Best Beaches Closest to Asheville, North Carolina (Within a 3-Hour Drive)

We’re talking about the beach that’s closest to Asheville, North Carolina, today. Though Asheville’s closest ocean beach may surprise you, North Carolina boasts some of the most stunning beaches on the Atlantic Ocean.

The Outer Banks may immediately come to mind when you think of the coast of North Carolina. Asheville is somewhat distant from the barrier islands. Even if the more than seven-hour travel is noteworthy, let’s discuss several other beaches near Asheville, North Carolina, that you might want to take into consideration right now.

Best Beaches Closest to Asheville, North Carolina (Within a 3-Hour Drive)

ALSO READ : Beaches Closest to Raleigh

WHAT IS THE NEAREST OCEAN-ACCESS BEACH TO ASHEVILLE, NC?

The beaches in South Carolina that are closest to Asheville, North Carolina, in terms of kilometers traveled are Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms. Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach, Sunset Beach, Wrightsville Beach, and Oak Island are the closest ocean beaches in North Carolina.

It takes at least four hours and twenty minutes to travel to Folly Beach, South Carolina, from Asheville, if you’re wondering how far away the beach is. To narrow down the possibilities for the nearest beach to Asheville, North Carolina, let’s start with the lakes.

SWIMMING BEACH ON POWHATAN LAKE

Time: 25 minutes | Distance: 13 kilometers

There is a picnic area and sandy beach at Lake Powhatan Recreation Area and Campground. Unless otherwise specified, lifeguards are on duty from 8 a.m. until dusk between Memorial Day and Labour Day. You may either pay $4 per person or $30 for an annual pass. All boats are forbidden on Lake Powhatan.

Wesley Branch Road, Asheville, NC 28806

STATE PARK ON LAKE JAMES

Time: 1 hour | Distance: 53 miles

Lake James, which is close to Asheville, is one of the most picturesque lakes in North Carolina, and is a great place to spend time! It’s perfect for swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing, and other sports with its 6,000 acres and 150 miles of shoreline. The largest coastal state park in North Carolina is called Lake James State Park.

From May 1 to September 30, the pool is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Swim passes are reasonably priced. They have a bathhouse and snack counter that are open on occasion. Children’s swim passes are $4 per day, while adult swim cards are $6 per day. There is an annual pass available for $90.

7321 NC-126, Nebo, North Carolina 28761

BEACH AT LAKE NORMAN STATE PARK

Time: 1 hour 45 minutes | Distance: 105 kilometers

A beach for swimming is accessible in Lake Norman State Park, which is close to Asheville. The beach area is available seasonally and provides refreshments, showers, and lockers.

The beach has lifeguards on duty from Memorial Day to Labour Day, and swimming is inexpensive during their shift. Only cash is accepted at the beach; however, in the Visitors Centre, credit cards are accepted. The beach does not allow pets.

Troutman, NC 28166, 759 State Park Rd

BEACH ON SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, SC

274 miles | 4 hours and 15 minutes

Just 20 minutes from Charleston’s downtown, Sullivan’s Island in Asheville offers a tranquil and pristine haven from the rush of city life. To the north, the island is kissed by the Intracoastal Waterway, while to the west, it is adorned by the entrance to Charleston Harbour.

The absence of hotels, bed and breakfasts, and coastal commercial development is one of the island’s unique features. Unplug and re-establish a connection with the natural world here. This location lacks significant parking spaces, public facilities, and showers. Instead, you’ll uncover a more pristine, unadulterated aspect of seaside living. Three km of gorgeous sandy beaches may be found on Sullivan’s Island. The Battery, Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, and Fort Moultrie are also close by.

Aesthetically named “stations,” the island’s public beach access points are a throwback to an era before electric trolley service. One end of the island may be reached from Station 18, which is close to the lighthouse, while the other end can be reached from Station 32. You may reach Sullivan’s Island’s pristine beaches by using these stations. Throughout the summer, Sullivan’s Island beaches are a hive of activity. Early risers get the coastal vibe, as parking is scarce.

