• St Michaels Maryland Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
  • Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

  • 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 first exhibits were displayed in the Dodson House on what was then a two-acre campus. Today's eighteen-acre waterfront campus includes Navy Point, which was once was the site of a busy complex of seafood packing houses, docks, and workboats.

    On permanent display at the campus is the nation's most complete collection of Chesapeake Bay artifacts, visual arts, and indigenous water craft. Interpretive exhibitions and public programs cover the range of Chesapeake Bay maritime history and culture-including Native-American life, Anglo-American settlement, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century trans-Atlantic trade, naval history, the Bay's unique watercraft and boat building traditions, navigation, waterfowling, boating, seafood harvesting, and recreation.

    The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum also is a working boatyard.   Their boatyard creates the tradition of a working waterfront.  The Museum's shipwrights and apprentices are a tangible connection to the Chesapeake's rich story of boat building through:

    Boatyard staff interact with our visitors, explaining their work and the boats for which the Bay is known. You will also find shipwrights and apprentices demonstrating maritime skills at our festivals and special events. 
     

    Now a St. Michaels landmark, 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.

    Don't expect to find passive exhibits here. As one museum visitor put it: I'd like to thank the museum for the inclusion of living people as part of the museum, and not just static displays, as many museums have. If one phrase characterizes the visitors' experience at the museum it is that "history isn't so far away."
    You can look watermen and other local people in the face, talk to them, find out what they are like. You can hear the stories of the of the Chesapeake-stories of communities making a living in the "water business," harvesting and packing crabs, oysters, rock fish, and clams from the Bay. 
    You can hear stories of urban residents of Baltimore and Norfolk, on opposite ends of the 180-mile-long Bay, who built and operated the shipyards, and imported and exported the goods, building those cities into world-class ports, linking the region and the nation to global markets. You can hear about vacationers and tourist-those who come to sail and fish and sit and watch the sunsets over the Bay.

    Through the Museum's Breene M. Kerr Center for Chesapeake Studies, scholars undertake original research and collect oral histories from individuals closely involved with the Bay's rich maritime heritage. The Center presents the perspectives of history, economics, folklore, archeology, and environmental studies to a broad and diverse regional audience. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is the only museum devoted to interpreting the entire maritime region of the Bay. 

    The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum holds annual events yearround, to find out more, please go to their special events here

  • Before You Visit:

  • St. Michaels, Tilghman and the Bay Hundred area have a wide range of lodging options to suit every taste and budget. Find the perfect place to fit your needs here.

  • Nothing says Chesapeake Bay like a steaming pile of locally caught Maryland blue crabs, and our restaurants are serving the Chesapeake Bay's bounty, from steamed crabs and crab cakes to sweet soft shell clams and fresh rockfish.  Find the perfect restaurant here.

  • St. Michaels offers shopping galore, with an eclectic range of shops, including jewelry, clothing and home decor, galleries and more!   Stop by one of the many tasting rooms, offering specialty foods and locally made libations. Find our unique shops here.

  • Whether you're an experienced kayaker, a day-tripping boater, a sailing novice, a history buff, an avid fisherman, or anyone else who yearns to spend some time on the water, you will find something to do in St. Michaels and Tilghman Island. It's time to get out on the water and enjoy the outdoors!  Find your boating options here.

  • Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Hours and Prices:

    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


    Individual Admissions

    NEW! General admission is now good for two days, excluding festivals. 
    Prices subject to change.
    Adults (ages 18-61) $15
    Seniors (over 62) $12
    Students (age 17+ with college ID) $12
    Retired Military (with ID) $12
    Kids (ages 6-17) $6
    Active Military FREE*
    Kids (under age 5) FREE
    CBMM Members FREE
    *Active military members receive year-round free admission, and from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Active Military members and their families receive free admission. All prices are subject to change.

    Group Admissions

    Contact Guest Services Manager Ed Rowe at  erowe@cbmm.org 
    or call 410-745-4981 with questions.

     

  • Special thanks to William Wilhelm Photography, the Town of St. Michaels and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum for the use of their photos.

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