If you want to cool off as the heat cranks up during the summer months, head to any place where water is a big feature. From oceans and lakes to the neighborhood pool, here are the five best swimming spots in the Carolinas.
Wrightsville Beach near Wilmington, N.C., provides a family environment for enjoying the shore. Make sure to educate yourself and your family about rip tides, and watch the flags at the lifeguard stations — green means swimming is a go, yellow alerts you to rougher waters and red means you should stay out of the water. The site's WB Surf Camp offers private lessons as well as weekly camp experiences for kids and adults to immerse themselves in the sport. Check out www.townofwrightsvillebeach.com
Splash up to the bar
Hotel Blue in Myrtle Beach, S.C., offers a way for its guests to enjoy bar service without ever having to leave the swimming pool. All they have to do is swim right up and grab a seat — bar stools are in the water. Cool off with an icy drink. The menu includes tropical drinks, ice-cold beer and nonalcoholic beverages. For details, check out the website at www.hotelbluemb.com/amenities/swimup-pool-bar
Roll out a towel on Mountain Sand
You might not think there are beaches in the mountains of western North Carolina, but that’s exactly what you’ll find in Lake Lure, located about 45 minutes from Asheville. The Beach at Lake Lure is open daily through the summer months. Rates are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $6 for ages four to 12 and free for children under the age of fourwhen accompanied by an adult. Visit www.lakelure.com/tours/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=4
to learn more.
Don’t forget the life jacket
Hartwell Lake in South Carolina is one of the most popular recreation lakes in the Southeast, but visitors are urged to wear life jackets when playing in the water or swimming. There are several public swimming areas at this man-made lake that's made up of about 56,000 acres of water. For more about Hartwell Lake and how to make the most of your visit, go to www.sas.usace.army.mil/lakes/hartwell
Healing mineral waters
The town of Hot Springs, N.C., took its name from the mystical waters in the area. Known for their healing properties, the warm waters have been revered for ages, from the Cherokee Indians to modern man. The town lies about 40 minutes north of Asheville. Take a raft trip down the river or relax at the Hot Springs Spa by soaking in tubs filled with the naturally warm water. Visit the town’s website at www.hotspringsnc.org/
Wherever you choose to chill out this summer, stay safe, have fun and swim and splash to your heart’s delight.