This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure tab for more details.
If you're thinking of heading to the beach this summer, you might not have to travel as far as you think.
Depending on where in Ohio you're located, several different beach options are within eight hours driving distance.
We'll break down 8 amazing beaches, including the closest ocean beach to Ohio, and what each one has to offer families visiting the area.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your swimsuit and let's head to the beach!
Driving to Ocean Beaches from Ohio
Although Ohio is a midwest state, it is not as far from the ocean as you might think!
While all of these beaches are located in East Coast States, several of them are within 8 hours of Ohio – depending on your starting city.
We've included approximate driving distances and times from Cleveland and Columbus.
Generally, you can leave in the morning and arrive at an ocean beach by dinner time.
If you'll be taking a road trip with kids, be sure to plan a few stops and you'll still be there before bedtime!
When to Travel to the Closest Ocean Beach to Ohio
Most of the northeastern destinations experience weather similar to Ohio – cold winters!
Even the Carolinas experience the seasons, although we think the beaches are beautiful year-round.
The ocean beaches geographically closer to Ohio will be enjoyed more during the late spring and summer.
However, just a few more hours of drive time will get you to warmer weather in the fall and early spring!
1. Atlantic City, New Jersey: Closest Ocean Beach to Ohio
- Distance from Cleveland: 493 miles; approximately 7 hours, 20 minutes
- Distance from Columbus: 531 miles; approximately 8 hours, 1 minute
Our closest ocean beach to Ohio is Atlantic City, NJ. In just under 8 hours you can put your toes in the sand!
If you want the experience of a big city, Atlantic City is your stop.
With huge casino resorts overlooking the water to 5-star restaurants and high-end shops, AC has something for everyone.
As far as the beach, Atlantic City offers a 4-mile Boardwalk that runs alongside it.
Everything is connected, from your resort to ice cream shops to restaurants, just steps from the beach.
If you are looking for adventure and entertainment all right along the beach, Atlantic City is your closest ocean beach to Ohio.
2. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware: Ocean Beach Within 8 Hours of Ohio
- Distance from Cleveland: 478 miles; approximately 7 hours, 38 minutes
- Distance from Columbus: 507 miles; approximately 8 hours, 13 minutes
Rehoboth Beach is slightly further south than Atlantic City and is one of the ocean beaches with 8 hours of Ohio.
This quaint little beach town is walkable with a mile-long Boardwalk that runs along the beach.
It's family-friendly but isn't as crowded or overstimulating as some of the larger beach towns.
If you're looking for a little adventure, head to Gordon's Pond for a trail you can walk or enjoy a scenic bike ride.
Rehoboth Beach is perfect if you are looking for a relaxing beach near Ohio.
Try the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel for beachfront accommodations.
3. Ocean City, Maryland: Ocean Beach Near Ohio
- Distance from Cleveland: 505 miles; approximately 7 hours, 52 minutes
- Distance from Columbus: 532 miles; approximately 8 hours, 28 minutes
Ocean City, MD is a larger beach town with a similar feel to Atlantic City.
You'll find casino resorts right on the Boardwalk with plenty of shopping and dining options.
The beach here is ten miles long so you'll never feel crowded.
There are plenty of activities for kids to enjoy like mini-golf, go-karts, and more right along the Boardwalk.
Ocean City is a great option if you're looking for a beach town with a little bit of everything.
4. Virginia Beach, Virginia: Ocean Beach Close to Ohio
- Distance from Cleveland: 570 miles; approximately 8 hours, 36 minutes
- Distance from Columbus: 582 miles; approximately 8 hours, 50 minutes
Virginia Beach is located on the east coast of Virginia, southeast of Ohio.
This beach is a great option for families who want to enjoy some time in the sand but also want the option to explore some history.
With a 3-mile Boardwalk, you can walk or ride bikes along the water.
The beach here is wide and sandy with plenty of room for everyone.
If you're looking for a break from the beach, Virginia Beach is home to many historical sites, including the Cape Henry Lighthouse and the Francis Land House.
