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7 Stunning Beaches Near Charlotte for These Summers (2024)

Queen City and North Carolina’s commercial hub, Charlotte, boast a beautiful metropolitan landscape. But at times, when you are continuously in the city, even the most beautiful metropolitan landscape can become overwhelming. How to handle it then? Well, if you have a day or two off, then why not check out a nearby beach? Charlotte, unfortunately, does not boast any coastline, but there are quite a few nearby. The closest are the lake beaches, and the Atlantic ones are reachable but slightly far away. Whether it’s a day trip or a long weekend escapade, you have multiple beach options near Charlotte.

Each beach near Charlotte has its array of attractions plus a unique vibe. Some of them are loud and vibrant, whereas others boast tranquility and secludedness in one pleasant way. Beachgoers can enjoy the traditional beach activities, explore lighthouses, dine on delicious seafood and observe the coastal wildlife in their natural habitat. And if you can’t feel all of them in a single day, there are multiple lodging options nearby the beach. Another bonus comes in the form of coastal towns that also boast endless shopping and dining opportunities. But wondering how to navigate through it all?

7 Stunning Beaches Near Charlotte for These Summers

Well, we have covered it in an entire package for you. Here is the list of the Best and most Popular Beaches Near Charlotte. Have a look:

1. Lake Norman Beach (About 40 miles drive away from Charlotte)

The largest and most popular Lake in North Carolina, Lake Norman, calls for an adventurous beach day near Charlotte. Even though it is a lake but it has been boasting a beautiful coastline that’s attracted beach enthusiasts for generations now. Lake Norman’s swimming beach and bathhouse complex measure nearly 125 yards in length. Along with peaceful beach life, Lake Norman also boasts a bustling nightlife throughout the summer season. Besides that, the Lake is also a popular spot for fishing, boating, and marinas. For individuals who love exploring, there are several towns surrounding the Lake. And with that, you have endless shopping, dining, and entertainment options throughout the day.

2. Wrightsville Beach (About 3 Hours and 37 Minutes Drive Away From Charlotte)

Though a little too far but Wrightsville Beach makes for the best beach vacation near Charlotte. It is ideal for a weekend trip or two days round trip where one can enjoy both beach and the namesake surfing town nearby. Wrightsville Beach is popular for its sparkling turquoise waters and 4 miles of relaxing pristine shoreline. Though apart from relaxing, beachgoers here enjoy activities like sailing, standup paddleboarding, kiteboarding, kayaking, and, more prominently, Surfing. Wrightsville is one of the top surfing towns in the United States, and every single experience here will make a claim fall true. Activities like swimming and sunbathing in the sand, too, are loved at Wrightsville. However, since the beach is prone to rip currents and wild waves, it is better to be safe and prepared before getting into the waters. And when done with all of that, try out shopping and dining opportunities in the nearby town.

3. Topsail Beach (About a 4-hour drive away from Charlotte)

Driving towards Topsail Beach from Charlotte, though, takes a little extra time, but it is worth it. This barrier island is off the coast of North Carolina and has everything to offer. The beach provides a range of engaging activities, including surfing, sunbathing, fishing, cruising, swimming, and beach hopping. Topsail was once popular as a sleepy fishing town, and you can observe it evidently through the local fishermen at the pier today. And thanks to that, there are some excellent seafood restaurants to try on nearby. On a lucky day, you may also get a chance to spot dolphins swimming out in the ocean, sea turtles making their way to the beach, and different bird varietals complimenting the sky. The town nearby also has some fine opportunities to check.

4. Lake Wylie Beach (About half an hour drive from Charlotte)

Lake Wylie is the nearest beach from Charlotte, and one can get here in less than half an hour. The Lake is located between Rock Hill and Charlotte and is ideal for a quick getaway. Its beach areas are located in the two surrounding parks (Windjammer Park and Ebenezer Park). Ebenezer Park not only allows for beach access, but it also boasts a playground, campsite, a few picnic shelters, and a concession stand Lake Wylie, though boasts its very own waterfront bar and resto. Beachgoers can enjoy the Papa Doc’s Shore Club and even utilize the outdoor bar and 38 boat slips. However, if you are into authentic beach activities, go boating, swimming, and fishing at Lake Wylie.

5. Lake James Beach (About one and a half-hour drive from Charlotte)

Lake James is a part of Namesake State Park, and everything is open and big here. The Lake alone spreads over 6000 acres and is surrounded by the gorgeousness of Linville Gorge Wilderness and Pisgah National Forest. Though the sandy beach spread isn’t very grand here, activities like swimming and boating are quite popular. Since the Lake is at a higher elevation, swimmers can find themselves diving into the sparkling and clean water of Lake James. Though of the entire Lake, only Paddy’s Creek Area is open for swimming, and that too at the cost of $5 for adults and $4 for kids 3 to 12 years. When it comes to water, Lake James also boasts plenty of fishing opportunities. Largemouth Bass and Catfish are some easy catches here, with Catfishes probably the best tasting one. Hiking, Mountain Biking, and Camping opportunities are also available in the nearby wilderness.

6. Folly Beach (About 3 hours and 35 minutes drive away from Charlotte)

Folly Beach is another far-away approach from Charlotte but reaching here is worth it. The beach is located outside the state in neighboring South Carolina and is popular for hosting a seaside paradise. Also dubbed Edge of America, this scenic beach setting isn’t very commercialized, which means less crowd and more tranquility. Upon your visit here, take a Scenic Walk on the 1,045 feet fishing pier, probably the longest on the entire east coast. Or, if you are here during the late summers, then go paragliding, windsurfing, water surfing, and enjoy the thrills of the Atlantic. For quality gear and services, there are several renters across the town. And while you are stepping out into the town, do make sure to try some hot and pipping grilled food along with freshly caught seafood delicacies.

7. Sullivan’s Island (About 3 hours and 40 minutes drive away from Charlotte)

Another South Carolina wonder, Sullivan’s Island, is less than 4 hour’s drive away from the city of Charlotte. Sullivan’s island is home to some exceptionally beautiful beaches and expansive shores with a laid-back atmosphere. However, the island is more popular for war history and slave history. The stories you will listen to date back to the 16th century and are undoubtedly fascinating. If you are interested in authentic beach activities, then indulge in kayaking, fishing, sailing, and swimming. Though if you are open to exploring more, then head towards attractions like Fort Moultrie, Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church, and the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse “Charleston Light.” The latter is the most modern lighthouses in the United States. For some mouth-watering food and a wide variety of whiskeys, cocktails, and craft beer, visit Home Team BBQ. At the same time, the Mex 1 Coastal Cantina offers some excellent Mexican food options.

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