Due to the sanctuary's location and the harsh environment within which the USS Monitor lays, it is impossible for the majority of the public to visit the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. However, through partnering museums, you can immerse yourself and/or your students into the Monitor's rich history. Our official visitor center, The Mariners' Museum, is located in Newport News, Va. There you can view hundreds of recovered artifacts and historic documents; observe the turret, steam engine and other large artifacts under conservation; walk on a full-size Monitor replica; explore the USS Monitor Center; and more.
If visiting the Outer Banks in North Carolina, several partnering museums have exhibits that tell the Monitor's story. The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras, N.C., offers exhibits that tell the ship's history and in the future, will display several of the Monitor's large artifacts. If visiting the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island be sure to catch a live dive show at the Graveyard of the Atlantic tank that houses a one-third scale model of the Monitor. In the southern part of the state, check out the exhibits at the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Beaufort, where you will also find one of the Monitor Trail signs dedicated to the discovery of the Monitor.
If you are unable to visit any of the museums, do not despair, as you and your students can dive into the Monitor's history, discovery, recovery, conservation and more through student lesson plans and activities, videos, teacher workshops, guest lectures, posters, brochures and other materials provided within this site. Be sure to check out the Monitor's Legacy site for more exciting information about the ship, the crew and what's happening today.
If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Monitor@noaa.gov