27 Sunny Beaches Nearest Charlotte, NC (2023)

Beaches Near Charlotte Graphic

Nicknamed “The Queen City,” Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina. If you’re looking to make a day or weekend trip to the beach, there are plenty of sunny beaches a few minutes or hours away. Here are the best beaches near Charlotte, NC!

Key Takeaway: The closest ocean beaches are located in South Carolina (North Myrtle Beach) and North Carolina. There are also three lake beaches within an 45 minute drive.

The Closest Lake Beaches to Charlotte, North Carolina

View of Lake Wylie South Carolina
Lake Wylie, SC

The only beaches you’ll find in Charlotte, NC itself are freshwater lake beaches. Here are three of the most popular lake beaches near Charlotte, NC to explore – Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, and Badin Lake!

1. Ramsey Creek Park (Beach at Lake Norman)

Ramsey Creek Park is located 35 minutes north of Charlotte, NC and has beach access to the lovely Lake Norman!

Visiting Lake Norman is one the the best day trips from Charlotte.

In addition to the sandy beaches and swimming, you’ll find:

  • Children’s playground with a zip line
  • Sand volleyball court
  • Large covered picnic areas

Location: 18441 Nantz Rd, Cornelius, NC 28031

Visitors Website for Ramsey Creek Park

2. Ebenezer Park (Beach at Lake Wylie)

Ebenezer Park is located 35 minutes outside Charlotte, NC and has beach access to the lovely Lake Wylie! Just outside Rock Hill, SC, you’ll find a swimming beach that’s open to the public! Just note that there’s a fee for entry and no lifeguards are present!

Some highlights here are there’s:

  • 26-acre park and campground
  • a playground
  • a concession stand
  • picnic tables
  • clean public restrooms

Location: 4490 Boatshore Rd, Rock Hill, SC 29732

Visitors Website for Ebenezer Beach and Park (includes a park map)

3. Kings Mountain Point (Badin Lake Recreation Area)

Kings Mountain Point is a popular lake beach area that is a 1.5-hour drive from Charlotte. Located in the Badin Lake Recreation Area, this peninsula has beach access for swimming! You can also use the fishing piers, picnic tables, and grill!

There are a host of other activities at the rec area, including hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, boating, and camping.

Location: 429 Badin Lake Rec Area Road, New London, NC 28127

Visitors Website for Badin Lake

The Closest Ocean Beach to Charlotte, NC

The closest ocean beach to Charlotte, NC is Myrtle Beach, SC at 188 miles away, which is a 3.5 hour drive.

South Carolina Beaches Near Charlotte, NC

Some of the closest ocean beaches to Charlotte, NC are located in neighboring South Carolina. There are eight beautiful, sunny beaches in the Palmetto State that average a 3-hour and 50-minute drive from Charlotte, NC.

  • Myrtle Beach
  • Charleston Area Beaches (Folly Beach, Sullivans Island, Isle of Palms)
  • Kiawah Island
  • Seabrook Island
  • Edisto Beach
  • Hilton Head Island

4. Myrtle Beach, SC

Oceanfront view of Myrtle Beach SC

Myrtle Beach is the closest ocean beach to Charlotte, NC at about a 3.5 hour drive! Myrtle is one of the most popular beach destinations in the southeast.

Myrtle Beach worth visiting if you like lots of activities to pair with your beach trip! The three main beaches are:Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle, and Surfside Beach.

Reasons to Visit Myrtle Beach: It’s the perfect place for a family vacation because of all the family-friendly entertainment and fun attractions, like these top 10 attractions in Myrtle Beach for anytime of the year!

Other popular things to do include:

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 3.5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 188 miles

Visitors Website for Myrtle Beach

5. Folly Beach, SC

Folly Beach, SC is a 3.5-hour drive from Charlotte and is located in the greater-Charleston area!

Located on Folly Island, the beach is a laid-back spot that offers one of the most popular surf spots on the east coast. It’s surrounded by the Folly River ad Atlantic Ocean/

Reasons to Visit: Folly Beach is a great spot for East Coast surfing and other water sports! Also:

  • plenty of eclectic shops in downtown Folly to explore
  • amazing local food options!

