5 things you need to know about this week's Harley-Davidson fall rally

Welcome bikers! More bikers will be rolling in this week as the Hurricane Alley Fall Rally kicks into gear. The rally, which started Monday and continues through Sunday, attracts thousands of bikers to the Grand Strand for rides and events, but is much smaller than the spring Harley-Davidson rally in May.

We want all our guests who are here for the fall rally to have a fun, safe visit! Below are a few reminders about our rules, information about parking and tips to make your stay as smooth as possible.

Motorcycle rules

You cannot ride your motorcycle through the campground. Riding motorcycles past the designated area at the entrance (signs mark the boundaries of the designated area) or coasting (not under power but with a guest sitting on the seat) are NOT permitted.

Rope and motorcycle dolly towing are permitted to and from your rental site or campsite.
Three-wheel rides such as Can-Am Spyders and Polaris Slingshots must follow motorcycle rules, meaning they aren’t allowed in the campground and must park in the designated motorcycle lot by the South Gate.


Motorcycle parking

We have a designated area for motorcycle parking at the South Gate entrance. There is no charge to park in this area. You must be a registered guest of Ocean Lakes to park in our designated motorcycle parking area.

Trailer parking

Guests can park their utility trailers at their site if it safely and completely fits in their reserved home site or campsite.

If that doesn’t work, trailer parking will be available in our West Lot, across the street from the campground with easy access off S.C. 544. Cost is $5 a day. This is for storage; you will not have 24-hour access to use your trailer as the place to park your motorcycle at the end of the day.

Getting into Ocean Lakes

Our South Gate is open! Hours are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

This will allow more convenient access to the designated motorcycle parking area and help alleviate congestion at our Main Gate.


Guests can unload their motorcycles at the South Gate parking lot or in the West Lot trailer storage area off S.C. 544 across the street from the campground.

We recommend that you do NOT unload motorcycles at your rental house or campsite unless you have a tow dolly. Remember – you won’t be able to ride your motorcycle from your site.

Have fun and be safe!


More crafters than ever on tap for expanded Fall Craft Fair

Every year, organizers of Ocean Lakes’ popular Fall Craft Fair faced the same scenario: A long list of crafters craving to participate in the event that quickly sold out.

So this year, the 24th Annual Fall Craft Fair has expanded to two days to give all interested crafters a chance to sell their homemade items.

“That way new people could get in,” said Salle Horner, Sandy Harbor and Recreational Activities Coordinator. “We always had so many people on the waiting list to get a booth, but we didn’t have enough spots. Adding a day gives more crafters the chance to participate.”

The two-day Craft Fair kicks off Friday, Sept. 23 in our Recreation Center. Hours are 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. Guests staying at Ocean Lakes are exclusively allowed to shop during the first three hours each day. The fair opens to the public at 4 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday.

More than 100 crafters over the two days will sell homemade items such as wreaths, jewelry, birdhouses, scarves, soaps, dolls, pictures, woodworking and more.

“There is a variety, a very wide variety of things to buy,” Horner said.

Different crafters will be set up each day. All the booths for Saturday are reserved, but there are some spots for crafters available Friday. A 9x9 booth for Friday is just $20. Reserve your spot by calling our Recreation Center at 843-238-0130.

The Craft Fair is free to attend. For shoppers who need more cash, an ATM is located in the Arcade next to the Recreation Center.

If you go

WHAT | 24th Annual Fall Craft Fair
WHEN | Friday, Sept. 23 and Saturday, Sept. 24
HOURS | 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Guests staying at Ocean Lakes ONLY during the first three hours each day. The fair opens to the public at 4 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday
WHERE | Recreation Center, Ocean Lakes Family Campground

COST | Free to attend


Water park hours for fall and 2017

We continue to get lots of questions about when our new water park will close for the season.

We appreciate everyone’s patience as we discover what works best during Sandy Harbor’s first year of operation and want to give you a peek at some of the factors that are considered when determining the water park’s fall schedule.

Sandy Harbor, which debuted Memorial Day weekend, boasts a 705-foot Adventure (lazy) River, Drop Zone, The Tube, Splash Zone and other features.

