Top 10 Beaches in Missouri

Published on July 27th, 2021

What are the Most Popular Beaches in Missouri?

Yes, it may be a mountain state first — but where there are mountains, there are lakes (including one of the grandest in the country, when you’re talking Missouri), and where there are lakes, there are incredible lakeside beaches. Here are some of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Missouri for the next time you’re swinging through the Show-Me State.

Top Beaches in Missouri

1. Long Branch State Park Beach

2. Mark Twain State Park Beach

3. Finger Lakes State Park Beach

4. Grand Glaize Beach

5. Fugitive Beach

6. Monsanto Lake Beach

7. Stockton State Park Beach

8. Lake Boutin Beach

9. Rocky Falls Beach

10. Moonshine Beach

Missouri Beaches

Be sure you add these beaches to your “show-me” list!

1. Long Branch State Park Beach

Long Branch State Park missouri
Image via mostateparks.com

Tucked into the north-central section of Missouri off the southern shores of Long Branch Lake, Long Branch State Park is well worth visiting for a variety of reasons aside from its scenic beach… but we’ll be real, that’s probably the best part. The soft, golden sands line calm, shallow waters that are friendly for the smallest swimmers in your group (with supervision, of course), and the park offers volleyball courts, restrooms, and a marina store so you can grab those last-minute must haves without interrupting your beach day (or, more likely, your beach weekend). This park preserves and protects some of the last savanna and prairie remnants in the Chariton River Hills region, and its breathtaking scenery doesn’t stop at the beach by a long shot.

Things to do near Long Branch State Park Beach: Located just outside of the town of Macon, Long Branch State Park is surrounded by other worthy wildernesses worth checking out, like Pershing State Park, Thousand Hills State Park and Mark Twain State Park. An RVshare rental is the perfect way to string all those destinations together!

2. Mark Twain State Park Beach

Mark Twain State Park Beach missouri
Image via mostateparks.com

Speaking of Mark Twain State Park — it’s home to yet another gorgeous north-central Missouri beach, offering a combination of classic soft-sand coastline and rocky, rugged bluffs overlooking other parts of its namesake lake. The park also offers six miles of hiking trails through lush, characteristic live oak and maple, the perfect opportunity for visitors looking to stretch their legs and get their steps in. One of the best parts of the beach itself? It’s relatively quiet and uncrowded, making it a great place to go if you’re more in the mood for a serene waterside day than a festival atmosphere tourist beach. There’s also a special roped-off section for swimmers still getting established, making it a good choice for parents of young children and families.

Things to do near Mark Twain State Park Beach: With a surface area just shy of 30 square miles, the reservoir that is Mark Twain Lake has plenty to offer shoreside, both inside this state park and out. Travel around the lake to visit other preserved landscapes, like the Stoutsville Recreation Area, the South Fork Recreation Area, the Robert E Allen Recreation Area, and Indian Creek Recreation Area. (That’s not even all of them!) Here are some local RVshare rentals.

3. Finger Lakes State Park Beach

Finger Lakes State Park Beach missouri
Image via mostateparks.com

No, the Finger Lakes aren’t just a place in upstate New York! Finger Lakes State Park — and its beautiful stretch of golden beachfront — await visitors to central Missouri, just north of the city of Columbia. The soft sand is perfect for spreading out under the sun’s rays, playing a game of beach ball, or crafting some hand-concocted sand castles, and the shallow section of the lakefront is roped off from the deeper section to help offer security for not-so-strong swimmers. The rest of this park is a treasure trove of outdoor recreation opportunities, favored especially by those with ATVs and off-road motorbikes (though hiking and mountain biking are also options).

Things to do near Finger Lakes State Park Beach: The Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area is immediately adjacent to this state park and has its own lakefront shoreline and other attractions to offer, not to mention the bright lights and tall buildings of Columbia just south of all this wilderness. You can’t go wrong — so here are some local RVshare rentals to help you see the area in style!

4. Grand Glaize Beach

Grand Glaize Beach missouri
Image via mostateparks.com

If there’s a Missouri lake you’ve heard of, chances are it’s Lake of the Ozarks — and it’s certainly easy to see why. With a sprawling, ess-curving surface area of more than 55,000 acres (approximately 85 square miles), this is one of the largest human-built lakes in America… and yes, it is “artificial.” Of course, all the fun you’ll have along its meandering shore is 100% real! Grand Glaize Beach is considered by many to be the best beach in all of Missouri, tucked into a larger recreation area and marina. The waters are clean, cool, and shallow close to the shoreline, and the sand is soft and golden-white. Picnic areas dot the park so you can enjoy a home-packed lunch, and hiking trails crisscross the area.

Things to do near Grand Glaize Beach: Located just on the edge of Lake of the Ozarks State Park, Grand Glaize Beach is truly surrounded by an endless supply of outdoor recreation opportunities, from hiking to watersports and everything in between. Because this area is such a popular tourist destination, it’s well-served by restaurants, shops, and places to stay… though you won’t have to worry about that when you take an RVshare rental!

5. Fugitive Beach

The Fugitive Beach Missouri
Image via fugitive-beach.com

Easily one of the most unique beaches you’ll ever visit, Fugitive Beach is the kind of place that’s famous enough in Missouri to be known as The Fugitive Beach. Built into what was once an old quarry, the waters here are cerulean blue and deep — deep enough that you do have to sign a waiver saying you agree to the beach’s safety precautions and policies before entering. Along with calm sandy shores, this family water park offers high cliff jumps for the bravest swimmers, along with swooshing water slides, kayak rentals, diving platforms, playgrounds, on-site restaurants and shopping opportunities and more.

