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10 Gorgeous Beaches near Southport, NC

The nearest to Southport is the tranquil Caswell Beach, known for its captivating lighthouse and calm atmosphere. Discover the rest of the options!
Bald Head Island in North Carolina

Exploring the splendid beaches near Southport, NC, one cannot help but marvel at these spectacular coastlines. 

The nearest to Southport is the tranquil Caswell Beach, known for its captivating lighthouse and calm atmosphere. 

Not much further, Oak Island features miles of pristine beachfront with over 65 public access points.

A little offshore, Bald Head Island awaits with its exclusive beaches, accessible via a charming ferry ride. 

For vibrant nightlife and a busy boardwalk, Carolina Beach on Pleasure Island is a place to go.

And for beachside camping and beach driving, the aptly named Freeman Park is a place to be.

Each beach near Southport has something unique and interesting to offer. 

Check out the rest of the options!

1. Caswell Beach

The sun is setting behind the light house. The ocean and waterway surrounds the Oak Island NC lighthouse.
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Southport: 8 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, walking, surfing
  • Facilities: restrooms, picnic tables, parking

Nestled on the eastern fringe of Oak Island, Caswell Beach beckons sun-seekers with its stunning shorelines and tranquil vibe. 

Just 8 miles away from Southport, it’s the closest beach to this charming town, promising serene escapades away from bustling crowds. 

Its four miles of wide, rejuvenated beaches provide a playground for surf fishing, swimming, and surfing, with the opportunity to spy dolphins frolicking in the surf. 

Complementing these outdoor pursuits are amenities like restrooms and a parking area near the beach access points, ensuring a convenient seaside adventure. 

Visitors can also embark on a historical journey by climbing the nearby Oak Island Lighthouse or hitting the greens at the Oak Island Golf Club. 

Caswell Beach, with its blend of natural beauty and leisurely activities, presents a perfect coastal retreat near Southport.

2. Oak Island Pier and Beach

Scenic views at oak island beach north carolina
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Southport: 8 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, walking, surfing, bodyboarding
  • Facilities: restrooms, showers, parking, restaurants, concessions, pier

A beloved Oak Island highlight, the Oak Island Pier is a newly renovated landmark standing at 880 feet long and 27 feet high.

The beach here teems with activity as families frolic in the surf, sun-seekers bask in the glow, and anglers cast lines from the pier’s 30 fishing stations. 

Koko Cabana, the on-site restaurant, and the Pier House’s sundry offerings complement the beach adventures. 

Whether you’re after a quiet stroll by the ocean or a vibrant day filled with sun, sea, and sand, this beach access point never disappoints. 

With plenty of parking, classic pier-and-ocean views, and landing skydivers, this remains a fun and intriguing spot on Oak Island.

3. Middleton Park

oak island beach in North Carolina
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Southport: 9 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, walking, surfing, bodyboarding
  • Facilities: restrooms, showers, picnic tables, parking, sports courts, playgrounds, splash pad

Located in the heart of Oak Island, Middleton Park Complex boasts a sandy haven that’s more than just a beach.

As one of 65 access points to the beachfront on Oak Island, Middleton Park offers a convenient gateway to this coastal paradise.

Little ones can find their sea legs at the whimsical pirate-themed playground, or cool off in the conveniently located splash pad. 

This spot is also ideal for beachcombers who want to relax after a long day in the sun with a tranquil stroll. 

As the sun dips below the horizon, community events, concerts, and festivals light up the park. 

With its excellent amenities and family-friendly activities, Middleton Park remains a cherished jewel in Oak Island’s coastal crown.

4. The Point 

Aerial shot of the point at Oak Island NC. Lots of boats on the waterway
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Southport: 16 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, walking, shelling
  • Facilities: restrooms, rinse station, parking

Sitting on the western edge of Oak Island, The Point offers an exquisite coastal getaway, less trodden than other beach spots on the island. 

Endowed with ample parking and generous beach spread, this shoreline is a beachcomber’s haven, with an abundance of shells and pebbles waiting to be discovered. 

Notorious for its breathtaking sunsets, The Point is perfect for both avid photographers and peace seekers alike. 

When the tide is low, kids adore the thrill of exploring tide pools filled with fascinating marine life. 

A special mention goes to the water station that rinses sandy feet – a small but thoughtful touch. 

And for pet owners, it’s an inclusive beach paradise. 

The Point, though a drive away, promises a beach experience unlike any other on Oak Island.

5. South Beach

Aerial view of beach and residential neighborhood at Bald Head Island, North Carolina.
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Southport: 10 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, walking, shelling
  • Facilities: restrooms, showers, rentals

Set amidst Bald Head Island’s radiant coastal beauty, South Beach serves as an ideal retreat for the sun-seeker and the tranquility chaser. 

Reached via a pleasant ferry ride from Southport, the beach instantly welcomes you with its stretches of warm sand and azure waters. 

A preferred spot among tourists, South Beach nonetheless manages to maintain a sense of uncrowded serenity even during peak season. 

Its south-facing orientation gifts visitors with gentle waves, making it a delightful playground for children. 

