The Great Lakes are not only the most important natural resource in the world, but they also represent thousands of years of history. The lakes have dramatically impacted the social, economic and political history of the North American continent. The National Museum of the Great Lakes tells the awe-inspiring stories of our Great Lakes through breathtaking photography, over 300 incredible artifacts, a number of powerful audiovisual displays and 40 hands-on interactive exhibits including the 617-foot iron ore freighter Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship and the historic Museum Tug OhioClick here to explore the museum and the Schoonmaker.

The tales told here span hundreds of years, from the fur traders in the 1600s to the Underground Railroad operators in the 1800s, the rum runners in the 1900s, to the sailors on the thousand-footers sailing today. The theme of the Great Lakes as a Powerful Force runs through all of these stories and will create a lifelong interest in all who visit.

Before you visit!

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The second Wave, becoming the place where all Great Lakes conversations happen

See what people are saying about their visit

Review by Mellisa R explaining that the museum is fun for the whole family and that her daugther begs to visit
Review by Sara P explaining how informative the exhibits are

Inland Seas Quarterly Journal


Laying the Groundwork: The Second Wave Expansion Progress

More progress is underway at the National Museum of the Great Lakes during our Second Wave construction project. Currently, our construction team is busy completing the foundation, marking a significant

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The National Museum of the Great Lakes is supported in part by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated by the City of Toledo and the Lucas County Commissioners and administered by The Arts Commission.

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds