Venture onto the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point

Located just across the sprawling Ravenel Bridge on the Mt. Pleasant side of the Charleston Harbor is Patriots Point, the home of the USS Yorktown and Naval and Maritime Museum. As you walk down the dock, passing American flags whipping in the wind, you can’t help but feel captivated by the history associated with this maritime giant.
The USS Yorktown can be seen from the shores of the Charleston Peninsula, as it sits 888 feet long weighing in at 30,000 tons. This large aircraft carrier isn’t a model; in fact it has a rich history of its own. The USS Yorktown served heavily in the Pacific Offensive that began in 1943 and ended with the defeat of Japan in 1945. It also received 11 battle stars for service in World War II and 5 more for service in Vietnam. Decommissioned in 1970, the USS Yorktown now serves as a museum ship and is designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Today, this decorated aircraft carrier houses 23 planes, a National Medal of Honor Museum, and serves as its own notable tour. With the purpose of preserving the history of the nation’s bravest, the USS Yorktown hosts unique educational programs and overnight camping excursions, as well as, serves as an exciting events venue.

When you first step onto the USS Yorktown and into the hanger bay, intricate planes of varying size and scope fill the space. These planes range in historical service from the B-25 Mitchell, used in WWII, to the A-6E Intruder, used during the 1991 Gulf War.

After you’ve finished gazing at the size and history of fighter jets, be sure to pay tribute to those who were awarded for going above and beyond the call of duty in the official Medal of Honor Museum. This museum features interactive exhibits that explain the origin of the Medal of Honor and its distinctions. Read about the brave men and women who are the embodiment of honor, courage and sacrifice as you experience their devotion to this country. The museum also serves as headquarters for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, one of the most exclusive organizations in the United States.

This Memorial Day weekend, take a walk through the rich Naval and Maritime history. Get a close up look at the engineered beasts that took flight in various wars, gaze out at the Charleston Harbor from the flight deck, and pay respects to those who served for our country. The USS Yorktown is also open daily for general admission, to purchase tickets and for more information please visit

Continue reading

Portraits of Charleston: A Walk through History

Belmond has a collection of luxury hotels worldwide, including Belmond Charleston Place. In celebrating our distinctive city, we produced something that translates the spirit of the city into an authentic and meaningful experience. Belmond Charleston Place knew exactly how it would capture the essence of Charleston, through some of the city’s greatest and most influential people.

Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the South, filled with a rich and unique history dating back to the 1700’s. Since then, many great people have blessed Charleston with their presence and helped to shape it into the city we know and love today.

To spotlight just a few of the notable people who greatly enriched the Holy City, Belmond Charleston Place hotel showcases the portraits of legendary characters. While some of these well-known individuals are current Charlestonians, many lived long ago; but their mark on Charleston still remains.

The second floor is outlined with images of these historic figures. However, this “hall of fame” not only contains portraits, but also provides a way to experience that person’s history today. Booklets can be found alongside the display, which give detailed backgrounds on each individual and a way to celebrate that character in Charleston.

Just to name a few:

Thomas Pinckney (portrait right) was born in Charleston and fought in both the American Revolution and the War of 1812. An influential political figure, Pickney served as the 36th Governor of South Carolina. The statesman died in Charleston and is buried at St.Philip’s Episcopal Church.

Experience it today: You can visit Thomas Pinckey’s grave at St. Philips Episcopal Church. This historic church also houses the oldest congregation in South Carolina. And during the civil war, its bells were melted down into confederate cannons.

Pat Conroy is a New York Times best selling author and one of Charleston’s favorite sons. His best known novels include: The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides and most recently, South of Broad. Conroy is a South Carolina Hall of Fame inductee and has received the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor.

Experience it today: See historic Charleston through the eyes of Conroy and the characters of his latest novel with a South of Broad walking tour by Old Charleston Walking Tours.

Septima Poinsette Clark (portrait bottom right), a Charleston native, was an educator, civil rights activist and has been called the “Grandmother of the American Civil Rights Movement.” Dealing with inequalities in the school system led her to become active in the movement for civil rights.

Experience it today: You can learn more about Clark’s struggle by visiting the Avery Reasearch Center for African-American History and Culture at the College of Charleston.

See these three figures and more, in the Hasel Street entrance of Charleston Place and experience Charleston’s most legendary individuals for yourself.

Continue reading