SC, ISLE OF PALMS

276-mile distance | 4 hours and 20 minutes

An ideal destination for beach lovers is Asheville’s Isle of Palms. It’s perfect for swimming, tanning, fishing, cycling, and even kayaking thanks to its expansive, brilliant beaches. You will be in awe of the surrounding natural beauty. The business district of Front Beach is the focal point of Isle of Palms. Ocean Boulevard connects Tenth Avenue and Fourteenth Avenue.

Families love Isle of Palms because of its gorgeous beaches, tranquil waters, and “no alcohol” policy. Knowing your kids are secure allows you to sleep comfortably. In addition, there are plenty of convenient stores, eateries, and pubs close to the coast.

If you’re ready to pay a nominal price, you may park for free at two public lots close to the beach. Metered parking spaces are available along Ocean Boulevard and other roads, making parking easy.

Out of the ten best North American islands, they came in sixth place in the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards. In addition to offering over fifty locations for beach access, the county park also rents out beach chairs and umbrellas. Leashed dogs are welcome all year round at this dog-friendly beach.

Folly Beach, South Carolina

277 miles | 4 hours and 20 minutes

Only 12 square miles in size, Folly Island is home to Asheville’s Folly Beach. Six miles of beaches are accessible from Charleston’s downtown in only fifteen minutes. The region is known locally as the “Edge of America.” Wonderful restaurants and little shops may be found all across the island.

Searching for a fantastic restaurant? We suggest that you check out the delicious cuisine and beverages at the Lowlife Bar. See the Morris Island Lighthouse after seeing the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve on the tip of the island if you have an appreciation for history.

OCEAN BEACHES IN NORTH CAROLINA

NC SUNSET BEACH

Time: 5 hours 15 minutes | Distance: 330 miles

Which of the twenty-one finest beaches in the world, according to National Geographic, would you like to visit? You may find natural gems and lovely sandy beaches at Sunset Beach. Considering that it faces east, why is this beach named Sunset Beach? The island’s location allows you to witness the sun rise and set over the lake from late October to the beginning of March.

Take a fishing trip to the Sunset Beach Pier or visit Bird Island to explore its 1,200 acres. Are you a fan of astronomy? See a show in the SciDome Sky Theatre and see the Ingram Planetarium.

NC OCEAN ISLE BEACH

327 miles | 5 hours and 20 minutes

The little hamlet of Ocean Isle Beach in Asheville is home to gorgeous white sand beaches as well as a wide range of regional events, festivals, and attractions. Family-friendly attractions near the beach include the ATV Centre, River Country Mini Golf, The Swamp Park Zip Line, and the Museum of Coastal Carolina. Visit the Carolina School of Surf near the Ocean Isle Beach Pier to pick up surfing skills.

THE HOLDEN BEACH NC

336 miles | 5 hours and 25 minutes

Another little beach town that’s ideal for a laid-back getaway is Holden Beach, which is close to Asheville. Situated on the southernmost point of North Carolina’s coast, it was selected by National Geographic Traveller as one of the country’s top family beaches. Come enjoy some downtime on the sand, construct sandcastles, launch kites, or just lounge on a beach chair. There won’t be as many people.

You may also take advantage of the Intracoastal Waterway by watching shrimp boats pass by or going on a kayak or paddleboard ride while looking for dolphins. At Holden Beach, pets are allowed before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. from May 20 to September 10 and between September 11 and May 19.

NC OAK ISLAND

341 miles | 5 hours and 25 minutes

Searching for a well-liked beach resort for families? Oak Island is a well-liked destination! Savour ice cream, mini-golfing, and other pastimes. There are two fishing piers, around 60 public beach access spots, and several locations to launch a kayak or boat. They could go to eateries and stores in the area. Seashell collecting is another favorite activity on Oak Island!

With leashed pets allowed all year round, the island is also quite pet-friendly. Moreover, history buffs should go see the 1958-completed Oak Island Lighthouse, which was the final lighthouse in North Carolina. There are guided tours offered all year long.