If you’re a beginner to surfing, maybe grab a foam surfboard on Amazon to bring to the beach!

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 3.5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 219 miles

Visitors’ Website for Folly Beach

6. Sullivans Island, SC

Sullivans Island Sign

Sullivans Island is 215 miles or a 3.5-hour drive from Charlotte, NC.

Sullivan Island is a great pick for a small and relaxed beach town feel. It’s best known for its miles of pristine beaches, restaurants, and events throughout the year!

Reasons to Visit: Although the island is only 3.3 miles long, it’s an excellent beach for lovers of water sports. From kayaking to sailing, kiteboarding, and fishing, there is something for everyone.

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 3.5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 215 miles

Visitors’ Website for Sullivans Island

7. Isle of Palms, SC

Isle of Palms is also in the Charleston area and is about a 3 hour and 40-minute drive from Charlotte.

The Isle of Palms has plenty of pristine beaches! With 50 beach access paths to visitors, it’s a short distance from the historic district of Charleston. On the island, the Wild Dunes Resort has a golf course that can be played by the public and a beautiful pier to walk along!

Reasons to Visit: Attractions and entertainment at the Isle of Palms include:

  • Boat tours & eco-tours
  • Kayaking & canoeing
  • Eclectic boutique shops
  • Golfing at Wild Dunes

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 3 hours and 40 minutes

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 225 miles

Visitors’ Website for Isle of Palms

8. Kiawah Island, SC

Kiawah Island is a popular beach destination for people who want a resort-style stay and is only 4 hours from Charlotte, NC.

Kiawah is best known for 10 miles of pristine beaches and maritime forests. Here are some of the best ways to spend your time at Kiawah Island:

  • Biking trails along the island and nature trails
  • Fishing
  • Tennis & world-class golf courses
  • Shopping at local boutiques
  • Waterfront dining

If you’re looking for more of a private getaway and fewer tourist attractions, Kiawah Island is the spot for you. This beach is kid-friendly but tends to attract an older crowd.

Kiawah Island Tourism Website

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 4 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 232 miles

9. Seabrook Island, SC

Seabrook Island is a 4 hour drive away from Charlotte. At 30 minutes from Downtown Charleston, Seabrook offers a more quiet and secluded beach experience. This island is a private oceanfront community with miles of pristine beaches, marshes, and a maritime forest.

Here are a few ways to relax and unwind at Seabrook:

Seabrook Island Website

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 4 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 230 miles

10. Edisto Beach, SC

Edisto Beach provides 37 public beach access points along Palmetto Boulevard and is only 4 hours from Charlotte.

This destination is a great pick for nature lovers or couples looking for relaxing beach trips.

Edisto Beach State Park is a 1,255-acre state park that borders the town. It has spots for camping and hiking trails. (You can’t beat the views of the marsh and Southern Lowcountry feel here!)

One of my favorite ways to enjoy Edisto Island is pitching a hammock at the park before hitting the beach.

Town of Edisto Beach Website

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 4 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 230 miles

11. Hilton Head Island, SC

Hilton Head

The furthest South Carolina beach from Charlotte is Hilton Head Island at 245 miles, which is just over a 4.5 hour drive.

Hilton Head has 8 points of access to public beach property. And each spot is unique! There’s the more secluded Alder Lane for relaxation. And then there’s the bustling Coligny Beach Park with its shops and restaurants.

Reasons to Visit: In addition to the pristine beaches and unique access points, Hilton Head is known for great shopping and world class golf courses. Here are just a few links to things to do at HHI.

For the Trip: Don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen and a sturdy beach umbrella like this one that’s wind-resistant up to 34 miles per hour. 

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 4.5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 245 miles

Visitors’ Website for Hilton Head

North Carolina Ocean Beaches Close to Charlotte, NC

There are many beautiful beaches in North Carolina that are within a few hours of Charlotte! Here are seven NC beaches near Charlotte that are all unique and worth a visit!

12. Oak Island Beach, NC

Aerial Shot of Oak Island Beach, NC

Oak Island is the closest North Carolina beach to Charlotte at 304 miles, which is a 4-hour and 50-minute drive away.

