Which salt water beach is the nearest to Columbus Ohio?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

The Quest for the Nearest Salt Water Beach

As the capital of Ohio and the largest city in the state, Columbus may not be located near the coast, but that doesn’t mean residents can’t enjoy a day or two at the beach. While the city is surrounded by several lakes and rivers, there’s nothing quite like the experience of salt water and sandy beaches. If you’re looking for the nearest salt water beach to Columbus, there are a few options to consider. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the top choices for Ohioans looking to escape to the coast for a little fun in the sun.

Criteria for Selection: Distance, Accessibility, and Amenities

When searching for the nearest salt water beach to Columbus, there are a few criteria to consider. Of course, distance is a crucial factor, as you don’t want to spend your entire weekend driving. Accessibility is another factor to keep in mind, as some beaches may be more difficult to reach than others. Finally, the amenities offered at each beach can vary greatly, so it’s important to choose a location that suits your needs and interests.

Virginia Beach: A Top Choice for Columbus Residents

Located in Virginia, Virginia Beach is a popular option for Columbus residents looking for a nearby salt water beach. The drive from Columbus takes around 9 hours, making it one of the closer options on this list. Once you arrive, you’ll find a bustling beach town with plenty of attractions, including the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, the Military Aviation Museum, and the First Landing State Park. The beach itself is wide and spacious, with soft sand and warm water perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing.

Myrtle Beach, located in South Carolina, is another popular destination for Columbus residents looking for a nearby salt water beach. The drive from Columbus takes around 11 hours, but the journey is well worth it for the miles of sandy beaches and endless attractions. Myrtle Beach is known for its lively boardwalk, which features restaurants, shops, and arcades, as well as its many golf courses and amusement parks. The beach itself is wide and pristine, with clear water perfect for swimming and relaxing.

Carolina Beach: A Family-Friendly Option

If you’re looking for a family-friendly option near Columbus, Carolina Beach in North Carolina is a great choice. The drive takes around 9 hours, and once you arrive, you’ll find a charming beach town with plenty of activities for kids and adults alike. The Carolina Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park is a must-visit, as well as the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. The beach itself is wide and spacious, with gentle waves and soft sand perfect for building sandcastles and playing in the water.

Tybee Island: A Hidden Gem in Georgia

Located in Georgia, Tybee Island is a hidden gem that many Columbus residents may not have heard of. The drive takes around 11 hours, but the island’s laidback atmosphere and stunning beaches make it well worth the journey. Tybee Island is known for its historic lighthouse, as well as its many outdoor activities, including kayaking, fishing, and dolphin watching. The beach itself is wide and pristine, with soft sand and gentle waves perfect for swimming and relaxing.

Ocean City: The Classic East Coast Beach Experience

For a classic East Coast beach experience, head to Ocean City in Maryland. The drive from Columbus takes around 7 hours, making it one of the closer options on this list. Once you arrive, you’ll find a bustling beach town with plenty of attractions, including the Ocean City Boardwalk, the Jolly Roger Amusement Park, and the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum. The beach itself is wide and spacious, with soft sand and clear water perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing.

Isle of Palms: A Secluded Beach Near Charleston

If you’re looking for a secluded beach near Charleston, the Isle of Palms in South Carolina is a great choice. The drive takes around 10 hours, but the island’s laidback atmosphere and beautiful beaches make it a peaceful retreat from the city. The Isle of Palms is known for its golf courses and fishing charters, as well as its many restaurants and shops. The beach itself is wide and pristine, with soft sand and clear water perfect for swimming and relaxing.

Wrightsville Beach: A Coastal Town with a Vibrant Culture

Located in North Carolina, Wrightsville Beach is a coastal town with a vibrant culture and stunning beaches. The drive from Columbus takes around 11 hours, but the town’s lively atmosphere and endless attractions make it well worth the journey. Wrightsville Beach is known for its surf culture, as well as its many restaurants, bars, and shops. The beach itself is wide and spacious, with soft sand and clear water perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing.

Topsail Island: A Peaceful Retreat from the City

Topsail Island, located in North Carolina, is a peaceful retreat from the city and a great option for Columbus residents looking for a nearby salt water beach. The drive takes around 10 hours, but the island’s laidback atmosphere and beautiful beaches make it a relaxing getaway. Topsail Island is known for its fishing charters and outdoor activities, as well as its many restaurants and shops. The beach itself is wide and pristine, with soft sand and clear water perfect for swimming and relaxing.

Folly Beach: A Laidback Atmosphere with Stunning Views

Located in South Carolina, Folly Beach is a laidback beach town with stunning views and plenty of outdoor activities. The drive from Columbus takes around 10 hours, making it a great option for a weekend getaway. Folly Beach is known for its surf culture, as well as its many restaurants and bars. The beach itself is wide and pristine, with soft sand and clear water perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing.

Conclusion: Finding Your Ideal Salt Water Beach Near Columbus

While Columbus may not be located near the coast, there are plenty of options for residents looking for a nearby salt water beach. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly option or a secluded retreat, there’s a beach on this list that’s sure to suit your needs. Consider the distance, accessibility, and amenities offered at each location before making your choice, and get ready for a weekend of sun, sand, and surf.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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