Unless you're a a navy or marine veteran, there's a good chance you've never had a chance to go inside a submarine.  Well, here's your chance!  At the USS Albacore museum, located just across the Maine / New Hampshire border from Kittery, you can take a tour of the US Navy's experimental submarine.

According to Wikipedia, USS Albacore was launched from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery on the first of August, 1953.  Even though she was equipped with torpedoes, she was never designed to be a fighting boat.  Albacore is diesel-electric boat, but the navy had ordered her to test different hull designs they'd be using on future nuclear powered subs.  After nearly 20 years of service, she was decommissioned in 1972 and has been a museum and memorial since 1985.

Probably my favorite road trip with my son was our visit here.  It might seem kinda' nerdy, but kids love climbing around boats and ships.  I practically had to pry my son away from the periscope!  it's a fun, "hands on" experience, and (for the older kids, at least) they have a chance to learn about the men and women helping to defend our country.

Check out these pics:

The USS Albacore Museum is located on Market Street in Portsmouth and open daily (through Columbus Day) 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM.  In addition to touring the sub, there is a visitor center that contains a museum loaded with submarine and navy artifacts.  And, there's a gift shop, too.  The museum is located 90 minutes from Central Maine.


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