Finding the closest beaches to Charlotte this summer is essential to keeping the whole troop happy on the drive over. Temperatures are rising and the beach is calling; so, we’ve compiled a list of the closest beaches to Charlotte that you should visit this summer.
Visit Isle Of Palms, SC
Neighboring Sullivans Island, Isle of Palms is home to two well-known golf courses, the Links Course, and the Harbour Course. Isle of Palms is the perfect beach getaway because it offers premiere golf for those who’d rather work on their game than their tan lines, luxurious spas and boutique shopping, and it’s only a 20 minute drive into downtown Charleston for the best dining and shopping on the historic King Street. and beautiful golf courses for those who’d rather work on their game than their tan lines.
Best place to stay: Wild Dunes Resort
Distance from Charlotte: 3 hours, 33 minutes
Visit Hilton Head Island, SC
Hilton Head Island is known for their year-round beautiful weather, and of course, the lighthouse. Hilton Head is home to a beautiful beach as well as world-class golf courses. This home away from home is a luxurious beach getaway perfect for the family.
Best place to stay: The Inn & Club at Harbour Town or Sonesta Resort
Distance from Charlotte: 3 hours, 52 minutes
Visit Wrightsville Beach, NC
Wrightsville Beach, a short drive from Wilmington, is known as “one of the best beaches in the south” for its crystal blue water, great surf, and not to mention it being home to the filming of Dawson’s Creek. This 4 mile stretch of beach is the closest beach to Charlotte with the best watersport activity potential. Take a surfing lesson, learn how to windsurf, or take the paddleboard out for a swim, this lively beach is the spot for the watersport enthusiast.
Best place to stay: Vacation rental— although there are hotels in Wrightsville Beach, there are beautiful beach condos and homes available for vacation rental which embody the laid back, yet vibrant character of this beach town that appeals to locals and tourists alike.
Distance from Charlotte: 3 hours, 35 minutes
Visit Sunset Beach, NC
Sunset Beach belongs to the Brunswick Islands, some of the most beautiful beaches in the Carolinas. Sunset Beach got its name for its beautiful views and serenity; it is also known for its wildlife and seafood (we recommend trying The Boat Landing)!
Best place to stay: The Sunset Inn Bed & Breakfast
Distance from Charlotte: 3 hours, 29 minutes
Visit Ocean Isle, NC
Ocean Isle, a part of Brunswick county, is a little beach town off the coast of North Carolina. This smaller barrier island is famous for its beautiful 4.5 mile beach. This small island is the perfect quaint spot to take the family with great dining options and private rental stays. It also happens to be the closest beach to Charlotte on our list, so be sure to add it to yours!
Best place to stay: Vacation Rental— the lack of commercial properties combined with the abundance of beautiful oceanfront properties makes this the perfect vacation rental spot.
Distance from Charlotte: 3 hours, 21 minutes
Welcome to the fascinating world of beautiful beaches near Charlotte, where the moment you step onto the shores, the sight of sand and crystal-clear water instantly elevates your day. Though there are no beaches in Charlotte, there are plenty around the city. These beaches near Charlotte offer an exceptional getaway experience within easy reach of the city.
So, embark on a coastal journey with us as we explore the sun-kissed wonders awaiting you around Queen City.
Here are 25 more of our favorite beaches near Charlotte listed in order of closest to farthest!
Myrtle Beach, SC
Drive Time: 3.5-hours
About 170 miles from Charlotte, Myrtle Beach is the closest ocean beach to the city. Offering 114 public beach accesses, the coastal city provides plenty of entry options for everyone to relish their time by the ocean.
Visitors to the area can explore the charming fishing village of Little River to savor fresh seafood from Murrells Inlets on South Myrtle Beach. They can also go fishing, surfing and boating at the Surfside Pier. It is one of the top-visited beaches near Charlotte NC.
As one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in the southeast, this closest beach to Charlotte NC offers many activities to complement your beach trip.
- The 200 feet high SkyWheel gives you a clear view of the ocean.
