NSB New London, CT Image 1
    NSB New London, CT Image 2

    NSB New London, CT Museums

    Connecticut has a high number of museums overall, and museum visitors might day trip to Hartford, Bridgeport, Stamford, or one of the other cities of the state (or to nearby Rhode Island) for a variety of experiences. Southeastern Connecticut has quite a few museums of its own, including (but not only) a lot of maritime museums:

    The Fort Griswold Groton Monument House Museum is part of the larger Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, near the Groton Monument. Visitors can see artifacts from the American Revolution and visit memorials to veteran heroes of several major wars since the War of Independence.

    The Submarine Force Library and Museum is on station, and the Navy's largest submarine museum, featuring a large number of items, models, artifacts, art, history displays and historical information, including the USS Nautilus herself, the first nuclear submarine and first to successfully explore under the Arctic ice cap, and also including a Japanese midget submarine from World War II. Parts of the USS Nautilus can be toured, and the museum has several interactive exhibits, including periscopes Visitors can also inspect models of several submarines including a replica of the first armed submarine, the Turtle, a sub's control room, and parts of the smallest nuclear submarine NR-1, a deep sea explorer. The museum is family-friendly, and a great place for spouses and children curious about subs.

    The US Coast Guard Museum in New London, on the grounds of the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, preserves memorabilia of the Coast Guard, including a figurehead, portraits, ship models, uniforms, medals, and other items relevant to the oldest continually operating US maritime service.

    Custom House Maritime Museum in New London is focused on local maritime history, with both the sea side and shore side considered. The museum includes ship models, history of US Customs, lighthouses, and a huge library of nautical charts and maps.

    Mystic Seaport is "The Museum of American and the Sea," a complex of about 60 historical houses related to the sea, a shipyard, a planetarium (explaining how to navigate by stars), a series of historically accurate maritime trade shops, and more than a dozen sailing ships, some antique and others built in the yard. Mystic Seaport also hosts sea music and sailing lessons, and an annual sea music festival (the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival). This museum complex is unusual in not only its large size but also its focus on working commercial and trading ships.

    The Children's Museum of Southeast Connecticut features a variety of hands-on art, science, craft, and other displays and activities for curious and exploring young minds. The museum also offers a variety of camps and after school options, and birthday parties.

    The Mashantucket Pequot Museum focuses on the history of one of the last Connecticut native tribes. Visitors can see a variety of displays and exhibits about this tribe, its history and culture, from pre-Colonial times through the last 200 years to the present.

    The Slater Memorial Museum is a small museum at the Norwich Free Academy, and includes a good sized collection of fine and decorative arts from around the world.

    The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is another decorative and fine arts museum, with a large collection of items from around the world. The Lyman Allyn Art Museum also hosts field trips, art classes, lectures, birthday parties, and various education support programs.

    Connecticut Historic House Museums: Southeastern Connecticut has a very large number of Historic House Museums, some dating as far back as the 1600s. A little research on the National Registry of Historic Places for Connecticut, or with the Connecticut Landmarks Non-Profit Organization, should turn up a wealth of single or grouped house museums, for the historically interested.

    The Garde Arts Center is a historic theater, known for live performances, which supports youth education with classes and camps, and might have a show for date night or the family.

    The Connecticut College Arboretum, on the Connecticut College campus has a native plants garden, greenhouse tropical garden, and the Caroline Black garden of ornamental plants from around the world.

    This part of Connecticut has no zoo; the nearest zoo is the Rogers Williams Zoo, about an hour away in Providence, Rhode Island. This is one of the oldest zoos in the US, and features over 100 different species.

    Project Oceanology is not a museum or a culture center so much as it is a public education and research organization, with a variety of classes and other learning experience events, including youth camps, focused on marine life and biology.