What beach isn’t pretty? There is something so beautiful about where the ocean meets the sand that keeps us flocking to the beach. But what are the prettiest Carolina beaches? That’s such a hard question as everyone has a favorite. But according to Southern Living Magazine 6 coastal Carolina towns are among the South’s prettiest.

But of course, if you’ve grown up here that should be nothing more than confirmation to you. Though I’ll go ahead and spoil it a little for you and let you know that none of the North Carolina towns are on the Outer Banks. I know you OBX people are passionate about your beaches. Sorry to admit I’ve never been!

Now is the perfect time to book that beach vacation. Whether you want to get a jump start on the summer plans or perhaps take your trip before it gets too crazy! The good news is that at least some of these 6 coastal towns are a little calmer than places like Myrtle Beach.

RELATED: Southern Living Named This Beloved Beach The Best Waterfront Town In North Carolina

The list was curated by Southern Living who let’s be honest are the experts when it comes to destinations in the South. These towns are described by the publication as having “charming downtowns, excellent waterfront dining, gracious places to stay, and scenic vistas”. All things I certainly look for in a relaxing beach vacation.

They named what they consider the 15 most beautiful coastal towns in the South. So out of 16 having 6 of the prettiest beaches in the Carolinas is something to be proud of. Keep reading to see if your favorite city or beach town made the list. You can read the full Southern Living article here.

The 6 Prettiest Carolina Beaches And Coastal Towns

  • 13. Georgetown, SC

    Coming in at number 13 on Southern Living’s list is Georgetown, SC. This historic town is actually the third oldest in South Carolina so it’s filled with history and charm. It’s about halfway between larger tourist cities Myrtle Beach and Charleston.

  • 10. Beaufort, NC

    North Carolina’s Beaufort is located on the “Inner Banks” and the “Crystal Coast”. It’s rich in history. In addition to the waterfront and charming downtown, visitors enjoy the two-acre Beaufort Historic Site

  • 7. Charleston, SC

    It’s not a list without Charleston making the list. The City of Churches receives constant recognition (not that it isn’t deserved!) for its atmosphere as well as its culinary scene. And it’s the picture of Southern Charm so what’s not to love?

  • 5. Southport, NC

    Even if you’ve never visited South Port may look familiar to you. The historic maritime town has been the backdrop for popular movies like A Walk To Remember and The Secret Life Of Bees.  The town has a fascinating history of pirates and privateers, antebellum Southern belles, and blockade runners. 

  • 4. Beaufort, SC

    Beaufort is located on one of South Carolina’s Sea Islands- Port Royal Island. The town is best known for its historic district featuring magnificent antebellum mansions. And features one of my favorite characteristics of Southern towns- Spanish Moss draped live oaks. While I haven’t been it’s high on my list of road trips I want to take.

  • 2. Wilmington, NC


    And the number 2 prettiest coastal town? It’s Wilmington. This Port City on the Cape Fear River is beloved. It features a historic downtown and Riverwalk, house museums, fantastic restaurants and breweries, and the nearby Wrightsville beach. You can read some of my must-dos when visiting Wilmington here.

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