Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, Key West

Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, Key West (must see)

The story of Mel Fisher and his discovery of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha along with its treasures are near what fantasy dreams are made of and what epitomizes the cultural attitudes behind the Conch Republic – Key West's strange-but-true 1982 "secession" from the United States. In a way, the story really has it all, and when reading it and viewing the artifacts, the looting, the scheming, the treachery, the deaths and tragedies can all come to light.

This museum is exactly what it advertises and is filled with interesting finds from the 17th-century Atocha vessel: stunning jewelry, coins, part of the hull and so much more, as well information on wreckers and pirates on the upper floor. There is also a very interesting section on the slave trade and another on Cubans doing what they can to reach America – but even more important is the fully operating Conservation & Archaeology lab, where admittance is allowed during a private Lab Tour that allows touching the artifacts while learning about their various stages of conservation. Some, depending on type and density, can take anywhere from weeks to years for full conservation before being placed on display!

Take the Conservation Lab Tour (extra fee) conducted by the extremely knowledgeable marine archaeologist who will take you through each step of the process from discovery to de-encrustation and preservation of artifacts. Plus it's really cool to be able to actually handle an encrusted artifact from a shipwreck and see all of the tools being used!

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8:30am–5pm; Sat, Sun, Holidays: 9:30am–5pm

Lab Tours:
Mon-Fri: 11:30am–2pm (Holidays excluded)

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Key West. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Mel Fisher Maritime Museum on Map

Sight Name: Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
Sight Location: Key West, USA (See walking tours in Key West)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Key West, Florida

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles

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