NC WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH

341 miles | 5 hours and 30 minutes

About nine miles from Wilmington, North Carolina, Wrightsville Beach in Asheville is renowned for its dazzling blue water. It was listed as one of the top ten “South’s Best Beach Towns” by Southern Living. It is a well-liked destination for beachgoers and one of North Carolina’s most easily accessible beaches. They are renowned for their surfing and world-class waves.

You may discover dining options, shopping, spas, and a bustling nightlife if you’re looking for anything more than beach days. There are also many different aquatic sports available. Go fishing or just enjoy the scenery at Johnnie Mercers Pier. The 1,200-foot-long pier juts out from the shore. Leashed dogs are only allowed on the beach from October 1 to March 31. Dogs are allowed on the beach from April 1 through September 30 before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.

NC CAROLINA BEACH

346 miles | 5 hours and 32 minutes

Enjoy a serene seaside setting within 15 miles of Wilmington, North Carolina. The beach is home to several amazing events all year long, such as the Carolina Beach Music Festival, which is the only beach-based music festival in the state.

Additionally, there’s a nationally known antique boardwalk. The boardwalk was ranked among the best 10 in the nation by Food and Wine magazine. They also have a lively nightlife and excellent eateries. The approximately 100-foot-tall Carolina Beach Giant Ferris Wheel sits adjacent to the boardwalk and is open for rides.

Explore Carolina Beach State Park if you want to spend more time outside. There are miles of hiking paths within the park, which spans 761 acres. Make sure to visit the 50-foot Sugarloaf dune if you go. A fascinating fact is that the park is home to the carnivorous Venus flytrap plant.

NC KURE BEACH

349 miles | 5 hours and 40 minutes

The oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic coast is located in Asheville’s Kure Beach. In 1923, the 700-foot pier was built. This is the beach for you if you enjoy history. This is the site of the biggest earthen fort in the South, Fort Fisher State Historic Site. Currently, just around 10% of the fort is intact. At Fort Fisher, there is also the North Carolina Aquarium.

Kure Beach is home to more than 200 shipwrecks, among them The Condor, a Civil War-era blockade runner whose location is indicated by buoys. Sea turtles have excellent nesting grounds on the 6-mile stretch of unspoiled beach at Fort Fisher. You may return to the mainland from Fort Fisher by ferry as well.

NC SURF CITY

362 miles | 5 hours and 45 minutes

Asheville’s Surf City is one of the three villages on Topsail Island. Take time to unwind on the stunning beaches and visit the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Centre while you’re here. Excellent surf conditions may also be found here. Look into the surf school where you might receive instruction.

The island was utilized as a missile testing facility by the US Navy after World War II, and many visitors now visit the Missiles and More Museum to learn about Operation Bumblebee. Surf City Pier is another popular destination; it’s a terrific place to go fishing or just to take in the scenery. It’s illuminated on the pier.

NC TOPSAIL BEACH

Time: 6 hours | Distance: 368 miles

The smallest of the three settlements on Topsail Island (pronounced “Tops’l”) is Asheville’s Topsail Beach. Some believe the name originated with the pirates who destroyed their ships in the strait that separates the island and the mainland, and who were frequent visitors to the area. Their top sail was the only one visible from the boat. Some claim that Blackbeard’s wealth is still hidden here.

Currently, there are two methods to access the island: a swing bridge linking Surf City and a high-rise bridge on the north side. From April to September, sea turtles use Topsail as a popular location for their nests and egg laying. Topsail Island is well known for its efforts to conserve turtles. Discover the history of the stunning beaches when you visit them.

NC HAMMOCKS BEACH STATE PARK

Time: 6 hours | Distance: 387 miles

Hammocks Beach State Park can only be reached by boat or ferry, both of which are unavailable from November through the end of March. Alternatively, you may hire a kayak and start exploring by yourself. This is the place to be if you enjoy the outdoors. While bird-watching, you may explore the swamp woodlands and salt marshes.

You could see a sea turtle swim past while you’re kayaking since sea turtles visit this area to deposit their eggs. If you like to spend the night, you can also camp in a rustic manner there. There are no admission costs to the park, although utilizing the boat or ferry is not free.

