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“I sure don't feel too patriotic after that”

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
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Historical Charleston Tour with Optional Joseph Manigault House Visit
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The history of Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum began in June 1975 when the legendary aircraft carrier USS Yorktown entered Charleston Harbor. A few months later, the USS Yorktown was dedicated as the first ship of the Naval & Maritime Museum on the 200th birthday of the United States Navy. Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum was officially opened to the public on January 3, 1976. Today the museum consists of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-10) with 29 aircraft on display from WWII to the present; the USS Laffey (DD-724), a Sumner-class destroyer; and the USS Clamagore (SS-343), a GUPPY III submarine. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is headquartered here and their official Medal of Honor Museum is onboard the USS Yorktown. There is also a Cold War Sub Memorial and Vietnam Support Base Camp on the surrounding grounds.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Stairs / lift
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“I sure don't feel too patriotic after that”
Reviewed 27 July 2011

I was debating between one and two stars, and then asked my friend what they would rate Patriot's Point. They responded with 1 star and said, 'The reason I would give it one star is because of the poor upkeep and the high price.'

First I want to say that we came to see the Yorktown when I was like 10 (now I'm 26) and I wonder if they've done any upkeep since that initial visit. We returned to Patriots Point because of their replica Vietnam Support Base and the Patrol Boat they have on display (My Dad was a River Rat in Vietnam, and I wanted to see the boat).

The Patrol Boat and Vietnam Support Base were pretty cool and interesting, but the upkeep was terrible. If you're an 'adult' (age 18-60) the price of a ticket is $18. You can go onto the Yorktown, walk on a submarine, ride a boat (after paying extra) to For Sumter, and check out the support base. There was a constant stream of people going up and buying tickets and walking throughout the grounds. With that amount of revenue streaming in on a Monday in late July, you'd think they might spend a little money to combat the rusting hulks floating around everywhere, kill the wasps and dirt daubers living there, or just construct a dwelling other than the gift shop that has AC.

I mean, come on man. I'm a patriot and love the USA, but going into this tourist trap and seeing how terribly they maintain everything made me wonder how they could get away with calling it Patriots Point.

Visited July 2011
12 Thank cdog423
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
121 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2011

We brought our 80 year old mother here so she could relive some old memories. Having visited Patriots Point several times over the past 20 years, we knew that she would be unable to climb many of the steps, so were ready to limit our tour. With brochure in hand, our first stop was the welcome desk in the USS Yorktown where a very helpful volunteer was very willing to show us the best route to take with her and to point out which areas to make sure she didn't miss.
Imagine our disappointment when we found out that after the submarine, there were no more ships for her to see. Both the Destroyer and the Cutter are missing, yet according to the maps, they are still there. No where does it say that they are no longer on display, and the price has also not been changed to reflect this. After some investigating on our own, we found out that one of them has been sent to dry dock for repairs. No idea what happened to the other one. We have no problem supporting efforts to restore things, but really think that they need to be advertising to people that they don't have all the things that they say that they have on display.

Visited July 2011
1 Thank FoxViews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Hartford, Connecticut
Level 6 Contributor
499 reviews
168 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
“Great ship, nice afternoon”
Reviewed 21 July 2011

The USS Yorktown and aircraft on display are the stars of this museum. You can tour several different parts of the ship and includes exhibits on Medal of Honor winners, carrier aviation history, and history of charleston naval base / yard.

A submarine is also part of the museum. It is worth a quick tour but is so-so compared to the yorktown.

Definitely worth an visit.

Thank Int_Bus_Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Fun educational experience”
Reviewed 20 July 2011

Be prepared for walking and heat - comfy shoes and a bottle of water. The ship is amazing. you get to explore the living quarters, hangar, training room, etc. very few areas were off limits. highly recommend this and don't forget to check out the submarine - as long as you are not claustrophobic as sub is a tight squeeze!

Thank allyg199
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newbern, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
162 reviews
125 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 655 helpful votes
“Wonderful ship and exhibits within...but come prepared for walking and heat!”
Reviewed 7 July 2011

Patriot's Point is an amazing place to visit, and I would highly recommend it. It's not just a museum for warships, but a place to remember veterans, battles like Pearl Harbor and Midway, a Medal of Honor museum, and sister ships of the USS Yorktown, like the USS Essex. To see it all, you'll need at least half a day, and you can go and come as you please, as long as you have your ticket stub.

The centerpiece of the museum is the massive USS Yorktown, a World War II veteran Essex-class carrier, that served all the way to the 1960's, and helped recover returning space capsules. The Yorktown's hangar deck is filled with a variety of aircraft, anti-aircraft guns, photos and models of other carriers, and provides a great view of Charleston Harbor. From here, all six of the ship's self-guided tours begins. For example, you can go to the flight deck, where more aircraft are located, go up into the ship's island (the command center above the flight deck), or desend below for an upclose look at how the crew lived. The hangar deck also has a snack bar, and is the access point to several other museums, such as the Medal of Honor museum. In the summer, bring a sweat rag. The breezes blow through the deck in spots, but most of the ship is not air-conditioned. Also, there are some low overhangs, and steep stairwells to climb.

Another vessel (and very well ventelated, too) is the submarine USS Clamagore. You can tour this vessel on your own, too. If you have never been on a sub, this is a great one to visit. They even have a torpedo cut open so you can see how it worked. The Clamagore will have tight spaces and low doors to go through. If this bothers you, I wouldn't go.

A great aside while you're at Patriots Point is a boat ride out to Ft. Sumter, site of the first official shots of the Civil War. These boats leave from the museum's ticket center, and is a nice (and air conditioned) ride to another piece of U.S. history. The boat ride is also an excellent way to get photos of the Yorktown from the water side of the ship. The fort tour takes about two hours, so we split our tour of Yorktown and Clamagore with this ride, and a stop at the snack shop for lunch.

One ship listed on the website, and not at the museum, is the historic World War II destroyer USS Laffey. The museum does have a problem with all of its vessels that is not just overly stated on its website, and is visible only below waterline. The hulls of all these vessels are now rusting out. Like many ship museums, they were rammed into the mud of the harbor bottoms many years ago, and time is now catching up. Plus the U.S. Navy is requiring that all ship museums now be free-floating museums, which the Yorktown is not. The Laffey was in such bad shape below water line that it had to be hauled out and repaired, but now there is no deep-water dock for it to return to at the museum. It sits for the moment at a private dock in North Charleston, and visitors are not allowed. The Clamagore and Yorktown are in similar shape under the water. The ships are still safe to visit, however, and the museum staff is trying to find ways to raise the multi-millions of dollars needed to fix the situation.

Don't let that run you off. Patriot's Point is an excellent destination in Charleston for sure. In addtion to the ships, it has great views of the city, the U.S. 17 bridge linking Charleston and Mt. Pleasant, and lots of history to learn and places to explore.

Visited June 2011
1 Thank DyersburgTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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