Top 10 Beaches in North Dakota

Published on August 16th, 2021

What are the Most Popular Beaches in North Dakota?

Those who think North Dakota is nothing but a flyover are seriously missing out. Along with the grasslands and plains it’s known for, North Dakota is home to some incredible lake and river beaches, whose sandy slopes and cool, calm waters will make you feel like you’ve traveled much further afield. Here are the ones you don’t want to miss.

Top Beaches in North Dakota

1. Lake Metigoshe State Park Beach

2. Lake Renwick

3. Lewis and Clark State Park Beach

4. Johnson’s Beach

5. Devil’s Lake State Park Beaches

6. Lake Ashtabula

7. Jamestown Reservoir Beach

8. Lake Tschida

9. Beaver Lake State Park Beach

10. Beaver Creek Recreation Area

North Dakota Beaches

Put these 10 stunning North Dakota beaches onto your must-see list!

1. Lake Metigoshe State Park Beach

Lake Metigoshe State Park Beach
Image via parkrec.nd.gov

Tucked just about as far north as North Dakota gets before, you know, becoming Canada, Lake Metigoshe State Park offers plenty of worthy attractions along with its world-class beachfront… but the beach is more than enough reason to make the trek on its own. Soft sands run down into the cool, supple waters, making for the perfect opportunity to cool off from the hot North Dakota summer sun. Along with swimming and sunbathing in the warmer parts of the year, this state park is also beloved for its hiking opportunities, on-site campgrounds, and plethora of winter activities, too; the trails are popular among snowshoers and cross-country skiers, and the lake is a great place to go fishing whether you need to drill through ice or not!

Things to do near Lake Metigoshe State Park Beach: If you bring along your passport, you can actually see the same lake from the Canada side — not to mention all the other wildernesses ripe for exploring up there! Even if you stay on the U.S. side of things, Turtle Mountain State Forest is only a short drive away and worth the effort. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider for your trip.

2. Lake Renwick

Lake Renwick north dakota
By McGhiever – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20853203

Surrounded by Icelandic State Park, which is perhaps best known for its Pioneer Heritage Center and a peek into the area’s settler history, Lake Renwick is a jewel worth the drive all on its own, not least because of its beautiful, swimmable beaches. While the water this far north will remain fairly chilly no matter what time of year you visit, it’s also beautiful, scenic, and sunny — and the park offers amenities like vault toilets, modern restrooms with shower facilities, and even an on-site country club to make the trip into a fully fleshed out vacation.

Things to do near Lake Renwick: You definitely want to save time to check out all the historical and cultural attractions Icelandic State Park has to offer, including the Pembina County Historical Museum along with the Pioneer Heritage Center. Otherwise, though, this park is pretty far off the beaten track… which is the point! Here are some area RVshare rentals to consider.

3. Lewis and Clark State Park Beach

Lewis and Clark State Park Beach north dakota
Image via parkrec.nd.gov

Tucked along a northern-bank bend of the Missouri River where it broadens out into what’s known as Lake Sakakawea, Lewis and Clark State Park commemorates and preserves an important place along the famous duo’s path, and is known especially well for its beautiful, sandy shoreline. Soft sands are perfect for strolling, playing, laying out a towel or building sand castles, and the park is also home to the largest native mixed-grass prairie of any property in the North Dakota State Park system, and features a boat ramp as well. You can rent all sorts of vessels, from stand-up paddleboards to canoes, to take to the water yourself!

Things to do near Lewis and Clark State Park Beach: This state park is located only 20 minutes of so outside of the city of Williston, which boasts a population of just under 30,000 per 2020 census estimates. It’s got all the resources you need for a soothing vacation — which is great news, since there are many other river and lake access points along the Missouri to explore. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider for the journey.

4. Johnson’s Beach

Sunset over the Missouri RIver

A touch further east along the Missouri, Johnson’s Beach awaits — a small, undeveloped stretch of riverfront sand that doesn’t have much in the way of amenities but has an embarrassment of natural beauty. Hidden from the road by a covert set of stairs, Johnson’s Beach is a popular place to kick back and relax under the sun with some friends, but is also an amazing spot to launch a kayak or paddleboard from, and is just as beautiful (though obviously much, much colder) come wintertime.

Things to do near Johnson’s Beach: Located due south of the Hofflund State Game Management Area and just east of Little Egypt County Park (which has its own scenic sandscapes worth exploring), Johnson’s Beach is in the middle of nowhere in the very best way. The small nearby town Lunds Landing offers food and lodging, though when you travel in an RVshare vehicle, you won’t have to worry about the latter!

5. Devil’s Lake State Park Beaches

Devil's Lake State Park north dakota
Image via parkrec.nd.gov

With a whopping surface area of more than 330 square miles, Devil’s Lake is the largest in the state of North Dakota — and while it has a great many access points to choose from, not a few of which are sandy, some of the best can be found inside Devil’s Lake State Park. Tucked on both the northern and eastern shores of the lake, this state park offers sands to lie on and stroll along as well as hiking trails, plentiful fishing opportunities, and more. The freshwater is shallow and nearly wake-free (except for what boats cause), making this an excellent option for those traveling with young children — and there are playgrounds available for when they inevitably grow bored of the beach.

