Visitor’s Guide to the USS Silversides Submarine

If you’re a history lover, you must visit the USS Silversides Submarine Museum. The museum focuses on exhibits about naval history, including a preserved WWII sub. It’s located at Bluff Street in Muskegon, along the scenic banks of Lake Michigan.

What’s the history behind the USS Silversides Submarine Museum?

More than 30 years ago, a small group of residents from Muskegon, Michigan, banded together to try and rescue a forgotten WW2 submarine that was slowly falling apart at a naval pier in Chicago, Illinois.

Their efforts eventually led to the founding of the USS Silversides Submarine Museum, a unique 30,000-square foot facility, which is home to two decommissioned maritime vessels and a host of WW2 military artifacts.

Today, the USS Silversides Submarine Museum lets visitors step back in time with an immersive experience of the nation’s wartime history. It offers unique insights into how the civilian population of Michigan at the time mobilized in large numbers to contribute to the US war effort.

How to get to the museum?

The museum is at 1346 Bluff St, west of downtown Muskegon on the south side of the channel wall.

The museum is open seven days a week from 10 am to 5.30 pm during the summer months. From September to May, it’s open from Sunday to Thursday, from 10 am to 4 pm. The weekend timings for Friday and Saturday remain 10 am to 5.30 am during this period.   

A combination ticket to the museum and the maritime vessels is $17.50 for adults, with concessions for senior citizens, veterans, and children. Active duty military personnel and children under 5 are offered free entry into all facilities.

What to do and see at the museum?

The USS Silversides Submarine Museum is dedicated to the men and women of the US armed forces. It aims to provide experiences of American military history and technology to its visitors.

The chief attractions at the site are the two naval vessels. The first is the SS-236 USS Silversides, a decorated Gato-Class WW2 submarine with one of the most prolific combat records in American history.

It’s credited with sinking 23 ships before receiving twelve battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation for service during WWII. In terms of the number of ships sunk, the USS Silversides remains the third-most successful allied submarine after the USS Tang and the USS Tautog.

The second highlight of the museum is the USCGC McLane WSC-146, a Coast Guard Cutter that saw action during the Prohibition era and WWII and was actively involved in several search and rescue operations.

Visitors are welcome to step aboard both vessels for guided tours and a hands-on feel of what it meant to be a US service member during the war years of the last century.

Besides these maritime legends, the Museum has a wide collection of temporary and permanent exhibits related to WWII. It also features a gift shop for memorabilia. 

Apart from the regular features, several activities available at the museum keep engaged visitors occupied. You can become an official ‘crew member’ for a night, or enroll in the overnight encampment program. Through the overnight encampment program, you can stroll the decks and sleep in the berths where America’s bravest souls once did. You must make a reservation in advance if you plan to enroll in this program. Tours are available all through the year.

What are some other Muskegon attractions?

Once you’ve scratched off the Submarine Museum from your places-to-visit list, you can visit other places in Muskegon. The city offers a variety of other exciting experiences.

Muskegon South Pierhead Lighthouse is a favorite with the locals. It’s a 1903 structure, built on the shores of Lake Michigan that continues to attract many visitors.

Then there’s the Pere Marquette Park, which offers an expansive beachfront for revelers, a playground, a restaurant, and access to the Muskegon Channel.

Two other places you can visit are Devil’s Kitchen Trail and Dune Ridge Trail. The mile-long trail connecting Snug Harbor with the Channel campground boat launch lets hikers brave clouds of fog descending over the shoreline. The slightly longer Dune Ridge Trail in Muskegon State Park offers steep climbs along wooded dunes with spectacular views of both Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan.

We hope this guide has helped you plan your visit to the USS Silversides Submarine Museum. While you’re in town, you can visit the Body and Mind dispensary at 885 East, Apple Avenue, Muskegon.

We offer various cannabis strains and products. You can choose flowers and other products from a broad spectrum of colors, quality, and aromas.

We recommend trying our Pretzel Bites, Krispy Bites, and Chocolate Bites for the perfect mix of taste and potency.

You can also place your order online or visit our store in Muskegon.