For a trip with history, surf and sand, Virginia Beach is the place for you.
Grab a hotel on the beach like Coastal Hotel & Suites Virginia Beach – Oceanfront, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront, or SpringHill Suites by Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
5. Outer Banks, North Carolina: Crowd Favorite Beach Vacation from Ohio
- Distance from Cleveland: 639 miles; approximately 9 hours 43 minutes
- Distance from Columbus: 651 miles; approximately 9 hours, 56 minutes
The Outer Banks is a gorgeous place to visit and a list of beaches near Ohio wouldn't be complete without it.
While it may not be the most southern beach on our list, drive time is the longest as you are traveling further east, into the Atlantic – be ready for the drive with these road trip activities for toddlers!
The beaches run for miles and can get windy, but you can't beat the views!
You'll find plenty of things to do in the Outer Banks, from walking a National Seashore to exploring the many lighthouses.
Families can visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial or take a tour of the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum.
Although there are plenty of beachfront rental homes, if you're looking for a hotel, try the Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Nags Head Oceanfront, Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk, or the Surf Side Hotel.
6. Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina: Non-tourist Ocean Beach Close to Ohio
- Distance from Cleveland: 700 miles; approximately 10 hours, 16 minutes
- Distance from Columbus: 609 miles; approximately 9 hours, 10 minutes
Wrightsville Beach is a beautiful ocean beach located just outside of Wilmington, North Carolina.
Not far from a college town, this beach is a popular spot for surfing with many area surf shops to explore.
Wrightsville beach is great for families who want a laid-back experience with small-town charm.
As with the other beaches on this list, there are several restaurants right on the beach – Check out Oceanic.
Try the Holiday Inn Resort Lumina on Wrightsville Beach for beachfront accommodations.
7. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Best Budget Ocean Beach Near Ohio
- Distance from Cleveland: 679 miles; approximately 10 hours 25 minutes
- Distance from Columbus: 589 miles; approximately 9 hours 20 minutes
Myrtle Beach is located on the east coast of South Carolina and is a popular beach for many Ohioans to visit.
Myrtle beach is a well-known tourist destination for good reason – beautiful beaches and oceanfront resorts.
But there's plenty beyond the beach for families to explore as well.
When you're tired of the beaches, families can visit Broadway at the Beach for a one-stop shop. You'll find food, entertainment, and shopping!
8. Folly Beach, South Carolina: Southernmost Ocean Beach a Day Drive from Ohio
- Distance from Cleveland: 732 miles; approximately 10 hours, 41 minutes
- Distance from Columbus: 641 miles; approximately 9 hours, 37 minutes
Not far from Charleston, South Carolina lies Folly Beach – our southernmost beach.
This beach is a great option for families who want to enjoy some time in the sand but also want to explore a nearby city.
Folly Beach is an adorable town with many great restaurants – be sure to stop by Taco Boy!
Kids will also love to explore several area parks for a variety of activities from basketball to crabbing.
With plenty of history only a quick drive away, families can visit the Charleston Tea Plantation or take a tour of Fort Sumter.
For a beachfront hotel try Tides Folly Beach.
The Closest Ocean Beach to Ohio
No matter where you're located in Ohio, there's an ocean beach that's within a half day – to full day – of driving.
Just know that Ohio is not far from the ocean or a great day at the beach.
Whether you're looking for a quick car ride or an excuse to take a road trip, one of these ocean beaches is sure to be the perfect fit for your family.
Grab your family, some road trip snacks and get ready to enjoy a day at the beach!
Is there an Ocean by Ohio?
While Ohio does not border the ocean, there are oceans on the east coast, just a few states away.
How far is Columbus Ohio from the ocean?
The closest ocean beach to Columbus is around 8 hours away. You'll find Atlantic City, NJ to be the closest ocean beach to Columbus, OH.
Does Ohio have Beaches?
Yes! Ohio has plenty of beaches on the shores of Lake Erie. There are no ocean beaches in Ohio.