See your photo in our 2017 Ocean Lakes calendar!

Deadline approaching! We want your photos for our 2017 Ocean Lakes calendar!

March 2016 calendar photo submitted by Ida Marcum of Lexington, KY
You have roughly two weeks left – deadline is 5 p.m. Sept. 7 - to send us your best, high-resolution photo taken in Ocean Lakes Family Campground that embodies what Ocean Lakes is all about – “Creating family memories that last a lifetime.” 

Think photos taken in Ocean Lakes of nature, events or activities, family fun or pets. But don’t just send us that generic family vacation photo that could be taken anywhere.

Photos also must be high-resolution; they cannot be social media images taken for Facebook, Instagram or Twitter because those are too small for our cool, print calendar. 
Your digital photo MUST be 350 dpi with a minimum overall image size of 9"x12" for print.

You also must sign a consent form giving us permission to publish your photo. Get that form and read all the rules here (scroll down to Picture This! Calendar Photo Contest).
You have two ways to submit your photo:

Email: memories@oceanlakes.com

Snail mail:
Ocean Lakes Marketing Department
6001 S. Kings Highway
Myrtle Beach, SC 29575

Winners will be notified in December. Good luck!


UPDATE: Our sea turtles have hatched!

A sea turtle nest relocated from the beach at Ocean Lakes earlier this summer has hatched!

The nest, which has 119 eggs, was moved June 26 to a safer location at Myrtle Beach State Park, where volunteers could protect it and keep a close eye on it.

Now, the turtles are emerging! Experts will do an inventory on the nest at 7:15 a.m. Sunday on the beach at the state park, near boardwalk S4. 

Our Naturalist Brandy Cloos – who helped move the nest in June - will be on hand Sunday, and you can be there, too! At the least you’ll see eggshells and you MAY - no guarantee - see a live hatchling in the nest, which volunteers will guide to the ocean.

You will have to pay the usual admission to get in Myrtle Beach State Park ($5 adults, $3.25 for SC seniors ages 65 and older, $3 for ages 6-15, free for ages 5 and younger).

Park at Boardwalk S4, then head about 30 to 40 yards south on the beach. Look for the big crowd!

If you can’t be there Sunday or just want to learn more about sea turtles, stop by our Nature Center on Lovestone Drive.

Let's do all we can to protect these cute little guys!

If you go to the nest inventory Sunday, here are a few tips:

Please leave your pets at home.
Stay off the sand dunes and behind the blue rope near the nest.
Pitch in by picking up a few pieces of trash to help our wildlife.
Fill in any holes in the sand and smash sand creations to reduce the obstacles for the sea turtles headed to the ocean!


You won't believe where a cat lost in the campground turned up....

Ryleigh and Kiara reunited!
Great news! Kiara, the beautiful cat that was lost in Ocean Lakes Family Campground June 30, has been reunited with her owners thanks to her microchip! 

Kiara turned up in Florida about a week ago - more than a month after she wandered away from a campsite. Not sure how the cat ended up hundreds of miles away, but because it was implanted with a chip that contained the owner’s info, Kiara was returned to Ryleigh, who just graduated from college and lives in Rochester, N.Y.

“We guess she hitched a ride under an RV at the campground,” said Katherine Bullock, Ryleigh’s mother. “She’s not telling us much about her 30-day adventure. ;-) We are just so glad that she was chipped!”

Thanks to our guests and teammates who helped look for Kiara. She’s back home where she belongs!

Tim and Molly
We get reports of missing pets in the campground often, and our teammates always quickly jump in to help reunite pets with their owners.

On our busy July Fourth weekend, Storage and Transport Teammate, Tim, was able to return Molly to her owners because the owner's name and phone number were on Molly's collar.

Bob and Fiona

We also have an ID wristband you can pick up in the Recreation Office or Main Office to write your site number on and place on your pet’s collar. That helped our teammates reunite cute little Fiona with her owners in April. One of our Security Officers, Bob, kept the dog throughout his shift until the owners returned to their site and Fiona could be reunited with them and her eight-week-old puppy.

Today is #checkthechipday, created by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association to urge owners to have their pets microchipped and ensure the registration information is current. Microchipped cats are more than 20 times as likely to be returned to their owners than cats without chips, while dogs are more than twice as likely to be returned, according to the veterinary association.


Home for the Holidays…at Ocean Lakes in Myrtle Beach

Time with family and friends is always great during the holidays, but it is even more special at the beach! Ocean Lakes Family Campground has become a holiday tradition for so many families and we are waiting for our “extended family” to arrive. We never take a break from planning family fun!

This New Year's Eve more than 300+ participants are expected to take the ultimate icy challenge and immerse their bodies in the frigid waters of the Atlantic. Ocean Lakes Family Campground will host its 15th Annual Polar Bear Plunge on Thursday, December 31, 2015, at 3 p.m., at the oceanfront Observation Deck. Festivities will be open to all guests staying at the campground. Participants will be asked to bring two non-perishable canned items and pay a $6 yearly membership fee for the event. The membership will include entry into the Polar Bear Plunge, a t-shirt naming participants a “Polar Bear,” bragging rights and warm refreshments. Participants are asked to sign up in advance at the Recreation Office by noon that day.

