We didn't get to it, but there is a museum on the Parris Island base. It looked like there was a long line to get in and I can't stand for that long, so we didn't go.
The Museum is open daily from 1000-1630, and 0800-1630 on Family and Graduation Days. Holiday closures include New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Admission is free, but whether you can get on the base depends on the security in effect at the time.
The website says:
After viewing an introductory film on the recruit training process, visitors may explore galleries on the first floor covering Parris Island's rich history from its prehistoric occupation by Native Americans to the establishment of the Depot at the end of the 19th-century. Alongside early Marine Corps history is a room devoted entirely to the Charlesfort-Santa Elena National Historic Landmark, site of French and Spanish colonies on Parris Island between 1562 and 1587. Artifacts and displays covering Port Royal's important military role from the American Revolution to the Civil War are also offered, along with development of the island into a Marine Corps installation after the Spanish American War.
On the second floor, Marine Corps history from 1900 to the present showcases uniforms, weapons, equipment, and photographs from Marine involvement in China during the Boxer Rebellion through both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, and various Peacekeeping Missions.
We ate here primarily because my grandson could not leave the base. It was crowded and chaotic with long lines at the counters, and there was no real menu visible so we couldn't easily decide what to have. Each little section seemed to have their own lines and their own menu.
After you ordered, you took a number to your table, and someone would your order. Except that our order they forgot an item and someone had to go back and get it.
My way of getting aroung Parris Island was pretty much standard....always wear green clothes and black boots...line up with 40 other women and walk around together...in step of course...oh, and carry an M-16....
The Recruit's Depot is a really neat, new shop. They're the only store in the world with Parris Island unit emblems, and they've done some super cool stuff with them. From shirts to coffee cups to giant foam hands, this shop has it all! Best of all, this shop carries high quality gifts. Buyers here will happily enjoy their souvenirs for many years to come!
What to buy: Coolers and water bottles are recommended for Family Day. Stadium cushions will make the seating at graduation more comfortable. Shirts representing your new Marine's unit are recommended by the Marine Corps. Giant foam hands make it easier for your new Marine to see you. Decals and car flags are easy ways to decorate your vehicle.
What to pay: Gifts range from $7 to $20
In the excitement of preparing for your reunion with your new Marine on Family Day, don't forget to be safe. The heat index often goes over 100 degrees, and dehydration is a serious health risk. Wear light, comfortable clothing, take lots of water, and consider adding a hat to your outfit.
While not particularly dangerous, the bugs can make the day miserable. Take a sports bug repellant that won't disappear as you perspire.
We convoyed down to where our grandson thought there might be a lighthouse, but it was an observation tower for the firing range. He had just 5 minutes to get back to his unit so we continued on without them.
The Beaufort front and rear range lights are long gone, but the oil house is still there on the base and the marines spent $50K restoring it so we thought we might be able to find it. I had the coordinates in the GPS. It took us down past the golf course and then the GPS suddenly pointed at a 90 degree angle to the left and said "Start off road navigation"....Nothing there but dense forest.
We drove on a little bit and found an unpaved track that went back at an acute angle toward the area where the off road navigation had started so we bounced along through the mud puddles. We found a clearing with some buildings and vehicles but nothing on the other side. We kept on going and found a road which had some deer standing there watching us. Eventually we ended up at an abandoned airstrip.
Our son said that he thought they supplied the materials for our grandson's
barracks (which are new) because they dropped materials at the air strip for some building. In any case we did not know if we could get out somewhere on the edge of the airstrip (we could have), so we went back the way we had come. We were leaving the base about 1500
All your sporting needs will be met...guaranteed...if you like early-morning runs, swimming while fully clothed, camping in the great outdoors, running obstacle courses, firing rifles, throwing grenades, marching with full packs, hand-to-hand combat and frequent physical fitness tests, this is the place for you!