Over 41,000 tons of warships sitting at anchor, easy to explore, and less than an hour south of Boston. Battleship Cove, located in Fall River, Massachusetts, is a museum dedicated to the sailors who served the US Navy during wartime. Founded in 1965, the museum exists to preserve several historic vessels that fought for the United States during the 20th century. With a beautiful Saturday unfolding after a week of brutally cold temperatures and nasty winter weather, I set off for this very cool destination.
The museum was originally created by sailors who had served aboard the USS Massachusetts during the Second World War. With the mighty battleship no longer in active service and headed for the scrapyard, these veterans of the Massachusetts convinced the US Navy to donate the ship to be the centerpiece of a new museum. Over the years, other vessels have been added to the museum’s roster, including the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy (a naval aviator who was also the older brother of President John F. Kennedy), the submarine USS Lionfish, two Patrol Torpedo boats (PT-617 and PT-796), and a cold war relic from the Soviet Union: a retired East German Tarantul-class fast-attack missile boat, the Hiddensee (via Wikipedia).
Every ship can be explored, both by walking on the decks but also by climbing up or down ladders and exploring the vessels’ interiors. Whereas previous maritime museums I have visited (such as the Olympia and the New Jersey) had very clearly delineated tour paths, these ships were much more open to exploration. You could make a wrong turn and not necessarily know how to get back on track! In fact, exploring some of these ships reminded me of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books I loved as a child. There was no right answer to exploring these vessels, just where your curiosity would take you (although there were a few places that were locked off or marked as forbidden).
For a family-friendly day trip, Battleship Cove is a great place to spend an afternoon. From April to Columbus Day, the museum is open 7 days a week, with weekend hours during the rest of the year. Admission prices are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, children 4-12 are $11, US military veterans are $16, and active duty personnel and children 3 and younger are free. Should you end up near Fall River, this museum is definitely worth a detour to visit. Thanks for coming along on another Voyage of DH!