Top 10 Beaches in South Dakota

Published on July 28th, 2021

What are the most popular beaches in South Dakota?

You might not think of beaches when you picture South Dakota, but there are some fantastic beaches on the rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, the lakes in South Dakota are full of water sports, fishing, and of course, popular beaches.

Top beaches in South Dakota

1. Sylvan Lake Beach

2. Lewis & Clark Recreation Area Beach

3. Newton Hills State Park

4. Lake Vermillion Recreation Area

5. Ravine Lake in Huron

6. Stockade Lake Beach

7. North Point Recreation Area

8. Angostura State Recreation Area Beach

9. Hartford Beach State Park

10. Mina Lake Recreation Area Beach

South Dakota Beaches

Here are 10 great beaches to visit when you take an RV trip to South Dakota.

1. Sylvan Lake Beach

Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park in South Dakota

Located in Custer State Park, Sylvan Lake is one of the parks five lakes that is great for swimming. You can also rent paddle boats explore the water. And with a fishing license you can fish in the lake. Feel like hiking? There are several hiking trails around the lake and throughout the park. There’s even camping in the park, so you can stay there a few nights to see everything!

Things to do near Sylvan Lake Beach: Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial are less than one hour drive away. Badlands National Park is less than a 70-mile drive. And you’re in the Black Hills so there’s plenty to explore in nature. If you need an RV, we’ve got a great selection of local rigs for you to rent.

2. Lewis & Clark Recreation Area Beach

Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area

It’s easy to see why Lewis & Clark Recreation Area is a favorite for both locals and visitors. The sandy beaches are great for laying out and relaxing with a book or swimming in the refreshing water. Or head to the marina for boat rentals to spend a day out on the water. There are multi-use trails that are great for hiking and biking, and there three separate campgrounds with plenty of campsites to spend the night or the weekend enjoying the park.

Things to do near Lewis & Clark Recreation Area Beach: Sioux Falls is an hour and a half away. We’ve got you covered with a local’s guide on the best things to do, see, and eat there.

3. Newton Hills State Park

Newton Hills State Park is in South Dakota

You can take your pick of fun things to do in Newton Hills State Park. Activities such as camping, swimming, fishing, hiking and boating are just a few of the reasons why so many people visit. Within the park, Lake Lakota has a swimming beach, and the entire lake has a no wake zone that makes it perfect for swimming. You can also take canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards out on the water, all which are available to rent. And if you purchase a South Dakota fishing license, you can fish on the lake which is populated with bass, panfish, catfish, and perch.

Things to do near Newton Hills State Park: The park is located 6 miles south of Canton and is less than an hour drive from Sioux Falls. We’ve put together a guide for the park and have you covered with local RV rentals.

4. Lake Vermillion Recreation Area

Vermillion River Valley South Dakota

This 512-acre reservoir is a favorite for swimmers, boaters, and fishermen. The clear waters and sandy beaches make this an excellent place to cool off in summer, and the variety of fish in the lake make it popular for fishing. You can also rent kayaks, paddle boats, and canoes to take a spin around the lake. There’s also a bait shop, restrooms, and showers around the lake. And there are even 3 campgrounds, making it a great place to camp for the night and enjoy the beach.

Things to do near Lake Vermillion Recreation Area: This lake is about 30 miles west of Sioux Fall, and Newton Hills State Park is about an hour away.

5. Ravine Lake

Located in downtown Huron, Ravine Lake is easy to get to and offers lots to do! Swim in the water or play on the sandy beach. Or rent a paddle boat or kayak to make your way around the water. Once you’re ready for dry land, head to Ravine Lake Park for a round of mini golf, snacks, and relaxation. And if you love fishing, the lake is stocked with crappie, catfish, pike, walleye, and bullheads. There’s also a paved walking trail that circles the lake and is less than a mile long, making it an easy stroll with a pretty view.

Things to do near Ravine Lake: Once you’re done enjoying the beach, take some time to explore the rest of Huron. Sioux Falls is just over two hours to the east.

6. Stockade Lake Beach

Stockade Lake in Custer State Park

Another one of the fantastic lakes in Custer State Park, Stockade Lake is the largest lake in the park, has plenty of room for RVs, and allows boats on the water. Kids will love the playground, while both kids and adults will enjoy playing in the water at the swimming beach and relaxing in the grassy picnic area. And there’s both a scenic drive and hiking trail around the lake so you can enjoy nature on your feet or from the car.

Things to do near Stockade Lake Beach: Badlands National Park is about 70 miles to the east, and Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse are less than one hour drive away. Rapid City is also nearby if you want to explore the city.

7. North Point Recreation Area

Fort Randall Dam, South Dakota

Located along the Missouri River just north of Fort Randall is North Point Recreation Area. This beach is perfect for swimming in the river or relaxing with a great view. There’s also a playground for kids and hiking and biking trails. You can also keep an eye out to see if you catch a glimpse of the rare “burning bluffs”, a natural phenomenon where the shale bluffs smoke. And there are overnight campsites, so you can park your RV and enjoy the river.

Things to do near North Point Recreation Area: The Fort Randall Marina is next door if you want to rent kayaks and stand up paddleboards. Or head to the dam or historic Fort Randall to learn more about the area. Sioux Falls is just about a two hour drive east.

8. Angostura State Recreation Area Beach

The Angostura Reservoir has 36 miles of shoreline, which makes it a great place to relax and enjoy the water! The sandy Angostura State Recreation Area Beach is fantastic for taking a dip in the reservoir or hanging out on the beach. There’s also volleyball courts, a 9-hole disk golf course, and canoe and kayak rentals. It’s also another great place for fishing and is known for walleye, smallmouth bass, and crappie. There are also 4 campgrounds available for RV and tent camping.

Things to do near Angostura State Recreation Area Beach: Custer State Park is nearby, along with Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial. And Badlands National Park is just over an hour drive away, as is Rapid City.

9. Hartford Beach State Park

Hartford Beach State Park
image via gfp.sd.gov

Hartford Beach State Park is a park along Big Stone Lake and is a popular place to fish, swim, and camp. The scenic bluffs and forest are the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of swimming or relaxing on the beach. There’s plenty to do here besides swim, such as the 9-hole disk golf course, lawn games and fishing pole rentals, and hiking trails that take visitors to scenic overlooks. And as a bonus, Hartford Beach is another South Dakota state park that offers campsites for rent!

Things to do near Hartford Beach State Park: This park is located in the northeastern part of South Dakota, with Sioux Falls being just over a two hour drive to the south and Minneapolis is less than four hours to the east.

10. Mina Lake Recreation Area Beach

Mina Lake South Dakota
image via gfp.sd.gov

Mina Lake was one of the first manmade lakes in South Dakota, and Mina Lake Recreation Area Beach is a popular place to enjoy your favorite water activity. Swim or relax at the beach, play a game of volleyball or horseshoes, or explore the hiking/biking trail. There’s also plenty of room for picnics and piers for fishing. You can even stay the night if you reserve one of the 37 campsite with electric hookups.

Things to do near Mina Lake Recreation Area Beach: Mina Lake is just outside Aberdeen, South Dakota and makes a great stop as you’re heading through the state.

Planning an RV Trip to South Dakota

An RV trip is an excellent way to tour the great variety of beaches in South Dakota, and we’ve got all the resources you need to plan a perfect vacation.

Here are guides to some of the best state parks in South Dakota, as well as all the national parks in the country. And as always, we’re here to help when it comes to finding the best campgrounds and RV rentals. Now it’s time to get planning and exploring!

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