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USS Yorktown

Tour an aircraft carrier that earned its battle stars in World War II and the Vietnam War.

The USS Yorktown is an 888-foot (271-meter) aircraft carrier. The naval ship served in several wars, earning a host of battle stars. Today it lies in the water off Patriots Point in the Charleston Harbor and is open to the public as a memorial and museum.

The USS Yorktown was the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the U.S. Navy. It was commissioned in 1943 and served in the Pacific Offensive. The ship was involved in heavy battles, including the sinking of enemy battleships and providing support to troops landing at Okinawa in Japan. During the Vietnam War it earned battle stars providing anti-submarine warfare support for faster carriers. One of the ship’s last missions was recovering the Apollo 8 astronauts and capsule from the ocean in 1968.

This historic ship was decommissioned in 1970 and towed to Patriot’s Point Maritime Museum at Charleston Harbor. Take a tour to learn about life aboard this vessel. The ship housed up to 3,500 naval personnel and 90 aircraft at a time. Walk along the flight deck, through engine rooms and officers’ quarters. You can even take a ride in a flight simulator.

There are two museums on board, including a shipyard with photographs and tools. The Medal of Honor Museum is a memorial to sailors and officers and the hangar deck houses vintage airplanes.

Two films were made aboard the Yorktown: the Academy Award–winning documentary The Fighting Lady, filmed in 1944, and the 1970 American-Japanese war movie Tora! Tora! Tora! See a screening of The Fighting Lady for free in the Yorktown's theater.

When you need a break and some refreshments, head to the chief petty officer’s mess hall and enjoy a hot meal. There are also two snack bars.

Patriot's Point plays host to a Guppy III submarine, the USS Clamagore, and the battleship USS Laffey, which provided support on D-Day for the landing at Normandy.

USS Yorktown is on the waterfront at Patriot’s Point, Mount Pleasant, about a 10-minute drive from downtown Charleston. Consider taking a water taxis to get there, as dolphins are sometimes seen in the harbor. Water taxis leave hourly from Wharfside Street in downtown Charleston. If you’re driving, expect a fee to park. Patriot’s Point is open daily, except on Christmas Day.


Guide to Exploring around USS Yorktown


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Harborside at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
Harborside at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina

Harborside at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina

20 Patriots Point Rd, Mount Pleasant, SC
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Mount Pleasant, this beach resort is within a 10-minute walk of Patriots Point and USS Yorktown. Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum and Patriots Point Links are also within 5 minutes.

    The Francis Marion Hotel $119
    The Francis Marion Hotel

    The Francis Marion Hotel

    387 King St, Charleston, SC
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Charleston Historic District, this spa hotel is steps from Marion Square and College of Charleston. Charleston Music Hall and Charleston Museum are also within 10 minutes.

      Best Western Patriots Point $60
      Best Western Patriots Point

      Best Western Patriots Point

      259 McGrath Darby Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park and Shem Creek Park. USS Yorktown and The Citadel are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel $152
        The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

        The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

        115 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Charleston Historic District, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Gibbes Museum of Art and Charleston City Market. Waterfront Park and Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal are also within 10 minutes.

          Holiday Inn Charleston Historic Downtown $86
          Holiday Inn Charleston Historic Downtown

          Holiday Inn Charleston Historic Downtown

          425 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown Charleston, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Charleston Visitor Center and Charleston Music Hall. College of Charleston and Charleston City Market are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District $109
            Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District

            Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District

            560 King Street, Charleston, SC
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Downtown Charleston, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of PURE Theatre and Charleston Music Hall. College of Charleston and Medical University of South Carolina are also within 15 minutes.

              The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina $197
              The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina

              The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina

              28 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant, SC
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Mount Pleasant hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Patriots Point and USS Yorktown. Patriots Point Links and Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum are also within 10 minutes.

                Springhill Suites by Marriott Charleston Mount Pleasant $98
                Springhill Suites by Marriott Charleston Mount Pleasant

                Springhill Suites by Marriott Charleston Mount Pleasant

                245 Magrath Darby Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, SC
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated on a river, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park and Patriots Point. USS Yorktown is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) away.