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Photos: Spending The Night Aboard An Enormous Battleship

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Battleships are a relic of a bygone era. Though American naval power still dominates the world's oceans, our country does so with aircraft carriers, and an accompanying fleet of support craft. Gone are the days of really big ships with really big guns.

Originally built during the early 1940s, the U.S.S. Iowa was commissioned to escort the earliest generations of American aircraft carriers, the four Iowa Class battleships constructed for the U.S. Navy are some of the largest battleships ever built. They served for nearly fifty years, and were decommissioned in the early 1990s. Though the U.S.S. Iowa was kept in the Navy's reserve fleet, it never needed to re-enter service after it was decommissioned in 1990, the Navy donated the battleship to the Pacific Battleship Center in 2011. The ship is now set up as a museum, and is open to the public to visit.

On Friday, we got a chance to spend the night aboard the Battleship Iowa. Though, obviously, the experience of a night aboard a ship moored in Los Angeles Harbor is very different from that of service men and women, there is still something inherently cool about eating dinner and breakfast in a battleship's mess hall.

The overnight excursion was put together by the Los Angeles Obscura Society. Though you'll have to keep tabs on their website for the next overnight adventure, the Battleship Iowa is open to the public every day of the year, barring Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The museum opens at 10 a.m. daily, and sells its last entry ticket at 4 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased in advance online, at the Pacific Battleship website.

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Battleship Iowa is located in the Los Angeles Harbor, at 250 South Harbor Blvd. San Pedro, CA, 90731.