Whaling History & Maritime Museums

Long Island has a rich maritime history dating back to the 1700s when settlers here made their livings and sometimes their fortunes from the bounty of the sea.

Whaling and maritime history come alive through exhibits, including over 6,000 artifacts, a fully-equipped 19th century whale boat, and scrimshaw at the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum on Main Street in Cold Spring Harbor

Also depicting Long Island’s whaling history is the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum. This Greek Revival period house museum features whaling artifacts, ship captain’s portraits, nautical memorabilia and scrimshaw, as well as a painting that Herman Melville commented was one of the finest representations of the whaling industry he’d ever seen.

Both whaling museums tastefully and thoughtfully recall this era in time.

The Long Island Maritime Museum, occupying 14 waterfront acres on West Avenue in West Sayville, comprises five historic buildings. The complex offers changing boating and marine exhibits, as well as a local small craft collection and a 19th century oystering vessel. The Museum also hosts an annual Seafood Festival in August and a “Halloween Boat Burning” in October.