The Battleship USS Iowa Is Hosting an Unusual Sleepover for Adults

This is the first time they’ve done this
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Most of the good times in middle school involved sleeping in places—Timmy’s house, Alissa’s house, the SeaWorld penguin encounter, summer camp, tree forts. But then suddenly you become an adult, and the only place you sleep is your own comfortable queen-sized bed—which is actually pretty great, come to think of it. Still, when the rare opportunity to spend a Friday night on a battleship presents itself, you jump on it.

Atlas Obscura—a group devoted to exploring the world’s hidden oddities—is hosting an adult sleepover on the battleship USS Iowa on Veterans Day, November 11. Built in 1940, the ship had the biggest guns in the U.S. Navy (16″/50 caliber Mark 7 guns, if that means anything to you) and served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War. She It is now permanently moored in San Pedro as a museum.

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Photograph courtesy National Museum of the US Navy (Public Domain)

Nicknamed “The Big Stick” (the fourth greatest U.S. Navy warship nickname after “Cannabis,” “The Big Nasty,” and “Battle Schmoozer”) the USS Iowa is generally only open for daytime tours and the occasional overnight group of Boy Scouts. That makes the Atlas Obscura excursion the first (and foreseeably only) civilian adult sleepover the ship has ever hosted.

The experience costs $125, which gets you dinner and breakfast in the mess hall, a night in the bunks, a tour of the inner workings (including areas that are usually off-limits), and chat with veterans who served on the ship.


Thomas Harlander is a staff writer at Los Angeles magazine. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram. He recently wrote This Peculiar Company Sends Mysterious Packages in the Mail.