Gulf Quest, National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico is located in Mobile, Alabama. The stated purpose of the museum is “To inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to understand and appreciate the Gulf Coast's Rich Maritime Heritage through exhibits, programs and activities.” But what you really need to know about Gulf Quest is that it's tons of fun!
Gulf Quest is housed in a life sized replica of a container ship located in downtown Mobile on the Mobile River. Level 1 is the lobby. This is where you will find the gift shop, admission desk and restrooms. Once you purchase your tickets and head into the museum, you will find the Gulf Quest Theater.
This three-screen, multi-media theater presentation, entitled “The Gulf Coast: A Place Like No Other”, explores the rich maritime history and culture of the Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay from past to present. A tapestry of panoramic images and voices captures what it's like to live and work on the Gulf Coast. Local voices narrate the 16-minute film, which takes GulfQuest visitors from location to location while they explore different aspects of the region, including recent events (Hurricane Katrina and the BP Horizon oil spill).
Deck 1 : Dockside has exhibits with interactive activities related to container ships. The Main Deck is home to travelling exhibits that will change periodically. As you travel to each level, you can enjoy the view of the Mobile River through the windows surrounding the museum. You can use stairs, ramps or an elevator to get from one level to the next throughout the museum.
Deck 1A : Cargo Deck is home to exhibits about ship navigation and propulsion and design. I know these topics sound a bit boring but trust me, your kids will love them. They are all hands on and fun! Deck 2 and 2A contain exhibits on the Crew's Quarters. There is a place where kids can dress up as pirates or sailors. (Note: these costumes are made for younger kids – not my 16 year old!) There's lot to play with on this level. Drive a toy boat, create an ocean scene with magnets, operate a crane and so much more. If you have kids under the age of 12, just settle in on this level because you are gonna be here for a while.
Deck 3 has several video presentations. These areas are really unique. They are small rooms where you can watch the video away from the activity of the other exhibits. Learn about oyster cove, The Hunley submarine, cargo handlers and more on this level.
Deck 4 & 5 are the uppermost levels of Gulf Quest. Lots of future exhibits are planned for these levels. Deck 5 is The Bridge and features the beautiful Bridge Wings observation deck outside. Take a walk around and take in the view. Back inside you can experience being a captain in the Take the Helm Theater and take a selfie with the giant steering wheel!
There is so much to see and do at Gulf Quest National Maritime Museum. We spent 3 hours there on our visit and we could have stayed longer. Whether you have young kids or teens, there is sure to be plenty to educate and entertain so make sure to add this place to your Mobile itinerary.
Thanks to Visit Mobile for sponsoring our experience in Mobile. Their financial partnership keeps our site FREE for our readers. All opinions are my own.
Family Fun Facts
Hours – Tuesday through Friday 9AM – 4PM
Saturday 9AM – 5PM Sunday 12PM – 5PM
Cost : Adults $16 Kids (age 5-17) $13 Kids (5 & under) Free