Many people dreaming of their next beach vacation don’t usually think of Ohio. Although it may surprise you, the beaches in Ohio are incredible! Instead of going east for sand and surf, head to one of the many lakeside Ohio beaches.
With over 100 natural lakes in Ohio and many other bodies of water, there is no shortage of water activities to enjoy. Lake Erie is one of the largest Great Lakes, plus there’s the beautiful Alum Creek and many others in between.
You’re probably closer than you think to a beautiful beach no matter where you are in Ohio. Whether you’re looking to explore several Ohio beaches or you want to escape the hustle at a lakeside campground, there’s something for everyone.
Let’s take a look at the best beaches in Ohio!
1. Alum Creek, Deleware
You’ll find Alum Creek in Delaware, Ohio just north of Columbus. It’s a popular destination for boating, camping, and basking in the sunshine. With 3,000 feet of beachfront (it’s the state’s largest inland beach!) and the surrounding Alum Creek State Park, there is plenty to enjoy.
Visitors enjoy boating, swimming, and relaxing on the beach at Alum Creek. Several nature and hiking trails offer exploration on foot, bike, or horse.
With ample amenities, Alum Creek State Park is a great place to spend the day or a few. There are restrooms, outdoor showers, and a changing area. There are also campsites available.
2. Burr Oak Lake, Glouster
Burr Oak State Park features a manmade lake with a beach that boasts 500 feet of sand. Burr Oak Lake is a gorgeous place to visit with lots of nature to explore!
You can go fishing, camping, or boating at the lake. On the beach, there’s a sand volleyball court and picnic areas. You can also reserve picnic shelters for special events.
Looking to explore away from the beach, too? There are many hiking trails to wander throughout the park. You can also find miles of forested ridges and hollows. If you’re looking for another fun adventure, the park features games of disc golf.
One of the best amenities is a full-service lodge with family suites – ideal for your next beach vacation! You can bring your dog to the park, and there’s even a designated swimming area for pets.
3. Cedar Point Beach, Sandusky
Cedar Point Beach is easily one of the best beaches in northeast Ohio for thrill-seekers. Not only can you experience exciting beach activities, but you can ride roller coasters at amusement parks – Cedar Point Shores and Cedar Point Amusement Park.
Cedar Point Beach is one of the best Lake Erie beaches for swimming and watersports like paddleboarding. It features a mile-long sandy beach where visitors enjoy playing beach volleyball, taking walks, and sunbathing.
You can’t take a trip to Sandusky and the beach without visiting one of the parks. Cedar Point Amusement Park or Cedar Point Shores water park are both a blast. You can find thrill rides, waterslides, roller coasters, and more.
There’s a campground at Cedar Point Beach if you’re looking to spend the night. You can find plenty to do, including a variety of restaurants. There are also hotels and vacation rentals nearby.
4. Conneaut Township Park Beach, Conneaut
On the coast of Lake Erie, you’ll find Conneaut Township Park Beach and a quarter-mile-long foot-friendly sandy beach. The beach is on the opposite side of the state from popular areas like Reno Beach, but it’s well worth exploring.
At the beach, you can explore a series of wooden-paved boardwalks, play sand sports, and watch incredible sunsets. Around the park, there are sports courts, including basketball and pickleball. There are also shaded picnic areas, a gazebo, and concession stands for snacks.
Note: Conneaut Township Park Beach is open to visitors from April 1 to November 15.
5. East Harbor State Park, Marblehead
Sometimes called Sandbar State Park, East Harbor State Park is a lakefront nature area with beach activities and camping. It’s located near Lake Erie shores and islands and north of Sandusky.
East Harbor State Park is one of the most fun-filled beaches in Ohio! Visitors enjoy boating, fishing, and wildlife watching. Boaters have access to boat ramps, storage, and a marina.
If you like to hike or bike, you can explore nearby trails. You can also set up a campsite, but that’ll cost you $90 per night and you’ll need a reservation.
You can also find a marina, playgrounds, and picnic areas throughout the park. Nature enthusiasts love exploring the wetlands and the animals that live there. If you’re looking to get active, sports courts throughout the park and bike rentals are also available.
6. Euclid Beach, Euclid
Euclid Beach Park is perfect if you want to explore public beaches near Cleveland! The park sits right on Lake Erie and features plenty of room to swim or relax. Picnic shelters can also be reserved for events and large get-togethers.
While this used to be an amusement park, Euclid Beach Park is now a simple beach for hanging out and relaxing. Its most enjoyed feature is the Euclid Beach Pier, which is also open to the public. You can view both the shoreline scenery and downtown Euclid’s skyline from the 315-foot pier.
Beachgoers also enjoy swimming and sunbathing. To change things up, you can also attend educational programs at the Trailside Program Center.