Things to do near the Devil’s Lake State Park Beaches: In the center of the lake, you’ll find yet another excellent North Dakota state park to explore: Grahams Island State Park, which is accessible only via boat (and has its own lakefronts to explore). Meanwhile, the towns surrounding the lake are well-developed and ready for visitors. Here are some area RVshare rentals to consider.

6. Lake Ashtabula

Lake Ashtabula north dakota
Image via www.recreation.gov

Slithering like a graceful snake through the countryside just west of Fargo, Lake Ashtabula is another prime spot for waterside outdoor recreation in North Dakota — and at well over 5,300 acres of surface area, it certainly offers ample opportunities for all sorts of activities. The lake’s supply of water is controlled and managed by the Baldhill Dam, which also provides flood control — and, of course, a cool photo opp for your Insta grid. There are three different swimming areas around the lake, not to mention seven boat ramps, from which fisherfolk launch to reel up walleye, northern pike, white bass, yellow perch and black bullhead. (“Ashtabula” is actually a Native American word that translates directly to “fish river,” so there’s certainly no shortage here.) No matter which access point you choose, you’ll be greeted by beautiful views, soft sands, and nearby restrooms to ensure a comfortable beach trip no matter how long you stay.

Things to do near Lake Ashtabula: The bright lights and big-city feel of Fargo are just an hour and a half away from this beautiful getaway, and the quaint town of Valley City is due south. It’s pretty enough to warrant the Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway, which is to say you should definitely stop by! Here are some local RVshare rentals.

7. Jamestown Reservoir Beach

Jamestown Reservoir Beach north dakota
Image via discoverjamestownnd.com

Just a tick west of Lake Ashtabula, another sprawling lake awaits: the Jamestown Reservoir, which is another ever-popular spot for locals to fish, swim, sunbathe, and simply enjoy what North Dakota has to offer, summer-style. The Jamestown Reservoir Beach is located along the eastern shore of the water, very close to a lakeside campground and numerous walking trails. Fishing access, a disc golf course, and boat ramps are all nearby, too, making for a well-rounded vacation opportunity.

Things to do near Jamestown Reservoir Beach: The quirky city of Jamestown is an excellent destination in its own right, and not just because it’s home to the World’s Largest Buffalo (although we’ll be real with you, that helps). There’s also the thematically appropriate National Buffalo Museum, not to mention plenty of great eating and friendly faces. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider!

8. Lake Tschida

Lake Tschida north dakota
Image via ndtourism.com

Continuing our journey westward, out past Bismarck, Lake Tschida is another excellent spot for North Dakotans eager for some watery outdoor adventures. The greenspace surrounding the lake is home to campgrounds, wooded hiking trails, and, yes, some excellent sandy shorelines, complete with amenities like park benches, picnic shelters, and restrooms so you can easily spend the whole day playing in the water without worrying about where to grab a meal or wash up. Otherwise known as Heart Butte Reservoir, this lake is also a great spot to reel in some dinner, and serves to help manage and control flooding in the surrounding area.

Things to do near Lake Tschida: This lakeside getaway is just over an hour away from Bismarck, giving it the perfect combination of away-from-it-all while staying within easy reach. There are also plenty of other worthy wildernesses and protected areas in the area worth exploring, such as Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. Here are some local RVshare rentals!

9. Beaver Lake State Park Beach

By David Becker – Beaver Lake State Park, near Wishek, North DakotaUploaded by Vux, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12350589

This time tucked just a short distance southeast of Bismarck, another well-maintained and shimmering lakeside beach awaits: Beaver Lake State Park’s beach, whose sands offer an excellent access point into cool waters surrounded on all sides by rolling green hillscapes. Though small, this state park is well suited to an intimate day of natural fun with the family, offering plenty of well-manicured lawn space for games of frisbee or tag after you’ve tired of hanging out by the water (if you do). The park does offer a modest number of on-site camping spots, as well as a few well-appointed camping cabins.

Things to do near Beaver Lake State Park Beach: Once again, this destination will only find you about an hour and a half outside of Bismarck, so it’s a great opportunity for local city-dwellers looking for a countryside weekend. There are some excellent RVshare rental vehicles in the vicinity, too!

10. Beaver Creek Recreation Area

Beaver Creek North Dakota

Think Beaver Lake is great? Check out this beach recreation site along the creek that feeds that body of water, which is situated where it comes off the mighty Missouri River. The Beaver Creek Recreation Area is an excellent place to hang out by the waterside, take a beachy stroll, or launch your favorite paddle vessel, and also offers a playground, restrooms, fish cleaning station, nature trails and more.

Things to do near Beaver Creek Recreation Area: Nestled in North Dakota’s southern reaches close to the South Dakota border, Beaver Creek Recreation Area is closest to small towns like Cannonball and Fort Yates. Of course, you’re never far afield from a great RVshare rental — here are some rentable rigs in the area!

Planning an RV Trip to North Dakota

Ready for a North Dakota beach trip — or just a trip through North Dakota including beaches and some of its other plentiful offerings? We’ve got all the deets you need to do it in style!

For starters, of course, we’ve got you covered on the RV rental front. But we’ve also penned helpful guides to the best state parks in North Dakota, the best campgrounds across the state, and its major metros like Fargo and Bismarck.

And, of course, we’re always standing by to help make your vacation as great as possible any way we can! Thanks for reading, and enjoy your trip.

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