The Wisconsin Maritime Museum and the USS Cobia (SS 245)

Now is the time to visit the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.  Manitowoc has a rich, maritime past and has played a role in World War 2 that few know about.  The city was home to a shipyard that built many submarines for the war effort and the museum is an incredible tribute to their role.  The museum boasts the history of their subs; fascinating, artistic renditions of each sub's logo; miniature scales of ships of the Great Lakes; and even the engine from an original Mackinaw Island ferry.  The museum had to have an addition built around the massive, two-story engine.  The centerpiece, and main attraction of this museum, is the USS Cobia.  One of the original, Manitowoc-built "Old Girls" has been brought back and put on display at the museum.  This +80% functional sub sits in the river near the delta and is part of the city's pride.  

 The tour is excellently done and the staff are quite friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.  Stairs have been added to each end to help tourists navigate through the sub a little easier.  The extreme claustrophobics and the 6'-5" giants in our group had no problem getting around.  The tour starts in a torpedo room and works its way to the other end through the engine room.  It is well worth the price of admission.  The tour changes the way one would think about the dedication and sacrifice of our service men and women.  While the ship creates awe among visitors, it also instills a sobriety to realize that these steel walls were also inescapable tombs for many sailors.  If groups are interested, the museum will rent out a night on the boat--a once in a lifetime experience.  We visited around Memorial Day and witnessed the tail-end of a military graduation.  Memorial Day weekend or during the 4th of July would be highly recommended.  There is a sense of patriotic history that comes to life. 
The whole family will enjoy the museum.  There is a "wave room" for kids where they can play with fountains, barges, dams, and boats; a simple, sub simulator; and other learning activities.  Motor-heads will enjoy the engines, boat enthusiasts will love the restored boats, and vets will reminisce over history.  Make sure to visit their website here.  I would highly recommend the visit to the museum if you are in the area.  It is an excellent way to learn about the town's culture and their part in American history.