5 Maritime History Museums On The North Shore

May 17, 2022

The North Shore is steeped in maritime history. While visiting Real Pirates in Salem, MA, you might want to visit a few more maritime museums in the area. Most of which can be found right here in Salem. 

Real Pirates Salem 


a group of people wearing costumes

Address: 285 Derby Street, Salem, MA

What’s maritime history without adventure? Real Pirates in Salem, MA allows our guests to experience the story of Black Sam Bellamy and the Whydah Gally. Our family-friendly pirate museum dives deep into the history of the Black Sam, Maria Hallet, and the rest of their crew. 

Real Pirates also holds the world’s only authenticated pirate treasure. Maritime history and pirate enthusiasts can also learn more about the Whydah Shipwreck. This includes fascinating information about archeological preservation and the Whydah Shipwreck. Learn how divers recovered the shipwreck off the coast of Cape Cod.

The museum also features the interactive Discovery Lab, gift shop, and a pirate photo experience. Book your Real Pirates Salem experience today!


Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Address: 160 Derby Street, Salem, MA

The Salem Maritime National Historic Site is known as the first National Historic Site in the United States. Here, visitors can find over 600 years of New England maritime history across nine acres of land. This includes the downtown visitors center and twelve historic structures. History seekers can also find nine archaeological sites, four historic wharfs, and view a historic light station. And, all of this overlooks the Salem waterfront. 

The Salem Maritime National Historic Site is only a 5-minute walk from Real Pirates Salem!

Peabody Essex Museum

Address: 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA

The Peabody Essex Museum holds a vast collection of maritime artwork, objects, and authentic historical artifacts. Since the museum’s founding in 1799 as the East India Marine Society, travelers from across the world and cultures have brought back curiosities. PEM’s collection of maritime artwork represents cultural expression reflecting the allure of the sea.

Peabody Essex Museum is only a 4-minute walk from Real Pirates Salem!

Maritime Gloucester

Address: 23 Harbor Loop, Gloucester, MA

Maritime history enthusiasts that venture outside of Salem should be sure to stop at Maritime Gloucester. This maritime history museum sits on a working waterfront and invites visitors to explore the area. Guests can also walk the Harriet Webster Wharf, sail the Schooner Ardelle, and visit Maritime Gloucester’s aquarium. Maritime Gloucester also offers K-12 and summer programs along with school field trip options. 

Essex Shipbuilding Museum

Address: 66 Main Street, Essex, MA

The Essex Shipbuilding Museum is a true gem when it comes to maritime history. So if you’re traveling up the Coastal Byway after visiting Real Pirates, this museum is a must-stop. Here, history buffs will be treated to over 10,000 authentic maritime and shipbuilding objects and over 30,000 photographs. 

Plan Your Own Maritime History Tour

With so much to see and do in Salem and the North Shore area, you might want to plan an entire tour! Starting or ending at Real Pirates, you can make your way north or south to hit all the above locations and potentially do a little maritime exploration of your own!