One of the most popular places to visit in Charleston, South Carolina is Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. This interactive museum gives you the chance to tour the USS Yorktown as well as the Vietnam Experience, the USS Clamagore Submarine, USS Laffey Destroyer and the Medal of Honor Museum. Come prepared to spend some time and do some walking as you explore and learn about naval history. This Museum experience should definitely on the top of your list of things to do in Charleston!
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Patriots Point USS Yorktown
There is so much to do when you visit Patriots Point, but the top thing people think about is the opportunity to tour the USS Yorktown.
When you cross the Ravenel Bridge, there are clear signs directing you to where to park for Patriots Point. If you are planning to tour Fort Sumter, then you can park in the same parking area all day for both tours.. Parking is $5.00 per car and allows you to stay all day!
Insider tip: Purchase your tickets online so you can skip the lines and go straight through to the museum and ship experience!
Most people start their tour at the Vietnam Experience where you go through a series of interactive museums to get a feel for what it was like to be in Vietnam during the late 1960’s.
Become part of the crew, as Patriots Point brings the history of the Vietnam War to life in this fully immersive 2 ½ acre exhibit that brings Marine officers to life through holograms in an exciting 3-D production.
Set in a “Brown Water Navy” support base and a U.S. Marine Corps artillery fire base during the Tet Offensive and the Battle of Khe Sanh in 1968.
This is an opportunity to climb inside the helicopters, walk through the mess hall, hear the gunfire from the bunkers and climb the guard tower.
When you finish the Vietnam Experience, you will walk across the bridge and board the ships.
The USS Laffey is the most decorated World War II era US Destroyer still in existence. You can tour the engine room, steer the ship and experience the interactive exhibits throughout the ship.
The ships and museums are not stroller or handicap accessible. The tour requires steps has places with uneven footing and narrow access points.
As you tour the ship, there are many beautiful overlooks of the water that make for great photo opps!
The USS Clamagore is the only GUPPY III cold war submarine preserved in the U.S. and is preserved at Patriots Point. Right now you are able to go down into the submarine and walk the length of the sub. You climb through the doors and get a feel for what it’s like to live on a submarine. The doors are small and you really do climb through them.
The ship is a preserved rusty relic that floats alongside the USS Yorktown. For someone like me who had never been on a submarine, I can’t imagine how it would feel to live underwater in this ship.
The largest museum and ship at Patriots Point is the USS Yorktown. The USS Yorktown offers many different tour options that take you through the many levels of the ship. You can follow along the tours to see the different parts of the ship and then of course you want to make your way to the main deck.
The USS Yorktown was the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the United States Navy and participated significantly in the Pacific offensive that began in late 1943 and ended with the defeat of Japan in 1945. The USS Yorktown received the Presidential Unit Citation and earned 11 battle stars for service in World War II.
Learn about the Apollo 8 orbit and how the astronauts were picked up by the USS Yorktown in 1968.
When you make your way to the top flight deck, you will have the opportunity to see many different aircrafts that have had an impact on the conflicts that the US has been involved in. But don’t get lost in the history of the moment and miss the chance to have some fun with the kids. After all, what boy has not dreamed of being a super hero and having the power to hold back a jet?
From the end of the flight deck, you have a beautiful view of one of the most iconic bridges in South. Take your beautiful scenic pictures like a typical tourist or see if you can hold up the bridge with some fun altered reality shots!
Connect with Patriots Point
40 Patriots Point Road
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Looking for more things to do in Charleston, SC? A carriage ride through historic Charleston with Palmetto Carriage Tours is a great way to enjoy the city.