While its natural, unspoiled character means minimal commercial services, beach equipment rentals from bocce sets to umbrellas are conveniently available nearby. 

South Beach at Bald Head Island offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty and comforting amenities, where peaceful beachcombing and recreational fun reside side by side.

6. Kure Beach

Atlantic Ocean waves crash to shore on Kure Beach in North Carolina.
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Southport: 15 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, walking, shelling, surfing, bodyboarding
  • Facilities: restrooms, showers, rentals, parking, pier, restaurants, concessions

Kure Beach is located on Pleasure Island, just a picturesque ferry ride from Southport. 

This quaint beach town, a nostalgic nod to simpler times, offers a trove of family-friendly activities. 

Visitors can venture onto the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast, relive history at Fort Fisher State Historic Site, or marvel at marine wonders at the renowned North Carolina Aquarium

Year-round events, like the popular Boogie in the Park, set a lively rhythm. 

The shoreline shimmers with possibilities, from surfing to paddleboarding, while the Ocean Front Park’s playground stirs youthful delight. 

Kure Beach is where small-town charm meets seaside adventure, presenting the perfect retreat to reconnect, explore, and savor life’s simple joys.

7. Carolina Beach

The colorful Ferris Wheel at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk located near the Atlantic Ocean and in the state of North Carolina
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Southport: 16 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, walking, shelling, surfing, bodyboarding
  • Facilities: restrooms, showers, rentals, parking, pier, restaurants, concessions, accommodations, boardwalk

Carolina Beach, another seaside gem situated on Pleasure Island, lures with miles of splendid shoreline. 

Easily accessible via ferry from Southport, it offers an idyllic setting for surfers, swimmers, and fishermen alike. 

Beyond the ocean’s call, safety is paramount with lifeguard stands dotting the beach, ensuring peace of mind for families. 

Once the sun dips, the vibrant Carolina Beach Boardwalk, acclaimed by Food & Wine Magazine, promises enticing shops, eateries, and nighttime revelries. 

From its sandy expanse to the buzzing boardwalk, Carolina Beach is where memories are made. 

It’s North Carolina’s beach mecca!

8. Freeman Park

Driving on a beach on Pleasure Island in North Carolina
Source: unsplash
  • Distance from Southport: 17 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, walking, shelling, surfing, bodyboarding, camping, 4WD driving
  • Facilities: restrooms, campsites

Freeman Park, a unique destination in Carolina Beach, enthralls with its unspoiled, drive-on beach access, exclusive to 4WD vehicles. 

This pristine shoreline, untouched by urbanization, offers a host of activities, attracting locals and tourists alike. 

Summer months see a flurry of beachgoers swimming, fishing, and surfing, while the cooler months welcome off-leash dogs and campers. 

Thanks to its undeveloped nature, it offers simple amenities like reserved campsites for overnight stays and restrooms. 

Abundant in natural beauty, Freeman Park’s diverse wildlife, stunning sea grasses, and magnificent dunes present a picturesque backdrop for a delightful day at the beach.

It’s one of the few places where visitors can reverse to the ocean, cast a rod, and get the picnic going.

9. Holden Beach

Holden Beach in North Carolina
Source: unsplash
  • Distance from Southport: 26 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, walking, shelling, surfing, bodyboarding
  • Facilities: restrooms, showers, rentals, restaurants, accommodations

Gracing the South Brunswick Islands, Holden Beach showcases nine miles of untouched coastline, making it an idyllic spot for both vacationers and permanent residents. 

This quiet community thrives on its tranquil charm and untouched beauty. 

Holden Beach was acclaimed as one of the best family beaches by National Geographic Traveler; you will have to bring kids after all.

With opportunities for biking, beach games, or dolphin-watching along the Intracoastal Waterway, Holden Beach is an irresistible haven. 

Visitors enjoy hunting for sea shells and shark teeth, while evenings are perfect for spotting ghost crabs during strolls. 

Despite its minimal commercial development, the beach offers convenient facilities including restaurants, a general store, and a fishing pier. 

It’s a locale that encapsulates small-town allure and unspoiled nature, making Holden Beach a preferred destination for families seeking relaxing retreats.

10. Ocean Isle Beach

Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina
Source: unsplash
  • Distance from Southport: 33 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, picnics, walking, shelling, surfing, bodyboarding
  • Facilities: restrooms, showers, rentals, restaurants, accommodations

Another gem among North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, Ocean Isle Beach extends seven miles in a rare east-west direction, offering spectacular sunrises and sunsets. 

This tranquil haven is far from the hustle and bustle, yet bursting with life. 

Here, the unspoiled beauty of the beach meets amenities that cater to both adventurers and leisure seekers. 

Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy deep sea charters or pier-side casting, while golfers are spoilt for choice with 26 courses within a 20-mile radius. 

Visitors to Ocean Isle Beach can immerse themselves in local culture at the Museum of Coastal Carolina or engage in the Sea Turtle Nesting Program

Food lovers will find culinary delight in everything from simple sandwich shops to award-winning waterfront dining. 

Ocean Isle Beach promises a serene, natural retreat that offers something for everyone.

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