Oak Island is a barrier island with100 public beach access points and 10 miles of beachfront property. Per Oak Island’s website, this town offers the “simple luxuries of a tourists’ escape, with the nostalgic comfort of hometown familiarity.”

Reasons to Visit Oak Island: In addition to the lovely NC beaches, check out the:

  • the Oak Island Lighthouse
  • two fishing piers
  • two dog parks
  • local boutique stores
  • water sport adventures

For those kayaking adventures, if you want to bring your own, here are some top picks from Amazon worth checking out too.

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 3.5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 207

Visitors’ Website for Oak Island Beach

13. Carolina Beach, NC

Carolina Beach is 212 miles from Charlotte, NC which is a 3 hour and 45-minute drive. Just south of Wilmington, this beach borders the Cape Fear River to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the East.

Reasons to Visit Carolina Beach: You can explore one of the best parks in the area, Carolina Beach State Park. This 761-acre park is home to the rare Venus Fly Trap and has hiking trails, cabin rentals, and a marina that’s one of the best fishing spots around.

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 3 hours and 45 minutes

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 212 miles

14. Bald Head Island, NC

Bald Head Island is a secluded location that is about 4.5 hours from Charlotte, NC. This island is only accessible via ferry boat ride and cars aren’t permitted!

Reasons to Visit Bald Head Island: Perfect getaway if you want to unplug from technology and get back in nature! You won’t have a car, so you’ll need to walk, ride a bike or golf cart to get around the island. You’ll have 14 miles of coastline to explore, in addition to:

  • Explore History like the Old Bailey Lighthouse
  • Go surfing, kayaking, or paddle boarding
  • Explore amazing restaurants like the Delphina Cantina

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 4 hours (plus a ferry ride)

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 221 miles

15. Wrightsville Beach, NC

photo of pier on Wrightsville Beach
Photo provided by FindLoveandTravel.com

Wrightsville Beach is a popular beach destination that is about 3.5 hours from the city of Charlotte.
With its crystal clear waters and expansive beach areas, Wrightsville Beach was named one of the “South’s Best Beaches” by Southern Living magazine readers.

Reasons to Visit Wrightsville Beach: Ideal vacation spot for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. The waves are pretty mild, making it good for beginners. Also, there are several boat tours worth exploring at Wrightsville Beach!

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 3.5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 209

16. Topsail Beach, NC

Topsail Beach, located between Wilmington and Jacksonville, is about a 4-hour drive from Charlotte. Topsail Island is a 26-mile-long barrier island that has pristine beaches, crystal-clear water, and a relaxed atmosphere!

There are three unique towns on Topsail Island to explore:

  • Topsail Beach
  • Surf City
  • North Topsail Beach

Reasons to Visit Topsail Beach: In addition to the beaches and water activities, you’ll find museums, galleries, and shops for those who prefer indoor activities! Here’s a list of some of the top things to do on Topsail Island on TripAdvisor!

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 4 hours and 15 minutes

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 234 miles

17. Emerald Isle, NC

Emerald Isle is a beautiful, more secluded beach that is 5-hours from Charlotte! Located on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, the waters are blue-green and beaches are pristine. You’ll find two main beach access points.

Reasons to Visit Emerald Isle: Since it’s located on Bogue Banks Island, there are several other nearby beaches include Indian Beach and Atlantic Beach. Additionally, check out:

  • The Point: A popular surfing and fishing spot with incredible sunset views
  • Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier: Go fishing and also visit the arcade, restaurant, and gift shop.
  • Fort Macon State Park

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 271 miles

18. Nags Head, NC

Nags Head is one of the communities located in the Outer Banks area and is a 5.5-hour drive from Charlotte, NC.

Reasons to Visit: In addition to the natural beauty of the beaches, you’ll find a lot of history in the area like the The Bodie Island Lighthouse.

Also, you’ll find the tallest sand dune system in the eastern US at Jockey’s Ridge State Park! And there are so many other things to explore in the Outer Banks area with the whole family.

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 5.5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 360 miles

Georgia Beaches Nearest Charlotte, NC

Of course, there are beaches in Georgia that are a short drive from Savannah. In Georgia, you’ll find Tybee Island, Jekyll Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simon’s Island and St. Simon’s Island.

