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Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum, Key West

4.2
#4 of 27 in Museums in Key West
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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See 17th century artifacts acquired from wrecks of galleons, slave ships, and plundered pirate vessels at Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum. Among a plethora of rescued pieces, you'll find gold and silver items, navigational instruments, iron shackles that were used to punish sailors, elephant teeth, cannons, olive jars, Aztec ceramics, old coins, and even seeds and insects. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the conservation lab and learn how 150-200 artifacts per year are cleaned, stabilized against deterioration, and preserved upon excavation. The gift shop showcases and sells recreated and authentic shipwreck treasures. Use our Key West trip itinerary tool to visit Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum on your trip to Key West, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum reviews

TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,968 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Fantastic place for even the history challenged. More than a treasure hunter gallery, the museum wraps history and science around Mr. Fisher's and team's decades of underwater archeology. Highly... 
    Fantastic place for even the history challenged. More than a treasure hunter gallery, the museum wraps history and science around Mr. Fisher's and team's decades of underwater archeology. Highly...  more »
  • We learned a lot about Mel Fisher and his hunt for the Atocha. A number of the audio-visual features in the museum were not running. I was inspired to come home and watch the Nat Geo special on the....  more
    We learned a lot about Mel Fisher and his hunt for the Atocha. A number of the audio-visual features in the museum were not running. I was inspired to come home and watch the Nat Geo special on the....  more »
  • This was so very interesting to see and learn about. To see right in front of you, treasures that are centuries old, brought up from the bottom of the ocean. 
    This was so very interesting to see and learn about. To see right in front of you, treasures that are centuries old, brought up from the bottom of the ocean.  more »
Google
  • I remember hearing about Mel Fisher's amazing discovery of the Atocha shipwreck when I was a kid, so I was excited to visit the museum and see many of the artifacts in person. The museum is located near Mallory Square across from the Opal Key resort, and it is the perfect place to spend a couple hours inside especially if the weather turns rainy in Key West. We purchased our tickets just inside the main door and I think the price was around $17 for adults plus I think we paid $1 or so extra to use a guided headset that tells more about the displays. I was happy to see that we could pay with a credit card - unlike the Ernest Hemingway house which only takes cash. One of the displays is a short video around 15 minutes long or so that tells a bit about Mel Fisher and his discovery of the Atocha. Throughout the museum there are various artifacts including coins, gold, silver, jewelry, chains, and cannonballs. There are many wall panels containing historic information about the ship, the history of the area, and even pirates. I enjoyed my visit to this museum and recommend it if you have a couple extra hours in Key West.
  • Not to be missed in key west. Pre purchased tickets online to save a few dollars. The video at the beginning is a great introduction to the museum. After watching it, all of us (2 parents and 3 kids- 15, 11, 9) were very interested to see the displays and artifacts. If you only have time for one key west museum this should be it. Not a huge place so it can be experienced in an hour or less. If you are interested in archeology, history, treasure, diving, being rich, or thinking about being rich, this is for you. I did not do the behind the scenes tour but if I have the chance to go back I will.
  • The museum is great and tells the story of both Mel and the ships. Lots of interesting artifacts and history. The staff is incredibly friendly. I especially enjoyed visiting with Jason who told me more about the Fisher story and the area. He also told me to make sure to visit in the future because they are in the process of adding an additional 10,000 sq feet to the museum.
  • This collection is massive, and it's easy to lose track of time, even though there are only half a dozen rooms. I found I had been wandering through for nearly an hour without realizing it and almost missed my tour of the restoration lab. If you are an archaeology nerd you can't pass up the lab, well -worth the extra admission.
  • This was a great museum. The whole story of Mel Fisher's discovery of the Atocha is detailed with many interesting exhibits. The audio tour was very good, as well. The 2nd floor went through other interesting historical periods ranging from the Slave Trade, Piracy/Privateers and up through the Cold War

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