While most water parks along the Grand Strand shut down after Labor Day, we’ve worked hard to treat our guests by extending the season as long as we can. The water park has operated under “hours as posted” since the day after Labor Day, with the hours being set a week in advance.

Many factors influence whether the water park can stay open as we head into fall - weather is just one of them.

Finding certified lifeguards is another reason water parks typically close at Labor Day. Most of the lifeguards who work all summer are high school and college students who head back to class as the traditional summer season wraps up.  

That makes finding certified lifeguards a challenge after Labor Day. Because of the caliber of our slides and other water park features, we are required by the state to have a certain number of certified lifeguards working for the park to open. We simply are not going to operate the water park without the certified lifeguards. With those lifeguards in short supply after Labor Day, that creates a challenge.

“Safety is our top priority,” said Lance Thompson, General Manager and Vice President of Ocean Lakes Family Campground. “We love to see our guests so excited about this new amenity and want everyone to have the chance to experience it in a safe environment.”

Our team has worked hard to recruit, train and schedule certified lifeguards to keep the water park open beyond Labor Day – and has been successful in extending that season well into September so far.

We will continue to post water park hours every week as they are set, until the park shuts down for the off-season. Through Sept. 23, water park hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. But don’t forget our outdoor and indoor pools stay open until 9 p.m.! After 6 p.m., guests can enjoy the pools but won’t have access to the slides, Adventure (lazy) River and other features of the water park.

Thank you for your patience.

Sandy Harbor hours for 2017

With a season of operating Sandy Harbor under our belt, we’re already preparing for next year.
Here’s a guide for when the water park will open and close in 2017:

Easter | Our water park will be open for the big Easter crowds April 14 through April 16, then will shut down until May.
May | Starting May 1, the water park will be open on the weekends only with “hours as posted.”
Summer | Our water park will open full time Memorial Day Weekend and continue through Labor Day.

Fall 2017 | Our water park will stay open under “hours as posted” through Sept. 30.


Congrats to the winner of the Harley-Davidson golf car!

Seymour Port was recently thinking about that raffle ticket he bought in May to help the charity named for longtime friend and Ocean Lakes' teammate, Marti Parnell.

As it turns out, he was the winner.

Seymour’s ticket was drawn from a mound of raffle tickets Monday afternoon, making him the winner of the custom Harley-Davidson golf car once owned by Ocean Lakes' co-founder Nelson Jackson.
The golf car was the prize for a raffle to raise money for Marti’s Wish, which aims to raise awareness and possible research of Signet Ring Cell Carcinoma of the stomach. The effort is named after Marti, a teammate at Ocean Lakes for 36 summers who was diagnosed with the disease and passed away last year.

Seymour, who lives in Little River, had known Marti for 20-plus years and was a pallbearer at her funeral. Helping his friend’s cause was his priority when he bought the $5 raffle ticket. Winning? Well, that’s just a bonus.

“Did I really?” Seymour said by phone Monday afternoon after learning he won the golf car. “Well, I’ll be. I’m tickled that I won.

“I’m sure Marti’s looking down on me saying, “See what I did for you?’” he said.

Many of our longtime guests knew Marti, who worked in the Main Office for more than three decades welcoming visitors to Ocean Lakes Family Campground and to the Myrtle Beach area.

“She’s been truly missed,” Greg Bender - Ocean Lakes’ Golf Car Rental, Sales and Service Manager - told the small group who gathered outside the Golf Car building Monday afternoon for the drawing.

The golf car raffle raised roughly $8,000 for Marti’s Wish, Greg said, adding that the final total is still being calculated.
Greg Bender, Golf Car Rental, Sales and Service Manager,
reads the name on the winning raffle ticket Monday afternoon.

“This is going for a great cause,” he said before a park guest picked the winning ticket from a bucket full of entries.

Ocean Lakes also raises money for Marti’s Wish with “dress-down days” a couple of times every month, allowing teammates to donate to the cause in exchange for wearing an outfit of their choice instead of the Ocean Lakes uniform that day.

Because of Marti’s Wish, education and awareness of this rare form of cancer is being pursued by the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina under the direction of Dr. Carolyn D. Britten.

Learn more about Marti’s Wish and how you can donate here