- Hire a fishing charter for a wonderful fishing experience
- Enjoy a walk at the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.
- Engage in fishing, surfing, kayaking and boating at the Surfside Pier.
- Several shops, arcades and restaurants along the beachfront boardwalk at the Grand Strand.
Oak Island Beach, NC
Drive Time: 3 hours and 41 minutes
Oak Island is a perfect family beach located just 207 miles away from Charlotte. Nestled on the scenic southern end of North Carolina’s coastline, the Town of Oak Island boasts approximately 10 miles of picturesque beachfront, extending along the 12-mile-long Oak Island, aptly named after its elongated shape. The island is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to its south and the Intracoastal Waterway to its north.
Oak Island Beach has about 65 public accesses, four fishing piers and several locations to launch your kayak or boat. It is one of the top best beach towns in North Carolina. While the pet-friendly (leashed) Charlotte beach alone offers a delightful experience, there are many activities to enjoy in the area.
- The Ocean Crest Fishing Pier is a popular fishing spot.
- Arrange a bonfire night.
- Indulge in watersports activities, including paddle boarding, jet skiing, kayaking and canoeing.
- Enjoy the hatching season of sea turtles.
Holden Beach, NC
Driving Time: 3 hours and 42 minutes
With its 8 miles long coastline and pleasant year-round climate, Holden Beach creates an appealing destination for those seeking a distinct, serene and family-friendly environment. The beautiful sandy beach features stunning oceanic views, making it a relaxing gateway for everyone.
Activities you can enjoy at Holden Beach include the following:
- Fishing, flying kites and Surfing
- Swimming, sunbathing and boating.
- Enjoy delectable seafood cuisines and tempting beverages.
Holden Beach welcomes leashed pets year around. However, during the peak season, from May 20 to September 10, pets are allowed before 9 AM and after 5 PM.
Sunset Beach, NC
Driving Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
The seaside town of Sunset Beach is divine coastal destination brimming with nature beauty, charming beach homes and a plethora of activities to enjoy, including a world-class golf course. It is one of the top beaches close to Charlotte NC.
Named one of the best beaches in the world by National Geographic, Sunset Beach is the southernmost beach on North Carolina’s Barrier Island. Located about 191 miles from Charlotte, the 3-mile-long pristine beach offers endless sand and expansive views, creating a peaceful environment.
Known as one of the longest stretches of ride-able surf in the world, you can enjoy following activities at Sunset Beach to enjoy:
- This closest beach to Charlotte NC is perfect for a laid-back surf culture.
- Sunset Beach Pier is great for fishing and grilling.
- Swim during the summer time
- Kayaking, fishing and boating.
- Fantastic for witnessing breathtaking sunsets
- Stroll along the Stanley Park Seawall
Leashed pets are allowed year-round. However, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, dogs are prohibited from being on the beach from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Driving Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Ocean Isle is known as the Gem of Brunswick County. Situated approximately 194 miles from Charlotte, Ocean Isle has private homes and seasonal rentals and offers several local attractions, events and activities. It is one of the most-visited beaches near Charlotte NC.
The warm and clear water of the beach gives you fantastic views of its underwater world. The Ocean Isle Beach stretches for seven miles and allows visitors to witness the captivating beauty of both sunset and sunrise. Apart from the sunset, the beach has several other activities for both kids and adults:
- Fishing, paddleboarding, kayaking and surfing.
- Take a stroll on the beach.
- Ocean Isle Beach Pier is perfect for those who love fishing,
- Enjoy delicious food at Sharky’s Waterfront Restaurant.
- Witness sea turtles nesting at the beach.
Carolina Beach, NC
Drive Time: 3 hours and 45 minutes
Just south of Wilmington, Carolina Beach is located 212 miles from Charlotte. To the west of the beach, you will find the Cape Fear River while the majestic Atlantic Ocean lies to the east.
Carolina is one of the best family beaches in North Carolina and a perfect gateway for a free-spirited family vacation. Carolina Beach has something for everyone, whether you seek adventure and excitement or prefer a relaxing and leisurely experience.
