Charleston with the Kids: Patriot’s Point & the Charleston Water Taxi

charlestonMy family’s been on an epic road trip for the past week and a half. School got out June 13th and we immediately left our house in Philly. By the time we’re done, we’ll have traveled to the following spots:

Philly->Richmond, VA->Charleston, SC->Southport, NC->Williamsburg, VA->Baltimore, MD->Home

For today’s post, I wanted to share with you the quick highlights from our stop in Charleston! We were there to visit my grandmother and aunt and uncle but we spent a half day doing our own thing in the city. I did a quick Google search on Charleston with the Kids and what to do and wanted to come up with a short but fun plan for us.

We settled on taking the Charleston Water Taxi and visiting Patriot’s Point. The Charleston Water Taxi is a ferry service that makes four stops in the Charleston Harbor. It’s $10 for an all day ticket {kids under 3 are free} and you can hop on and off.

You could just pay and ride on it for the dolphin sightseeing (we saw several while on!) and several folks were doing just that but we got on at the Charleston Maritime Center and road it to the next stop, Patriots Point.  The entire loop is about an hour.  Visit the Charleston Water Taxi website for the schedule of times and pickup spots.

Here are my guys waiting for our pickup.  (They love to make faces!)


On the boat, looking out for dolphins:



Pulling into Patriot’s Point:


So Patriots Point is a US Naval and Maritme Center.  It is the home to the USS Laffey which is a destroyer from WWII.  We spent a good hour on this ship when we first arrived.  It has a rich history including a surprise attack when it was in Japan – one of the most aggressive kamikaze attacks in all of naval history.  Some 30+ naval officers died and many more were injured.  You can see some amazing pieces of history inside this ship including soldiers’ barracks, the sick bay, the captains quarters and more.  Here’s a couple of photos from there:








After we left the USS Laffey, we boarded the USS Yorktown.  It is an aircraft carrier also from WWII and it is ginormous.  I mean, I had no idea how large an aircraft carrier was but this thing housed a museum, several airplanes, a cafeteria and more.  I would say this is the main part Patriots Point and you could truly spend hours inside.

Because it was so hot, we hit the Medal of Honor Museum first, which was air-conditioned.  One of the nice volunteers pointed us in the direction.  (Most of the volunteers seemed to be retired navy guys – they were so helpful and passionate about their history, I highly recommend chatting with any of these great older guys if you plan on a visit – they are full of first-hand knowledge and are often wearing the hat of whatever ship they sailed on)




Outside of the museum in the “main” part of the Yorktown, there were about a dozen planes you could walk by and the boys were able to get inside of some to check them out.  Here’s one of my kids “flying”:20140616-112123-40883256.jpg

20140616-112204-40924464.jpgUpstairs, you can go out onto the top of the ship and see more airplanes.  It was hotter than Hades when we were there so only my youngest and my husband went up but they said it was really cool.

There’s also a submarine you can board and explore too but we didn’t have time.  Just for a point of reference, we were there for about 3 hours so I think you can easily spend anywhere from 2-5 hours at Patriots Point depending on the level of interest in your party!  We also got a great discount as it was Father’s Day and my hubby got in for free but they give a senior discount as well as military one.

So that’s it for our day in Charleston.  We stayed at the Marriott in Downtown Charleston and thought it was a great location and nice hotel.  It had a small pool my kids swam in the one afternoon.

We’ll be back soon, so we can visit my grandmother again and so I can hit up King Street, which we drove past and looked to have some epic Mommy shopping!

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