Top 10 Beaches in Vermont

Published on July 2nd, 2021

What are the most popular beaches in Vermont?

You might not think of beaches when you picture Vermont, but there are some fantastic lake beaches throughout the state, including many on Lake Champlain. Surrounded by beautiful forests, the lakes in Vermont are full of ways to spend your time, including water sports, fishing, and of course, enjoying the popular beaches.

Top beaches in Vermont

1. Sand Bar State Park

2. Waterbury Center State Park

3. Crystal Lake State Park

4. Emerald Lake State Park

5. Elmore State Park

6. Burton Island State Park

7. Half Moon Pond State Park

8. Warren Falls

9. Camp Plymouth State Park

10. Branbury State Park

Vermont Beaches

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

1. Sand Bar State Park

Located along the sandbar that connects South Hero Island to the Vermont mainland is Sand Bar State Park. This park is a shallow beach and park on Lake Champlain and is a favorite for both locals and visitors. The 2,000 foot beach leads out into a shallow and sandy bottomed part of the lake with crystal clear water, making this a great beach for families and kids. There are also changing facilities, boat rentals, and grilling areas. It’s one of the most visited state parks in Vermont, and is a must see if you’re in the area.

Things to do near Sand Bar State Park: This park is located in Milton, near Burlington. Want to spend more time outside? Visit the Sand Bar Wildlife Refuge to see local animals like waterfowl, turtles, muskrats and beavers.

2. Waterbury Center State Park

Waterbury Center State Park is a 90-acre park that sits on the Waterbury Reservoir. The sandy beach is great for swimming and sunbathing, and you can rent canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards to explore the reservoir. Besides the water and sand, there’s a large grassy area to enjoy picnics, or you can grab one of the tables, grills, or picnic sites for a meal. There’s also a nature trail, restrooms, and concession area, making this park a fantastic place to spend the afternoon.

Things to do near Waterbury Center State Park: The town of Waterbury is a few minutes south of the park, or head to Montpelier for the day. We’ve got you covered with a local’s guide and nearby RV rentals.

3. Crystal Lake State Park

Another beautiful beach is Crystal Lake, located in the northern part of the state in Crystal Lake State Park. This glacial lake has almost a mile of sandy shore with a designated swimming beach. There’s a historic granite bathhouse that contains bathrooms, changing rooms, and a concessions area. Picnic areas, play areas, and grills are also available for use. If you want to get out on the water, boats and canoes are also available for rent.

Things to do near Crystal Lake State Park: Burlington is under two hours away and Montpelier is just over an hour away. If you’re looking for the best things to do in each city, check out our local guides.

4. Emerald Lake State Park

Another state park to check out is Emerald Lake State Park. This park is home to Emerald Lake, a 20-acre lake named for the color of the water. The beach is great for swimming with a beautiful mountain and forest view, and fishing and non-motorized boating are also allowed on the lake. There’s also hiking, biking, and picnic areas available for use. And there are even some campsites if you’d like to spend a few days by the lake.

Things to do near Emerald Lake State Park: Explore Green Mountain National Forest for more time in nature, or head across state lines to Albany, NY which is just over an hour away.

5. Elmore State Park

Lake Elmore in Elmore State Park is another favorite for individuals and families alike. The sandy beach is great for swimming, while the grassy area nearby is perfect for kids to play and to enjoy picnics. There are restrooms and a snack bar by the lake, as well as boat rentals such as canoes, kayaks, peddle boats, and paddle boards. If you’ve had enough of the water, hiking trails will take you up Elmore Mountain to the lookout tower. There’s even a campground with RV spots.

Things to do near Elmore State Park: There’s plenty to do outside, including hiking, biking, and exploring. Visit Moss Glen Falls in nearby Stowe to view the waterfalls. The historic towns of Morrisville, Wolcott, and Stowe are also within a short drive. We’ve got you covered with a guide to the state park and with local RV rentals.

