10+ Awesome Beaches Near Charlotte, NC For Your Next Family Vacation

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If you are looking for beaches near Charlotte, NC, then you’ve found our list of the top beaches for your next family trip. We gathered some wonderful beaches on the SC and NC coast with kid-friendly attractions and things to do, perfect for planning your itinerary. Though finding beaches within 3 hours of Charlotte, NC is pretty tough, most of these beaches are within a 3 to 4 hour drive.

Beaches near Charlotte, North Carolina

10 Best Beaches Near Charlotte, NC

SC Beaches Within 4 Hours of Charlotte

Believe it or not, many of the beaches of South Carolina are closer to Charlotte than the ones in NC! Plus, the SC coastline offers many family-friendly beaches with lots of things to do with. We have details on ocean excursions, hotels to stay at, and even some of the best attractions at these SC beaches. 

Myrtle Beach, SC

~3.5 Hours from Charlotte
People travel from across the country to come to Myrtle Beach, SC. Over the years it has transformed many times, and the area is very family-friendly with lots to do. Plus, it is the closest beach to Charlotte, NC.

From attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium and the epic SkyWheel to fun activities for nature lovers like Myrtle Beach State Park and Brookgreen Gardens, you’ll have a full itinerary in no time. There are also luxury golf courses to check out if that’s your kind of thing. Our Travel Guide to Myrtle Beach offers ideas for great hotels and family-friendly activities.

Travel Guide to Myrtle Beach

Check out our Travel Guide to Myrtle Beach, with information about things to do, places to stay, and even places to eat!

Huntington Beach State Park

~3.5 Hours from Charlotte
Staying on the beaches of an SC State Park offers something magical, the chance to see some amazing wildlife! Plus, the earthy smell of a protected beach and the small crowds make for a relaxing time. Kids can hunt for seashells and play in the sand or head to the nature center to learn about coastal wildlife. explore. Huntington Beach State Park offers beach camping, perfect for nature lovers.

Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina

Folly Beach

~3.5 Hours from Charlotte 
This beach, located just 20 minutes from downtown Charleston, SC, is my personal favorite. You’ll find surfers lining up along the break every morning, a cute downtown area with total beach vibes, and proximity to several other beaches and the major cities of Charleston and Mt. Pleasant.

While you’re visiting Folly Beach, check out our Travel Guide to Charleston, SC! You’ll find places to stay and things to do that are worth the hype.

Edisto Beach

~3.75 Hours from Charlotte
Wanting a more nature-based vacation? Edisto Beach has tons of wildlife to see, quiet beaches to look for seashells and crabs, and trees lined in Spanish moss that make your vacation feel so dreamy! Kids will love looking for shark teeth on the beach.

Hilton Head Island

~4 Hours from Charlotte
Hilton Head Island is considered one of the most family-friendly and beautiful areas on the South Carolina coast, making it one of the best places to visit near Charlotte, NC. Our Guide to Hilton Head Island has over 20 kid-friendly vacation ideas, from pirate excursions and dolphin tours to parks and arcades.

Things to do on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Find out why Hilton Head Island is an excellent beach destination with these 20 Kid Friendly Vacation Ideas!

NC Beaches Near Charlotte, NC

The beaches of North Carolina are loaded with things to do! We rounded up five of the best beaches with watersports, beach excursions, ocean charters, and family-friendly beaches to relax on.

Carolina Beach

~3.5 Hours from Charlotte
Deemed the perfect family-friendly beach, Carolina Beach on the southern coast of North Carolina is a great beach for families with kids. The quaint boardwalk has a Ferris wheel and lots of beach vibes. Smaller crowds make this beach a great weekend trip without the hassle of finding a spot on the sand to park your things. Kure Beach is less than a 15-minute drive, so you can bounce between beaches on your vacation.

Things to do in Carolina Beach, North Carolina

See why we think Carolina Beach is an excellent family-friendly beach for your next vacation!

Wrightsville Beach

~3.5 Hours from Charlotte
With watersports like surfing and SUP being very popular, Wrightsville Beach is great for the family looking for adventure! There are also scenic tours of the island and an awesome nature center your kids will enjoy learning about the wildlife the area has and the importance of protecting it.

Holden Beach

~3.25 Hours from Charlotte
Just south of Wilmington, you’ll find Holden Beach near Ocean Isle. Holden Beach offers small-town charm and unspoiled beauty, making it a great option for a vacation with kids.

Topsail Beach

~4 hours from Charlotte
Located on the southern end of the 26-mile barrier island, Topsail Beach is worth the 4-hour trip from Charlotte. Enjoy a few hours on the expansive beach. Then head to the marsh to watch seabirds and catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two! We recommend the southern tip of the island’s pristine undeveloped beach, Serenity Point Sandbar. Here, you’ll find a peaceful day away from the busy part of the island.

Bald Head Island

~4 hours from Charlotte
Head to this island on the coast of NC if you are looking for kayaking, hiking, nature adventure with your kids, and learn about crabbing with the Conservancy staff at Village Creek Access. They also have a cool Bald Head After Dark program, where you can learn all about the night creatures that call the island home. You’ll find lots of kid-friendly things to do in the camps and recreation center as well!

Drive a Little Further: 4+ Hours Beaches in NC Worth the Drive

Outer Banks

~ 6 Hours from Charlotte
The stunning chain of barrier islands located off the coast of North Carolina is an excellent beach vacation destination. Especially if you are looking for natural beauty. You can stay in Corolla and catch of glimpse of wild horses, Nags Head, or Roanoke, or head down the dunes to Avon or Cape Hatteras for a relaxing vacation. There are tons of watersports on the sound side of the islands, boating tours, lighthouses to check out, and more! Our kids love watching the kitesurfers tearing up the waves on the sound. The islands have mostly home rentals and smaller crowds, with lots of affordable options. 

Outer Banks boardwalk and crab in Avon, North Carolina

Atlantic Beach

~5.25 Hours from Charlotte
Head to the barrier island of Bogue Banks and visit Atlantic Beach if you need a little escape from the day-to-day. With watersports galore, shopping, and a pretty neat skatepark/mini golf combo to check out, Atlantic Beach is a great option for your family. There are several beaches in the area, including Emerald Isle, so you can beach-hop for a few days during your vacation.

Want to stay closer to home?

Discover lake beaches, swimming holes, pools, and water parks near Charlotte, NC in our HUGE Guide to Swimming in Charlotte, NC.

About the Author
Erin is a Greenville, South Carolina native who loves taking her two young daughters on adventures around the Upstate. Erin enjoys gardening, hiking, and dabbling in DIY projects. Her favorite things to do with her husband and kids include sensory activities, swimming, playing with their dogs, and exploring the local state and national parks.

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