NC BALD HEAD ISLAND

355 miles | 6 hours and 20 minutes

The rush of daily life may be avoided by visiting Bald Head Island. The only way to get to the island is by private boat or ferry. Bicycles and golf carts are the only modes of transportation permitted; cars are not. One of North Carolina’s most significant sea turtle breeding sites is on Bald Head Island.

Furthermore, the oldest lighthouse still standing in North Carolina, Old Baldy, was finished in 1817. The 108 stairs up to the summit of this sturdy brick lighthouse are well worth the views!

NC EMERALD ISLE

Distance: 392 miles | Time: 6 hours and 15 minutes

The Emerald Isle of Asheville could be in the Bogue Banks. Come take in the breathtaking waves of the crystal-blue Atlantic Ocean and its gorgeous sand beaches. This little coastal town comes to life in the summer, drawing up to 50,000 visitors a week at the busiest time of year.

Along with learning about the history and significance of Fort Macon State Park in American history, you can also take surf lessons, unwind on the beach, and gather lovely seashells. There are many routes for biking and trekking to discover.

Visit the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier, which provides stunning views of the ocean along with many other attractions. Although it was constructed in the 1950s, storm damage has required many restorations. Rising 1,000 feet above the sea, it’s one of the longest piers on the North Carolina coast!

MORE OCEAN BEACHES IN SOUTH CAROLINA NEAR ASHEVILLE, NC

SC MYRTLE BEACH

Time: 5 hours | Distance: 307 miles

Myrtle Beach near Asheville is a well-liked beach resort with a sizable tourist base. There are 50 miles of gorgeous beaches, a promenade along the coast, several eateries, and the highest Ferris wheel in the nation, the SkyWheel.

This is not the place to go if you want a calm beach unless you come here in the off-season! This is the spot to go if you want to enjoy yourself and visit the beach! They give a large selection of activities. Partygoers will love the evenings here since there are many of places to enjoy live music and dancing.

SC HILTON HEAD ISLAND

306 miles | 4 hours and 45 minutes

Hilton Head Island is a popular tourist destination close to Asheville. Among other honors, Travel+Leisure Magazine readers have named them the best island in the continental United States. Sea turtles come ashore on Hilton Head Island from May through October each year.

Make sure you know how you may contribute to the preservation of these critically endangered loggerhead turtles. This is where 423 turtle nests were created in 2022. If you are visiting the island during those months, make sure you turn off all lights at night so that nothing is visible from the beaches since sea turtle hatchlings utilize the moonlight to navigate their way to the ocean. It might be confused with the light.

Numerous activities are available on the island, such as spa resorts, tennis, golf, shopping, watersports, and nightlife.

OCEAN BEACHES IN GEORGIA NEAR ASHEVILLE, NC

GA TYBEE ISLAND

329 miles | 5 hours and 10 minutes

Yet another barrier island, this one located in Georgia. There is a little island close to Savannah, Georgia. The three miles of sandy beaches that make up South Beach, Mid Beach, North Beach, Back River Beach, and Little Tybee Beach are its most well-known features. The Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion, as well as a range of stores and eateries, can be found on Asheville’s South Beach, which functions as the island’s downtown.

Visit North Beach, which has a rich history extending back to the 1800s, if you’re interested in learning about the island’s past. They have many coastal defense forts, a museum, and the highest and oldest lighthouse in Georgia.

BEACHES IN THE OUTER BANKS OF NC

Some of the most beautiful beaches in the state may also be found at the Outer Banks, which are close to Asheville, North Carolina. The Outer Banks are a well-known band of barrier islands that stretches along the coast of North Carolina and south of Virginia.

They are referred to as “barrier islands” because they form a barrier separating the Atlantic Ocean from the mainland. This is a great way to ward off storms on the mainland. Here you may find information on the Outer Banks towns of Duck, Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Corolla, Ocracoke Island, and Roanoke Island.

Best Beaches Closest to Asheville, North Carolina (Within a 3-Hour Drive)

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Conclusion

North Carolina boasts a large number of stunning beaches. We are confident that you will discover the best beach for your upcoming vacation while searching for the beaches nearest to Asheville, North Carolina.

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