The days on the water are—sadly—numbered. But museums showcase Long Island’s rich nautical history, allowing people to enjoy maritime merriment year-round. Take a jaunt to three popular Long Island maritime museums.
Long Island Maritime Museum, West Sayville
The grounds at Long Island Maritime Museum look like pages out of a portfolio. The captivating waterfront views immediately put guests in a nautical frame of mind. The 14-acre property, once part of the Meadow Edge estate of Anson Hard, has nine historic buildings. Visitors can step inside the Rudolph Oyster House, a National Historic Landmark, to learn about the oyster industry and the families who made it work. Permanent exhibit From Seashell to Sailors lets guests kick back and relax by showcasing the history of Long Island shipwrecks, and offering cruises on restored 1888 Oyster Sloop Priscilla (which do not end in shipwrecks!). Fish fanatics will want to mark their calendars for the 26th Annual Long Island Maritime Museum Seafood Festival, which takes place Aug. 26-27. The popular festival includes fresh local seafood, craft beer and live music, making it a perfect way to end summer with mates. Phone: 631-854-4974 | Address: 86 West Ave. Click to explore
Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, Sag Harbor
Built in 1845 for $7000, this one-time home of prosperous whaler Benjamin Huntington II turned into a museum in 1945. It is a favorite of the Clinton family, who worked to get it certified as a National Treasure in 1998. It was qualified for the Save America’s Treasures program, which gives grants to preserve significant historic properties. Tourists and locals enjoy the exhibits and programming, including a current display of handmade model war ships, merchant ships and sailboats that are making collectors swoon. Phone: 631-725-0770 | Address: 200 Main St. Click to explore
Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum, Cold Spring Harbor
This museum doesn’t just explore Long Island’s whaling history. It also dives into the ever-changing relationship between humans and whales through educational programming and exhibits. This September, new exhibit Breaking Boundaries will showcase the impact whaling has had on Long Island’s development today. On Sept. 17, Islanders can break out the high-patches and their best Captain Hook impersonations for the PirateFest. The annual festival includes pirate-themed crafts and encourages costumes. Phone: 631-367-3418 | Address: 301 Main St. Click to explore