Exploring Maritime Museums in Savannah: A Journey Through Time

February 7, 2024

Embark on a captivating odyssey through the lush tapestry of maritime history in Savannah, Georgia. The Savannah Maritime Museums are not just a series of exhibits; they offer you a vivid plunge into the coastal heritage that has shaped this picturesque region. A haven for history enthusiasts and curious minds alike, each museum tour in Savannah unfurls the stories of an era gone by, through its sea-bound treasures and the silent witness of ship models from the 18th and 19th centuries.

As you unravel the sails of time, you will encounter paintings and antiques that breathe life into the storied past, connecting you with the naval glory that once traversed the Atlantic waters. Let us steer through the currents of time and explore the deep-seated connection between Savannah and its maritime endeavors.

Key Takeaways

  • Experience the rich maritime history in Savannah through interactive and immersive museum tours.
  • View historically significant ship models that offer a rare glimpse into the coastal heritage of Georgia.
  • Explore the comprehensive exhibits that reflect Savannah’s influence on naval history and oceanic exploration.
  • Learn about the iconic vessels that have played critical roles in shaping the maritime narrative of Savannah.
  • Understand the role of Savannah’s storied maritime past in the broader context of American history.

Discover the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

When you set foot within the historic walls of the Scarbrough House, home to the prestigious Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, you’re not just entering a building, but embarking on a voyage through Savannah’s rich maritime heritage. This cultural gem is nestled in the heart of the city’s famed historical district and stands out as a centerpiece among Savannah museums.

The museum’s storied structure, an excellent specimen of Greek Revival architecture constructed in 1819, once belonged to the president of the Savannah Steamship Company. It now houses a sprawling collection of maritime exhibits that paint a vivid picture of seafaring life and trade across the Atlantic.

  • Each of the museum’s nine galleries tells a unique story, with magnificent models of notable ships like the steamship Savannah, lauded for being the first to cross the Atlantic.
  • Further into your exploration, discover the Anne, a storied vessel remembered for delivering the first English colonists to Georgia’s shores.
  • Amid the exhibits, you’ll find an assortment of maritime paintings and antiques, each shedding light on different facets of the local naval chronicle.

Be prepared to spend hours immersed in the museum’s profound narrative, a testament to the maritime exploits that not only shaped Savannah but also left indelible marks on global seafaring history.

Savannah Maritime Museums: A Treasure Trove of Naval History

Savannah Naval History Exhibit

As you delve into the maritime history in Savannah, you’ll discover a world of adventure that chronicles the city’s rich naval history. Your exploration isn’t just about stepping back in time; it’s an active engagement with stories and artifacts that have shaped the identity of Savannah. Amid the scenic beauty of the city, Savannah museum tours offer an intimate look into a past that is both volatile and victorious.

Every corner of these museums is steeped in history, highlighting legendary vessels that include the Wanderer, a ship with a checkered past that shifted from luxury to infamy as an illegal slave ship. The City of Savannah, once the proud flagship of the Ocean Steamship Company, stands as a testament to commercial prowess and maritime innovation. These stories and more await, painting a comprehensive picture of Savannah’s nautical legacy.

  • The Wanderer: From opulent beginnings to a notorious role in history.
  • The City of Savannah: A symbol of the city’s commercial maritime success.
  • Civil War Naval Battles: Gaining a new understanding of maritime tactics and strategies used during a turbulent period in Savannah’s history.

With each exhibit dedicated to Savannah’s maritime history, you experience an immersive journey full of discovery. The most recent collections focus on Civil War naval skirmishes, adding yet another layer to the already vast tapestry of knowledge these tours provide. Step aboard, set the sails, and embark on an educational voyage through the soul of this coastal haven.

Strolling Through Savannah’s Coastal Heritage: The Gardens

As you wander the grounds of the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, you’ll find yourself enraptured by the historic gardens of the Scarbrough House. This green sanctuary in the midst of Savannah celebrates the diverse coastal heritage, meticulously tended and woven with the fabric of the city’s seafaring history.

