15 Best Beaches Near Knoxville, TN

Knoxville itself indeed has few beaches, and none of them face the ocean.

But don’t worry— many lake beaches are nearby, and famous seasides are only a short day away.

So, don’t fret.

When you travel to this city in Tennessee, you may still relax on white sand beaches.

Ready to go?

The top beaches close to Knoxville, TN, are listed below.

  1. Folly Beach

South Carolina’s Folly Island is where you’ll find Folly Beach.

By car, it takes around 6 hours and 4 minutes to get there from Knoxville.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Folly Beach in Charleston is undoubtedly a favorite among devoted surfers.

You would enjoy surfing here because the waves are insane.

Try your best not to wash out.

Longboarders usually prefer the waves near the pier, while shortboard lovers favor The Washout challenge.

Expert Tip

When you visit one of the most beautiful beaches on this side of the country, don’t worry if you forget your surfboard.

On Folly Beach, there are several rentals and courses available.

  1. Kiawah Island

Island Kiawah is a barrier island in South Carolina.

It takes around 6 hours and 17 minutes from Knoxville to travel there.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Would you want to experience a peaceful seaside vacation?

Kiawah Island is an excellent option if you’re looking for a quick beach trip from Knoxville.

The call of the sea and the 10 miles of pristine dunes pleased you.

Expert Tip

Kiawah Island is renowned for having stunning, top-notch golf courses.

Stop for a moment and enjoy the numerous activities available on this grand island, from playing golf to participating in exciting water sports.

  1. Isle of Palms

A city called Isle of Palms is on a barrier island.

From Knoxville, it takes roughly 5 hours and 55 minutes.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Isle of Palms is one of the beautiful beaches nearby South Carolina.

You can do many enjoyable seaside activities here.

This beach is a place you can’t miss, from surfing to romantic sailing.

Expert Tip

Enjoy the Atlantic Ocean to the fullest from this beachside.

Go watersports like kayaking or paddleboarding, hang out on the pier, go fishing, or stroll the sandy coastlines while snapping beautiful ocean pictures.

  1. Wilmington, NC

North Carolina’s port city of Wilmington is roughly a 7-hour drive from Kn.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Visit Wilmington in North Carolina when you are in the area for one of the most incredible beach getaways from Knoxville.

Three of its island beaches will captivate you.

Enjoy the white sand and sparkling waters when you visit any of Wilmington’s three waterfronts.

Expert Tip

Are you planning a trip with your puppy?

On Wilmington beaches, dogs are always welcome (as long as they’re on a leash).

You can always head to one of the area’s pet-friendly restaurants when you are tired.

Expert Tip

Are you planning a trip with your puppy?

On Wilmington beaches, dogs are always welcome (as long as they’re on a leash).

You can always head to one of the area’s pet-friendly restaurants when you are tired.

  1. Hilton Head, SC

The Atlantic Ocean is visible from Hilton Head in the Lowcountry.

From Knoxville, it takes around 6 hours and 35 minutes.

Why We Recommend This Beach

For a good reason, many people consider Hilton Head one of the country’s best vacation spots.

There are several breathtaking oceanfront beaches to pick the most suited for you.

It doesn’t matter if you plan to go into the water or not.

The atmosphere (and photo opportunities) of Hilton Head’s beaches alone make them worthwhile visits.

Expert Tip

Take a short visit to the Harbour Town Lighthouse, besides staying on the beach.

It is one of Hilton Head’s most iconic attractions.

To learn more about its history, you may also visit its museum.

  1. Kure Beach

On Pleasure Island, there is a place called Kure Beach.

The distance from Knoxville to this beach, close to Wilmington, is around 7 hours and 17 minutes.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Visit one of the beaches at Kure Beach if you’re searching for a Lil more serene, less crowded beachfront on Pleasure Island.

Located at the island’s tip, you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and relaxing sea breeze.

Expert Tip

If you want something more exciting, don’t worry.

Everybody can find something to enjoy at Kure Beach.

You may discover various activities here, from large parks to unique aquariums.

There is more to offer, even at the beaches.

You have the option of strolling down the 700-foot fishing pier or swimming and surfing in the water.

  1. Myrtle Beach, SC

On South Carolina’s Atlantic coast is where you may find Myrtle Beach.

From Knoxville, it takes around 6 hours and 39 minutes.

Why We Recommend This Beach

If you’re looking for a weekend beach getaway in Knoxville, there is no better place than the Grand Strand.

Enjoy swimming in Myrtle Beach’s calm waters and expansive sandy beaches.

There are lifeguards in many places along the coast, so swim nearby to be safe.

Expert Tip

After having fun in the water, visit the boardwalk for more entertainment.

There are several options for dining and shopping.

For breathtaking views of the city and the ocean, you may ride the SkyWheel.

  1. Wrightsville Beach

The travel time from Knoxville to Wrightsville Beach in New Hanover County is around 7 and 10 minutes.

