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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 to eleven hours' driving distance.

In this blog post, we'll break down the 8 amazing beaches including the closest ocean beach to Ohio and what each one has to offer families.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your swimsuit and let's head to the beach!

closest ocean beach to ohio

Driving to Ocean Beaches from Ohio

Although Ohio is a midwest state, it is not as far from the ocean as you might think!

Several of these ocean beaches are within 8 hours of Ohio – depending on your starting city.

Generally, you can leave in the morning and arrive at a beach by dinner time.

If you'll be taking a road trip with kids, 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. The closer destinations will be more enjoyed during the late spring and summer.

However, just a few more hours of drive time will get you to some warmer weather in the fall and early spring.

Even the Carolinas experience the seasons, although the beaches can be beautiful year-round.

Atlantic City, New Jersey

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.

For hotels on the Beach and Boardwalk, try the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City or Ocean Casino Resort.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

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 our second closest ocean beach to 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.

You'll find all sorts of shops, restaurants, and things to do right on the Boardwalk.

If you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation, Rehoboth Beach is perfect.

Try the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel for beachfront accommodations.

Ocean City, Maryland

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.

And if you're looking for more than just sun and sand, there are plenty of other activities 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.

Hotels on the beach include Hyatt Place Ocean City Oceanfront, DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront, and Courtyard by Marriott Ocean City Oceanfront.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

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.

And 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.

outer banks beach

Outer Banks, North Carolina

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 wouldn't be complete without it.

While it may not be the most southern beach on our list, it does take the longest to get to as you are going further east, into the Atlantic.

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.

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

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.

In addition to swimming and sunbathing, families can visit the Battleship North Carolina or the Wilmington Zoo.

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.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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.

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.

In addition to swimming and sunbathing, families can visit Broadway at the Beach for a one-stop shop for food, entertainment, and shopping!

There are plenty of resorts on Myrtle Beach! Here are a few suggestions: Hilton Grand Vacations Club Ocean Enclave, Marriott's OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes, and Grand Shores.

Folly Beach, South Carolina

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 – we love Taco Boy!

Kids will also love to explore several area parks for a variety of activities from basketball to crabbing.

In addition to swimming and sunbathing, 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 of driving.

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.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your swimsuit and let's head to the beach!

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