About Ocean Lakes Family Campground

The Jacksons
Learn more about the Jackson family and Ocean Lakes’ history on display in the Nature Center Discovery Lab.

Our business is family… here’s our Story!

Ocean Lakes Family Campground was built by Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson along with their five daughters, starting in 1970. On July 2, 1971, Ocean Lakes opened with 30 campsites and one bathhouse. Nelson Jackson was 50 years old at the time.

“People were lined up outside the gate by the hundreds and we were clearing spots for their campers as fast as they could park ‘em,” he explains with a smile.

Today, Ocean Lakes features 859 campsites and 2,572 annual lease sites on 310 oceanfront acres with nearly one mile of beachfront, five bathhouses, and more than 700 employees (teammates) in the height of the camping season.  It is the largest campground on the east coast and one of the largest in the United States.

On an average seasonal day, Ocean Lakes has 25,000 – 35,000 guests enjoying the countless amenities that have made it a local favorite and a national vacation destination. “We could do a lot of things with 310 oceanfront acres in Myrtle Beach, and we’ve had many lucrative offers, but we believe that everyone – the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker – should have the privilege of enjoying God’s beautiful ocean,” explains Nelson  Jackson, during an interview when he was 88.

Sadly, we lost both of our founders in 2010. Nelson Jackson passed away on February 1, 2010. We celebrate his life. Mary Emily Platt Jackson passed away on December 11, 2010. We celebrate her life.

Helpful Resource |

You can pick up one of our Ocean Lakes’ 2024 Magazine Lakes Magazines at our offices.

A Family Legacy | An Ocean Lakes Docuseries

On July 2, 2021, Ocean Lakes celebrated its 50th Birthday, and to celebrate, we are finally telling the story that must be told by those who lived it. Visit our YouTube Channel to view the complete playlist and stay tuned for new episodes by following our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).

Celebrating 50 Wonderful Years of Ocean Lakes | A Family Legacy

2021 was our Golden Year! We celebrated Ocean Lakes’ amazing history and the story of our campground and our founding family, the Jacksons. Our 51-page booklet features photos and facts about how Ocean Lakes began. Read “Ocean Lakes A Family Legacy” online, or pick up your own copy in our offices (while supplies last).

Your Opinion Matters to Us!

From the beginning, the Jacksons understood that it is about the people. “We’re in the people business,” Nelson Jackson would explain to the teammates, “if they are happy, they will come back.” Today, our team continues to focus on providing outstanding customer service. We appreciate guests taking the time to let us know about their experience at Ocean Lakes Family Campground.

Caution Alert symbol We Want to Address the Problem… While You are Here!

Please know that our team is very accessible! Any time you have a concern that is impacting your vacation, please let us know, so we have the opportunity to address the issue while you are here. You can stop into one of our offices or call us. Our switchboard can direct you to the proper supervisor or manager (843) 238-5636. You can find key email info on our “Contact Us” page.

We love to hear from our guests! Please share your experience with our team.

Many guests like to share their experiences on TripAdvisor.

Ocean Lakes received the TripAdvisor® 2019 Hall of Fame Certificate of Excellence for consistently great guest reviews on the travel-planning website in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

You can visit our social media pages and share your experience. The links are above in the top right-hand corner.

Were you impressed with one of our Teammates?

Did a Teammate go above and beyond to provide superior service? You can recognize him or her with our “Awesome Teammate Recognition Award,” which is a quick and easy way to show your appreciation. We invite you to fill out a brief online survey about your experience. It takes less than three minutes to share your awesome experience with us. You can scan the QR Code to the right with any smart device and it will take you to the survey. There are Teammate Recognition cards available at the Front Office if you prefer to handwrite a recommendation. Your kind words will be shared with the Teammate and their Manager, and it will forever be a part of the Teammate’s personnel file. Thank you for taking the time to help us recognize our Awesome Teammates!


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