  • Broad-leaf evergreens and the vibrant spectacle of the azaleas present a lush palette of color.
  • Camellias, with their waxy petals, provide a delicate beauty synonymous with Southern charm.
  • The towering magnolias stand as sentinels of history, their large blooms a nod to Georgia’s rich flora.

The tranquility these gardens offer is a perfect complement to the maritime museums in Savannah, offering you a place to reflect upon the sea’s influence on the region. Notably, an original cast-iron temple graces these grounds, once serving as Savannah’s official U.S. government weather station—a historical piece in its own right and an integral part of the narrative of Savannah’s coastal heritage.

Strolling through these historic gardens, you’ll appreciate how they frame the tales of sailors, merchants, and the evolution of maritime culture. Such an immersive experience encapsulates the timeless allure that brings Savannah’s past into the embracing warmth of the present.

A Peek into Savannah’s Maritime Past

Maritime artifacts in Savannah

As you step into the maritime museums in Savannah, you’re embarking on a journey back in time. The exhibits, replete with maritime artifacts and detailed ship models, serve as a narrative thread, pulling you through the weft of history that defines Savannah’s maritime past. From the intricate designs of the handcrafted ship models to the authentic relics retrieved from the depths, every piece tells a part of the grand narrative of sea exploration and commerce that Savannah has been part of for centuries.

The ship models you encounter are not mere replicas; they are stories carved in wood and rigged with history. Let’s take the model of The Titanic, a testament to human ambition and the whims of nature, which remains as a haunting maritime artifact. Meanwhile, models like that of the Anne act as a portal to the beginnings of colonization in Georgia, allowing you to visualize the journey of the 114 colonists who started a new life with hopes and dreams in tow.

  • Experience awe-inspiring craftsmanship in the ship models displayed across different maritime museums in Savannah.
  • Discover the tangible essence of Savannah’s maritime past through a wide range of maritime artifacts salvaged from historic voyages and shipwrecks.
  • Glimpse epic voyages that have shaped the world, recreated in miniature epicness, allowing you to appreciate the seafaring legacy that is interwoven into Savannah’s fabric.

Each of these elements – from the gossamer-thin lines on a ship’s sail to the barnacle-encrusted artifacts – is a testament to the people, the vessels, and the ocean tides that have carved out Savannah’s unique position in maritime history. Remember, as you gaze upon these artifacts, you are not just looking at constructs of wood and canvas, but at chapters of history that have shaped and been shaped by this illustrious city by the sea.

Maritime Exhibits: A Reflection of Savannah’s Historical Journey

Maritime Exhibits at Savannah Museums

As you navigate the halls of Savannah museums, you’ll find yourself on a historical journey through maritime exhibits that paint a vivid portrait of the city’s past. Each artifact and piece of maritime art provides a link to the era of Atlantic trade and discovery—a pivotal force in the shaping of Savannah’s identity. It’s more than a mere look back; it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the story of how the sea influenced both the development and the culture of the region.

From the moment you witness these carefully assembled displays, their importance resonates. You can almost hear the echoes of seafarers’ voices as they recount tales of braving the vast ocean to arrive at this very shore. Through a dynamic blend of marine relics and artistry, the connection between Savannah’s modern-day allure and its historic seafaring roots becomes unmistakably clear.

Imagine standing before maritime art that captures the tempestuous nature of the sea, or observing navigation instruments that once guided mariners across uncharted waters. These experiences await you within the esteemed corridors of Savannah museums, where history is not merely told—it’s shown and felt.

  • Maritime art that showcases the beauty and peril of sea voyages.
  • Antique navigational tools which were essential to early explorers.
  • Models of ships that tell the stories of significant Atlantic journeys.
  • Exhibits detailing the progression from sail to steam-powered vessels.

