Goldsboro is a popular spot in North Carolina. Whether you are after the local history or the exceptional state parks of the area there is plenty to see. However, if the summer heat catches you unprepared you’ll quickly find that the city has no local beach. Lucky for you, we’ve selected the best beaches near Goldsboro, NC so you can cool down.
Of course, Goldsboro is pretty much landlocked. So if you want to visit a beach you’ll have to drive. We tried to keep driving as little as possible but the Atlantic shore is not close. So if you want to visit the beach from Goldsboro we recommend a day trip.
It is just the best way to do it. A day filled with sunshine, swimming, and fun. After all, if you drive so much it would be a shame to leave quickly. So, let’s see what are your options if you want to visit some beaches near Goldsboro, NC.
1. Emerald Isle Beach
Distance: 85 miles – 1h14mins
Emerald Isle Beach is a picturesque destination that boasts breathtaking views and a tranquil ambiance. The mesmerizing emerald-green water reflects the radiant sun, creating an inviting and cheerful setting.
The beach offers a serene environment, making it an ideal spot to witness a peaceful sunrise or sunset. It is a perfect location for families to spend quality time amidst nature.
However, accessing the public area may prove to be challenging for non-residents, but the extra effort is undoubtedly worthy of the experience. Visitors can explore not only Emerald Isle Beach but also the Boque Inlet Fishing Pier, both of which are excellent options to immerse in the natural beauty of the area and create unforgettable memories.
We really like Emerald Isle Beach as it’s one of the closest beaches to Goldsboro and it’s very low-key. Due to hard public access, many people skip this place but it’s one of our favorites in the area.
Public access is possible at the following locations: 9003 Louise Ave (nice parking), 2071 Emerald Drive (not the best choice), 11001 Station St (BEST OPTION), 301 Ocean Drive (small parking lot but fine access point)
2. Atlantic Beach
Distance: 100 miles – 2 hours
For a family vacation, Atlantic Beach is a wonderful destination. It offers not only beach access, but also a variety of amenities such as public showers, trash cans, and numerous dining options.
Parking is available at varying rates depending on the time of year, with paid options from May through August and free parking for the rest of the year.
The beach itself is spacious, providing ample room for beach activities. During the summer months, trained lifeguards keep watch while showers and spigots are available for rinsing off after swimming or walking. Visitors can also enjoy stunning sunset views and beach volleyball games on sand courts.
Without a doubt, Atlantic Beach is the best classic beach experience among the beaches near Goldsboro, NC. It’s kind of the closest, biggest, and easiest to get to.
After this, we’ll explore some other options that can be good for certain people. However, we suggest that if you just want to get to the beach either pick Atlantic beach or Emerald Isle Beach.
3. Onslow Beach
Distance: 85 miles – 1h45mins
Discover the tranquil haven of Onslow Beach, a serene destination that promises a delightful outing for families. Unwind with a leisurely stroll along the shore, where you can hunt for shark teeth amidst the waves.
As the beach is situated on Camp Lejeune, it’s essential to remember to bring your military ID for entry.
For those needing a quick refreshment, the nearby mini-mart offers a selection of snacks and drinks to fuel your adventure. However, it’s worth noting that public restrooms are not available on the premises.
Despite the popularity of Onslow Beach, you’ll find ample space to soak up the stunning vistas and bask in the peaceful ambiance. Whether you’re seeking solitude or quality time with loved ones, Onslow Beach offers an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
4. Cape Lookout
Distance: 120 miles – 3 hours
Now if you are going for a day trip anyway, you might as well make it really special. Our next two picks are both on islands and you’ll need to take a ferry to access them.
Cape Lookout is a bit closer but it still takes around 3 to 3,5 hours to get there. However, once you are there you will forget about all the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s a natural paradise without the crowds that you’ll usually find in such places.
Cape Lookout is known for its big stretch of sandy shore and excellent weather. It’s one of those places that you’ll remember for a long time after visiting.
To make the views even better you always have the local lighthouse standing in the background of your swimming adventures.
5. Ocracoke Beach
Distance: 150 miles – 5 hours
One more hard-to-reach destination that offers a piece of paradise on earth is Ocracoke Beach. It is almost five hours from Goldsboro so you might need to do a bit more than a day trip. Maybe sleep in Ocracoke for a full-on beach adventure?
In any case, Ocracoke Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches near Goldsboro, NC. The sand dunes, the beautiful fine sand on the shore, and the crashing waves create a wonderful harmony of nature.
The fact that this place is quite hard to reach means you won’t find many other people here. This spot can be your little slice of heaven.
6. Topsail Beach
Distance: 90 miles – 2 hours
Topsail Beach stands out as an exceptionally beautiful stretch of shoreline, boasting awe-inspiring sunsets and immaculate sands. The beach’s business of activity varies depending on the day and season, yet it remains an ideal spot for fishing and swimming with the family.
The pristine water is transparent and the waves are relatively calm, ensuring a safe space for children to frolic. The only drawback to this otherwise well-maintained beach is the high cost and limited availability of parking. All in all, Topsail Beach makes for an excellent destination for those seeking a serene and peaceful getaway.
7. Wrightsville Beach
Distance: 95 miles – 1h35mins
Located just 1 hour and 35 minutes away from Goldsboro, Wrightsville Beach is a perfect destination for those seeking a tranquil getaway. This family-friendly beach boasts ample space to accommodate holiday crowds while offering a stunning view of the ocean.
Visitors can engage in a variety of activities around the public entrances, with lifeguards and other patrols ensuring a safe experience for all. However, it’s important to note that parking can be quite limited unless you’re staying on the island.
It’s best to arrive early in the morning, preferably before 8:30 am. Despite this minor inconvenience, the crystal-clear waters and serene atmosphere make Wrightsville Beach an ideal place to spend quality time with loved ones or indulge in some peaceful solitude. So why not plan a trip to Wrightsville Beach and experience its charm for yourself?