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Beaches close to Raleigh: Beautiful Costal Areas in NC

Looking for a great weekend getaway? Start thinking about the beaches close to Raleigh, N.C.

There are a lot of advantages to living in Raleigh, and location is definitely one of them. The State Capitol is centrally located, which means it’s an easy drive to the spectacular mountains of North Carolina and an even shorter trip to the nearest beaches. Driving through these parts of the Tar Heel State is considered a very pleasant road trip, with scenic roads to explore and enjoy.

And while Raleigh has a lot to offer its residents and visitors, from museums and a thriving arts culture to exciting nightlife, sometimes it feels good to get away from the city and do some exploring.

That’s particularly true if you love the ocean.

There are some great beaches close to Raleigh. The shores closest to Raleigh are wonderful seaside getaways, complete with tranquil waters and a relaxing atmosphere. So if you live in Raleigh and haven’t explored the beaches yet, you’ve got some great options.

What Beaches Are Close to Raleigh?

Beautiful Beaches close to Raleigh

With the summer months coming up fast, everybody enjoys taking a break at the beach. And there are some gorgeous beaches close to Raleigh that are worth the trip.

One of North Carolina’s most popular beaches close to Raleigh is Wrightsville Beach, which is particularly popular with watersports enthusiasts. Once you arrive, you’re more than likely going to find people who love surfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking.

And Wrightsville Beach is also popular with those who enjoy scenic harbor cruises, deep-sea fishing and sailing the Intracoastal Waterways.

And it isn’t just the beach itself that’s popular. Wrightsville Beach is known for its locally owned restaurants with scenic views of the ocean, art galleries, antique shops, and boutiques.

The areas is home to the North Carolina Coastal Education Center and the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, where travelers have a chance to learn about the island’s 100-year old history.

Visitors also love fishing off Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, birdwatching, or jogging along a fitness trail called The Loop.

Wrightsville Beach is not the only beach that Raleigh residents love exploring though. There are other great beaches close to Raleigh.

Located on Pleasure Island in Cape Fear, Carolina Beach is a charming town loved by those who enjoy stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking, not to mention surfing and family paddle boating.

There’s a boardwalk lined with boutiques, shops, arcades, carnival rides, and miniature golf, and live music here – including a yearly music festival.

Visitors also enjoy going to:

Kure Beach, a short way from Carolina Beach at the end of Pleasure Island, features miles of white sand in a tranquil setting. Home to North Carolina’s oldest pier, it has fun restaurants featuring the best in local cuisine and southern meals. There’s a quaint small town feel here.

The pier has a shop that rents out fishing gear and sells one-of-a-kind gifts, and this is a town where people go fishing or check out the wildlife in the area, including giant pelicans doing their own fishing.

Low-key and casual, this beach is a favorite of those who enjoy the area’s natural beauty.

And Atlantic Beach, part of North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, attracts lovers of fishing or charter boats. Atlantic Beach also hosts seafood restaurants, dance clubs offering shag dancing lessons, and is close to Fort Macon State Park, a Civil War battle site with a fully-restored fort, guided tours, and hiking trails.

Are There Other Beaches Close to Raleigh?

Beautiful Beaches close to Raleigh

Also within a few hours drive is Topsail Island Beaches, which form a 26-mile-long barrier island accessible by two bridges. Founded as a small coastal fishing town, this island has three communities: North Topsail, Topsail Beach, and Surf City.

The first two are quiet and laid back, while most of the commercial activity is at Surf City, where surfing and surf fishing are top activities. This is also a great place to see the local sanctuary for sea turtles.

Another great weekend trip is Emerald Isle, a 29-mile stretch of the island on the lower Outer Banks, with 5 miles of beaches to explore and a rare wood pier built in the 1950s. There are also cultural attractions here like museums and art galleries.


If you live in Raleigh and want to explore the nearest beaches, rest assured that you can grab your beach towel and suntan lotion for some fun in the sun nearby!

There are great beaches close to Raleigh.

Thanks to a strong economy, healthy jobs base, and plenty of fun things to do, Forbes magazine routinely ranks it as one of the best places in the nation to live in.

Raleigh is a region on the move, and if you’re relocating to this area or ready to buy your first home, contact us at Waterford Green Communities. Our team of experienced home builders and community development professionals take a lot of pride in building homes in this region that are immaculately designed, appealing to families of all sizes.

We’re here to answer all your questions about our new homes. Contact us today at 919-629-1329 and let’s get you started on the path to owning your new home. 

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