- Enjoy the famous vintage boardwalk, boasting several shops and eateries.
- Summer offers free concert series, amusement rides, and weekly fireworks.
- Kayak and boat tours.
- Fishing, paddle boarding, surfing, and camping.
Carolina Beach is pet-friendly. Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach from October 1 to March 31. However, pets are not allowed on the wooden boardwalk at any time of year.
Kure Beach, NC
Drive Time: 3 hours and 42 minutes
The small charming coastal town of Kure Beach is 214 miles away from Charlotte. It is a remarkable family-friendly vacation spot, offering abundant activities and attractions to suit every taste. Whether you are into history or surfing, this destination has something exciting for all visitors to enjoy. It is one of the top beaches near Charlotte NC.
Some activities to enjoy on Kure Beach comprise the following:
- Kids and adults can go for surfing and kayaking.
- You can enjoy deep-sea fishing.
- Have a night out at the beach bars.
- Go scuba diving and explore the shipwrecks beneath the sea.
- The beach houses the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Ocean.
- Visit the oceanfront park for a natural playground
Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach from October 1 to March 31. Between April 1 and September 30, dogs are prohibited on the beach from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Topsail Beach, NC
Driving Time: 4 hours and 10 minutes
Situated between Wilmington and Jacksonville, Topsail Beach is approximately 234 miles from Charlotte. Pronounced as “Tops’I,” the island is one of the smallest of three communities located on Topsail Island. The island stretches for 26 miles as a barrier island, offering pristine beaches, clear waters and a serene environment perfect for deep relaxation.
Some activities to enjoy on Topsail Beach include the following:
- Swimming, surfing, sunbathing and fishing,
- Sea turtles come to nest and lay their eggs, usually between April and September.
- Dolphins and shorebirds also visit the beaches during the hatching season.
- Watch the sunset from the Intracoastal Waterway.
- Go fishing on the Jolly Roger Pier. ($16/day)
- Boat tours and surfing.
Atlantic Beach, NC
Driving Time: 4 Hours 59 minutes
Atlantic Beach is one of the most visited beach towns in North Carolina. Situated 316 miles from Charlotte, Atlantic Beach is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Bogue Sound on the other. The family-friendly beach offers endless choices of oceanfront entertainment, including:
- Enjoy surfing, fishing, boating and kayaking.
- Food and music festivals.
- The free kite festival is held in October each year.
- Go fishing at the Oceanana Fishing Pier.
- Jet skiing and paddle boarding.
Emerald Isle Beach, NC
Driving Time: 5 hours
Emerald Isle is located on the Bogue Banks, about 271 miles from Charlotte. Emerald Isle’s charming small-town vibe, abundant beach activities and fantastic coastal cuisine have solidified its position as one of the state’s premier beach destinations. It is one of the best NC beaches.
The 12-mile shoreline of the beach offers white sand and sparkling emerald waters, making it an ideal destination for a peaceful weekend.
Major attractions on the stunning Emerald Isle Beach include:
- Kayaking, surfing, parasailing and standup paddle boarding.
- Visit the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier – one of the longest fishing piers on the NC coast.
- Emerald Isle Park also offers many activities such as picnic pavilions, volleyball courts and playgrounds
Surf City Beach, NC
Driving Time: 4 hours
Located 228 miles from Charlotte, Surf City is one of the most popular tourist destinations, boasting a two-mile oceanfront. Surf City Beach is situated at the center of Topsail Island in North Carolina and has 39 beach access areas. With its peaceful atmosphere, breathtaking views, and dozens of vacation rentals, the quiet and quaint beach is great for a fun family weekend.
- Go for fishing at the Surf City Pier.
- Plan a Tiki Tour and explore the wildlife of the sea.
- Jet skiing is a popular water sport on the beach.
- Fun nightlife at the beach
Pawleys Island Beach, SC
Drive Time: 3 hours and 49 minutes
For those in Charlotte seeking the ultimate beach getaway, a trip from Charlotte to Pawleys Island is the perfect choice! Pawleys Island is about 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach.