19. Tybee Island, GA

Tybee Island Lighthouse

Tybee Island is the closest Georgia beach to Charlotte, NC. It is about a 4.5-hour drive and 270 miles.

Because it is such a short drive from historic Savannah’s downtown, Tybee Island is known as “Savannah’s Beach”.

Reasons to Visit Tybee Island: There’s plenty of fun to be had for the whole family both in Tybee Island and downtown Savannah. Some popular things in Savannah include:

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 4.5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 270 miles

Visitors’ Website for Tybee Island

20. Jekyll Island, GA (Golden Isles)

Jekyll Island is about a 5-hour drive from Charlotte, North Carolina

Jekyll Island is a tranquil beach getaway with its 10 miles of shoreline. Jekyll Island is one of the Golden Isles of Georgia barrier islands.

Reasons to Visit Jekyll Island: In addition to the beautiful beaches on this Golden Isle, there’s lots of activities: biking, tennis, golf, the Georgia sea turtle center, and the Summer Waves Water Park. T

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 338 miles

Visitors’ Website for Jekyll Island

21. Sea Island, GA (Golden Isles)

Sea Island Georgia Beach sand dunes and grass

Sea Island is roughly a 5-hour drive from Charlotte, NC.

About Sea Island: S This is a great getaway spot for those who want to enjoy the beauty of the Georgia coast and have all the extravagant amenities.

Reasons to Visit Sea Island:  Sea Island is a luxury resort town with five miles of private beach. There are also fifty acres of marshes, rivers and seaside views. A stay at this resort will give you access to amenities like:

  • Sailing, kayaking, and fishing
  • Five-star eats
  • A championship golf course
  • Boutique shopping

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 332

Visitors’ Website for Sea Island

22. Little St. Simons Island, GA (Golden Isles)

Little St. Simons Island is roughly a 5.5-hour drive from Charlotte.

Little St Simons is a privately owned, 11,000-acre beach resort and is a great place for nature lovers! Wildlife is abundant because of the conservation efforts that support an uninhabited nature preserve on the island.

Reasons to Visit Little St. Simons: You can enjoy activities like:

  • Guided nature walk tours
  • Fishing or birding
  • Bicycling
  • And more!

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 5.5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 340 miles

23. St. Simons Island, GA (Golden Isles)

Blue Heron bird at St Simons Island

St. Simons Island is a 5-hour drive from Charlotte, NC.

St. Simons Island is the largest of four barrier islands situated between Savannah, GA, and Jacksonville, FL (“The Golden Isles”).

Reasons to Visit St. Simons: There is a charming downtown, in addition to miles of beautiful beaches St. Simons is well worth the trip.

Linked is a more detailed guide on the 4 most popular beaches at St. Simons Island.

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 332 miles

Visitors’ Website for St. Simons & The Golden

Florida Beaches Closest to Charlotte, NC

Florida Beaches are among the furthest on this list. However, I wanted to include the three nearest Florida beaches to Charlotte, NC. The closest Florida beaches to Charlotte are Amelia Island, Jacksonville Beach, and St. Augustine.

24. Amelia Island, FL

Aerial View of Fort Clinch on Amelia Island

Amelia Island is the closest Florida beach to Charlotte, NC at 372 miles, which is a 5 hour and 45 minute drive.

This charming island is in Northeast Florida and has 13 miles of sandy shores. In addition to the tranquil beaches, Amelia Island has a charming downtown district.

Reasons to Visit Amelia IslandThis laid-back, seaside village has plenty to do and explore. I remember visiting Fort Clinch (*pictured above) and loving the views. It was when a group of us from UGA went down to the Georgia-Florida football game.

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 5 hours and 45 minutes

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 372 miles

25. Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville, FL is just over a 6-hour drive from Charlotte.

Jacksonville Beach, FL is about 17 miles outside of Downtown Jacksonville. You’ll find both relaxing and adventurous activities here, which makes this an ideal spot for a family-friendly beach vacation.

Reasons to Visit Jacksonville Beach: Oceanfront entertainment like the shops and restaurants! There’s also a large, 1,300-foot boardwalk pier for some great fishing! Also, it’s close to Downtown Jacksonville if you’re looking for a bustling metro area with nightlife activities.

