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About White Lake

White Lake Is a body of water in Bladen County containing some 1,200 acres and is a commercial resort area. White Lake has an average temperature of 63 degrees and an average rainfall of 49.06 inches. White Lake's first commercial operation opened in 1901. The town was incorporated in 1951 and has a population of approximately 857 year-round with about 200,000 tourists visiting the Lake each summer.

Placeholder imageWhite Lake offers excellent swimming, boating, wake boarding, jet skiing and water skiing opportunities that help make that perfect family vacation. In addition, the lake has amusement parks, and numerous other recreational facilities. Motel, cottage, and campground accommodations are available as well as permanent home sites. A beautiful 18-hole golf course is located between White Lake and Elizabethtown.

White Lake is unique in that it has a white sandy bottom and is blessed with crystal clear waters. This is because it is fed by subterranean springs. It is truly a child's paradise in that there are no currents, no tides, no hazardous depressions or real dangers of any kind to swimmers. It has been labeled "The Nation's Safest Beach". Some of the accommodations are open all year round. It is a choice resort area for southeastern North Carolina and one can spend an active and exciting day on the beaches and in the arcades, or a leisure time in the deep cool shade. White Lake is proud to be the home of the annual "White Lake Water Festival which is held the third weekend in May each year."

Placeholder imageWhite Lake is a beautiful lake oriented resort community located in Southeastern North Carolina. White Lake offers the following:

Camping, RV Facilities

Dining - Breakfast, Pizza, Sea Food, Steaks, Deli, etc. Jet Skiing, Water Skiing, Wake Boarding, Sun Bathing, Diving & Other Water Sports.

Apartments, Cottages, Hotels & Motels - Lake Front & Non Lake Front

Lake Front and Non Lake Front Property / Real Estate, Vacation Rentals

Most Facilities Closed During Winter, But Some Facilities Are Open Year Round

White Lake Water Festival Held 3rd Week In May includes Parade, Music, Food, Fun & Crafts

Individual, Family & Groups Are Welcome


Mission Statement

To preserve and protect the natural beauty of White Lake while encouraging responsible residential and commercial growth and ensuring an enriched quality of life for our residents and visitors.

Calendar of Events

Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade
January each year in Elizabethtown
Ruritan's White Oak Old Fashioned Planter's Day
March each year in White Oak
Byron Gooden Memorial Golf Tournament
3rd Thursday in April each year
Lower Cape Fear Hospice Golf Tournament
April each year at Carolina Sands Golf Course
White Lake Triathlon
May each year
White Lake Water Festival
May each year
Bladen County Relay For Life
May each year in Elizabethtown
Truck/Tractor Pull
June each year in Harrells, NC
July 4th and Labor Day - Sidewalk Sale
July and September each year in Elizabethtown
Fireworks at Goldston's Beach
July 4th each year
Celebration On The Square
July each year on Court House Lawn in Elizabethtown
Dublin Peanut Festival
September each year in Dublin, NC
Bladenboro Christmas Parade
December each year in Bladenboro, NC

History of White Lake

White Lake is a natural, spring and rainwater-fed lake, some 1,200 acres in size, and located in southeastern North Carolina. It is one of the Carolina Bays that sweep across the eastern coast of North America from Delaware to Central Florida. Ralph Preston Melvin opened the first public beach property in 1901 on the south side of the lake. Melvin’s Beach, offered a dance floor, hotel, and two bathhouses.

Placeholder imageIn 1921, two additional public beaches opened on the northeast side of the lake. Crystal Beach and what would eventually become Goldston’s Beach entertained visitors with dance floors, hotels, sandwich shops, bathhouses, rides, and arcade games.

Percy Melvin built the first tour boat, the Lady of the Lake, in 1924. It would be followed by the Lilly I, II, and III, two glass bottom boats, and a paddlewheel boat.

In the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, White Lake experienced rapid growth and popularity. The public beaches hosted elaborate formal dances with visiting bands including Lew Gogerty and His Nationally Known Orchestra and the Johnny Long Orchestra.

Placeholder imageOn the morning of July 2, 1957, an inexplicable fire on the Crystal Beach property moved aggressively onto the adjacent Goldston’s Beach, consuming most of the waterfront buildings on both properties. The community and local businesses rallied to the aid of the two public beaches, constructing temporary facilities for the approaching Independence Day visitors. Both businesses reopened two days later for the July 4th holiday.

The community hosted the Blueberry Festival from 1967 until 1973. In 1979, the White Lake Water Festival emerged and continues today. The Melfest Bluegrass Music Festival began in 1999 and thrived for ten years.

Placeholder imageWaterskiing was a growing sport on White Lake in the 1950s and by the 1970s, the White Lake Ski Heels had emerged. The show team traveled across North Carolina performing ski shows at festivals, fairs, and events. By 1985, seven local skiers had skied professionally with Disney World, Sea World, the Tommy Bartlett Water Ski Team, the Jimmy Durham Show Team, and the World Expo in Okinawa, Japan. White Lake skiers won water ski tournaments on the state, national, and world level platforms. The 2017 Men’s IV champion trick skier in the National Water Ski Tournament is a native of White Lake. He also coached the Olympic Water Ski team.

The club introduced hang gliding to White Lake, hosting the second largest tow hang gliding tournament in the world on White Lake.

Expert wakeboarders have also dominated competitions with local wakeboarders placing at the national and world levels.