Activities you can enjoy at Pawley Island Beach include the following:
- Experience water sports like swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and surfing.
- Birdwatch and spot coastal wildlife in the surrounding marshes.
- You can enjoy swimming and relax on the sand.
- Indulge in fresh seafood at beachfront restaurants.
Folly Beach (Folly Beach, SC)
Driving Time: 3 hours and 40 minutes
Folly Beach is situated on Folly Island, 219 miles from Charlotte. Visitors to the beach can enjoy 6 miles of pristine beaches, affectionately known by locals as the “Edge of America.”
The family-friendly beach has several restaurants offering mouthwatering cuisines. You can also enjoy fun-filled activities with your kids, including surfing, kayaking and boating. The wide beach is also excellent for sunbathing and playing volleyball.
Sullivan’s Island Beach, SC
Driving Time: 3 hours and 12 minutes
Sullivan’s Island Beach is a charming coastal escape nestled in South Carolina. Its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful stretches of sandy shores offer the perfect setting for relaxation and family fun.
Open to the public year-round, Sullivan’s Island Beach is home to 2,5 miles of Atlantic Ocean Beachfront, with the historic Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse serving as a nice backdrop. Apart from an endless supply of fresh seafood and coffee, the beach has lots of fun-filled activities for people of every age group.
- Boogie boarding, skimboarding and kite surfing.
- You can also rent bikes, surfboards and standup paddleboards.
- You can walk, bike or just relax on the beach.
Kiawah Island Beach SC
Driving Time: 3 hours and 34 minutes
Kiawah Island Beach is a resort destination along the South Carolina coast, about 230 miles from Charlotte. Though the island revolves around golf, Kiawah Beach offers many family-friendly activities.
- Take a stroll along the pristine beaches.
- Surfing, skimboarding, fishing, boating and beach yoga.
- Enjoy a beachside bike ride.
- Search for seashells and sea glass.
Aside from its 10 miles of beautiful beaches, Kiawah Island offers pristine maritime forests, untouched dunes, and thriving marshlands teeming with diverse wildlife such as whitetail deer, alligators, bobcats, seabirds and sea turtles.
Edisto Beach, SC
Drive Time: 3 hours 43 minutes
Embark on a journey to Edisto Beach, one of South Carolina’s popular beach getaways for families. Situated in Colleton County between Hilton Head and Charleston, the beach is renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere and breathtaking sunsets.
Situated 230 miles from Charlotte, the beach is great for:
- Meet the loggerhead turtles (but only if you visit the beach between May and October)
- Camping, biking and boating.
- Dolphin-watching tours.
- Going for a romantic date on a sunset cruise.
- Going for inshore and offshore fishing on a charter.
Hunting Island State Park Beach, SC
Drive Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
This is a stunning 5000-acre, semitropical barrier island situated 15 miles east of Beaufort, SC, with more than a million visitors annually. Hunting Island State Park offers five miles of pristine beach with a picturesque coastline, a maritime forest, a saltwater lagoon, an ocean inlet and a historic lighthouse.
Visitors can enjoy swimming, hiking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, camping and wildlife watching. Kids are likely to spot several wild animals during their visit, including raccoons, turtles, snakes, and rattlesnakes. Tourists can also enjoy fishing, swimming and boating.
A $8 fee is charged for adults and $5 for children aged 6-15. Children 5 and younger enjoy free entry.
Corolla Beach, NC
Driving Time: 6 hours and 17 minutes
Corolla Beach is 391 miles from Charlotte, boasting long stretches of unspoiled beach. It is a captivating destination located in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This scenic beach boasts pristine shores, rolling dunes, and the iconic Currituck Beach Lighthouse.
Corolla Beach is a haven for relaxation and outdoor activities, with opportunities for beachcombing, wild horse sightings and water sports.
