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Traveling to Parris Island to attend your recruit’s graduation can be stressful, but we’ve got all the information you need to keep the travel stress at bay so you can focus on supporting the new Marine in your life.
Parris Island has officially re-opened to the public and places no limits on visitors or attendees at graduation. However, the installation could require masks in certain locations. It would be best to bring a mask along just in case.
Family day and graduation take place on the last two days of recruit training. Family Day occurs Thursday and gives new Marines a chance to see family and friends for the first time during on-base liberty. Graduation is conducted Friday in a formal ceremony, attended by family and friends.
All recruits are issued a graduation packet with the battalion commander’s graduation invitation letter sometime around week 9 of their 12-week training cycle. But please note, it is the recruits themselves who decide who they mail their graduation packets.
Visitors are requested to stop by the Douglas Visitors’ Center upon arrival to check in. In order to allow time to identify which recruits have family or visitors waiting to see them, please sign in before 9:50 a.m. on Family Day.
***All times and locations are subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedules, click here.***
When traveling to Beaufort, SC, you have three airports to choose from. There is not a specific Parris Island airport, but the nearest airports are:
SAV – Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport
CHS – Charleston International Airport
HHH – Hilton Head Airport
The airport you choose to fly to is up to you. The Hilton Head Airport will be the nearest airport to Parris Island, but depending on flight times and prices, Charleston International Airport (CHS) or Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) might be a better option. CHS is about an hour and a half drive to Parris Island, and SAV is just about an hour's drive.
Families often wait until the 8th week of training to book travel in order to ensure their recruit is going to graduate. You may want to invest in travel insurance in case your recruit experiences a delay during training.
***The local hotels may not offer shuttle service to and from the airport, as well as to Parris Island. Look into renting a car while visiting for graduation.***
Beaufort offers a variety of hotels, bed & breakfasts, and vacation rentals for families to stay in while visiting the area. Click the button below to view all of our places to stay.
Though there is an entire schedule of events for Marine Corps boot camp graduation, you may have some time to do things on base at Parris Island and in Beaufort, Port Royal & Sea Islands. From the beach to downtown historical tours, you’ll be sure to find something for the entire family! Click the links below to help plan your visit.