May 12

PI 001: Three Things to do Before You Visit Parris Island for a Graduation

4th Battalion Recruits

4th Battalion Recruits

Recently, our friends visited Parris Island to see their recruit graduate from boot camp.   They had a good time and I learned some valuable tips from their visit.

Tip 1.  Remember to sign up for the free Wednesday Marine Corps 101 Behind the Scenes Tour  as soon as you find out your son or daughter’s graduation date.  Our friends did not realize they could sign up early; by the time they found out, it was too late and they missed it.  They could have stopped by the Parris Island Museum for a pamphlet showing points of interest for a self-guided driving tour or maybe arrived early to see if someone canceled, but if you sign up early, you will have a ticket and a seat.   Check in time is no later than 9:00 AM at the Douglas Visitor’s Center the morning of your tour.

Tip 2.  You can also sign up early for the  Thursday Family Night Dinner with the Depot Command, which at the time of this writing cost $19.95 plus $1.99 for adults and $9.95 plus a $1.49 fee for children ages 6 through 12.  Children 5 and under eat free.  Prices may change so check the site for the correct cost.  The additional fees of $1.99 and $1.49 are charged to handle the ticket transactions.

Tip 3. Bring umbrellas in case it rains.  The Command will move the graduation indoors if it is raining, but you may get caught in the rain during Family Day or while walking to the All Weather Facility.  If the graduation is held inside, please be kind and do not stand up during the ceremony because you block the view of the people sitting behind you.

In order to have a wonderful time at the graduation, sign up for the Marine Corps 101 Behind the Scenes Tour, sign up early if you want to have dinner with the Depot Command, bring an umbrella just in case it rains and did I mention insect repellant?  Yes, insect repellant is a must to ward off those pesky sand fleas, (aka no see ums) and mosquitoes.  Following these easy steps will enhance your trip.  Oh and if you haven’t signed up for my free report, Parris Island Declassified, do it now and see the other places you can visit while you are here!

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Hi, I am Vera Basilone and I’m here to help you make the most of your visit to Parris Island. Are you here for a recruit graduation? Are you prior military? Do you want to visit the Parris Island Museum and explore the history of the Marine Corps? Whatever your reason, ParrisIsland.com has answers to help you find your way around the base.


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  1. Ed

    What’s the behind the scenes about ?

    1. Ed

      Just wondering what the behind the scenes tour was about

  2. shellee

    My son graduation is April 24th when can I sign up for the tour on Wednesday? Are there places to eat on base my family and I can take my son the new marine to eat? Can I get info and brochures sent to me so I can further plan my trip?

    1. Vera Basilone

      Hello, you can sign up for the tour now by clicking on the Family Day Events Tab, then under Marine Corps 101, click sign up for tickets (or hold down the Ctl key and click on the link). It will open the MCCS sign up page. Click on Marine Corps 101, then click the drop down box that reads * Please select a date to attend. Select April 22, click the number of people and click register. You can also sign up for the Family Day Dinner with Depot Command (note you pay for this event) Next read PI002: We’re Hungry Where Can We Eat On Parris Island. You should also sign up for Parris Island Declassified and My Top 10 Beaufort Restaurants to help you with your trip.

  3. IRENE

    Is it ok to pack and bring our own lunch?

    1. Vera Basilone

      Hi Irene,
      Yes, you can pack your own lunch and eat it outside on one of the picnic benches.

      1. IRENE

        Thank you

  4. Steve Lewis

    Hi, My wife and I would like to visit PI on July 11th or 12th. I attended boot camp there 40 years ago Plattoon 164. Can we come on board the base? Do we need to make any type of reservation? We will want to go to the museum and drive around a little. Is that permitted? Please let us know. Thanks,

    1. Vera Basilone

      Wow, 40 years ago, you will certainly see a difference since the last time you were here!

      Currently, you can visit the base by providing a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of auto insurance. If you are driving a rental car you will need a copy of your rental agreement. As you know, security needs change from time to time and the base may change its access policies, so have an alternate plan in place just in case.

      Let the guards at the gate know you are here to visit the Parris Island Museum. You do not need to make a reservation for the museum. At this time they are open every day from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Admission is free, however donations are appreciated.

      Be sure to leave a comment and let me know how you enjoyed your trip.

  5. Ivette

    Do we need passes for family day and graduation and if so how do we get them?

    1. Vera Basilone

      Hello Ivette, Yes, you will need a pass when you come aboard the base. You can get one at the front gate. Make sure you have a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of auto insurance.

  6. barb sowders

    thank you for your helpful information ,my son graduates in june ,and i appreciate all the helpful information i can get !

    1. Vera Basilone

      You’re welcome Barb. Your son graduates in June, that’s great! You must be very proud.

      1. barb sowders

        yes very proud,words can not express how proud we are of him

  7. Richard Jahn

    So far I’ve been unable to get signed up for the report – a computer complication of some sort. It appears as though all the vacation rentals in the area are booked from what I can tell. Help would be appreciated. Thanks

    1. Vera Basilone

      Are you having trouble finding the confirmation e-mail? If so, check your junk mail folder or spam blocker (my Internet Service Provider has a spam blocker program and I had to approve the e-mail for release). I haven’t had time to put up hotel information yet, but here is the link to the Chamber of Commerce Lodging and Travel page. http://beaufortchamber.chambermaster.com/list/QL/lodging-travel-15.htm

  8. Richard Jahn

    I would like to get more info on places to stay and things to do. I’m not sure I got signed up for the newsletter ok .


    1. Vera Basilone

      Hi Richard, Thank you for your comment. I hope to have more information for you soon.

  9. Katherine

    The site is off to a great start, Vera. Nice job!

    1. Vera Basilone

      Thank you Katherine! Did you download my free report?

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