Of course many of our guests love to venture out and enjoy all that Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand have to offer. Perhaps it is a last minute gift, or that something unique and special, or to spend some gift money?  Just south of Ocean Lakes in Pawleys Island is an awesome low country destination, The Hammock Shops.  Known for it’s hand woven hammocks, this historic shopping village features handcrafted items among its gardens and walkways. Stroll under the Live Oaks, shop unique shops, and even dine – all in one location!

Perhaps you’d like to be entertained? Nothing puts you in the Christmas spirit like our award winning shows!

Legends in Concert proudly presents a heart-warming Christmas show. Experience the most wonderful time of the year with the world-renowned tribute artists.  Elvis Presley, Nat King Cole, Rod Stewart, Dolly Parton, and the Blues Brothers™ not only perform their signature classics, but also come together to bring you the magical holiday music of yesteryear.  Whether you want to rock around the Christmas tree, or be uplifted by inspirational songs that capture the true meaning of Christmas, there is something for the entire family. Their newest production gives you the gift of two shows wrapped into one spectacular evening! Show runs through Jan. 2nd and theater is dark Dec. 20-25th.

If a pirate adventure is more to you liking, then ye will want to board the Pirate’s Voyage Dinner & Show, set to sail daily. Join Captain Blackbeard, the most famous pirate to ever sail the seven seas, and his quartermaster Calico Jack as they lead the Crimson and Sapphire crews in an epic battle for lost treasure on land, on deck, in water and high above full-sized pirate ships in a 15 foot deep indoor hideaway lagoon. The Pirate’s are on the high sea through Jan. 2nd and the theater is dark Dec. 24-25th.

Celebrating 30 years, The Carolina Opry features an outstanding traditional Christmas show that will really put you in the holiday mood. The award-winning show blends two hours of high-energy music, comedy and dance! “The Christmas Show of the South” is a tradition with so many locals and visitors every year. Owner, producer, and entertainer Calvin Gilmore, works for months to create an unforgettable holiday experience, with his usual signature flair for production. As always, the 2015 Christmas show will bring stunning changes, beautifully blended with time-honored tradition to create a family experience that is second to none. This show runs through Jan. 2nd and the theater is dark Dec. 23-25th.

Love Christmas decorations? 

See Brookgreen Gardens come to life amid the soft glow of more than 5,500 hand-lit candles and countless sparkling lights from 3 - 10 p.m. Walk the paths with a warm cup of cider, hear the sounds of hand bells ringing, carolers singing, and celebrate the season with family and friends. Nights of a Thousand Candles continues to delight guests with beautiful candle and lighting displays and exceptional entertainment. The 80-foot-tall fir tree decorated with 60,000 lights will be lighted in ceremonial fashion at 5:45 p.m. every night.  

Then you will want to plan a trip to the “Festival of Trees” at Ripley’s Aquarium!  Festival of Trees includes 55 Christmas trees decorated to represent the heritage and diversity of our great United States and US Territories. Oh, and let’s not forget the Aquarium’s 14,000 aquatic animals including shark’s and Planet Jellies! What about something JUST for the kids (while mom and dad have a night out)? Try the “Kids New Year’s Eve Sleepover beginning at 8 PM and ending on New Year’s Day at 8 AM (reservations required). Festival of Trees is included with your regular Aquarium admission. Ripley’s Aquarium opens at 9am every day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year, including Christmas Day.

Take a holiday and spend the holidays at Ocean Lakes Family Campground.


4 Thanksgiving "no-no's" for Pets

Many people that camp love their pets! (And so do many people that don't camp! LOL) So, here's a few tips about what NOT to feed your furry family member...

1. Anything with onions – Did you know that onions are toxic to dogs and cats (including garlic, leeks and chives).

2. Raw or garbage ready food  - Avoid potential messy accidents (from either end of your pet). Don't feed them the gizzard or anything you won't eat, especially if it is raw, or something that may have gone bad. You have enough to deal with over the holidays!

3. The Drumstick – or any thing that may contain bones. Bad boy. (Or girl.)

4. Dessert – It has little to do with the waistline and more to do with that digestive track! We all know not to feed them chocolate, but the fats in many desserts can give your little friend an upset stomach...or worse.

Finally, avoid the "treat-sneaking" guests. Even after you ask them to not give the dog table scraps, temptation may win out. So, keep your pet in another room while everyone is eating…who knows what is going on under the table?

Read more here:

10 Safety Tips for Pets During Thanksgiving Holiday

The top Thanksgiving foods…are they safe for pets?



Celebrating the Holidays at the Beach

It’s time to get into the spirit of the season! If you are like many, every day life keeps you busy and sometimes it is difficult to get “merry.”

Myrtle Beach can assist with that problem. It is a great place to spend some time “away.” Listen to the ocean waves, feel the salt air, and just...breathe. Once you have experienced an oceanfront “re-boot,” you’ll be more prepared to enter the holiday state of mind!

