An aerial view of a serene beach with a clear separation between the sandy shore and the blue ocean. A few people are visible, enjoying the solitude of the sparsely populated beach.

Closest Beach to Greensboro NC | 15 Amazing Options

Looking for the closest beach to Greensboro NC?

Affiliate notification

Are you dreaming of sandy shores, soothing ocean waves, and the perfect beach getaway? Look no further! In this article, we’ll uncover the closest beach to Greensboro, offering an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Nestled in the heart of the Piedmont region, Greensboro is a vibrant city known for its cultural attractions, shopping destinations, and thriving food scene. But when it’s time to unwind and soak up some sun, nothing compares to the allure of a nearby beach.

Fortunately, Greensboro is within easy reach of some incredible coastal destinations, providing various options for beach enthusiasts and vacation seekers. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing retreat or an action-packed adventure, the closest beach to Greensboro has something for everyone.

In this guide, we’ll explore the options available, from pristine sandy beaches with endless stretches of shoreline to vibrant coastal towns brimming with local charm. You’ll discover the ideal beach that suits your preferences, whether you’re looking for tranquil solitude, thrilling water sports, family-friendly activities, or a combination of all three.

Let’s dive in and uncover the coastal wonders waiting to be explored!

The closest beach to Greensboro NC

We’ll dive in below and sort it by distance.  The closest beach to Greensboro is Wrightsville Beach, and there are so many other fantastic options to choose from and will list them below. 

Please note that these distances are estimates and can vary depending on the route taken and current traffic conditions. It’s always a good idea to check the most up-to-date directions and travel times before embarking on your journey to the beach.

1. Wrightsville Beach

Distance: 208 miles | Time: 3 hr 10 min

Wrightsville Beach is located about 9 miles from Wilmington, NC, and is known for its beautiful blue water. Southern Living named it in their Top 10 “South’s Best Beach Towns.”  It’s one of the most accessible beaches in NC and a very popular location for beachgoers. Here they are known for world-class waves and surfing. 

Aerial View of Wrightsville Beach NC looking north

You will find access to shopping, restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and spas if you want more than just beach days.  Lots of water sports can be enjoyed here as well. Stop by Johnnie Mercers Pier for some fishing or enjoy the amazing views. The pier extends 1,200 feet from the shore, and you’ll find a restaurant and restrooms there.

Leashed dogs are only allowed on the beach from October 1st through March 31st.  From April 1st through September 30th, dogs are allowed on the beach before 9 am and after 5 pm.  

Book Here for All Oceanfront Suites in Wrightsville Beach

Aerial View of Wrightsville Beach NC looking north with Crystal Pier in the image

2. Surf City

Distance: 209 miles | Time: 3 hr 25 min

Surf City is located on Topsail Island and is one of 3 communities located there.  While you are here, make sure to visit the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Center and enjoy the beautiful beaches. 

Surf City Pier Things to Do in Surf City NC

You will find good conditions for surfing here as well. Be sure to check out the surf school where you can get lessons.  After WWII, the U.S. Navy used the island as a missile testing site, and many people come to tour the Missiles and More Museum here as well and learn about Operation Bumblebee. 

Another loved landmark is the Surf City Pier which is an excellent place for fishing or just enjoying the view.  The pier is lit at night so you can do some night fishing.     

Surf City NC Beach

3. Sunset Beach

Distance: 207 miles | Time: 3 hr 25 min

Would you like to experience one of the top 21 Best Beaches in the World, according to National Geographic?  Sunset Beach is for you, with incredible sandy beaches and natural wonder.  Since this beach faces East, why is it called Sunset Beach? 

Fun little fact, from late fall to early spring, you can actually watch the sun rise and set over the water due to the island’s positioning. Make sure to check out the Sunset Beach Pier and enjoy some fishing or head out to Bird Island and explore the 1,200 acres. 

Sunset Beach NC Beach View from Drone

Are you a fan of astronomy?  Make sure to make a visit to the Ingram Planetarium, and enjoy a show at the SciDome Sky Theater.   

Book your Stay at The Sunset Inn near Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

4. Ocean Isle Beach

Distance: 210 miles | Time: 3 hr 30 min

Ocean Isle Beach is a small town with amazing white sand beaches and many local attractions, events, and activities. In addition to the beach, you can stop by the Museum of Coastal Carolina, have some family fun at River Country Mini Golf, and adventure at The Swamp Park Zip Line and ATV Center.  

Ocean Isle Beach NC

Take a walk out on the Ocean Isle Beach Pier, and you can also stop by the Carolina School of Surf and take some surfing lessons.  

Stay at the Ocean Isle Inn
Fantastic Location!

Ocean Isle Beach NC Sunrise

5. Holden Beach

Distance: 218 miles | Time: 3 hr 30 min

Holden Beach is another small beach town, great for a quiet vacation. Located in the southern part of the NC shore and is recognized by National Geographic Traveler as one of the best family beaches in the country. Come here to enjoy the relaxing beach, build some sand castles, fly kites, or simply relax in your beach chair. 

