Located in the beautiful Charleston Harbor, just at the mouth of the Cooper River, is Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum. Home to the USS Yorktown (an aircraft carrier), the USS Laffey (a destroyer), and the USS Clamagore (a submarine), Patriots Point is the premier historical site for anyone interested in Naval history and watercraft, as well as a place built for interactive exploration by those little and large who like hands-on learning.
Seeing action in World War II and the Vietnam War, the USS Yorktown is arguably the Patriots Point highlight, as it was this highly decorated aircraft carrier which first marked the museum center’s opening back in 1976 and today houses the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum. With its angled back deck and impressive armament, the Yorktown is also home to 25 naval aircraft, including an F-14 Tomcat and A-7 Corsair, all available for viewing. Inside, the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum features interactive exhibits that explain the origins of the Medal of Honor, its distinctions, and all past and present awardees.
Adjacent to the Yorktown, both the USS Laffey and the USS Clamagore are open for perusal and welcome visitors with their own impressive histories of World War II and the Cold War conflicts. On shore, Patriots Point offers visitors a glimpse into the operational and living areas of a support base during the Vietnam War with a walk-through true-to-scale exhibit, an elite naval helicopter which provided support to the “Brown Water Navy” watercraft of the Vietnam War, and several Colonial-era cannons.
Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Parking is $5, and tickets are $18 for adults, $11 for children aged 6-11.