6. Burton Island State Park

Burton Island State Park is another great beach on Lake Champlain. You can only access this island park by boat or ferry, which means you’re out on the water even before you get there! The state park offers a 100-slip marina, or you can take a 10-minute ferry ride leaving from Kill Kare State Park. Once you get to the island, you’ll find a rocky beach that is popular with campers and hikers. The island has plenty to offer besides the water and you can also hike the hiking trails, visit the museum, and dine in the island restaurant. This state park is only open from the end of June to mid-September, so be sure to swing by in the summer.

Things to do near Burton Island State Park: This park is located about 70 miles north of Montpelier, 33 miles north of Burlington, and five miles southwest of Saint Albans. We’ve put together a guide to Burton Island State Park and have you covered with local RV rentals.

7. Half Moon Pond State Park

Half Moon Pond State Park is a park within a park. Located inside Bomoseen State Park, this lake is surrounded by trees and is a perfect summer lake getaway. And the best thing? Half Moon Pond State Park is a campground, so you can park your RV and have access to the lake. There are two sandy beaches to enjoy and kayaks, canoes, and peddle boats are all available to rent. Fishing is also a popular pastime at the lake, as are the hiking trails through the nearby forest.

Things to do near Half Moon Pond State Park: Half Moon Pond State Park is in the middle of Vermont, and is an easy drive to many wilderness areas. The town of Middlebury is 25 miles north, and Burlington is 35 miles beyond that. Here are some fantastic local RV rentals.

8. Warren Falls

If you’re looking for a local swimming hole as opposed to a beachfront, be sure to stop by Warren Falls. This swimming hole is located on the Mad River, where the river runs down a series of waterfalls and ends in a refreshing pool of green blue water. It’s a favorite spot for cliff jumping, and there are several cliff jumping locations of varying heights. There’s parking and a trail down to the swimming hole and it’s a popular spot on the weekends, so come early to get a parking spot. And while Warren Falls is known to be relatively safe for cliff jumping, be sure to always use common sense and safety if you decide to leap off any of the rocks.

Things to do near Warren Falls: Montpelier, Burlington, and Lake Champlain are all less than an hour’s drive away. There are also some great hikes nearby and the town of Warren is a few minutes away, along with one of Vermont’s famous covered bridges.

9. Camp Plymouth State Park

Camp Plymouth State Park sits on Echo Lake and is the perfect place to spend the day or camp for a weekend. The large sandy beach is perfect for swimming and sunbathing, and canoe and boat rentals are available to enjoy time on the water. There’s also a play area, horseshoe pits, and a concession stand at the park. There’s also plenty of hiking, fishing, and horseback riding at the park, and there are even campgrounds both inside and around the park.

Things to do near Camp Plymouth State Park: The closest cities to this state park in Vermont are Luddow, Mount Holly, and Proctorsville. It’s a quiet area of Vermont that’s perfect to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

10. Branbury State Park

Branbury State Park has it all – forests, grassy areas, and 1,000 feet of sandy beach on Lake Dunmore. Swim in the clean, clear lake waters, lay in the sand, or picnic in the grassy areas for a fantastic afternoon or weekend. There are restrooms and a concession stand, as well as canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and pedal boats available to rent. There are also tent and RV sites located in both the forested areas as well as the grassy open spaces, so you can camp in this idyllic location for the weekend to enjoy the lakeside beach.

Things to do near Branbury State Park: Moosalamoo National Forest and Green Mountain National Forest are on the park’s doorstep, so there’s no end to possible outdoor adventures. Burlington is an hour away if you’d like to visit other beaches on our list.

Planning an RV trip to Vermont

Vermont has many wonderful lake beaches and an RV is a great way to explore them. We’ve got all the resources you need to plan a perfect beach vacation. As you explore, be sure to check out our other articles on traveling in the state.

Here are guides to some of the best state parks in Vermont, as well as all the national parks in the country. RVshare is also the perfect one-stop-shop to help you find an RV rental and get all the information you need for your trip.

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