5 Reasons to Visit Patriot’s Point in historic Charleston – home of the USS Yorktown

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During a recent trip to Charleston, SC, my family received complimentary tickets to visit Patriot’s Point.  We’ve been to Charleston several times over the past two decades, but somehow we’ve missed this amazing attraction.   Here’s why you should visit Patriot’s Point on your next Charleston trip!

5 reasons to visit Patriot's Point in Charleston SC - home of the Yorktown

The sheer size of these crafts is staggering.  I had no idea how enormous a submarine actually was.  The fact that we could stand right inside of these military vehicles, the very place where so many lives were lost while freedom was won, just moved me to tears.

  1.  The $22 general adult ticket price is a bargain considering that you have access to 6 attractions.  The exhibits currently open include: the USS Yorktown, USS Laffey, USS Clagamore, Vietnam Experience Memorial, Cold War Memorial, and Medal of Honor Museum.  We spent four hours at Patriot’s Point and only visited four of these.  You could definitely spend all day!   There are discounts including free admission for active military in uniform.  We've been to Charleston several times over the past two decades, but somehow we've missed this amazing attraction. Here's why you should visit Patriot's Point on your next Charleston trip!
  2. The self-guided tours are perfect to take at your own pace. We were offered a ride in a golf cart by one of the employees (look for him before you cross the bridge – he’ll take you right over!)  and he recommended that we go to the submarine first. Apparently it can get very hot in there by midday. This was excellent advice!  I don’t really get claustrophobic, but it was tough not to be disturbed by the extremely cramped quarters inside the sub.  It was a great experience for my kids — we talked about the sacrifice that servicemen give, living on these subs for months at a time.  Remind your crew to look up and down, left and right. There’s so much to see!  5 reasons to visit Patriot's Point in Charleston SC - home of the Yorktown   Audio tours are available for a small fee if you desire.  Looking back, I wish I’d splurged on it.  I noticed many visitors lingering over sections of the ship, and it made me wonder what information they were learning.  We’ll do it on our next trip!  5 reasons to visit Patriot's Point in Charleston SC - home of the Yorktown
  3. It’s so interactive!  I couldn’t believe how much the kids could touch, climb on, and sit on during this tour.  Considering the historical value of this equipment, it’s very kid-friendly.  My children landed right on the machinery located near the parking lot and spent at least 20 minutes climbing all over it.  In the submarine, they climbed ladders and turned knobs.  On the flight deck, they “rode” in the recovered Apollo 8 spacecraft and did a flight simulation.  There were so many things to look at and listen to, they didn’t have a moment to claim to be bored.  5 reasons to visit Patriot's Point in Charleston SC - home of the Yorktown
  4.  It’s easy to get to Patriot’s Point from just about anywhere in Charleston.  Driving is a breeze, but you can also work in a water taxi ride!  If you’ve driven over “the bridge” to Mount Pleasant, you’ve probably seen Patriot’s Point.  I’ve noticed it many times but had no idea what it was.  It opens early, so you can squeeze in a fabulous dinner at Page’s Okra Grill before you head back to the hotel.  Now, if you want a fantastic view of the sunset, stay til evening and get your camera ready.  The views are just unbelievable!  5 reasons to visit Patriot's Point in Charleston SC - home of the Yorktown
  5. There are veterans and volunteers all around the exhibits, just waiting to share their knowledge.  What a tremendous opportunity to hear about the past!  My children come from a military family, but they don’t realize it because we don’t live near a military base.  This visit gave me a wonderful chance to share what little I know of my family’s service.   When we walked through the Medal of Honor museum, there was an automatic silence that fell over the room.  The emotion and gratitude was almost tangible.  That’s not something my children have experienced before, and it was really special to share with them.

I’m so grateful that we had a chance to tour Patriot’s Point.  The exhibits were really amazing, although there were a few we didn’t get to see due to time constraints. I also avoided the Vietnam memorial because I worried that it might be too scary for my young son.  We left plenty to do on our next trip!



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9/16– Challenged Books Worth Reading
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9/18– The Egypt Game
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9/20– To Kill a Mockingbird
9/21– The Fault in our Stars
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9/23– Speak
9/24– Water for Elephants
9/25– The Hunger Games
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9/28– The Giver
9/29– The DaVinci Code
9/30– Bridge to Terabithia

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  1. Kimberly R says:

    I love that you have the option for audio tours so that you can go at your own pace but still learn about Patriots point.

  2. rochelle haynes says:

    Love to do this sounds nice

  3. This looks like fun for naval enthusiasts. I just plain love Charleston.

  4. Cheryl B says:

    Must do on our visit!

  5. Sandra Rodriquez says:

    looks like a great place to visit love to explore and learn about all the historical places.

  6. Amy Orvin says:

    I live in Charleston, but haven’t been here in awhile. It is so fun to visit. Especially if you are a history buff.

  7. Jo Anne V says:

    sounds like a cool place to visit

  8. Jerry Marquardt says:

    I would like to visit Charleston. The photos look so nice and interesting. I would definitely love to visit Patriot’s Point in the historic district.

  9. Cynthia W says:

    Thanks for this list. I love Charleston and can’t wait to get back to visit.

  10. Looks like so much fun! I haven’t been to Charleston in so long.

  11. Sarah L says:

    That would be a fun place to visit. Too bad I’m 2,000 miles away from there.

  12. It’s cool that you get access to 6 attractions with one ticket. I love getting a good bang for my buck.

  13. Wow that is absolutely amazing! I would love to visit some day!

  14. This looks like an amazing place to visit. I love visiting places like this and am always astonished at the amount of information that kids can pick up by just exploring and being hands on. I will be saving this to my must visit list for when we are ever in that area.

  15. I love Charleston, it’s an amazing city. I would love to go back some day. The food is so good too

  16. Wow, as many times as I have been to Charleston and I missed Patrick’s point. On the List for next time. Thanks for making me aware.

  17. natalie nichols says:

    My son would love to go to a place like this. It looks like so much fun!

  18. This seems like a very educational tour. How neat! We would love to visit someday! 🙂

  19. Sherri Lewis says:

    That would be an interesting place to visit.

  20. Melissa Storms says:

    This sounds like an amazing attraction for families to visit.

  21. This boat very beautiful

  22. Debbie Welchert says:

    What a great adventure this would be for my grandchildren. They would have so much fun and learn so much too.

  23. This place looks amazing, I would love to visit, I am a huge fan of ships and more so the ones
    that have been into battle.

  24. This ship is big and beautiful

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