You’ll find fewer crowds as well.  You can also enjoy the Intracoastal Waterway and bring your kayak or paddleboard while searching for dolphins or watching the shrimp boats cruise by.  Holden Beach is pet-friendly anytime between Sept 11th and May 19th, before 9 am and after 5 pm from May 20th and Sept 10th.  

Book a Pet-Friendly Second Row House Steps to Beach!

6. Oak Island

Distance: 223 miles | Time: 3 hr 30 min

Want a popular family beach location spot? Oak Island is a popular spot!  Enjoy access to mini-golf, ice cream, and more.  They have more than 60 public access points for the beach, two fishing piers, and several locations to launch your kayak or boat.  They have local shops and restaurants to enjoy. 

Oak Island is a popular spot for finding diverse amounts of sea shells too!  The island is also very pet friendly, as leashed pets are allowed year-round.  In addition, for you history lovers, make sure to check out the Oak Island Lighthouse, which was completed in 1958 and was the last lighthouse to be constructed in NC.  Guided tours are available year-round for visitors aged nine and up.      

Oak Island Lighthouse

Stay at this Beachfront Property situated on Oak Island

7. Hammocks Beach State Park

Distance: 217 miles | Time: 3 hr 30 min

Hammocks Beach State Park is only accessible by boat or ferry; please note the ferry is closed between November and the end of March. You can also rent a kayak and explore it yourself.  This is the place to go if you love nature. 

Hammocks Beach State Park Visitors Center

You can explore the salt marshes, swamp forests and do some bird watching while you are at it.  The sea turtles also visit here to lay their eggs, so you might see one swimming if you are out kayaking. 

If you want to stay overnight, they do allow primitive camping as well. There are no fees to access the park itself, but there are fees to use the ferry or boat launch.  Pets are allowed at the park and campsites.  

8. Carolina Beach 

Distance: 218 miles | Time: 3 hr 30 min

Come enjoy a laid-back beach vibe along the coast, located about 15 miles from Wilmington, NC.  The beach hosts many amazing events throughout the year, including the Carolina Beach Music Festival, which is the only music festival held on the beach in NC.  You will also find their nationally recognized vintage boardwalk.  

A bright aerial view of the Carolina Beach boardwalk area, featuring a Ferris wheel, various buildings, and a clear view of the sandy beach stretching into the distance.

The boardwalk was ranked in the top 10 boardwalks in the country by Food & Wine magazine.  They also have amazing restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.  Next to the boardwalk, you can also ride the nearly 100-ft-tall Carolina Beach Giant Ferris Wheel. 

Book your stay on the beachfront here in Carolina Beach.

Hampton Inn entrance in Carolina Beach NC

If you want to get out and enjoy nature, make sure to take a hike in the Carolina Beach State Park.  The park is 761 acres and has miles of hiking trails. Make sure to hike out to the 50-ft Sugarloaf dune if you go.  A fun fact, the park is home to the Venus flytrap, which is a carnivorous plant.  

9. Kure Beach

Distance: 221 miles | Time: 3 hr 30 min

Kure Beach is the home to the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast. The pier is 700 ft long and was built in 1923.  If you are a history lover, this is your beach.  Here you will find Fort Fisher State Historic Site, which is the largest earthen fort found in the South. Today only about 10% of the fort remains. Fort Fisher is also home to the North Carolina Aquarium.  

Fort Fisher Boardwalk in Kure Beach NC

Off the coast of Kure Beach is a popular place for SCUBA divers with over 200 shipwrecks found here, including The Condor, a Civil War-era Blockade Runner whose site is even marked with buoys.  At Fort Fisher, you will find 6 miles of beach that are undeveloped and are a popular spot for sea turtles to nest.  Near Fort Fisher, you will also find a ferry to return to the mainland.  

Kure Beach

10. Topsail Beach 

Distance: 215 miles | Time: 3 hr 35 min

Topsail Beach is the smallest of three communities that are located on Topsail Island (pronounced “Tops’l”). Some say the name comes from when pirates roamed this area and hit their boats in the channel between the mainland and the island.  You would only be able to see their top sail on the boat.  

Serenity Point Topsail Island NC

Some say Blackbeard’s treasure is still buried here somewhere.  Currently, there are two ways to get to the island: one on the north and a new bridge that replaced the swing bridge leading to Surf City

Topsail is a place where sea turtles come to nest and lay their eggs, usually between April and September. Topsail is known for its turtle conservation efforts.   Come enjoy their beautiful beaches and explore the history.  

Topsail Beach NC

11. Bald Head Island

Distance: 233 miles | Time: 4 hr 30 min

Here at Bald Head Island, you will find a retreat away from all.  You can only reach the island via private boat or ferry.  No cars are allowed; you can only use bikes or golf carts.  Bald Head Island is home to one of NC’s largest sea turtle nesting sites.  

You will also find the oldest standing lighthouse here for NC, Old Baldy, which was constructed in 1817.  It’s a stout brick lighthouse with a 108-step climb to the top, and is totally worth it for the views!

