The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

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Mariners' Museum

Top choice in Virginia

One of the biggest, most comprehensive maritime museums in the world. The on-site USS Monitor Center houses parts of the Civil War–era Monitor, one of the world's first ironclad warships, as well as a huge number of artifacts associated with it. There's also a life-sized replica of the real deal. Or perhaps you're more interested in speed than history? The America's Cup exhibit spotlights the sleek Oracle Team USA catamaran that won the 2013 international racing competition.

Kids will enjoy the screenings in the on-site theatre ($3), where 3D glasses are donned to view films about sea monsters, cities beneath the sea and other cool stuff.

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