Houston Maritime Museum – Houston, Texas - Atlas Obscura

Houston Maritime Museum

This seaworthy collection was sparked by one man's passion for sailing. 


Nestled in this small museum is a big collection of intricate model ships from all around the globe.

After he retired from the shipbuilding business, Jim Manzolillo sailed around the world several times. On each of his 95 ocean voyages, he bought model ships at different ports of call to bring back to his home port of Houston. After showing off his impressive collection in his personal condo, he decided to open the Houston Maritime Museum in 2000.

Docents are available to present the extensive collection, which includes model ships, navigational instruments, and the story of the Houston Ship ChannelManzolillo died in 2007, but the museum continues to flourish. In 2019, it opened its new space in the historic East End neighborhood, just blocks from Buffalo Bayou. With plans to move again in the next five years, the museum’s journey is one that is not to be missed!

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