Clio Logo
Naval Norfolk Driving Tour
Item 11 of 14

Located on Norfolk's downtown waterfront, Nauticus is 120,000 square-foot science and technology museum dedicated to naval history and science. The museum includes many exhibits on maritime technology, and emphasizes interactive experiences--including "real-time" information on ships going past the museum, and escape rooms on board the real USS Wisconsin, one of the largest and last battleships ever built by the U.S. Navy.


  • Wider view of the museum.  

By Ewelch1 - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15293043
  • Reception desk at Nauticus.  

By Deadly437 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47697433
  • Visitors can touch a Horseshoe Crab at one of the Nauticus experiences.  Official Nauticus photo.

Since its opening in 1994, Nauticus museum has brought unique exhibits on naval and maritime history and technology to the public.  Its programs and experiences emphasize hands-on interactivity, with exhibits like Secrets of the Deep, which allows "You and your family can control an actual 9-foot long robotic arm to collect samples and artifacts from the seabed, or operate a remote-controlled camera to explore the wreck site."1

Nauticus also houses several important pieces of American naval history--not the least of which is the impressive USS Wisconsin, one of the last and largest battleships ever built in the United States.  The Wisconsin offers several types of tours, scavenger hunts, and currently available are two different interactive "escape room" experiences, one of which is set during the battleship's service in 1945.

The Naval History & Heritage Command operates the Hampton Roads Naval Museum within the facility, which includes permanent exhibits on a number of US Naval milestones, including the Battle of Chesapeake and the Battle of Hampton Roads.

The Nauticus is also home to a number of youth outreach programs, including special activities for school field trips, Girl and Boy Scout programs, Junior Scientists Club, and Sail Nauticus, a nonprofit sailing school and community sailing center whose mission is "to inspire, instruct, and impact Hampton Roads kids through the use of sailing and maritime sciences."

1. Education & Exhibits. Nauticus.org. Accessed September 11, 2017. https://nauticus.org/education-exhibits/exhibits/.

2. About the Museum. Naval History & Heritage Command. Accessed September 11, 2017. https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/museums/hrnm/about-us1/about-the-museum.html.

3. About. Sail Nauticus. Accessed September 11, 2017. https://sailnauticus.org/.