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Closest Beaches To Knoxville, TN: Sunbathe And Relax

As much as we adore Knoxville and its outdoor activities, sometimes all you need is a little time to unwind by the water. The fresh air and vitamin D from the sun are great for your health and mood.

Whether swimming in the ocean, playing beach volleyball, or just lounging in a chair with a good book, there are always things to do at the beach. It’s the perfect place to let loose, have fun, and make memories with loved ones. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “A beach near Knoxville? That’s impossible!”

While Knoxville may not have a direct line to the ocean, it has some incredible beaches just a drive away. Folly Beach might seem like the closest beach to Knoxville, TN, but trust me, there are several others.

So, let’s grab our sunscreen and beach towels and hit the road together as we uncover the best beaches in the area.

Are There Really Beaches Around Knoxville, TN?

If you’re a Tennessee resident yearning for a quick beach escape or a new beach enthusiast looking to bask in the sun, you’ll need to know the closest beaches to Knoxville, TN.

Yes, I get it. Knoxville is a great city, but it’s not exactly known for its beaches. And you’re right; Knoxville is landlocked and has no beaches.

But you can still enjoy the sand and surf nearby! There are plenty of excellent beaches conveniently located within a short distance.

The Top 15 Closest Beaches to Knoxville, TN: A Compilation for Beach Lovers

As a local realtor in Knoxville, I know that many of my clients are looking for a quick beach getaway without traveling too far.

That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the top 15 beaches close to Knoxville, TN – perfect for all you beach lovers!

(1) Enjoy The Breathtaking Ocean-side At Hilton Head

Located in Lowcountry and facing the Atlantic, Hilton Head is a top vacation spot in the US. This beach offers stunning views, perfect for creating memorable photos. Aside from the beach, explore the historic Harbour Town Lighthouse and its museum to glimpse the area’s past.

Whether you stay on the beach or venture out, Hilton Head promises an unforgettable experience.

(2) Discover the Beaches of Jekyll Island

Escape to Jekyll Island from Knoxville for a beach vacation off the beaten path. Explore the seven beaches and beach parks for stunning Atlantic views, or climb the massive pieces of driftwood at Driftwood Beach.

Run along the open shorelines of Glory Beach and South Dunes Beach Park, or get back to nature at St. Andrews Beach Park.

(3) Make a Splash with Your Family at Myrtle Beach, SC!

If you’re seeking a fun and memorable family vacation, Myrtle Beach, SC, is just the spot! This beach is located on the picturesque Atlantic coast and is arguably the nearest beach to Knoxville, TN.

Spend your days splashing in the cool water of Myrtle Beach and building sandcastles on its endless sandy shores. Lifeguards are stationed all along the sandy shoreline of Myrtle Beach so you can swim peacefully.

(4) Explore the Ultimate Beach Adventure at Wrightsville Beach

Found in New Hanover County, Wrightsville Beach is the perfect destination for a fun-filled beach adventure. With a travel time of seven hours and ten minutes from Knoxville, this beach offers something for everyone.

Enjoy thrilling water sports like surfing, deep-sea fishing, or paddleboarding. Or, unwind on sandy shores, birdwatch, or jog on The Loop trail.

Take advantage of local events and festivals like the Wilmington Boat Show or Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market.

(5) Enjoy the Charming and Beautiful Isle of Palms Beach in South Carolina

This stunning barrier island boasts a picturesque shoreline, perfect for oceanfront activities.

Whether you’re seeking to surf the waves or set sail on a romantic boating excursion, Isle of Palms has got you covered.

If watersports aren’t your thing, you can always explore the pier, go fishing, or snap some breathtaking photos of the oceanfront.

(6) Surf’s Up at Carolina Beach – The Best Boardwalk in the US!

Looking for the perfect beach to catch some waves and soak up the sun? Look no further than Carolina Beach! Rated as the best boardwalk in the US, this beach is a fantastic destination for families with kids. With shallow waters and gentle waves, it’s ideal for children to splash around and have fun.

(7) Get Your History Fix and Have Fun in St. Augustine

St. Augustine, the oldest city in the USA, has more to offer than just its ancient forts and the original fountain of youth. After a day of exploring the wide beach, head to Harry’s Seafood Bar for a taste of the traditional Southern menu.

(8) Experience Thrills At Folly Beach

Folly Beach, located on Folly Island, is the closest beach to Knoxville, TN. It’s an awesome six-hour drive from Knoxville and is a haven for surfers. Its killer waves are guaranteed to have you hanging ten, so don’t forget to pack your surfboard. But even if you forget, there are plenty of rental spots on the beach.

For non-surfers, there are still plenty of water activities at Folly Beach, like boating, swimming, and fishing. Kids will love the Pirate’s Cove Playground, and your furry friend can come too since there’s a dog park available.

(9) Get Lost in Nature’s Wonderland at Kiawah Island, SC.

Are you an adventure seeker looking for your next thrill? You’ll find that at Kiawah Island! With its vast water wetlands and numerous observation points, this island is the perfect destination for nature lovers.

Get up close with native wildlife and explore the island’s hidden gems by hiking or biking the many trails on Kiawah Island. Remember to check out the NightHeron Parks, where your kids can enjoy the park and kids’ pool.

(10) Delve into the Hidden Gems of Oak Island, NC

Are you looking for a beach with more than just sand and surf? Visit Oak Island, NC! This island is not only known for its stunning beaches, but it’s also a treasure trove of history and nature. History buffs will love exploring Fort Caswell, which played a significant role in the 19th and 20th centuries.

