Patriot Point is probable the best naval museum in the United States. Patriot Point is located just north of Charleston, SC. It took us about a 2 hour drive from Myrtle Beach to get there. The cost of parking was $5 for the day. Side Note: Ever notice when you drive up to one of these parking booths that your passengers are always looking out the opposite side window. The cost of admission for an adult was $18 which we feel is a pretty good deal for the amount of time you will spend there. You can explore the USS Clagmore (submarine), USS Laffey, USS Yorktown (aircraft carrier) and Vietnam Naval Support Base. Doing all of these would take up a good portion of the day. We will break down each section of Patriots Point.
Currently the USS Clagmore is having maintenance work done so we were unable to explore this time around. They posted that the repairs would be done in Mid-July. But during a prior visit we had the opportunity to check out the inside of the Clagmore. I could only imagine my 6’1″ frame would be a hinder if I was a sailor back in the sub’s active day. The corridors were very tight and cramp. If you have a phobia of tight places this would not be on your high level of fun.
The USS Laffey was nicknamed “The Ship That Would Not Die” because the ship held off so many kamikaze attacks. The USS Laffey took about 30 minutes to walk through the entire ship. The highlight for us was the ability to check out the area where the crew worked the cannons. Manning the cannons had to be the worse job on the ship, to sit basically in a hot box for hours with no air circulation.
The USS Yorktown is the best part of the Patriot Point experience. The ship is broken down into 6 different tours with each taking about 30 to 45 minutes to walk through. We had a lucky opportunity stand in on a tour given by one of the volunteers. Most of the volunteers were in the Navy during World War 2 so the stories they have to share carry that much more weight and interest. If you have the chance to follow a guide around the ship do so, it takes the experience to a much higher level.
When taking these 6 tours, you will be going up and down stairs at a constant rate. You will get enough exercise and no need to hit the gym later. This place is a perfect father/son outing, guarantee no boy would turn down this adventure. Our favorite spots (kinda obvious) flight deck, hangar bay and torpedo workshop. The added aircraft (over 20) on the deck and hangar was a very nice collection. Please make sure to check out the Medal of Honor Museum near the entrance of the USS Yorktown. It was done very well and the tunnel caught me off guard in a good way. Some added photos below with 2 videos.
The HD Video
The SD Video (different from HD)