Top 10 Beaches in Kansas

Published on July 6th, 2021

What are the Most Popular Beaches in Kansas?

Think all Kansas has to offer is wide-open cornfields? Think again. Along with those amber waves of grain, you can also enjoy some blue waves and golden sands at these top Kansas beaches, perfect for a family day of fun in the sun.

Top Beaches in Kansas

1. Glen Elder State Park

2. Wilson State Park Beach

3. Lucas Park Recreation Area

4. Minooka Park Recreation Area

5. Tuttle Creek Lake

6. Perry Lake

7. Clinton State Park Beach

8. Kill Creek Park Lake Beach

9. Shawnee Mission Park

10. Crawford State Park Beach

Kansas Beaches

Here are the ten best beaches in Kansas just waiting to be made into a beach day — or beach vacation!

1. Glen Elder State Park

Glen Elder State Park
Image via reserveamerica.com

Located in north-central Kansas, Glen Elder State Park offers miles of shoreline access to the sprawling, 12,500-acre Glen Elder Reservoir, also known as Waconda Lake. One of the largest lakes in the entire state of Kansas, this shimmering body of water will make you feel like you’ve traveled much further afield to a tropical destination — not least because its off-the-beaten-path location makes it a hidden gem of sorts, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a peaceful and tranquil beach day without lots of noise and crowds. The soft sands here are equally suited to sunbathing and beach walking as they are to sculpting sand castles and other sculptures out of, and the park offers amenities like restrooms, showers, grills, picnic areas, and even a marina.

Things to do near Glen Elder State Park: Located just outside of the small city of the same name, Glen Elder State Park is the perfect place to go for a relaxing and quiet vacation: you’ll have everything you need within reach, but you’re far from the hustle and bustle of major cities. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider for your journey.

2. Wilson State Park Beach

Wilson State Park Beach
Image via reserveamerica.com

Wilson Lake is another excellent waterside vacation destination in Kansas — and while it has several beaches to choose from (several of which we’ll include in this list!), the beach at Wilson State Park often ranks among the most popular of the options. With iconic sandstone columns extending from the water and soft sands just waiting for you to come and rest your body under the sun, this lake beach truly feels like an almost otherworldly experience, like you’ve been dropped onto some (scenic) alien planet where your only responsibility is to relax. Wilson State Park is also known for its networks of hiking trails as well as its well-appointed on-site campground.

Things to do near Wilson State Park Beach: Not far from the small town of Wilson — which boasts, among other attractions, the World’s Largest Czech Egg — the Wilson State Park Beach offers an opportunity to truly escape from the urban rush. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider calling your home away from home during the adventure!

3. Lucas Park Recreation Area

Lucas Park Recreation Area
Image via reserveamerica.com

Another park nestled along the shores of Wilson Lake, the Lucas Park Recreation Area stands out from the crowd due to its sheer lakefront mileage — and although not all of it is comprised of sandy shorelines, some of it is, and it’s a beautiful access point. Sit back and put your toes in the sand while watching kite surfers dance along the waters, or wade into the water yourself. The park also offers a well-appointed and modernized campground featuring almost 100 sites, including water and electrical hookups for those who’d rather glamp than camp.

Things to do near Lucas Park Recreation Area: The Rocktown Trail is a short and easy hiking opportunity that offers you great views of the lake and surrounding countryside along with the opportunity to stretch your legs and get some exercise in. Here are some local RVshare rentals to peruse for your upcoming trip!

4. Minooka Park Recreation Area

Three Kayaks on the Shorts of Lake Wilson, Kansas

The Minooka Park Recreation Area is fun, plain and simple — it’s even fun just to say the park’s name! Along with its polysyllabic pleasure, this park also boasts a scenic swimming beach at one of its boat launch areas, with a rock-studded lake shoreline complete with wildflowers when you visit during the right time of year. The rest of the park offers green spaces to spread out in, hiking trails to wander along, and campgrounds, making it easy to spend not only a beach day but a beach weekend along this stretch of the Wilson Lake shore.

Things to do near Minooka Park Recreation Area: While you’re in this part of Kansas, it’s worth checking out other area wildernesses like Mushroom Rock State Park and Kanopolis Lake State Park, both of which are characterized by unique geological formations. Here are some local RVshare rentals to make your journey cozy, comfy and convenient.

5. Tuttle Creek Lake

Cloudy sunset over a lake at tuttle creek Kansas.

A long and lovely reservoir tucked just north of the town of Manhattan, Tuttle Creek Lake offers several beachfront access points, including Tuttle Creek State Park, immediately adjacent to the Tuttle Creek Dam. Along with beach access, this park offers a disc golf course, outdoor archery range, and dog park, and the beach itself is a popular option amongst families because of its very light wake and shallow waters. Soft sands make for the perfect place to pull up, relax, and read a book while you enjoy the Kansas sunshine.

Things to do near Tuttle Creek Lake: Although it might not be quite as big as its New York namesake, Manhattan, Kansas is no less rich with things to see, do, and experience — to say nothing of the fact that it’s home to Kansas State University. Other preserved wildernesses like Randolph State Park and Milford State Park are a short drive away and offer plenty more outdoor recreational opportunities; here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

6. Perry Lake

This photo was taken on on Perry Lake Hiking Trail near Lawrence, Kansas.

Given its location approximately equidistant from Topeka and Kansas City, Perry Lake is a very popular spot for the urban crowd to get away from it all — and the good news is, there are enough recreational areas and beachfronts tucked along the many corners of this lake to make it easily accessible to all. Perhaps the quintessential option is Perry State Park, which boasts beachfront as well as campgrounds and walking trails, all within easy reach of a nearby marina. As sublime as it is to simply sit along the shore and sunbathe or swim, there are plenty of opportunities to hit the water for boating and fishing, too; this large lake is well known for its stock of catfish, bluegill and bass. Looking for even more Perry Lake beach options? Check out the Slough Creek Public Use Area, Perry Public Use Area, and Rock Creek Public Use Area for starters!

