Top 10 Beaches in Ohio

Published on August 18th, 2021

What are the Most Popular Beaches in Ohio?

With its many miles of Lake Erie shoreline and vast network of inland lakes, rivers and creeks, Ohio is actually something of a hidden gem when it comes to epic beaches. With so many different beachfronts to choose from within the span of this heartlandstate, you might feel overwhelmed by your options… which is exactly why we gathered this list of 10 Ohio beaches you definitely don’t want to miss!

Top Beaches in Ohio

1. Geneva State Park Beach

2. Headlands Beach State Park

3. Edgewater Beach

4. Cedar Point Beach

5. Kelleys Island State Park Beach

6. Alum Creek State Park Beach

7. Salt Fork State Park Beach

8. Burr Oak State Park Beach

9. Lake Hope State Park Beach

10. Turkey Creek Lake

Ohio Beaches

Without further ado, let’s jump into these beautiful and popular Ohio beaches you need to put on your next midwestern trip itinerary!

1. Geneva State Park Beach

Geneva On The Lake, Ohio/USA - December 26, 2016: Lake Side Boardwalk Covered In Solid Ice Along Park's Edge.

While there are many miles of Lake Erie shoreline to choose from in search of the perfect beach day — over 300 miles of shoreline, to be exact — Geneva State Park does have some special benefits going for it. For one thing, its broad, soft-sand beach feels as though it may well never end, offering plenty of opportunities for locals to lay out their towels and get their feet wet. It’s also got its very own campground on-site, including sites with electric hookups and many that can accommodate big rigs of up to 45 feet. Two miles of trails make it easy to explore the beach’s wooded backdrop on foot, and hunting and fishing are both popular activities as well. It’s all situated amidst a larger tourist-directed area with plenty of resources including charter fishing boats, rental equipment, restaurants, and more.

Things to do near Geneva State Park Beach: Located nearly exactly an hour outside of Cleveland, this state park is far enough away from the big-city hustle bustle for you to get some relaxation, but close enough that it’s easy to access. And, of course, there are some great RVshare rentals and campgrounds to take them to all within an easy drive of the vicinity!

2. Headlands Beach State Park

Lake Erie Lighthouse at Headlands Beach State Park

Traveling a bit further west along the Lake Erie shoreline, you’ll come to Headlands Beach State park, which bears the special distinction of being Ohio’s longest continuous stretch of sandy shoreline open to the public. A mile of lakeside coast gives visitors plenty of options when it comes to picking the perfect spot to lay out and get some rays, and the soft grains of sand are perfect for everything from strolling to sand-castle building. In fact, local artists often use the sand to sculpt even more ambitious creations, and even hosts an annual sand-sculpting contest for those who really know their way around the medium.

Things to do near Headlands Beach State Park: Immediately adjacent to the state park, you’ll find the Headland Dunes State Nature Preserve, which, as its name implies, preserves some of the tallest and most majestic lakeside dunes in the state. The Fairport Marine Museum and Lighthouse is another worthy destination, offering you the chance to explore this old navigational aid that dates all the way back to 1871. Here are some local RVshare rentals and campgrounds in the area!

3. Edgewater Beach

City of Cleveland, Ohio, and beach at Edgewater State Park at sunset

The city of Cleveland is well known for many reasons and offers many attractions to lure visitors into its rust belt arms. But one of the best things to do on a sunny Cleveland day is to make your way to Edgewater Beach, an inviting, urban stretch of sand along the Lake Erie shoreline, which is encapsulated in the larger Edgewater Park. Soft, golden sands make it tempting to lay out for an hour or three, and the calm, shallow waters are perfect for wading or taking a swim. Additionally, the park is upgraded with convenient amenities like picnic areas with tables, showers, restrooms, and a nearby concession stand — not to mention the volleyball nets on the beach itself for those looking for some friendly competition.

Things to do near Edgewater Beach: All of Cleveland is right at your feet when you visit this part of Lake Erie’s Ohio shoreline! Definitely not to be missed by water lovers: the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, which features, among many other delights, an underwater tunnel aquarium you and your family can actually walk through. Here are some local RVshare rentals and campgrounds!

4. Cedar Point Beach

SANDUSKY, OH - JULY 20, 2019: Cedar Point Amusement Park Hotel Breakers

Chances are you’ve heard of Cedar Point — but you might be thinking of the amusement park rather than the place itself, which is a unique spit of land that juts out from the mainland into Lake Erie. Along with its thrilling rides and many lodging and restaurant opportunities, Cedar Point also offers a truly breathtaking beach, one that boasts white sands with the consistency of fine sugar and gentle, cooling waves. One of the coolest parts about this beach in particular is that you can lay out and wade all while listening to the sounds of families having festival-style fun behind you. It’s truly one of the most unique beaches in not only the state of Ohio, but the entire country; don’t miss out!

Things to do near Cedar Point Beach: Obviously, the theme park is a major draw for visitors in the area. But there are also some worthy destinations to explore back on the mainland, like the Osborn Recreation Area or Sandusky’s Ghostly Manor Thrill Center. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider for your journey!

5. Kelleys Island State Park Beach

Kelleys Island nature

Heading out to Cedar Point is one thing — but if you really want to get out into the lake for an intimate beach experience, there’s no better place to go than Kelleys Island State Park. Accessible only by ferry, this lake island is home to multiple swimmable beachfronts, as well as can’t-be-found-anywhere-else features like the Glacial Grooves visible in this area’s limestone bedrock, first carved out more than 18,000 years ago. Learn more at the on-site Kelleys Island Historical Association… but also be sure to give yourself plenty of time to simply lay out and enjoy the sunshine.