These maritime exhibits do more than narrate a historical journey; they invite you to grasp the essence of Savannah’s maritime lore. So come, explore, and let the past inspire you as you embark on your discovery through the tapestry of maritime exhibits highlighting Savannah’s storied connection with the sea.

The Intricacies of Ship Models: From Craftsmanship to History

When you step into the Savannah Maritime Museums, you’re not just entering a building; you’re embarking on a voyage through time and craftsmanship. The centerpiece of this journey is the collection of exquisite ship models, each a testament to the skilled maritime craftsmanship of days past. These miniature masterpieces offer a window into the history of historical ships that once navigated the world’s oceans, and they play a crucial role in storytelling at these venerable institutions.

In Savannah, a city known for its rich naval history, these models are more than displays; they serve as a connection to the engineering marvels and pivotal voyages that shaped not only a region but the world. The precision and attention to detail in each model encapsulate the spirit and essence of famed vessels such as the Steamship Savannah and The Wanderer. Visitors like you can admire the delicate rigging, the intricate hull designs, and the compelling narratives that these scaled replicas represent.

  • Discover the detailed scale models of ships that made maritime history.
  • Learn about the historical significance of vessels through intricately crafted replicas.
  • Appreciate the precision of miniaturized maritime components, each telling a story.
  • Pay homage to Savannah’s naval legacy and its historic contributions to shipbuilding.

Visiting the Savannah Maritime Museums offers you the unique chance to immerse yourself in a blend of art and history. Each intricately carved figurehead, each smoothly sanded deck, and each tiny stitched sail is a tribute to the ships that once parted the waves and the craftsmen who have painstakingly kept their stories alive. It’s an opportunity for you to grasp the full scale of the maritime heritage that has defined and enriched Savannah’s coastal culture.

Visitor Information: Planning Your Maritime Museum Journey

Embark on a captivating exploration of Savannah’s maritime history with all the visitor information you need for a seamless museum experience. The Ships of the Sea Museum is not only a treasure trove of sea-faring tales but also a beacon of Southern hospitality, ensuring your visit is both educational and comfortable.

  • Museum Admission: Delve into centuries of nautical adventures with tickets available for all types of visitors. Adults, students, seniors, members of the military, and families can all enjoy the wonders of the museum, with group rates available for parties of 10 or more.
  • Museum Hours: Plan your itinerary to fit within the convenient opening hours of the Ships of the Sea Museum, welcoming you from 10 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday through Sunday. Make the most of your day as you wander through the exhibits at your own pace.
  • Free Parking: Arrive with ease knowing that the museum provides free parking, allowing you to direct your focus on the maritime marvels awaiting inside rather than the search for a parking spot.
  • Pioneers in Preservation Pass: Take advantage of special packages like the Pioneers in Preservation Pass for expanded discovery of Savannah’s historic homes, each with its unique story and tie to the city’s fervent preservation efforts.

With all of this information at your fingertips, you’re well-equipped to chart your course through the depths of Savannah’s seafaring history. Relish in the detailed craftsmanship of ship models, the stories of oceanic voyages, and the architectural beauty of the museum itself, all while enjoying visitor amenities designed to enhance your journey.

Enhance Your Visit to Savannah with Memorable Stays

When you embark on your cultural exploration of Savannah’s Maritime Museums, your experience extends beyond the galleries and exhibits. A crucial part of your journey is where you choose to unwind after a day steeped in maritime history. Savannah Historic District Lodging offers an array of options that provide both comfort and a touch of the past, allowing you to continue your immersion in the city’s rich heritage.

For those seeking an experience that harmonizes with the natural beauty of the region, Savannah Lakes RV Resort stands as a beacon of relaxation. Situated in the tranquil setting of Hardeeville, SC, it’s not just an accommodation but a backdrop for cherished memories. The resort is equipped with amenities that cater to your comfort needs, ensuring that every moment of your stay is as enriching as your daytime excursions.

