If it has to do with the ocean, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in the village of Woods Hole is on it: climate issues, deep-sea robotics, geology and geophysics, pollution, polar research, tsunamis, storms, volcanoes, and the creatures that consider the ocean and the coast home sweet home. Founded in 1930, this $140-million-per-year enterprise is the largest independent oceanography lab in the country. During World War II it developed underwater explosives and perfected submarine detection.
Research, tools, and vessels are on display at the Exhibit Center. The Titanic exhibit stars a life-sized reproduction of a submersible developed to study the sunken ship in 1986. Climb in and see what it looks like under the deep, blue (virtual) sea. A one-hour guided walking tour (free; reservations required; geared to adults and teens) leads visitors to the dock area and otherwise restricted facilities, with lots of background beta on the inner workings of this fascinating organization.
Call 508-289-2252 for tour reservations.