Thursday, May 25, 2017

Water park, traffic loop, weather | What you need to know as the summer season kicks off this Memorial Day weekend

The kick-off to the 2017 summer season has finally arrived!

Ocean Lakes Family Campground will have a full house for Memorial Day weekend, with families enjoying a long holiday weekend and bikers here for what has been known as the Atlantic Beach Bikefest. The Grand Strand will be packed, and the 23-mile traffic loop will be back in Myrtle Beach late night Friday, Saturday and Sunday (more details on that coming up).

Here are five things to make the most of your stay with us:


All the Sandy Harbor water amenities – slides, lazy river, Splash Zone and pools – will be open and in full throttle starting Friday. Hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through the summer.

Have fun and be safe! Remember: coolers are NOT allowed in the water park. Get a rundown of all the water park rules – including the height restrictions for our slides – before slathering on the suntan lotion.


The South Gate is open for the season! We want all of our guests to get in as conveniently and easily as possible so they can start having fun. South Gate hours are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. through the summer.

Bringing a motorcycle? You cannot ride motorcycles through the campground. 

Special parking for bikes is set aside in a lot near the South Gate. You must be a registered guest of Ocean Lakes and have an orange wristband attached to the bike's handlebars to park in this area. 

Guests should pick up the orange wristband for their motorcycle in the Main Office when they check in. If the office is closed, you can get a wristband from the Main Gate or the South Gate. Your site number will be on the wristband, which gives our team a quick way of contacting the bike's owner in case of an emergency.

Also not permitted: Riding motorcycles past the designated area at the entrance (signs mark the boundaries where bikes are allowed) or coasting - not under power but with a guest sitting on the seat.

Rope and motorcycle dolly towing are permitted to and from your rental site or campsite.


Prepare to see lots of motorcycles on the roads and a late-night traffic loop that includes Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach.

Thousands of visitors will be along the Grand Strand for the Black Pearl Cultural Heritage and Bike Festival, formerly known as Atlantic Beach Bikefest. As in the last few years, a 23-mile traffic loop will be in place from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday aiming to keep traffic flowing on Ocean Boulevard.

The loop starts at 29th Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard, continues south to Kings Highway near Myrtle Beach International Airport, up Harrelson Boulevard to U.S. 501, to northbound U.S. 31, to U.S. 17 Bypass then back to the loop’s start at 29th Avenue North.

An app and a hotline are available to help visitors and locals maneuver around the loop.

Access the app here then click the city seal icon in the upper right-hand corner. Enter the addresses for your destination and starting point to get the directions.

You can also call the Myrtle Beach Police Department’s new Information Line at 843-918-INFO (4636) to get directions or alternate routes.


If the beach or water park doesn’t wear you out, you’ll have lots of activities in the campground and around town to enjoy this Memorial Day weekend.

Belt out your best tune during karaoke from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Center Stage by Sandy’s Meet n’ Eat. On Saturday, swim in our outdoor pool for the Dive-in Movie at 8: 30 p.m. This week’s feature film: “Finding Dory.”

Looking for more? Lots of activities are planned along the Grand Strand, including the Military Appreciation Days in Myrtle Beach. The parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on Farrow Parkway at The Market Common. Get a run-down of all the Military Appreciation Days events here
Check out all the Memorial Day activities around town here.


Bring your sunglasses – you’re in for a hot sunny weekend. Lots of sunshine Friday and Saturday with highs in the 80s; expect highs in the upper 80s Sunday and Monday with a slight chance (20 percent) of storms. Check out the detailed forecast from our friends at WPDE.

Thanks for choosing to kick off the summer and celebrate Memorial Day weekend with us. Have fun! And remember the reason for Memorial Day; we appreciate and will think of all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. And thanks to all the veterans and those serving in our military. We appreciate all you do!