20 Stunning Beaches to Visit Near Charlotte, NC (2021)
Charlotte, also known as the Queen City, is a commercial hub of North Carolina. The city indeed has plenty of charm. Whether it’s an adventure, sports, art, shopping spree, dazzling nightlife, or the culinary arts that call out your name, charlotte has it all. Well, except for one thing- the beach life. Although the city of Charlotte is rich in its wonderful tourist destinations, festivals, culinary arts, and almost every other thing, there are no beaches in Charlotte. But there’s nothing to worry about as the neighbouring towns with plenty of gorgeous beaches got you covered. We know life is better at the beach, so here’s a list of twenty beaches near Charlotte that you can explore while you’re in the city.
20 Stunning Beaches to Visit Near Charlotte, NC
1. Wrightsville Beach
Although the travel time is about four hours, this beach is worth it. It is voted as North Carolina’s best beach and it is considered one of the top surfing towns. One of the most beautiful beaches out there with pretty turquoise waters and four miles of immaculate shoreline makes the people want to come here to surf, kiteboard, sail, or for other fun beach activities. Needless to say, it is an attractive beach spot for many. However, caution must be taken as the beach is prone to current and wild waves. Image Source
2. Atlantic Beach:
This beach, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Sound, is isolated and quiet. Although it is five hours away from Charlotte, the travel time is worth it as this beach offers a kind of serenity. If you want to spend some quiet quality time with your partner or just want to be by yourself for a while, this beach is for you. You can take long walks at the shore with your significant other and experience one of the prettiest sunrises that will surely move you and make you appreciate nature even more.
3. Kure Beach:
Kure Beach is a town in New Hanover County, North Carolina. Kure Beach is a bit over three hours away from Charlotte but is one of the most beautiful and neat beaches that promises you a one-of-a-kind experience. It is one of the less explored gems which is perfect for any traveller, whether you’re alone, with a friend, or with an entire family, the beach will surely enhance your journey. The town also takes advantage of the expansive shoreline and organizes art shows and concerts. Be sure to check out the dates before planning a visit here. With incredible places to see, charming places to stay, and fine dining facilities, this one would be a crime to miss.
4. Lake Norman:
Cornelius is a beautiful lakeside town located along with Lake Norman in northern Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It is North Carolina’s largest and most popular lake. Approximately half an hour away, this gorgeous beach is an attraction point for many families who want to spend quality time together fishing or boating. Lake Norman is considered suitable for swimming also. One of the many plus points about this lake is that it is surrounded by busy towns which make sure you never run out of amazing places to dine out at, stores for a shopping spree, and entertainment opportunities. This beach gives the perfect blend of peaceful beach life and bustling nightlife.
5. Lake James:
Lake James is a large reservoir in the mountains of Western North Carolina. It is just ninety minutes away from Charlotte, thus, making it one of the closest beaches. It offers a variety of exciting mountain lake activities including hiking trails, boating, kayaking, etc. The sandy beaches here are suitable for swimming, fishing, and boating. Amenities like parking space, restroom facilities, and concession stands are also available. It is a great location to spend a family beach vacation at.
6. Outer Banks:
The Outer Banks are barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, separating the Atlantic Ocean from the mainland. It is six hours away from Charlotte and might not be a popular choice for this very reason but it is considered one of the towns with the best beaches in the country so avoiding this beach while on a vacation in Carolina is nothing short of a crime. It has a lot of seaside villages which makes you feel like you’ve entered a whole new world. Once you enter, there is no trace of the past and no worries of the future, it is only you in the present moment surrounded by nature.
7. Lake Wylie:
If you’re looking for a quick getaway from Charlotte to relax and casually chill at a beach, look no further than Lake Wylie. It is located between Rock Hill and Charlotte which makes it the nearest beach from Charlotte, taking about only twenty minutes to reach there. It’s easy access makes it a favourable beach destination among tourists. This beach not only offers a peaceful time with loved ones but also boating and fishing. The best part about it is that it is surrounded by two beautiful parks- Ebenezer Park and Windjammer Park which provide for campsite, playground, picnic shelters and concession stands. This becomes an ideal beach choice for last-minute, impromptu plans.
8. Emerald Isle:
It is the long barrier island that borders central North Carolina. It takes about five hours to reach here from Charlotte. One of the most popular destinations for beach lovers, it provides numerous accommodation and restaurant amenities. It makes for a wholesome spot for family vacations owing to all the convenience provided by several beach facilities available here like showers, parking spots, grills, family resorts, water parks, etc. Along with this, the white sand plus the deep blue waters makes for the perfect environment to relax with family and friends. This beach truly lives up to its name.
9. Topsail Beach:
This beach is on an island off the coast of North Carolina. It is far away as compared to most of the other beaches but the beautiful scenery along with surfing, swimming, fishing, and cruising amenities make it an ideal choice for tourists. It is no doubt that this beach is slept on, but the less discovered it is, the more precious the beach gets. The island used to be a fishing town so it is natural that the seafood served here will be of top-tier quality.