Things to do near Perry Lake: Topeka and Lawrence are both cities you could easily spend a weekend (or much longer) exploring, and there’s a whole constellation of marsh parks just north of the lake near Valley Falls. Here are some local RVshare rentals and campgrounds to consider for your getaway.

7. Clinton State Park Beach

Trail Winding Walking Path to Clinton State Park Lake Overlook Vista

The Topeka/Lawrence area is lucky enough to have nearby access to not one, but two large reservoirs and the many beachsides they off. The other option: Clinton Lake, and the eponymous Clinton State Park‘s beautiful beachfront. Along with its sandy shores, this park also boasts a wandering network of hiking trails, a stocked interior trout pond, marinas, boat ramps, restrooms, showers, and campsites. Better yet, it’s immediately adjacent to a nearly 10,000-acre wildlife area, meaning its trails and waters alike are teeming with animal life and opportunities to get up, close and personal with some of the wild locals.

Things to do near Clinton State Park Beach: Along with the state park itself, this is another place where there are plenty of alternative options for wildernesses to explore. Directly across from the state park, you’ll find Bloomington Beach at the Bloomington Public Use Area, as well as the fascinating finds on display at the Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum. Here are some local RVshare rentals and campgrounds to consider.

8. Kill Creek Park Lake Beach

Reeds near lake in sunset, Kill Creek Park, Johnson County, Kansas, fall 2018

Small but mighty and within an easily day-trippable distance of Kansas City, Kill Creek Park Lake Beach offers an intimate stretch of sand along a beautiful, shimmering lakeshore, complete with a beautiful observation tower that offers views of the city skyline as well as the surrounding countryside when you climb it. Along with its opportunities for sand castle building, sunbathing, and swimming, this park also boasts developed restrooms and a playground — so it’s easy to call your home away from home for a day. Need to stretch your legs? Take to the walking trail that circumambulates the lake. Relax¬†and exercise, the best of both worlds!

Things to do near Kill Creek Park Lake Beach: All of the must-sees of Kansas City are less than an hour away from this quaint little park, which is also only half an hour from Lawrence. Long story short, no matter what you’re looking for as far as urban adventures are entailed, you can find it nearby… and, of course, plenty of outdoor recreation and relaxation. Here are some local RVshare rentals and campgrounds to consider.

9. Shawnee Mission Park

Ducks swim on Shawnee Mission Lake at dawn

Another opportunity to get waterside in the immediate vicinity of one of Kansas’s biggest cities, Shawnee Mission Park offers a scenic beach considered by many Kansans to be one of the best in the entire state — and it has a whole separate section for pups to run wild and enjoy the water, too! The golden sands are completed with developments like a volleyball court and shaded picnic areas, and clean restrooms are available to keep your family comfortable all day long. There are also a variety of playgrounds for the kids and a nearby marina for renting boats or placing your own vessel into the water — which is, of course, also ripe for fishing and boating opportunities, along with plain ol’ beach-going!

Things to do near Shawnee Mission Park: One of the largest and best-developed municipal parks in Kansas, Shawnee Mission Park is only half an hour from the heart of Kansas City, and is close to other manicured green spaces like Black Hoof Park. Plus, of course, there are some great RVshare rentals available in the area — the perfect way to set up a home away from home!

10. Crawford State Park Beach

Crawford State Park, Kansas
Image via reserveamerica.com

Last but certainly not least, Crawford State Park Beach lies inside — you guessed it — Crawford State Park, surrounding the shimmering waters of Lake Crawford in southeastern Kansas close to the place where the state borders on Missouri and Oklahoma. The sandy stretch is small, to be sure, but still beautiful, and surrounded by well-thought-out amenities like playgrounds, a bathhouse, and picnic areas. The park itself surrounds the entire lake, offering plenty of walking trails and camping opportunities, as well as a charming lake view cafe.

Things to do near Crawford State Park Beach: Just outside of the small town of Farlington, this state park is a ways off the beaten path… which is part of its charm. Avoid the crowds, enjoy time with your family, and simply relax. Here are some local RVshare rentals to make it even better.

Planning an RV Trip to Kansas

Beaches are only the beginning of what Kansas has to offer, and an RV trip is an excellent way to see it all! From the very best rental rigs in the state to the campgrounds and state parks you don’t want to miss, we’ve got you covered with all the details you need to enjoy your RV trip to Kansas. We’ve even covered Kansas City and Wichita for you city slickers out there!

What do you think?

How much can you make renting your RV?

See How Much You Can Make

How much can you make renting your RV?

See How Much You Can Make

Similar Articles

Top 10 Beaches in Ohio

What are the Most Popular Beaches in Ohio? With its many miles of Lake Erie shoreline and vast network of…

Read More

Top 10 Beaches in North Carolina

What are the Most Popular Beaches in North Carolina? In case you haven’t already heard, North Carolina’s got it going…

Read More

Top 10 Beaches in New York

What are the Most Popular Beaches in New York? It’s understandable if, when you think of New York, the first…

Read More

Top 10 Beaches in Oklahoma

What are the most popular beaches in Oklahoma? While Oklahoma might not be a coastal state, there are many wonderful…

Read More

Top 10 Beaches in New Mexico

What are the Most Popular Beaches in New Mexico? New Mexico isn’t exactly known for its oceanfront property — kind…

Read More

Top 10 Beaches in New Jersey

What are the Most Popular Beaches in New Jersey? With 130 miles of Atlantic coastline, New Jersey could reasonably be…

Read More