  • Luxe amenities for a restful retreat
  • Closeness to Savannah for day trips and museum visits
  • The charm of Southern hospitality

Choosing the right lodging is key to crafting memorable stays. Whether you’re after the elegance of historic inns or the scenic serenity of lakeside resorts, the Savannah area delivers. Consider how you want to end each day: immersed in history, surrounded by nature, or a blend of both? Your nights in the Savannah Historic District or the nearby comforts of Hardeeville, SC, can be as enriching as your days exploring maritime wonders.

As the sun sets on each adventurous day, retreat to a place where you can reflect on the maritime tales learned and the histories uncovered. Choose a stay that will enrich your connection to Savannah’s past and provide the perfect setting for your historic getaway. When you lay down to rest, let it be with the knowledge that you’re enveloped in the area’s enduring charm, ready to wake to another day of exploration and discovery.

Conclusion: Embracing Savannah’s Seafaring Soul

Your exploration of the maritime history in Savannah has likely left you with an indelible sense of connection to this city’s oceanic heartbeat. Traversing through the compelling maritime exhibits, you’ve witnessed first-hand the vessels and artifacts that encapsulate the valiant and often tumultuous experiences at sea. These stories, carved into every ship model and painting, form a bridge between Savannah’s past and your present—a journey of education and reflection.

The essence of Savannah’s museum tours extends beyond just the display cases; it resonates in the very air of the city, amidst the whispering oak trees and their Spanish moss drapery. The city’s coastal heritage is not just archived within the museum walls but is also lived out in the meticulous preservation of history, buildings, and gardens that dot the landscape, allowing you to step through time with every footfall.

As you conclude your maritime museum adventure, you carry with you more than just memories; you’re now a part of Savannah’s continuing narrative, a story steeped in maritime legacy. Whether these insights ignite a curiosity for further historical discovery or a newfound respect for the city’s symbiotic relationship with the sea, your journey through the storied maritime chapters of Georgia’s beloved port city ensures a lasting legacy is shared and celebrated.


What are some of the must-see exhibits at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum?

At the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, you shouldn’t miss the model of the Steamship Savannah, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic, and the exhibits related to ships like the Wanderer and the City of Savannah. The museum also hosts maritime paintings and antiques with insights into Savannah’s naval history.

Where is the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum located, and what is the significance of its setting?

The museum is housed in the historic Scarbrough House, an example of Greek Revival architecture built in 1819. It is significant not only for its stunning architecture but also for its cultural and historical relevance, serving as a gateway to explore Savannah’s maritime past.

Can visitors access the gardens at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum?

Yes, visitors can access the historic gardens at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, which feature a variety of plant species, a cast-iron temple, and provide a tranquil setting that complements the maritime history showcased within the museum.

Are there any artifacts or exhibits related to maritime history outside of ship models?

Apart from ship models, the maritime museums in Savannah offer a range of artifacts including maritime art, relics from various sea voyages, and educational exhibits on significant historical events such as Savannah’s role in the Civil War naval battles.

What kind of ship models can I expect to see at the museums?

The ship models on display include a diverse collection ranging from historic vessels like the Anne, models of infamous ships such as The Titanic, and models that reflect maritime craftsmanship and ingenuity, such as the Steamship Savannah.

How do maritime exhibits reflect Savannah’s historical journey?

Maritime exhibits reflect Savannah’s history by showcasing the city’s involvement in Atlantic trade and travel, highlighting its role in historical events, and presenting artifacts that articulate the city’s long-standing connection with the sea.

What details can you provide about admission rates and museum hours?

The Ships of the Sea Museum offers various admission rates for adults, students, seniors, military, and family groups. The museum is open from 10 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday through Sunday, and often offers discounted packages for multiple attractions related to Savannah’s preservation efforts.

Can you recommend a place to stay that would complement a visit to Savannah’s maritime museums?

For a comfortable and convenient stay that complements your visit to the maritime museums, Savannah Lakes RV Resort in Hardeeville, SC is a recommended choice. It offers easy access to the museums and a chance to enjoy Southern hospitality.

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