Fodor's Expert Review Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
In 1622, a flotilla of Spanish galleons laden with riches left Havana en route to Spain, but foundered in a hurricane 40 miles west of the Keys. In 1985 diver Mel Fisher recovered the treasures from two of the lost ships, including the Nuestra Señora de Atocha, said to carry the mother lode of treasures, and the Santa Margarita. Fisher's incredible adventures tracking these fabled hoards and battling the state of Florida for rights is as amazing as the loot you'll see, touch, and learn about in this museum. Artifacts include a 77.76-carat natural emerald crystal worth almost $250,000. Exhibits on the second floor rotate and might cover slave ships, including the excavated 17th-century Henrietta Marie, or the evolution of Florida maritime history.