Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ocean Lakes Family Campground - Review

As Memorial Day passes and summer is hard upon us, it’s time to think of the beach. Up and down the east coast, Myrtle Beach is recognized as one of the great beach resort areas and Ocean Lakes Family Campground one of the best ways to enjoy it. Looking at Ocean Lakes evokes lots of superlatives about the largest, most expensive, best, most professionally managed, and more. While Ocean Lakes is a little pricey for us in summer, we stay there for two or three weeks a year during the off season and shoulder season. In many ways it meets our needs and there’s almost no RV resort we’ve stayed at managed in a more professional fashion.

Ocean Lakes Registration and Information Center

Registration Center Line Control

If you’re looking for large sites, lots of quiet, privacy, and a budget campground, Ocean Lakes should probably not be your choice. However, if you want easy accessibility to a wide, long beach, clean and large rest room facilities, easy access to free or pay Internet, and the best and largest Laundromat along the east coast, give Ocean Lakes a careful look.

There's a Mile of Beach Front

Beach Side Camping

Campground Map

Typical Shower and Rest Room

Ocean Lakes is basically divided into two sections.
At the front, that is the beach side are 893 full service campsites. These range back from the beach in row after row of well designed sites, most large enough for almost any RV. All sites have 30 and 50 amp electric hookups, water, sewer, and cable TV. Campers staying a month or longer can arrange with Time Warner for direct telephone and digital TV. Each section of the campground has at least one rest room complex. These are large, modern, and cleaned several times a day, if needed. Maps of the campground are provided on the Ocean Lakes web site to assist in selecting a site. Camp sites are large enough for a camping rig and one vehicle. Nevertheless, they are quite close together, and people seeking lots of room or privacy won’t find it at Ocean Lakes.

Camping with Beach Houses in Background

Beach Houses on Lake

Street Away from Beach

Older Unit
People who don’t wish to camp can stay at Ocean Lakes nevertheless. The park contains about 2400 annually leased sites on which permanent buildings have been erected. These range from sites on which trailers have been permanently anchored and improved to quite elaborate three story beach houses built on stilts and selling for many hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ocean Lakes handles rentals for about 300 of these buildings and many others can be rented seasonally from their owners. Many are also for sale. The overall effect of the 26 miles of streets in Ocean Lakes is the pleasant clutter of a place that grew willy-nilly with very few controls. Some streets, particularly those backed by one of the seven lakes are airy an open, while others feel closed in. That having bee said, the people who live in or visit Ocean Lakes seem to love it. There’s an undeniable sense of community present.

Game Room

Part of Pool Complex

Year Round Indoor Pool

Enjoying the Skateboard Course
Among Ocean Lakes’ strongest selling points are the many amenities offered there. In the center of the park lies a complex of support buildings that offers a huge range of activities and resources. Perhaps the most attractive to us has been the Laundromat, one of the best anywhere, clean and very well-equipped. For families coming for a short or long stay, the park offers several swimming pools, snack bars, game rooms, and even a small skate board park. There’s a large conference center where the annual Ocean Lakes Bluegrass Festival is held in August. Ocean Lakes provides watchful security and a guarded entrance, making it a pretty secure place. The efficiency of the check-in at the gate makes most hotels look shabby.

Shopping Core


Snack Bar

Camp Store

Camp Store

All this comes at a pretty steep price. RV sites range in cost depending on season and proximity to the beach from $26.00 per night to $60.00 for an ocean front site with a concrete pad. Because Ocean Lakes is a pretty large place, many people who come here want to rent a golf cart during their stay. In season, these cost $48.00 a day. So, plan on spending a minimum of around $100.00 a day to stay there during the summer. Comparing this to hotel rates on the Grand Strand suggest it isn’t so expensive after all. You can enjoy a pretty full vacation in Myrtle Beach without ever leaving Ocean Lakes. If you avail yourself of the other opportunities offered by the Grand Strand, you can have a very fine vacation. In the end, choice of campground is a matter of personal taste, convenience, and price. Ocean Lakes satisfies all three for many RVers year round.

At the Beach