Euclid Beach is one of the few Ohio beaches that’s open to the public for free, where leashed pets are also welcome. There’s even a designated swimming area for animals. You’ll need to keep your dog on a leash except for in the designated area for dogs to swim.
7. Geneva State Park Beach, Geneva
Geneva State Park is an excellent destination for those who live in or are visiting eastern Ohio. It’s home to various activities and offers a fantastic swimming beach with 600 feet of coastline along the Great Lake. There’s even a designated place for dogs to swim.
Being in the heart of Ohio’s wine country, Geneva State Park offers incredible views. You can also find plenty of boating opportunities with boat rentals, ramps, and a marina. Anglers are set at Geneva beach, too!
In the park, you can explore some trails and play a game of archery. There’s also disc golf and a nature center. When you’re ready for a bite to eat, there are plenty of picnic tables around the park.
With so much to experience at Geneva State Park, you may want to stay for awhile! Cabins, cottages, and rooms at the lodge are available for overnight stays, or you can set up a campsite.
8. Headlands Beach State Park, Menter
Headlands Beach sits within a state park just a bit to the east of Euclid. It’s a fun stop for locals and travelers and is one of the most unique beaches in Ohio. You can explore a full mile of coastline and find interesting plant species that you typically only see on the United States’ east coast. Headlands Beach State Park beach is also the largest natural beach in Ohio.
Due to its large 35-acre sand beach, this is one of the best places for public swimming on Lake Erie and in the state. The east side of the Headlands Beach State Park houses a federal break wall that also allows you to go fishing. You can catch plenty of species, including bass, salmon, and bluegill.
For a cool experience, be sure to hunt for beautiful beach glass you can find at Headlands. And, don’t forget to stick around for unmatched sunset views! Feel free to bring your leashed pet along, too.
While Headlands Beach State Park doesn’t offer camping or concessions, there is a picnic shelter and picnic tables surrounded by picturesque scenery to enjoy a bite to eat during your visit.
9. Huntington Beach, Bay Village
Huntington Beach is at Huntington Reservation in Bay Village on the shores of Lake Erie. All kinds of beachgoers enjoy a variety of beach activities at the reservation. While there are stairs to the beach, it’s well worth it and there are other parts to explore in the area.
At the beach, you can go swimming, sailing, canoeing, and kayaking. If you happen to go in the winter, you can enjoy sledding and skiing.
Around the beach, there are three miles of nature trails where you can explore forests, creeks, and meadows. There’s also a nature and science center. You can also find picnic tables by the lake.
10. Kelleys Island State Park, Kelleys Island
For a unique beach experience, check out Kelleys Island State Park where you’ll find a more quiet beach. The park is a nature lover’s paradise and the beach offers 100 feet of sandy beach.
You can go boating, kayaking, and fishing at Kelleys Island State Park. There are also several designated swimming areas.
Kelleys Island is the perfect place to explore. Hit a trail, hop on a bike, or rent a golf cart. You can find glacial grooves, a pond, an abandoned winery, scenic views, and more. During winter, there are tons of winter sports to enjoy, too.
With so much to see and do, you may want to stick around Kelleys Island for more than a day. Fortunately, there are campsites and yurts available for rent. If you’re looking to take a one-of-a-kind vacation, Kelleys Island is the place to go!
11. Maumee Bay State Park, Oregon
If you want to explore unmatched nature and a couple of the best beaches in Ohio, Maumee Bay State Park is the place to go. This 1,336-acre public recreation area is located just a few miles from Toledo in Oregon, OH.
The beaches in the park are great for swimming, fishing, and boating. There are outdoor showers and restrooms available, too.
Around the park, you can find a variety of activities. There are hiking and biking trails along with opportunities for golfing and archery. While you’re exploring, you’re sure to see wildlife – more than 300 species of birds have been spotted at Maumee Bay State Park!
Aside from the beaches, a couple of the park’s best features include the nature center and storybook trail. There’s truly something for the whole family here! And, if you’re interested in extending your stay, there are guest rooms, cabins, and marina slips.
12. Nickel Plate Beach, Huron
Between Sandusky and Cleveland, you can visit the beautiful Nickel Plate Beach. Not as popular as other beaches in Ohio, Nickel Plate is considered a hidden gem that’s well worth a visit whether you’re looking for a peaceful solo trip or you’re interested in a family beach day.
Nickel Plate Beach offers plenty of sand and beautiful scenery with pretty water, sunrises, and sunsets. You can also catch great views of the Huron Lighthouse. Around the beach, you have access to grills, shelters, and play areas. Do you like beach volleyball? You can find that, too!
If you’re interested in nearby accommodations, there are a few hotels and cabins in the area. Otherwise, you can drive up for the day.
