Visitor Center and Partner Exhibits
Visitors to Virginia and North Carolina’s Outer Banks have many opportunities to learn about the history of the USS Monitor and the National Marine Sanctuary System. Although Monitor is difficult to dive on, there are numerous immersive experiences available on land.
The Mariners' Museum and Park
The USS Monitor Center, the official visitor center for Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, is located within The Mariners’ Museum and Park. Over 50,000 square feet of interactive gallery exhibits, artifacts, and replicas bring the story of Monitor and its crew to life. At the Batten Conservation Laboratory, walk up the stairs to view artifacts under conservation, including the gun turret, engine, condenser, and more.
North Carolina Maritime Museum Hatteras: Graveyard of the Atlantic
The treacherous waters off North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with its numerous shoals and frequent rough seas, have claimed many ships, giving it the nickname the Graveyard of the Atlantic. At this museum located on Hatteras Island, learn about the ships that wrecked along the coast, including the story of the USS Monitor sinking in 1862.
Since 1939, Jennette's pier has been a fishing tradition along the Outer Banks. Today, the pier not only offers opportunities to fish, but visitors can also explore interactive science exhibits and learn about renewable energy while they shop for tackle, beach supplies, and snacks. Be sure to check out the NOAA kiosk while you're there!
North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
Discover the “Waters of the Outer Banks” as you marvel at the largest group of sharks on display in the state. As you interact with tank divers, you can also see a one-third scale replica of the USS Monitor. Just around the corner, experience the incredible history of Monitor in the “Ironclad Sanctuary” exhibit.
North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort
The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort reflects coastal life and interprets lighthouse and lifesaving stations, the seafood industry, and more. While at the museum, discover one of the Monitor Trail signs depicting the significant contributions made by John G. Newton and his team for discovering the final resting place of the USS Monitor.
Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum
This museum honors and preserves the history of Virginia’s coastal communities and maritime heritage. Exhibits here include signage on World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic.