This museum turns me on! Years ago, I spent many happy hours sailing, so seeing boats, especially sailboats, just recalls many precious memories. But there is much more to this museum than just the Star of India, as renowned as it is, because just this past June, the Museum received a magnificent donation -- the Californian, the official California State Tall Ship, that, in late July, had its shakedown cruise here. Later on, during Fleet Week in October, the Star and the Californian will participate in the Parade of Ships, a special event now scheduled later than its traditional August.
For now, a visit to this museum will warrant several hours as not only can you explore the 1864 Star of India, but also the 1898 ferry boat Berkeley(UPDATE 4/3 currently undergoing maintenance), the 1904 steam yacht Medea, 1914 Pilot, 1902 Butcher Boy, and the topsail skooner Californian, but this worthy preserver of nautical heritage offers the public a special "Manila Galleons" display that runs through November 30th , extended because of its popularity. Till January 6 of next year, a "Plein Air Paintings Festival" featuring work by local artists is also included at the price of admission at no extra charge. On the Berkeley there’s also an art gallery of paintings and other art for sale-all with a nautical significance.
This non-profit museum funnels profits into the maintenance and preservation of these vessels from the past and during the summer shows movies on board during sailing of the Star. The last in this "Movies Before the Mast" series is slated for September 20 and 21, at 6:30 and 7:00 pm (cost $10.00). Open EVERY DAY in the year from 9am-9pm, if you have a California Auto Club Card, you’ll receive a dollar off each admission for up to six people. Children under six are free, but,I feel this special museum is not suitable for children that young. Seniors (62 and over) and active military admission is $4.00. There’s metered parking nearby, but you’ll need lots of quarters to feed the meters, though after 6pm that parking is free. And an evening in summer on the water is splendid, I''d imagine, and I hope I''ll be able to attend one of these shows next year, as I miss sailing. Do see the virtual tours of the ships on the museum''s excellent website www.sdmaritime.com.