Holiday Entertainment

Myrtle Beach can help get you in the mood for Christmas and the coming holiday celebrations! Our shows and attractions will have you humming all the classic holiday tunes. With so many great shows to choose from you may need to stay several nights.

The Carolina Opry Christmas Special is a Myrtle Beach holiday tradition for many locals and visitors alike. It is packed full of live Christmas classics and humor and runs through January 5, 2013.

You just might have a blue Christmas without Legends in Concert! Now through December 31st, you can bask in Legends’ Holiday Show featuring Elvis Presley (of course!), Celine Dion, Johnny Mathis, The Blues Brothers and Alan Jackson. In fact, they even offer some great dinner packages.

Opened in 2011, Pirates Voyage an “over the water” show continues to attract crowds. Christmas at Pirates Voyage Fun, Feast & Adventure takes you on a voyage with Captain Scrooge and the mystical Spirit of Christmas. Enjoy a four course feast with acrobatics overhead, pirate crews and live animals.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament features something for those young and old, boy or girl, with gorgeous horses, chivalrous knights, a princess and a “Battle of Champions.” Plan a Royal Holiday Outing for groups of 15 or more guests.

Ocean Lakes Family Campground also sells tickets to “The South’s Grandest Christmas Show” at the Alabama Theatre and “Christmas on Ice” at The Palace Theatre.

Holiday Attractions Sure to Please

Ripley’s Aquarium features the “Festival of Trees” through December 31st. An event that began in 2001, has more than 50 decorated trees on display throughout Ripley’s Aquarium. Adorned in unique ornaments, each Christmas tree represents the great diversity of the United States.

If you’d like to avoid the hustle an bustle and get back to nature, Brookgreen Gardens features the glorious “Night of a Thousand Candles” December 7, 8, 14, 15, 20, 21, and 22, 2012. Brookgreen Gardens comes to life amid the soft glow of more than 5,500 hand-lit candles and countless sparkling lights from 3 - 10 p.m. Walk the paths with a warm cup of cider, hear the sounds of hand bells ringing, carolers singing, and celebrate the season with family and friends.

Shop 'til you Drop!

Myrtle Beach has a zillion places to shop between outlets and malls and specialty boutiques you are sure to find that special gift for loved ones!

Please Chime In...
Have you joined any of these holiday celebrations? Please “chime in” with your experience and comment below!


Heads up to NASCAR Race Fans (Internet Explorer 9 Version)

Version 2:  We apologize to those who only saw the title of this blog when originally posted on Nov. 2nd. After research we believe it was a conflict with Internet Explorer 9 - we hope you can see the post now!

It’s true! Many campers love auto racing…and in the Carolinas NASCAR rules the track. Ocean Lakes Family Campground has several great tracks in its “back yard” and we wanted guests to know about some upcoming race events.

The Myrtle Beach Speedway 

This historic track has a new owner and has gone through renovations. The 2012 events have proven successful catering to families with young children and race fans alike the with “Wheels of Destruction” and “Monster Trucks” to the upcoming Myrtle Beach 400.

Located 13 miles from Ocean Lakes, this half-mile semi-oval track is poised for success and has a seating capacity for more than 12,000 fans. The Myrtle Beach Speedway is sure to fill that capacity in two weeks with the 20th Annual Myrtle Beach 400 -the end of season showdown. This event features five exciting days of activities beginning on Wednesday, November 14th through Sunday, November 18th. Keeping families in mind, kids 12 and under are FREE!

The Charlotte Motor Speedway 

This superspeedway is located a few hours northwest of Myrtle Beach, 180 miles from Ocean Lakes, is the legendary 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway. (What’s better than enjoying a race, then relaxing on the beach?) If you are new to this track, they have a great “First Timer” web page.  This speedway hosts three premiere NASCAR events each year - the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the Coca-Cola 600 and the Bank of America 500. A state of the art, 4/10 mile clay oval, The Dirt Track at Charlotte, sits across Highway 29 from the superspeedway. The zMAX Dragway is adjacent to The Dirt Track and features the world’s only four-lane all-concrete racing surface. Plus, located in the heart of NASCAR country, you’ll want to tour the Hall of Fame.

I recently took a tour of this racing mecca. Having been in the campground industry for years, I was amazed at speedway’s campground facility. Did you realize that you can camp there year round while in the Charlotte area? Whether you have a Class A motorhome and want full service hook-ups, or just a little grass space for your family's tent, they have it!

The Darlington Raceway 

…the track “Too Tough to Tame!” For 60 years, race fans have experienced this 1.25-mile legendary track. Only 85 miles from Ocean Lakes Family Campground, race fans can see the checkered flags and then check-in for oceanfront camping in Myrtle Beach! The track roars to life Mother’s Day Weekend with the NASCAR Nationwide 200 Series (May 10th) and the Bojangles’ Southern 500 (May 11th).  Perhaps you’d like to experience camping on the infield before the oceanfront, either way it will be an experience to remember!