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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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Best Lodging Options Near USS Yorktown

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Harborside at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina CA $130
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 5-minute walk of Patriots Point and USS Yorktown. Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum and Patriots Point Links are also within 5 minutes.

    The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina CA $216
    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 5-minute walk of Patriots Point and USS Yorktown. Patriots Point Links and Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum are also within 10 minutes.

      The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel CA $247
      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.

        The Francis Marion Hotel CA $242
        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.

          Belmond Charleston Place CA $484
          Belmond Charleston Place

          Belmond Charleston Place

          205 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Charleston Historic District, this luxury hotel is steps from Confederate Museum and Charleston City Market. Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal and Waterfront Park are also within 15 minutes.

            Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mt. Pleasant CA $125
            Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mt. Pleasant

            Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mt. Pleasant

            350 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Mount Pleasant, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park, Patriots Point, and USS Yorktown. Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and Shem Creek Park are also within 2 mi (3 km).

              Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District CA $194
              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.

                Best Western Patriots Point CA $114
                Best Western Patriots Point

                Best Western Patriots Point

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

                  Located in The Groves, 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).