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Driving Time: 5 hours and 43 minutes
Kill Devil Hills is another beautiful coastal town nestled in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. With its rich history and stunning Atlantic Ocean views, it offers a mix of relaxation and adventure. Known for the Wright Brothers’ first flight, visitors can explore historic landmarks like the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
The beach is a haven for beachcombing, surfing, and enjoying beautiful sunrises and sunsets. With an array of charming shops, eateries, and outdoor activities, Kill Devil Hills promises a memorable getaway for all beach lovers and history enthusiasts.
The Bodie Island Lighthouse on the island offers a stunning 360-degree view of the Atlantic Ocean and the Outer Banks.
Kitty Hawk, NC
Drive Time: 5 hours 49 minutes
Kitty Hawk is another captivating beach located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It is about 372 miles from Charlotte and offers visitors a relaxing vacation atmosphere.
Kitty Hawk is a diverse town encompassing a traditional village, a beach community and the scenic Kitty Hawk Woods, a 461-acre maritime forest reserve. Visitors can immerse themselves in its rich history and captivating natural beauty or explore the town’s vibrant art scene, stunning beaches and delightful dining options.
Visitors to Kitty Hawk Beach can engage in activities like kayaking, boating, birding and shelling. The Kitty Hawk Pier and Kitty Hawk Bay are great for fishing. The beach is also famous for its superior surfing.
Nags Head, NC
Driving Time: 5 hours and 34 minutes
Since we are on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, our next stop is Nag Heads, 363 miles from Charlotte, perfect for small town vibes.
Nags Head’s biggest attraction is the East Coast’s largest dune system, luring countless visitors each year. The beautiful beach here features well-maintained footpaths, free public parking and convenient wooden crossovers. With over 30 public access points, the beach is perfect for a relaxing weekend.
- Visitors can also enjoy kayaking, boating, hang gliding, kitesurfing and sandboarding.
- Jennette’s fishing pier – the largest fishing pier in the Outer Banks.
- Dolphin-feeding tours.
- Go for skiing and paddle boarding.
- Dine at the oceanfront restaurants and bars.
Shackleford Banks, NC
Drive Time: 5 hours and 3 minutes
Shackleford Banks is located to the south of Beaufort and Harkers Island. The island beach is known for its pristine beauty and white sandy shores. It is a favorite spot for families seeking relaxation, salty air and a delightful beach experience.
The Shackleford beaches are home to a population of wild horses known as the Shackleford Banks wild horses, which further makes the area a tempting vacation destination. Visitors can also enjoy shelling, fishing, birdwatching, and kayaking.
Seabrook Island, SC
Drive Time: 3 hours and 36 minutes
Seabrook Island is a charming coastal retreat in South Carolina, 230 miles from Charlotte. This tranquil island getaway offers pristine beaches, lush landscapes and a relaxed atmosphere.
Visitors to the area can enjoy outdoor activities like sunbathing, beachcombing for seashells, beach volleyball and several water sports. With abundant wildlife and scenic vistas, Seabrook Island provides a perfect escape for nature enthusiasts and beachgoers.
Fripp Island, SC
Drive Time: 4 hours and 6 minutes
Situated eighteen miles east of the inland town of Beaufort, South Carolina, Fripp Island is the most seaward of all the stunning South Carolina Sea Islands. The area offers breathtaking beaches, stunning blue waters, plenty of outdoor activities and abundant wildlife.
The serene island beach boasts a three-and-a-half-mile stretch of white sand ideal for long beach walks, shelling and birdwatching.
- Cycling, kayaking, boating and horseback riding.
- The ocean and Great Salt Marsh are home to a diverse range of over 175 bird species.
- Enjoy the company of loggerhead turtles!
Beaches Near Charlotte NC
Charlotte and its surrounding areas are fortunate to have some incredible beaches within a reasonable distance. Whether you prefer the serene shores of Sunset Beach or the coastal charm of Myrtle Beach, there is a perfect beach destination for every beach lover near Charlotte. So, pack your beach bag, grab your sunscreen and get ready to create unforgettable beach memories.