Parris Island Museum: Everything You Need to Know

Parris Island Museum

Admission: Free

Hours: 10 am to 4:30 pm Daily
Closed New Year, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

Museum: 843-228-2951

Gift Shop: 843-228-2166


Address: 111 Panama St, Beaufort, SC 29905


Historical & Museum Society

The Historical & Museum Society supports the Parris Island Museum by providing for the preservation, perpetuation, publication and display of manuscripts, books, relics, pictures and other objects of historical significance.

Donations, Membership and Gift Shop purchases allow the Historical & Museum Society to support the Museum.  Visit our site to learn more: Here

Marine Corps Recruit Depot


Parris Island, SC

Family Day and Graduation Ceremony
Graduation Dates

Parris Island Museum

Every Artifact Holds a Story

Explore the long and rich legacy of the United States Marine Corps as well as the exciting history of the Port Royal region. Thousands of artifacts, images, and other materials illustrate the varied stories within the exhibit galleries from Native American to modern Marines.

The 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) facility is located on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina. The exhibits focus on the long and honored history and traditions of the Marine Corps. On display are artifacts covering Port Royal’s important military role from the American Revolution to the Civil War, along with development of the island into a Marine Corps installation after the Spanish-American War through the present.

Alongside early Marine Corps history exhibits devoted entirely to the Charlesfort-Santa Elena National Historic Landmark, site of French and Spanish colonies on Parris Island between 1562 and 1587.

The museum is open to the public daily from 1000-1630, and 0800-1630 on Family and Graduation Days. Holiday closures include New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Admission is free.


Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot

We Make Marines

Since 1915, Parris Island’s primary mission is to train new Marines. Over a million men and women have trained at the Depot, and have served the United States all over the globe.

Parris Island Museum Reviews:

Parris Island Museum Reviews

Terrence M.

I absolutely loved this museum.  My wife didn’t think she would enjoy but she did.  I am not a vet but it was still worth going to, well worth going to.In fact we are planning another trip given how much there was to see.

Renee P.

We went at 3:30, museum closed at 4:30 and guard would not let us on base “that close to closing”.  The museum was not going to take more than a half hour I’m sure.  So it seems everything is at the discretion of the mood of the gate attendant.

Sarah S.

A great stop by when driving between Charleston and Savannah. The museum is about recruit training, local history regarding the revolutionary war, and lots of military history. A great way to spend about an hour.

Rick W.

This local museum is located on the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. You will need to check in with the base security to get on site so make sure you have your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance or military ID. The museum is full of information about the earliest inability to recruit training starting on the island in 1915. The staff is always happy to help and full of information.

Mark C.

In the heart of Parris Island Marine base is this museum, which offers a complete history of the area and the marine corp.  Admission is free and visitors that wish to visit the museum need to let the guards at the gate to know (including showing ID).  Some of the exhibits include uniforms throughout the marine corp history, all battles and wars that involved the marines and information about each and every one, archaeological items from the original Spanish and French colonies on the island, and various medals, statues, and models.This is probably one of the best kept secrets in the Beaufort area because its on the marine base, but it’s easy to get too and free.  Worth checking out.

Jaswant A. S.

Semper Fi, do or dieSo gung ho, to go and pay the priceHeres to Leathernecks, Devildogs, and JarheadsParris Island in July, Semper FiTrace Adkins – Semper FiThe Parris Island Museum is in the Marine Base and probably one of the few “must do” items if you’re here for Family Day other than lunch somewhere on base. Not REALLY mandatory of course but if you made the trek all the way here you might as well see it. First floor shows different things marine recruits go through during training – the yellow footprints, a printout of the script of the 10 second phone call, and you can try lifting a hump a recruit has to carry to see how heavy it actually is. There’s also a gift shop with t-shirts and all sorts of marines related souvenir items. Other side of the first floor has some exhibits on the history of the Parris Island area. Upstairs has exhibits of the marine uniform and weaponry during different periods in history so you can see how things have evolved over time. They even have popular music from each time period playing at each exhibit. It’s on the base so if you’re wanting to visit the museum be sure to have a valid U.S. government-issued photo identification card, a copy of your vehicle registration, and proof of auto insurance in order to be allowed on base – they also sometimes do random checks so don’t bring any weapons or drugs – prescription drugs need to be in one of those Monday through Sunday pillboxes if I recall correctly. There’s lots of parking right next to the museum but on family day it can fill up fast.

Jamie W.

This Museum is a must visit if you are visiting the low country. Very easy to get to from Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Savannah and Charleston. You will need to have a Drivers License, Vehicle Registration and proof of insurance to show the Military Police/Marine Corps Police at the front gate of Parris Island. Everyone you will encounter is very professional and courteous. When at the gate you will be given directions. Having graduated from Parris Island in June of 1995. It was a very powerful experience for me to return. I was so impressed by the Museum that I felt it meets the same standards of what you might experience when visiting the Smithsonian up in Washington DC. The attention to detail is incredible on all the displays within the Museum. Not only will you learn about the History of Parris Island, but you will gain a wealth of knowledge on the surrounding areas. This Museum rates five stars and more. You will also get to experience Parris Island when visiting this amazing museum. Lots of great photo opportunities. I spent a whole day on Parris Island. As stated in the above it was such a powerful, spiritual experience for me returning. A must visit if you are visiting Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Savannah and Charleston. Also I must add it is very easy to get to from I95.

Peter M.

This is a gem of a museum if you are at all interested in military history. Will keep you occupied for half an hour or so. Interesting for the kids, too, as they have some nice dioramas.