10. Oak Island:
Oak Island is a seaside town located in the south-eastern corner of North Carolina. This is a beach where relaxation meets rejuvenation. About three and a half hours away from Charlotte, this is a vacation not for you, but your soul. When you imagine a perfect beach vacation, this should come to your mind. The feeling of sitting under the sun, reading a book with your feet soaked in the wet sand makes it an out-of-the-world experience. And if you’re here with your family, there’s a lot of fun activities piled up for that too like golf, fishing, boating all with breath-taking views of the ocean.
11. Hilton Head Island:
Known for Atlantic Ocean beaches, it is home to numerous golf courses, museums, heritage buildings, themed gardens along with luxurious amenities. Every fun beach activity can be found here like boating, fishing, sailing, cruising, dolphin watching, etc. The Hilton Head Island beach is also home to wildlife refuge including deer, alligators, and birds. It is also incredibly safe for children because of the calm waves and attentive lifeguards. So, if you’re looking for a fun yet peaceful family vacation, beaches at Hilton Head Island may prove to be the ideal location. It takes almost four hours to get to this beach from Charlotte.
12. Ocean Isle Beach:
Ocean Isle Beach is a small seaside town located in Brunswick County, North Carolina. Approximately three and a half hours away from Charlotte, it is a family-friendly town that is also home to a lot of incredible restaurants, hotels, and resorts, vacation rentals golf courses, boutiques, etc. White sand beaches grab the attention of every age group. There are only a few residents here which makes it perfect for people seeking solitude. If you want to escape the stress of your life for a while and clear your head, this place is a ten on ten for you.
13. Myrtle Beach:
Located on South Carolina’s Atlantic coast is one of the best vacation resorts for many. It is the hub of the Grand Strand, a sixty-mile string of pretty beaches which makes it an attractive tourist spot for everyone. With its celebrity-designed golf course, amusement parks, souvenir stands, and beautiful shoreline, it is an ideal beach location. You will not get tired here and will not run out of things to do. There are a lot of cultural spots that can be explored after fun and satisfying beach day. It might take three hours to get to this beach from Charlotte but you will not regret it once you do.
14. Folly Beach:
Folly Beach is a city located on Folly Island in Charleston County, South Carolina. Known as the “The Edge of America”, the beaches here are not that commercialized which is more a blessing than a curse. Its quietness and calmness are the selling factor of the beaches. It offers a state of tranquillity to its visitors and urges them to take a step back, reflect on life and appreciate nature’s beauty a little bit more. If you just want to escape the race of life and want to pause life for a second, come here. Along with the calmness it also offers wildlife, dolphins, camping adventures, etc. It takes approximately three and half hours to get here.
15. Carolina Beach:
Carolina Beach is a town on the coast of North Carolina. It takes four hours to get here and it is home to Cape Fear River, fishing spots, vibrant coastlines, amusement park rides, numerous food stands, and the Flytrap Trail, which is interestingly named for the carnivorous plants along its path. There are also many shops, restaurants, campsites, sand dunes, and seagrass. The calm waves along with lifeguards on duty make it a perfect beach for swimming. This is a perfect destination for friends as the amusement park rides with carnival games do not disappoint.
16. Bald Head Island:
Bald Head Island is a village located on the east side of the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County, North Carolina. It takes four and a half hours to get to this beach from Charlotte but if you want to escape your mundane life, you would surely want to come here. The beautiful view of the ocean and island makes you wonder if you’re really in heaven. It is, however, only accessible by boat or ferry. The beaches here will make you forget all about your stressful life. There are also many lighthouses, golf courses, forests that serve as a cherry on top of your beach vacation.
17. Sullivan’s Island:
Sullivan’s Island is a town and island in Charleston County, South Carolina. Beaches are beautiful everywhere but beaches here are exceptionally beautiful. With only three hours and twenty minutes away from Charlotte, its expansive shores with a laid-back atmosphere uplift your mood and enhance your beach experience. The beach is also filled with a lot of fun activities like kayaking, fishing, sailing, swimming, etc. Calm water and white sand here are the perfect recipe for an amazing beach vacation.
18. Pawley’s Island:
Pawleys Island is a town in South Carolina and is known for its beaches and sand dunes. It is four hours away from Charlotte. It is home to zoos, sculptures, and gardens with native plants, wetlands, and beaches. Breathtakingly beautiful and highly recommended for beach lovers. It is usually less crowded but the beaches offer nice picnic areas, a bathhouse, and good restroom facilities. You can take a nice stroll here with your significant other and rekindle the love for each other.
19. Hunting Island:
It is in South Carolina and takes about four hours from Charlotte to reach. Hunting Island is home to beautiful palm-lined beaches. It has been classified as a state park. Hunting island lighthouse, march boardwalk, fishing pier, boneyard, nature trails, hunting island lagoons, and sub-tropical maritime forests. Whether you want the quiet side of the beach or the adventurous part, hunting island beaches are the whole package. It’s so calmingly beautiful that it’s definitely worth a day trip if you’re in Charlotte.
20. Tybee Island:
Although this beach is in Georgia, it makes it to the list as it’s only four hours away from Charlotte. The sandy beaches here are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, or just building sandcastles with friends. It is home to one of the oldest lighthouses and museums. Local fresh cuisine along with the local history is just the perfect combination for a perfect laid-back vacation important for de-stressing.