Things to do near Fugitive Beach: Located just southeast of the small town of Rolla just on the edges of the larger Mark Twain national forest, Fugitive Beach is just the beginning of the fun outdoor recreation to be had in this beautiful part of the state. One stop worth adding to your itinerary: Miller’s Cave, which is fairly remote and permitted, but an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime place to see. Here are some area RVshare rentals to consider.

6. Monsanto Lake Beach

Monsanto Lake Beach missouri
Image via mostateparks.com

Tucked away into St. Joe State Park, Monsanto Lake Beach is a well known beach destination for family vacations, offering soft, smooth sands outfitted with a volleyball court, lake swimming with shallow and calm enough waters for even the youngest swimmers, and lots of peripheral recreation to get into. Also known as the Pim Day Use Area, this park is popular for those piloting snowmobiles and other off-roading vehicles including motorcycles. Picnic tables and grills make it easy to enjoy a midday meal to fuel yourself for even more fun.

Things to do near Monsanto Lake Beach: Just south of the city of Park Hills, this state park includes the Missouri Mines State Historic Site, which offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse into Missouri’s mining history. It’s all only a little more than an hour south of St. Louis, if you’re looking for a bigger-city adventure. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

7. Stockton State Park Beach

Sunset, Stockton Lake Missouri

Another massive inland lake snaking its way through the south-central Missouri countryside, Stockton Lake is an ever-popular spot for watersports, romantic countryside beach getaways, family vacations, and more — and while there are many areas along the shoreline to choose from, Stockton State Park Beach tops our list. Nestled into the fork of the lake, this park is surrounded by water on all sides, and offers one of the most beautiful and well-kept freshwater swimming beaches this side of the Mississippi. Along with the swimming beach, which is surrounded by helpful amenities like picnic pavilion areas, restrooms, and showers, the state park also serves as a launching point for sailors and others looking to set their vessels in the water, be it a kayak or a skiff.

Things to do near Stockton State Park Beach: Situated only an hour northwest of Springfield, this state park has that perfect combination of being far enough off the beaten path to feel like a getaway, yet close enough to major city resources to ensure you won’t be lacking anything you need for your vacation. That goes double for folks traveling in RVshare rentals, which serve as private getaway bungalows on wheels. (Psst: here are the best local campgrounds to choose from!)

8. Lake Boutin Beach

Lake Boutin Beach missouri
Image via mostateparks.com

It may be situated in a landscape that has an undeniably grave history — Trail of Tears State Park preserves lands that were witness to some of our nation’s darkest history. Still, Lake Boutin Beach is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved freshwater beachfronts in the state of Missouri, more than making up for its relative smallness with its beautiful, rolling green hill scenery. The park has installed vault toilets and, on the Mississippi River side, fully developed restrooms and showers, and is a great spot for fishing, camping, and hiking as well.

Things to do near Lake Boutin Beach: Literally only separated from Illinois by the Mississippi River, this state park is about as far east as you can get in the state of Missouri and not close to many major population centers. Nearby Cape Girardeau has you covered on basic amenities, though, and is also home to the fabulous Crisp Museum. Here are some local RVshare rentals to choose from.

9. Rocky Falls Beach

Rocky Falls and Sand Bank

As its name suggests, Rocky Falls Beach is set apart from others on this list by virtue of its beautiful cascades, offering not only a sandy shoreline and calm, swimmable waters but also waterfall vistas that will make you feel you’ve traveled much further from home. The rock faces you see, along which the waters trickle and flow, are more than 1.5 billion years old, and yes, that’s billion with a B. Talk about incredible! Tucked along Rocky Creek in the small township of Winona, this is truly a rugged, off-the-beaten-path adventure… but one that rewards those who are bold enough to take the road where it leads.

Things to do near Rocky Falls Beach: Sandwiched between the Rocky Creek Conservation Area on one side and the Current River Conservation Area on the other, this part of the state is ripe with opportunities for those who love river recreation, be it paddling, wading, or simply sitting back and enjoying the view. Here are some local RVshare rentals so you can do it up in style.

10. Moonshine Beach

moonshine beach missouri
Image via recreation.gov

Last but certainly not least, Moonshine Beach has, as its name suggests, long been known as a place to gather for a rollicking good time — particularly if you like your good times to occur in deeply scenic areas. Soft white sands and turquoise waters make this shoreline feel more like an ocean beach, and it’s all right in the shadow of Branson, widely considered the vacation capital of Missouri and indeed, the mountain midwest. The waters here are so clear, it’s one of the most common destinations for midwestern SCUBA diving adventures, though the waters are calm and shallow enough close in to the shore that even the smallest members of your family won’t be bowled over.

Things to do near Moonshine Beach: Chances are, if you’re in Branson, you’ve already heard about Silver Dollar City and Dolly Parton’s Stampede… but what can we say? They’re famous for a reason. Here are some of the best local RVshare vehicles to rent in the area.

Planning an RV Trip to Missouri

Beaches are just the beginning when it comes to an epic Missouri road trip — and we’ve got everything you need to enjoy yours! From RV rentals to campground and state park guides, and even guides to the state’s urban centers, all that’s left for you to do is get up and go. Hop to it!

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