Why We Recommend This Beach

One of the top coastal vacation spots in North Carolina is Wrightsville Beach.

That’s because there’s a lot to do there.

You may enjoy the calm waters here while deep-sea fishing, sailing, surfing, and paddleboarding.

Expert Tip

Don’t want to get wet?

You can head to the beach anytime to enjoy the stunning view, stop at the top of Johnnie Mercers Pier, watch the birds, or enjoy jogging on The Loop track.

  1. St. Simons Island, GA

Off the Georgian coast is where St. Simons Island is present.

By car, it takes around 7 hours and 23 minutes to get there from Knoxville.

Why We Recommend This Beach

On this island, there are four locations where you may take in the beautiful waves and sandy coasts.

One of them is East Beach, where you can do many things.

Want to relax?

The two main activities to do here are shelling and sunbathing.

You want something more thrilling, right?

An excellent location for extreme kiteboarding is East Beach.

Expert Tip

When you visit East Beach, be sure to bring your bike.

You do not often find a sandy beach where you can ride a bike.

Your tires will not quickly sink because the sand of East Beach is hard-packed.

  1. Carolina Beach

From Knoxville to Carolina Beach on Pleasure Island, driving time is around 7 and 13 minutes.

Why We Recommend This Beach

On the list, the safest beach for kids is Carolina Beach.

It is well known for its shallow waters, and its waves are usually calm enough for little kids to enjoy.

Furthermore, there are lifeguards on duty at many locations around the beach, ensuring safety and security during your outing.

Expert Tip

Carolina Beach is an excellent location for surfing when the waves are up.

In the area, there are also surfing schools.

To teach your children how to catch and ride waves, enroll them in lessons.

  1. Tybee Island, GA

Near Savannah, Georgia is a barrier island called Tybee Island.

Knoxville is roughly 6 hours and 44 minutes distant.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Tybee Island is a beach close to Knoxville that is stunning even from the entrance.

You will get a natural tropical feel because the highway is next to the water.

Over three miles of beaches are available, and many palm trees cover this area.

You can even visit the river or choose to go to the seaside.

Expert Tip

Discover the isolated Little Tybee Island and lose yourself in the breathtaking scenery.

This little island is accessible only by boat, jet-ski, or kayak.

Go fossil-hunting there to find prehistoric bones or shark teeth.

  1. Edisto Island, SC

Sea Islands are located in South Carolina and include Edisto Island.

Knoxville can is roughly 6 hours and a 13-minute drive away.

Why We Recommend This Beach

The gorgeous Edisto Island is one of the most excellent beaches close to Knoxville, Tennessee.

This low, rural beach is barely developed and popular with tourists seeking relaxation.

When you want to feel peaceful, this is the place to go.

You can go bird watching, exploring tidal streams, or strolling along the quiet shoreline.

Expert Tip

When on the island, keep a look out for interesting marine life.

You never know what you’ll see; you could see jumping dolphins, playing otters, or even a few crocodiles.

  1. Jekyll Island, GA

Glynn County is where Jekyll Island is situated.

By car, it takes around 7 hours and 31 minutes to get there from Knoxville.

Why We Recommend This Beach

On Jekyll Island, there are seven beaches and beach parks that you can visit.

Each will show you beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Swim and relax on the shores of Great Dunes Beach Park, Corsair Beach, or Oceanview Beach Park if you want to be close to developed areas.

Expert Tip

Are you looking for more undeveloped and natural beaches?

Visit Driftwood Beach and have fun climbing large driftwood pieces.

Glory Beach and South Dunes Beach Park both have extensive, open shorelines suitable for running.

Visit St. Andrews Beach Park at the tip of Jekyll Island if you genuinely want to feel at one with nature.

  1. Melton Hill Park

In Knoxville itself, Melton Hill Park is a riverfront beach.

Along the Clinch River, you can find it.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Visit the lovely Melton Hill Park if you do not want to travel too far.

You can enjoy the swimming area and sand beach that are available here.

However, you can also go boating or fishing.

Expert Tip

Even if you do not want to get wet, you can still enjoy the waterfront.

Play on the playground, sand volleyball court, or meander over riverside hiking routes.

  1. Big Ridge State Park

About 3,687 acres in size, Big Ridge State Park is 35 minutes from the city.

On this list, it has the beach that is closest to Knoxville.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Due to its location next to a lake, Big Ridge State Park offers the best swimming beach on this list.

So as you wade around, there are few to no waves.

Additionally, the designated swimming area features an enclosed section with a concrete bottom for younger children to swim in.

A sandy beach is also available for you to relax during your trip.

Expert Tip

Water can be deadly even if there are no large waves in the lake.

Keep an eye on your children and friends at all times because there are no lifeguards in the area.

Make sure you never swim alone, if it is possible.

Choose your Reaction!