Experience Cape Cod’s top rainy-day activity, the Whydah Pirate Museum! It’s a must-see attraction for all ages and a great family activity on a stormy day.
As one of the Cape’s premier indoor exhibits, the Whydah Pirate Museum is a great stop when it’s not a beach day on Cape Cod. Families will see thousands of relics from the Whydah Gally—the legendary pirate ship that wrecked off the coast of Wellfleet in 1717. The museum is home to the world’s most extensive collection of pirate artifacts ever recovered from a single shipwreck.
A unique part of the Whydah Pirate Museum is the Sea Lab & Learning Center, where visitors can see the most recent discoveries from the Whydahshipwreck. This state-of-the-art facility is staffed by professional archaeologists and conservators, who uncover, excavate, and conserve artifacts in view of the general public. Families will observe the delicate and patient process up-close and can even chat with staff conservators while they work to preserve new treasures. The Sea Lab & Learning Center also illustrates how modern technologies like magnetometers, x-ray imaging, and CT scans are used in underwater exploration.
A day at the Whydah Pirate Museum is as exciting as it is educational. Guests not only get to see thousands of genuine pirate artifacts—including the Whydah’s infamous bronze bell, which was crucial in authenticating the shipwreck—they also learn about the science and technology that make their preservation possible. And because conservation is ongoing and new artifacts are continuously being worked on, an experience at the Sea Lab & Learning Center is never the same twice.
For over thirty years, Barry Clifford and his team have been recovering and conserving artifacts for the general public. Clifford’s team is still actively exploring the wreck site and new discoveries are made every year. Each discovery unlocks yet another chapter in the story of the Whydahand reveals what life was like aboard an 18th-century pirate ship.
Not every summer day on Cape Cod is perfect for outside activities. When these rainy days hit the Cape, hop in the car and enjoy one of the best indoor adventures by taking a quick drive down to West Yarmouth’s Whydah Pirate Museum. Bring the whole family and experience the story of the onlyauthenticated pirate shipwreck ever discovered, located at 674 MA-28, West Yarmouth, MA 02673—right here on Cape Cod!
Additionally, if stuck with a rainy day on the Outer Cape, take a stroll down to the end of Provincetown’s MacMillian Pier where you can visit the headquarters of the Expedition Whydah diving operation. The Provincetown facility is home to a small collection of Whydahartifacts, articles and photos of the dive team in action, and a gift shop with plenty of pirate memorabilia. And if you’re lucky, you may even catch the Vast Explorer research vessel docked at the wharf!
When the rainy weather cancels your beach plans, don’t forget to explore the best interactive museum on Cape Cod, the Whydah Pirate Museum!