It is the country`s most famous yachting centre, with Cowes Week taking place in the first week in August, and is also a shipbuilding town, where yachts, seaplanes and hovercraft have all been constructed.
The clubhouse of the Royal Yacht Squadron is partly based in Henry VIII`s Cowes Castle.
There are two museums celebrating the town`s maritime background - Sir Max Aitken Museum and Cowes Maritime Museum.
St. Mary`s Church was built in 1816 by John Nash, and he is buried there.
The founders of Maryland left Cowes on the "Ark" and the "Dove" in 1633.
East Cowes is on the other side of the Medina, and connected to the larger town by a floating bridge. The car ferries for Southampton leave from here. Norris Castle was built by James Wyatt.
Thomas Arnold, Headmaster of Rugby School, was born at Cowes.