13. Old Field Beach, Lakeview
Old Field Beach is in west-central Ohio and is home to one of the smaller lakes in Ohio. Of the two beaches on Indian Lake, this one is cleaner and more popular. It’s the ideal place to take children or visit with friends.
The beach is free to the public and offers excellent swimming opportunities. If you’re looking to get more adventurous, take the boat out or go jet skiing.
With plenty of hiking trails and a dog park, pet owners love Old Field Beach. There’s also a disc golf course, a beach volleyball net, and restrooms.
Interested in spending the night? There’s camping at the nearby Indian Lake State Park and a hotel in Bellefontaine to the east.
14. Salt Fork State Park Beach, Lore City
As Ohio’s largest state park at more than 17,000 acres, the opportunities at Salt Fork are endless. With vast landscapes and a fantastic beach, it’s a nature lover’s paradise!
Forested hills, misty valleys, winding streams, and open meadows make up the park. There are thousands of acres of land and water. Beachgoers enjoy swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and boating.
Around the park, you can enjoy activities like archery, hunting, picnicking, and hiking. If you’re into sports, there are basketball and volleyball courts. There’s also an 18-hole golf course with a snack bar. There’s a mini-golf course, too.
If you’re looking to stay for a while, the park features a campground. Playgrounds can be found at the campground and the beach.
15. Turkey Creek Lake, Portsmouth
If you’re not able to make it to Lake Erie, Turkey Creek Lake is a great spot with a swimming beach located within a peaceful park.
Turkey Creek Lake offers opportunities for swimming, fishing, and relaxing. There’s also a boat ramp if you’re looking to get on the water. Around the lake, you can find hiking and biking trails through a nice forest.
Nearby, you can find activities like archery, disc golf, and volleyball. You can also rent boats around the area. A local campground and hotel offer you the opportunity to stay the night to explore all that Turkey Creek Lake has to offer.
FAQ About Beaches in Ohio
Let’s take a look at some common questions to help you plan your perfect Ohio beach trip!
Does Ohio have beaches?
Absolutely! While we often think of ocean beaches, Ohio boasts countless lakeside beaches. In fact, there are 110 natural lakes in Ohio that cover about 5,000 acres. Some of the most popular and prettiest lakes include Lake Erie, Atwood Lake, and Indian Lake – just to name a few.
What are the best beaches in Ohio?
With so many incredible Ohio beaches, it can be hard to narrow it down. That’s why we’ve created this list of the best beaches in Ohio:
- Alum Creek
- Burr Oak Lake
- Cedar Point Beach
- Conneaut Township Park Beach
- East Harbor State Park
- Euclid Beach
- Geneva State Park Beach
- Headlands Beach State Park
- Huntington Beach
- Kelleys Island State Park
- Maumee Bay State Park
- Nickel Plate Beach
- Old Field Beach
- Salt Fork State Park Beach
- Turkey Creek Lane
What is the cleanest beach in Ohio?
Yes, that’s one of the major benefits of an Ohio beach trip! There are many clean Ohio beaches. Some of the most pristine waters can be found at Cedar Point Beach, Kelleys Island State Park, Headlands Beach State Park, and Maumee Bay State Park. You can read about each of these above, too.
Is Lake Erie safe to swim in?
Lake Erie swimming is a very popular activity in Ohio given the number of safe swimming beaches. You can find out more about beaches and water quality in the area here. Lake Erie is the most shallow of the Great Lakes, making it great for less advanced swimmers and children.
What else can I do in Ohio?
If you’re excited about hitting Ohio beaches, but you’re wondering what else there is to do, you’re in luck! There are many things to do while in Ohio.
- Football: Ohioans are crazy about football!
- State Parks: Not only is Ohio home to 74 state parks, but it’s also one of the only states that don’t charge an entry fee to state parks. Best of all, many of the parks boast awesome lakeside beaches!
- Cedar Point Amusement Park: This is one of the most famous Ohio attractions. That’s why it made it to the list above for those who visit Cedar Point Beach.
- Cool cities: There are several great cities to explore in Ohio. Enjoy good food, iconic sites, nature, and more. A few cool cities include Cincinnati, Sandusky, Cleveland, and Columbus. And, the best part is that no matter what city you visit, big or small, there’s probably a lakeside beach close by!
Which Beaches in Ohio Will You Visit?
Although Ohio beaches aren’t on the coast, there’s no shortage of lakeside shorelines to enjoy. With so many lakes to choose from surrounded by stunning scenery, Ohio is a great place for your next beach vacation!
Whether you decide to check out the Ohio River or head to Indian Lake or one of the many other options, there’s a perfect spot for everyone! Want to check out a few beaches in one trip? Lake Erie is the best place to do this.
We hope our list of the best beaches in Ohio has inspired your next beach day or vacation!