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 6 hours and 10 minutes

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 400 miles

Visitor’s Website for Jacksonville Beach

26. St. Augustine

Dowtown St. Augustine narrow streets

St. Augustine is the last Florida beach on our list and is a 6.5 hour drive from Charlotte.

St. Augustine is a historic beach city on the Atlantic coast of Florida. You’ll find lots of historic landmarks, gorgeous beaches and pristine golf courses here.

Reasons to Visit St. Augustine: It’s perfect for a romantic getaway for those who want peace and quiet during a beach vacation.

Here, you’ll find:

  • World-class cuisine
  • Over a dozen championship golf courses
  • A rich history and historic forts, monuments, and more

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 6.5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 420 miles

Visitor’s Website for St. Augustine

Virginia Beaches Near Charlotte, NC

27. Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach Board walk with statue of King Neptune

Here is the last of the best beaches close to Charlotte, NC. Virginia Beach, VA is a 5.5-hour drive from Charlotte and is closer than the beaches in Florida.

Reasons to Visit Virginia Beach: See where the natural beauty of where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Chesapeake Bay! From the Virginia Beach Boardwalk (pictured above) to the Military Aviation Museum and First Landing State Park, there’s something for everyone!

Drive Time from Charlotte, NC: 5.5 hours

Distance from Charlotte, NC: 345 miles

Summary of Best Beaches Near Charlotte, NC

From the beautiful blue-green waters of the Crystal Coast to historic St. Augustine, there are 27 beaches within a half-day’s drive. Some of these ocean beaches near Charlotte, NC are popular tourist spots, while others are secluded getaways. There’s something for everyone – happy travels!

For other ideas on places to visit in North Carolina, check out these ideas!

FAQ on Beaches Closest to Charlotte

Is Charlotte, NC near the beach?

Yes, Charlotte, NC is within 35 minutes of Lake Wylie beaches and within a 3.5 hour drive of Myrtle Beach, SC.

Are there any beaches near Charlotte NC?

Yes, there are both lake and ocean beaches near Charlotte, NC. The closest ocean beach is Myrtle Beach at a 3.5-hour drive.

What is the closest NC beach to Charlotte?

Oak Island is closest NC beach to Charlotte at 207 miles away.

How far is Charlotte NC from the beach?

Charlotte is 188 miles or a 3.5-hour drive to the Atlantic Ocean at Myrtle Beach, SC.

What is the nearest beach to Charlotte, North Carolina?

The nearest freshwater beaches to Charlotte are at Lake Wylie and Lake Norman. Myrtle Beach, SC is the closest ocean beach.

Where is the closest beach to Charlotte, NC?

Myrtle Beach, SC is where the closest ocean beaches are to Charlotte, NC.

Is Charlotte close to Myrtle Beach?

Yes, it is 188 miles away, which is a 3.5-hour drive.

How far is Charlotte NC from Myrtle Beach SC?

It is 188 miles away.

How long does it take to get to Charlotte to Myrtle Beach?

If you’re driving, it takes about 3.5-hours.

Is Myrtle Beach a pretty beach?

What beach is 4 hours from Charlotte?

Myrtle Beach, Charleston Area Beaches (Folly Beach, Sullivans Island, Isle of Palms), Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, Edisto, Oak Island, Carolina Beach, Wrightsville, and Bald Head Island are all within a 4-hour drive of Charlotte, NC.

How long does it take to get from Charlotte to the beach?

It can take 35 minutes to get to Lake Norman or Lake Wylie’s freshwater beaches, or 3.5-hours to get to the closest ocean beach.

Is Raleigh or Charlotte closer to the beach?

Raleigh is closer to the beach than Charlotte, as you can be at the beach in about a 2-hour drive if leaving from Raleigh instead of 3.5-hours (leaving from Charlotte).

How far is Charlotte from Hilton Head Island, SC?

Charlotte is 247 miles from Hilton Head Island, SC, which is about a 4-hour drive.

Is Charlotte close to Savannah, GA?

Charlotte is relatively close to Savannah at 253 miles, which is about a 4-hour drive.

What is the closest Florida beach to Charlotte, NC?

Amelia Island is the closest Florida beach to Charlotte, NC.

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