore the galleries and exhibits that spread across the museums 25 acres of waterfront landscape. Spend the second visit sailing over the pristine ocean of Maine.
Visiting this unparalleled collection from Maine’s lengthy maritime history is an experience that every visitor and state resident should take advantage of at least once. Of all the fun things to do in midcoast Maine, the Maine Maritime Museum is certainly one of the most unique—and memorable.