For nature enthusiasts, the Oak Island Nature Center is a must-visit. Oak Island has a vibrant dining scene, including the famous Swain’s Seafood Shack.

(11) Revel in St. Simons Island – A Sandy Oasis for Beach Enthusiasts!

Are you ready for a beach adventure worth the 7-hour and 23-minute drive from Knoxville?

Look no further than St. Simons Island, off the Georgian coast. This island boasts four beautiful locations to soak up the sun and dip in the waves.

Grab your sunscreen and towel and bask in the sun while hunting for beautiful shells. Visit East Beach for an amazing opportunity to bike on the hard-packed sand – a rare and thrilling experience!

(12) Kure Beach – A Serene Escape with a Splash of Adventure

Are you seeking a peaceful, less crowded beachfront to relax and soak up the sun? Then go to Kure Beach, located on Pleasure Island near Wilmington and roughly 7 hours and 17 minutes from Knoxville.

Kure Beach is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The quiet atmosphere and soothing sea breeze make it a great spot to unwind and recharge.

The sandy shores are perfect for sunbathing, playing beach games, or refreshing swimming.

(13) Get Lost in the Tranquility of Edisto Island, SC

Edisto Island is just a 6-hour and 13-minute drive away. This low-key rural island is perfect for those seeking relaxation.

Are you seeking a peaceful retreat to unwind from the hustle and bustle of Knoxville? In Edisto Island, you can stroll along the quiet shoreline, explore the tidal streams, or watch for jumping dolphins, playful otters, or even a few crocodiles!

(14) Soak Up the Tropical Vibes at Tybee Island, GA!

Tybee Island is near Savannah, Georgia, and is full of palm trees and beautiful beaches that will transport you straight to the tropics.

Dip in the ocean, chill on the beach or explore the island’s beautiful natural surroundings. Are you looking for a little adventure? Hop on a boat, jet-ski, or kayak to discover the secluded Little Tybee Island.

(15) Explore and Enjoy Amelia Island, FL

Amelia Island is not just any beach; it’s an enchanting coastal paradise with historical treasures, a few beaches, and breathtaking sights.

If you’re a history buff, you’ll love the trolley tour, exploring the town’s various historic districts, or visiting the history museum. But if you’re here for some classic beach fun, there are plenty of options, from shelling to kayaking, mini-golfing to paddleboarding.

Explore the Relaxing Beaches Around Knoxville, TN

From hidden gems to popular destinations, you’ll find stunning ocean views and plenty of opportunities to unwind.

But Knoxville is not just a beach hub – it’s also a great spot for home buyers and investors looking for their next big move. To navigate the local real estate market like a pro, you need someone who knows the area inside out.

As a local realtor and beach enthusiast, Haley Jones is the perfect guide to help you find your dream home near the closest beach to Knoxville, TN. Whether you’re searching for a tranquil seaside haven, a vacation getaway, lucrative investment properties, or a life-enhancing shift to a beachside residence, Haley’s extensive knowledge and expertise will accompany you every step of the way. She is dedicated to understanding your unique objectives and will work tirelessly to ensure your coastal real estate dreams become a reality.

Ready to explore Knoxville’s serene beaches? Get in touch with Haley today, and let the adventure begin!


Stay Safe in the Sun: 5 Tips for Beachgoers and Outdoor Enthusiasts!

Protecting your skin from UV rays is crucial whether you spend time at the beach or home. Having spent much time in the sun, I’ve learned to stay protected.

Here are tips to stay safe in the sun:

Wear sunscreen

Applying a sunscreen that shields your skin from both UVA and UVB rays is crucial for maintaining healthy skin. Opt for one with a minimum SPF of 30 to provide adequate protection.

Don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen every couple of hours, or more frequently if you’ve been swimming or sweating, to maintain continuous and effective coverage.

Seek shade

When possible, seek shade under an umbrella or tree. This can help reduce your risk of sunburn and skin damage.

Wear protective clothing

Lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants can provide extra protection from the sun’s rays. Consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat. It will help to shield your face, neck, and ears.

Stay hydrated with plenty of water

Drink plenty of water to help keep your body hydrated in the heat.

Avoid the Sun at its peak

The Sun’s rays peak between 10 am and 4 pm, so plan outdoor activities outside these hours.

By following these tips, you can enjoy your time in the sunlight without risking your skin. So plan that beach day or outdoor adventure – and don’t forget the sunscreen!

Catch Some Waves and Have Some Fun in the Sun: It’s Time to Plan Your Beach Adventure!

From the family-friendly Hilton Head to the more secluded Tybee Island beaches and Edisto Island, each beach offers its own unique experience.

Relaxing and enjoying the beach is a great way to unwind. It also helps you to escape the stress of everyday life. So even if it’s not right next door, make an effort to plan a beach day or weekend getaway. You’ll be glad you did!

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Find Your Ideal Beach Getaway with Haley Jones in Knoxville, TN

As you explore the top beaches near Knoxville, you’ll discover endless fun in the sun and sand. Living in Knoxville offers a fantastic opportunity to experience all the joys of beach life without traveling far.

With amazing knowledge of the local real estate market and the best beaches in town, Hayley can help you find a home that meets your practical needs while providing easy access to your favorite sandy escapes!

So, what are you waiting for? Contact Haley today to start your Knoxville real estate journey and find your perfect home.


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