Things to do near Kelleys Island State Park Beach: The ferry takes off from the quaint community of Lakeside Marblehead, which is home to a lovely winery (among many other culinary curios) and is very close by to the Marblehead Lighthouse Historical Society at Marblehead Lighthouse State Park. East Harbor State Park is another local wilderness to put on your to-do list; here are some area RVshare rentals so you can make a nice, long trip of it.

6. Alum Creek State Park Beach

Alum Creek State Park, Ohio

As brilliant and beautiful as Ohio’s Lake Erie coastline is, we don’t want to miss out on some of its incredible inland lake and river beaches — so it’s time to head south into the heart of the state! Just a short drive outside of Columbus, you’ll find Alum Creek State Park and its lovely beach, which, with more than 3,000 feet of soft sands to wander and lie on, is the largest inland beach in the entire state. Along with the scenic waterfront and soft sand, this state park boasts well-kept restrooms with shower facilities as well as playground areas for the kiddos. There are also miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding onsite.

Things to do near Alum Creek State Park Beach: The wide world of to-dos in Columbus awaits just half an hour south of this state park, including some of the best dining options in the United States along with shopping, museums, and so much more. There are some excellent RVshare rentals available in this area, too — not to mention the great RV parks nearby to camp at!

7. Salt Fork State Park Beach

Hiking through Salt Fork state park

Just about an hour and a half east of Columbus, close to the famed Hocking Hills, Salt Fork State Park offers many temptations for outdoor lovers, not least of which is its soft, sandy swimming beach. Measuring more than 2,500 feet, this beach offers ample space even on the most crowded, popular beach days, and is backed up by almost 18,000 acres of well-preserved Ohio countryside wilderness. In fact, Salt Fork State Park is the largest state park in Ohio’s system so whether you’re after an epic hiking journey, to take advantage of hunting and fishing season, or even looking to try your hand at golf or archery, this epic park has you covered.

Things to do near Salt Fork State Park Beach: With so much to see and do, there’s really no reason you’d probably want to leave the park itself, which also boasts an important and impressive historical home, the Kennedy Stone House. If you’re in need of resources or urban to-dos, check out the nearby town of Cambridge, which is quaint while still offering everything you might need. Here are some local RVshare rentals in the area.

8. Burr Oak State Park Beach

August 19th 2020 - Glouster Ohio - United States. The Milky Way over the lodge at Burr Oak State Park.

Another beautiful southeastern Ohio lake, Burr Oak, and its eponymous state park, offer another option for those in the area looking for a scenic swimming hole. Quiet and intimate, this beach is a great choice for those looking for a quieter countryside beach excursion that still has a whole lot to offer in the way of family fun. The shallow, gentle waters are perfect for those traveling with small kids or other not-so-strong swimmers, and the destination is made even more exciting by its preponderance of local wildlife, including deer and box turtles.

Things to do near Burr Oak State Park Beach: Tucked deep into the Hocking Hills area, it would be a shame to visit this part of the state without also making some time for Hocking Hills State Park itself, which doesn’t offer swimming beaches but is home to some of the most impressive and can’t-be-found-anywhere-else scenery, including canyons, caves, and rock walls whose unique shapes were carved by glaciers eons ago. Here are some RVshare rentals in the area — the perfect way to feel at home while you’re on the road!

9. Lake Hope State Park Beach

A bench is seen at dusk through pine trees overlooking a deep blue lake.

Yet another beautiful wilderness in this, perhaps the most scenic corridor in Ohio, Lake Hope State Park is a very common destination for those in the area looking for a swimming beach — and it actually offers a number of different sandy access points to its namesake lake. Along with beaches, this state park also offers a variety of different on-site lodging opportunities, including both cabins and campgrounds, and is also the site of a very well-known mountain biking trailhead. Whether you’re looking to get sand between your toes or some dirt in your biking helmet, you’ve come to the right place!

Things to do near Lake Hope State Park Beach: This state park is located just outside the small town of Athens, which is home to Ohio University and therefore some really special little shops, restaurants, and cultural curios. We highly recommend stopping by Casa Nueva for some delicious Mexican food… don’t forget a margarita! Here are some local RVshare rentals to choose from.

10. Turkey Creek Lake

A scenic view of Turkey Creek, located in the Shawnee State Park, Friendship, Ohio.

Sometimes, good things come in small packages — and that’s definitely the case at Turkey Creek Lake. Boasting multiple sandy swimming areas all surrounded by some of the lushest, greenest landscapes in Ohio, this beautiful swimming hole is encapsulated within Shawnee State Park, which also offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and other outdoor pursuits. As its name suggests, the area is home to wildlife including turkeys, of course, as well as white-tailed deer, raccoons, and even the occasional bobcat! Boat rentals are available for those who want to take to the waves a different way, and there are also on-site camping spots.

Things to do near Turkey Creek Lake: Located only a few miles from the place where the Ohio River marks the border of Kentucky, this state park lake area is fairly far off the beaten path, but still surrounded by a variety of small towns that offer everything you need for your vacation. (Except the RV rental — we’ve got you covered on that front!)

Planning an RV Trip to Ohio

As epic as Ohio’s beaches might be, they’re far from the only reason to take a tour of Ohio — and an RV trip is the perfect way to see it all in comfort and style! Better yet, we’ve got all the information and resources you need to make for an epic, unforgettable trip.

For starters, we’ve always got you covered on RV rentals in any state, including Ohio, and we’ve penned guides to the best Ohio state parks to take your rigs to. For even more options, we’ve covered the best campgrounds in Cleveland, Columbus, and across the state — and we’ve also written guides to Ohio’s biggest metropolitan areas.

You know what that means: all that’s left is for you to find your perfect rental rig, grab the keys, and hit the road. We can’t wait to hear all about it!

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