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Things To Do Near Parris Island During Boot Camp Graduation

Twelve weeks ago you sent your son, daughter, friend, sibling or loved one off to …

Marines with India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, graduated from recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, March 29. India Company is the first combined company of male and female recruits to graduate from recruit training. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Vivien Alstad/Released)

Twelve weeks ago you sent your son, daughter, friend, sibling or loved one off to Marine Corps Boot Camp. This week, you’ll be traveling to Parris Island, South Carolina where you get to spend some much needed time with your new Marine. Whether you are arriving a few days prior to graduation, or coming the day of the graduation ceremony, there is a lot to do near Parris Island.

Though there is an entire schedule of events for Marine Corps boot camp graduation, you may have some time to do things on base at Parris Island and in the surrounding area, there is so much to do. From local ice cream parlors to on-base bowling, you’ll be sure to find something for the entire family.

Here’s our top 7 things to do near Parris Island:

Aerial panorama of Beaufort, South Carolina, USA

Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park (off base)

Looking to get off base and see the sights? A quick twenty-five minute drive off base will bring you to the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

The park, which sits at the water’s edge, features shady walkways, peaceful swings and benches, flat walking trails and other designated outdoor spaces. Close to the park are restaurants and shopping. The park is open to the public and visitors are welcomed to enjoy the beautiful, calm spaces!



“Every Second Counts” Escape Room Adventure (off base)

Rated as one of the top escape rooms in the local area, “Every Second Counts” is sure to be an invigorating adventure should you choose to embark on it! Do you consider yourself a problem solver? Do you like to put your brain to work and work with others? Or, do you just want something fun to do? If you answered yes to any of these questions, an Escape Room is definitely the type of activity for you. While trapped in a decorated room with specific items as clues, you must find the unique hints that lead you to “escape” the room in enough time. “Every Second Counts” offers differently themed and staged rooms for you to personally select from. Rooms also vary in difficulty, so if you want to ease your way into your “escape room” experience, you have the option to do so.

$25/ adult
Military and senior discounts are offered at check-in.


Parris Island Bowling Center (on base)

There is only one way on and off base, so it might be easier to just stay on base during Family Day liberty. The Parris Island Bowling Center is open to new Marines and their families and friends. Enjoy “Glow Bowl” on Friday and Saturday nights, while you get some much needed time with your Marine.

$3.00/Active Duty


Southern Sweets Ice Cream Parlour and Sandwich Shop (off base)

Looking to grab a sweet treat or lunch off base? Southern Sweets is your go to place. Rated by locals as the top ice cream shop in Beaufort , the traditional ice cream boutique is only a 20 minute drive off base.

Along with numerous ice cream flavors, sundaes, milkshake and malt options, the shop also offers sandwiches, soups and salads. All options on the menu are moderately priced, so you are sure to find something to soothe your sweet tooth craving.


Parris Island Museum (on base)

Located on base at MCRD Parris Island, the Parris Island Museum details the legacy of the United States Marine Corps and the rich history of Port Royal.

With thousands of artifacts, displays, images and multiple exhibits, the museum showcases all facets of Parris Island throughout history. From its earliest Native American inhabitants to its pristine Marines, accounts of Parris Island are told from all sides in the 10,000 square foot museum.

The museum even offers special hours on graduation week to accommodate for large crowds. Whether it is sunny or raining, budgeting a few hours to attend the museum will make your visit to Parris Island well worth it.



Sweet Tea Bar in Downtown Beaufort (off base)

Whether you were raised on sweet tea or not, the Sweet Tea Bar is your one stop shop for a true sweet tea experience. Located in downtown Beaufort, roughly 25 minutes from base, the Sweet Tea Bar serves sweet tea and sweet tea floats.

Poured fresh to your liking, they combine their own signature southern sweet tea with freshly blended sorbet; perfect for those hot Beaufort summer days.

The Sweat Tea Bar is located in the South Southern Market, a shop filled with home decor, gifts, and more made from local southern artisans.


MCRD Movie Theater (on base)

Summers at Parris Island are hot, so you may want to be in the air conditioning, attending a movie at the MCRD movie theater is perfect for you.

The theater, located right on base, has weekly showing of PG, PG-13 and R-rated movies. Ticket prices are largely discounted for Marines and their families, so that everyone can enjoy their time together during graduation week. The theater also has a snack bar to make sure you can load up on popcorn, candy and soda before you enjoy the film.

Sandboxx Tip: Call to schedule tickets to your movie (843-228-1525)


What ever plans you make during your trip to MCRD Parris Island, nothing will compare to the moment you see your new Marine for the first time. Whether you choose to do something together during their graduation liberty, or extend your stay over the weekend there’s plenty to do in the area to make it a memorable weekend.

So pack your bags for graduation, and start planning your trip to MCRD Parris Island. Need help planning your travel to graduation? We’ve got a team waiting to help you plan the most perfect trip.

The editorial team at Sandboxx.