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Unforgettable Adventures Aboard the USS Yorktown at Patriot's Point, South Carolina

Updated on September 25, 2012

Looking for an amazing trip to take with your family this year? Or perhaps you need to plan a day or overnight trip with a school or youth group? A visit to Patriot's Point in South Carolina is guaranteed to be an unforgettable trip for all involved! Create lifelong memories aboard the USS Yorktown for your children and family. You can visit just for the day or camp overnight aboard the ship! Learn here what makes this destination such a wonderful place to visit.

About Patriot's Point, South Carolina

Patriot's Point is located in Mt.Pleasant, South Carolina right next to the water in beautiful Charleston Harbor. You can take Interstate 26 right into the Charleston area and hit Hwy 17 which will take you directly into Mt. Pleasant. Directions are available on the Patriot's Point website. Patriot's Point was created in the mid 1970's as tourist attraction with the USS Yorktown as its centerpiece and remains one of South Carolina's major tourist attractions until today. It is one of the nation's largest education and overnight camping programs serving more than 40,000 kids each year.

Flight Deck on the USS Yorktown
Flight Deck on the USS Yorktown | Source
USS Clamagore
USS Clamagore | Source

What to See While You Are There

Patriots Point is home to the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum and many national Historic Landmark ships. There is so much to see! Here is a sampling of what you can see on your visit:

  • USS Yorktown - This massive ship is the centerpiece of a Patriots Point visit. This ship was commissioned in 1943 and was the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the US Navy. It served a significant role in the Pacific offensive which began in 1943 and earned several battle stars off Vietnam in the 1960's. It was decommissioned in 1970 and towed to its final resting place in the Charleston Harbor in 1975. You can wander through the ship today on the many self-guided foot tours, including a walk on the flight deck!
  • Aircraft - Of course, you would expect to see aircraft on an aircraft carrier! See many airplanes and helicopters located on the USS Yorktown's flight deck and hangar deck. Here are some of the aircraft you can see: F4F Wildcat, F-8K Crusader, F-14A Tomcat, and many more. The Patriots Point website has a listing of all of the aircraft with information sheets on each.
  • USS Clamagore - Board and explore the only Guppy III submarine preserved in the United States! It is located right next to the USS Yorktown. The submarine served 30 years during the Cold War.
  • USS Laffey - This ship is a Sumner-class destroyer (the only surviving one in North America) and also served in the Pacific Offensive during WWII. After being attacked by kamikaze planes and bombs, she was repaired and served during the Korean war and as a member of the Atlantic fleet until decommissioned in 1975.
  • Medal of Honor Museum - Located aboard the USS Yorktown, this museum gives honor to our heroes by educating the public on the origins of the Medal of Honor and those individuals that have earned these awards.
  • Vietnam Support Base - This exhibit is located on the mainland adjacent to the USS Yorktown and is a scaled replica of how a US Naval support base would have looked during the Vietnam War.
  • Cold War Memorial - A memorial to those who served on US submarines during the Cold War. There are many stations where you can read about the lives of those dedicated servicemen and women who served aboard these submarines.

Overnight Camping!

One of the most amazing things that you can do on your visit to Patriots Point is to camp overnight aboard the USS Yorktown! Packages for groups can be either one night or two. Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts love this trip! Due to its popularity, Patriots Point suggest that you book your trip 8 months to a year in advance. Here's what your weekend Patriots Point camping experience may be like:

  • Arrive Friday late afternoon (between 4-5pm) and gather with your group before boarding the ship. Go over the itinerary with your group (provided by Patriots Point). Then gather your sleeping bag and belongings and take the walk down the boardwalk to board the ship! The view of the ship is amazing!
  • At 6:30pm, the ship closes to the public and it is yours to explore! Spend the next hour or so following the many self-guided foot tours with your friends or catch a movie in the ship's theater. Lights out and taps is at 11:00pm.
  • Wake up to reveille over the intercom! Get up and dressed and meet your group for breakfast mess hall style just like the sailors would have eaten. Spend the rest of the morning exploring the ship and adjacent exhibits.
  • After lunch, take the excursion that your group has chosen: a cruise on a Harbor Tour Boat to Ft. Sumter is a popular choice. When you return to the ship, it's dinner time (again in the mess hall).
  • Spend the evening again exploring the ship's many exhibits (it's too much to see in one day!!). Take in the nighttime views and sounds of the harbor from the many balconies along the ship - so beautiful! Taps and lights out at 11:00pm.
  • Wake up to reveille and pack your stuff. After breakfast, you take your last walk down the USS Yorktown's boardwalk and wave a fond goodbye - it was an amazing weekend!!

View of USS Yorktown from Charleston Harbor
View of USS Yorktown from Charleston Harbor | Source

Plan Your Trip Now!

A visit to Patriots Point can be a fabulous family vacation. Whether going on your own or with a group, it will be a trip that you will never forget! If you're involved with a youth group, suggest this trip to your leaders. You will not be disappointed!! Have you been to Patriots Point, share your own experiences below!


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    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub and so well written, nice place to visit and enjoyed viewing all your beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing your adventure !

      Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

      It's a very attractive place to visit. Your trip to USS Yorktown must be a special experience and educative for youths.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow I am from Charlotte NC.. I went to high school in Columbia SC.. I spent my summers at myrtle beach and Emerald Isle. I love to read when someone else is from the Carolines.. It is so good to meet you..... this is a great hub.