The ferry is about a 20 min ride from the mainland which departs in Southport, NC.  Come enjoy a beautiful day at South Beach on the island. It’s a beautiful sand beach that’s great for all ages. 

12. Emerald Isle 

Distance: 222 miles | Time: 3 hr 45 min

Emerald Isle is located on the Bogue Banks.  Come enjoy their white sand beaches and incredible crystal clear waters on the Atlantic Ocean.  This is a tiny beach town that transforms in the summer welcoming over 50,000 tourists per week during the summertime. 

Here you can also take surf lessons, enjoy the beach, collect some amazing sea shells, and explore the history of Fort Macon State Park and its role in American history.   

Cannons on a brick fortification overlooking a grassy area with a view of the surrounding landscape and a cloudy sky at Fort Macon State Park.

There are plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore here too.  Like many other destinations, visit the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier, which offers fantastic ocean views. Built-in the 1950s, it has been rebuilt several times due to storms.  It’s one of the longest piers on the NC coast, stretching 1,000 feet over the ocean! 

Western Ocean Regional Access for Beach with ramp down to the beach

13. Atlantic Beach

Distance: 227 miles | Time: 4 hr

Atlantic Beach is a beautiful barrier island nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Sound. With its endless sandy shores, this beach destination is a paradise for everyone. Get ready for beach fun galore! Build sandcastles, collect seashells, and feel the refreshing ocean breeze on your face.

Oceanana Pier in Atlantic Beach NC

Don’t forget to try your luck fishing on the pier or kayaking along the sparkling waters, where you might spot dolphins. When hunger strikes, satisfy your cravings at the local seafood joints serving up the freshest catches. And if you’re up for an adventure, visit the nearby North Carolina Aquarium or explore the historic Fort Macon State Park.

Inside Fort Macon State Park, showcasing a grassy courtyard surrounded by old brick walls and mounted cannons on the fort's upper level.

14. Nags Head

Distance: 271 miles | Time: 4 hr 25 min

Nags Head is a charming coastal town in the beautiful Outer Banks of NC. With its breathtaking beaches and rich history, Nags Head offers a perfect getaway for families and beach lovers alike. 

Outer Banks NC Beach in Nags Head

Prepare to be amazed by the expansive sandy beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. Play beach games, or relax under the warm sun. Nags Head is a paradise for water enthusiasts too! Try surfing the Atlantic waves or go for a refreshing swim in the ocean.  

Beyond the beach, Nags Head has a fascinating history to explore. Visit the iconic Nags Head Woods Preserve, a natural haven with scenic trails perfect for hiking and birdwatching. For a glimpse into the past, check out the Bodie Island Lighthouse or the Roanoke Island Festival Park nearby, where you can step back in time and learn about the area’s rich heritage.

Bodie Lighthouse lit up

South Carolina Ocean Beaches

15. Myrtle Beach

Distance: 197 miles | Time: 3 hr 40 min

Myrtle Beach attracts high tourism and is a big beach vacation destination.  In addition to their 50 miles of beautiful beaches, you will find a beachfront boardwalk, many restaurants, and the country’s tallest Ferris wheel, the SkyWheel. 

If you are looking for a quiet beach, this is not your place unless you come during the off-season!  If you want a mix of fun and beach, this is your place!  They have lots of activities to choose from.  Party seekers love the evenings here, with many hot spots for live music and dancing.      

Closest Beach to Greensboro NC: FAQs

📌 How far is Greensboro North Carolina to the beach?
The distance from Greensboro to the nearest beach depends on which beach destination you choose to visit. Greensboro is approximately 200 miles away from the Atlantic Shore.

📌 What month is best for NC beaches?
May to June is considered a great time to visit the NC beaches. The weather is generally warm and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the 70s to the 80s Fahrenheit (20s to 30s Celsius). The water is starting to warm up, making it suitable for swimming and water activities. Additionally, the crowds are generally smaller compared to the peak summer months.

📌 How far is Myrtle Beach from Greensboro NC driving?
The distance is just under 200 miles to drive between Myrtle Beach and Greensboro.

📌 What month is hurricane season in North Carolina?
Hurricane season in North Carolina typically spans from June 1st to November 30th. The peak of hurricane activity often occurs between August and October. 

Final Thoughts

As we conclude our exploration of the closest beach to Greensboro, NC, it’s clear that a delightful coastal escape is well within your reach. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, or simply craving some relaxation by the sea, the nearby beaches offer an idyllic setting to satisfy your desires.

From the picturesque shores of Atlantic Beach, where the Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Sound converge, to the charming coastal town of Nags Head, with its expansive beaches and rich history, you have an array of options to choose from.

No matter which beach you select, you can expect to be greeted by breathtaking natural beauty, warm sands beneath your toes, and the soothing sounds of crashing waves. Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of outdoor activities, from swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing to surfing, fishing, and kayaking.

So, pack your beach essentials, load up the car, and embark on a memorable journey to the nearest coastal paradise. Leave behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life as you immerse yourself in the tranquility and natural wonders that await you.

Similar Posts