Looking for a unique destination for exploration for you and your family? Check out the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, Connecticut. Renowned for housing one of the best collections of submarine artifacts in the United States, the museum is operated by the United States Navy and holds many documents and artifacts that would not be available to a private museum. William Bailey Travel invites you to learn more about this popular attraction for your family.
Established in 1955 by Electric Boat Division of General Dynamic Corporation, the museum began to collect and catalogue artifacts relating to the development and history of the submarine. Its collection shows the development of submarines by the navy staring in the Revolutionary War. In 1964 the entire collection was donated to the United States Navy and moved to the Naval Submarine Base in Groton. The collection now includes over 80,000 documents and photographs related to the history of submarines.
The museum is also home to the USS NAUTILUS, which is open for walking tours. In July of 1951, Congress gave the okay for the construction of the first nuclear powered submarine. The boat launched in January of 1954 when First Lady Mamie Eisenhower broke a bottle of champagne across the bow. Eight months later it became the first commissioned nuclear power ship in the United States Navy. The NAUTILUS was decommissioned in 1980 after a career that lasted more than 25 years and covered more than half a million miles. Because of the role she played in naval history the boat was designated as a National Historic Landmark. In 1985, after an extensive conversion, the boat was towed to Groton, Connecticut to join the Submarine Force Museum.
There are currently no guided tours available of the boat but patrons are free to explore on their own. The tour, which takes roughly an hour and a half, does have an optional audio wand available that describes the elements of the boat to guests.
The museum is open year-round with abbreviated hours in the winter. Summer hours (May1-September 30) it is open 9am-5pm, Wednesday-Monday. Winter hours (October1-April 30) it is open 9am-4pm, Wednesday-Monday. Admission and parking are free. To get to the museum take I-95 to Exit 86 and follow the signs for the USS Nautilus. Additional information can be found at ussnautilus.org.