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The USS Constitution Museum

The USS Constitution Museum serves as the gateway to the legendary USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. This interactive museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the stories of “Old Ironsides” and the people associated with her. It provides an immersive experience that allows visitors to understand the ship’s role in American history and maritime heritage.


The USS Constitution was launched in 1797 and earned its famous nickname during the War of 1812 when enemy cannonballs seemed to bounce off its strong oak hull. The museum, established in 1972, is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard, across from the USS Constitution and near the ship’s berth. It is housed in a restored shipyard building at the foot of Pier 2.

The museum’s mission is to share the history of the ship and its crew through engaging exhibits and educational outreach. It brings to life the stories of the individuals who built and sailed the vessel, providing insights into their daily struggles and triumphs.


  • Ship’s Age: The USS Constitution was launched in 1797 and is the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat.
  • Museum’s Collection: The museum boasts a collection of over 3,000 objects, including artifacts, documents, and artwork related to the ship’s history.
  • Awards: The USS Constitution Museum has received numerous awards for its exhibits and programs.


The museum is situated in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood, at the Charlestown Navy Yard. The address is:

Building 22, Charlestown Navy Yard
Charlestown, MA 02129

Visitors can access the museum via the Freedom Trail, a walking route that leads to significant historical sites in Boston.


For more information, including current exhibits, educational programs, and special events, visit the USS Constitution Museum’s official website:

Opening Hours

The museum usually operates daily, but hours can vary by season. It is recommended to check the museum’s official website or call ahead for the most up-to-date information.

Things to Do

Tour the USS Constitution

Visit the ship itself (operated by the U.S. Navy) and explore its decks and history.

Interactive Exhibits

Engage with hands-on exhibits that tell the story of “Old Ironsides” and life at sea.

Educational Programs

Participate in educational programs designed for all ages, including workshops and live demonstrations.

Special Events

Attend various public events hosted by the museum, such as the Fourth of July celebration, Navy Week, and Constitution Day.

Museum Store

Stop by the museum store to purchase souvenirs, books, and educational materials related to maritime history and the USS Constitution.

Tips For Visiting

  1. Admission: The museum operates with a suggested donation, but visitors can give what they can afford.
  2. Security: When touring the USS Constitution ship, all visitors over 18 must present a valid federal or state-issued photo ID due to its active-duty status.
  3. Accessibility: The museum is wheelchair accessible, but keep in mind that the ship has steep ladders and tight spaces.
  4. Appropriate Dress: Weather can be unpredictable, and parts of the tour are outdoors, so dress accordingly.
  5. Photography: Photography is allowed, but the use of tripods or drones may be restricted, and flash photography is prohibited in certain areas.


The USS Constitution Museum provides an invaluable look into America’s naval history and the legacy of the USS Constitution. It offers a rich educational experience that appeals to visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Through its interactive exhibits and the up-close encounter with the historic ship, the museum celebrates the enduring relevance of “Old Ironsides” and its contribution to the American story. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a family looking for an educational outing, or a tourist exploring Boston’s heritage, the USS Constitution Museum is a must-visit landmark that captivates and educates.

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