Quite possibly the most hidden treasure in Fenwick Island, the DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum is a treasure chest filled with countless stories and artifacts from numerous shipwrecks, many of which took place on the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia coastlines. Kids (and parents) will be enthralled by the stories of director, owner and treasurer hunter Dale Clifton, who has been hunting and finding shipwrecks and the treasures left behind for decades. Visitors can touch actual, large gold bars that were once lost at sea or exquisite jewels meant for queens. The stories of shipwrecks, pirates and treasure finds are easily altered for any age, so children as young as preschoolers are welcome at DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum.
The museum holds only about a quarter of Clifton’s collection so the exhibits are ever changing, especially as Clifton uncovers even more shipwrecks and slowly restores his finds. Clifton’s goal is to not only keep the Delmarva maritime history alive with his knowledge and stories, but he also wants visitors to be able to actually see and touch that history as well.
The story of a Spanish fleet of ships carrying royal cargo and lost at sea in 1622 is brought to life when visitors can feel the weight of just one gold bar from a ship that was estimated to have carried 7,175 ounces in gold bars. Thousands of items are on display within the small museum that is located in an upstairs room of Sea Shell City. Families will find coins, gold and silver bars, weapons, fine china, jewelry and countless other pieces of history discovered in the sea.
Open daily in June, July and August from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and September from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. In October, November, December, April and May open on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed January, February and March for renovations and updates. Hours are subject to chance and if you want to hear stories directly from Dale Clifton himself, be sure to call ahead to make sure he is in town and not out hunting treasure. Group tours are also available.
There is no cost to tour the museum, but donations are appreciated as the museum is privately funded.
Free parking can be found in the parking lot of Sea Shell City.