The Battleship USS Iowa Museum is a military maritime museum located at the Los Angeles World Cruise Centre, where it was relocated from the port of Richmond, California. Battleship Iowa is one of only 3 remaining battleships on the East coast, which presents a unique opportunity to explore a rare relic of the United States Navy. Here, you will have the opportunity to board a historic naval battleship and take a tour through its war-history exhibits. It was also rated as one of the 4 best outdoor museums in Los Angeles. If you’re a history buff, this is the museum for you.

    The Battleship Iowa also has a new virtual reality experience that you can try. You’ll see all the exhibits virtually, including the artefact gallery, and hear the museum speakers. There’s a flight-simulator to fly a Naval helicopter and tour a fully restored twin-rotor Piasecki HUP-2 Retriever for a fully immersive experience. With a virtual tour, you can visit the museum from the comfort of your own home.

    The Battleship USS Iowa Museum highlights

    The Battleship USS Iowa Museum offers tours with volunteers that will guide you through the converted ship and teach about the Naval heroes who served on board. Guests will be able to walk through the ship’s chambers, which have been preserved as museum exhibits to show what the rooms looked like while the ship was in service. Some of these exhibits include the officer’s wardroom, armored bridges, missile decks, and berths.  The cabin used by President Roosevelt has also been preserved for viewing. You can also do a self-guided tour with the use of their interactive smart-phone app to experience the museum on your own.

    photo by BrandiShae (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    History of the Battleship USS Iowa Museum

    The USS Iowa was a United States Navy battleship that served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War.  The Ship earned 11 battle stars and frequently hosted United States Presidents, most commonly President Roosevelt. The USS Iowa was the largest of its class, and also the last. It served for 19 years, during which the ship was given many nicknames, including “Battleship of Presidents,” “Big Stick,” and “The Grey Ghost.” Iowa was finally decommissioned in 1990.

    The Iowa has a museum mascot, Victory, also known as “Vicky.” The dog served on the ship during World War II and is part of a fun “scavenger hunt” that guests can participate in as part of their self-guided tour. It’s said that Vicky would sleep at the end of President Franklin Roosevelt’s bed when he was on board.

    The self-guided tour option will likely take you just over an hour to complete, as you will only be permitted to explore the external exhibits. However, guided tours can take up to 3 hours, as there’s a lot of history and storytelling to be shared about the great war heroes who served on the IOWA. The guided tour portion takes you into exhibits that are not open to those with general admission and self-guided tours, so it’s recommended that you plan on doing the self-guided tour after your guided tour to make sure you can see and do everything. The combination of the guided and self-guided tours are included in the 3-hour time estimate.

    photo by Michael Boyd (CC BY 3.0) modified

    Battleship USS Iowa Museum in Los Angeles

    Location: 250 S. Harbour Blvd, Los Angeles (San Pedro), CA 90731, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 877-446-9261

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