"Let's go to the beach, mom!" my little one woke and immediately demanded a trip to the ocean on the nicest day so far this spring. While it was supposed to be gorgeous here in the Triangle, it was pouring rain on the coast.
So we skipped the 3-hour drive and drove the 20 minutes to Jordan Lake's Ebenezer Church swimming area. The beach was nearly empty. It was clean, close to the bathrooms, very near a playground (which my kids totally ignored because they were having so much fun) and not far from a volleyball court.
Of course, the water was frigid. But that didn't stop my kids or any other kids that were there that day. We played in the sand and were up to knee deep in the water for the better part of 3 hours. It was a fantastic day, and the one cost I thought we would incur was the parking permit (which I believe is $6) but nobody was there to take our money. So it was free on Monday. Maybe it's just a weekend charge?
Anyway, we will certainly be back. My only regret is that I didn't check to see if there was a grill at the shelter, because I totally want to go back and grill out next week when it's supposed to be in the 70s!
Also, there are 3 other swimming areas open to the public (non-campers) - Seaforth, Parker's Creek and White Oak Recreation areas. I plan to visit all of those and report back. Hopefully this spring will be perfect for it!
HIGHLIGHTS: Clean water, nice sand, close to restrooms and shelter, "beach" is close to playground, lots of parking very shallow swimming area, inside the "ropes" was 5 feet deep or less.COST: Free plus parking charge on weekends is $6 for cars (I believe. The site was not working when I checked).