Columbia River Maritime Museum

Explore the world of marine transportation from the days of dugout canoes, through the age of sail, to the present.

Watch a dramatic 12-minute film introducing the history and perils of the the Columbia River. Sail a model boat on the newly opened Warnock Model Boat Pond. Walk the bridge of a World War II warship, marvel at the 44-foot motor lifeboat plowing through a wave in a rescue mission. Participate in four interactive and hands-on exhibits including taking the helm in a tugboat wheelhouse. 

The museum’s 3D theater brings family-friendly movies to life in grand fashion, onto the huge screen and in pure digital surround sound.

And what’s more…you can board the Lightship Columbia, a National Historic Landmark, that once guided ships to safety at the mouth of the Columbia River.

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4.5/5 TripAdvisor Traveler Rating based on 1835 reviews


  • TripAdvisor Rating
    November 4, 2023

    Good Maritime experience

    This was a repeat visit for us after several years And several previous visits. It is really an excellent coordinated exhibit of both local history and current activities around the outstanding Coast Guard rescue boat school. There is much to learn and experience about the most dangerous river entrance and the importance of maritime commerce here. Adjacent to the museum is a former light ship available for touring. Overall it is interesting and educational for all ages. Reason for not top rating : -A real cheesy gift shop not up to the excellent venue and quality of the museum. Showing once again that bad taste is everywhere.

  • TripAdvisor Rating
    October 20, 2023
    Clinton S

    The best maritime museum I have visited

    The Columbia Maritime Museum was much more than I expected. I am interested in the sea, it's power and the courage of the seafarers than ride her waves. This place was first class with boats, 3D movies, stories and all who dared to travel the "Graveyard of the Pacific" at the mouth of the Columbia River. Tales of the many shipwrecks and rescuers that aid them. If you love the sea and oceanic history this is a must sea. The quality of the exhibits is top shelf. Plan on a couple hours.

  • TripAdvisor Rating
    September 25, 2023

    Great Way to Learn about Sea Rescures

    This is a good place to learn about the coast guard rescues in the area. There are some simulations of actual rescues and large exhibits of the rescue boats as well as fishing boats. There is also a section about the salmon canning industry that was large before overfishing did it in. Outside we went on a lighthouse boat. The staff member ws very receptive to our questions.

  • TripAdvisor Rating
    September 23, 2023
    Rosemary W

    Informative and fun

    This is a surprisingly large museum, with exhibits covering many related topics, including the history of navigation. The emphasis is on the Columbia River. There is information about the salmon industry, and a lot of information about the dangers of this area, known as the Graveyard of the Pacific because of all the shipwrecks. It is possible to see everything in one visit, but since the ticket is good all day, it's easier to start early, take a lunch break, and come back. #disability #accessibility The aisles are wide enough for a wheelchair or scooter. There was one exhibit with stairs (I believe it had a wheelchair lift available).

  • TripAdvisor Rating
    September 16, 2023

    Wonderful Museum

    We had been to this museum 20 years ago and we were so impressed with it, that we definitely wanted to add it to our itinerary to our recent trip to the Northwest. The museum is probably the best maritime museum we have ever visited. I highly recommend it.

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