What are the most popular beaches in West Virginia?
West Virginia is hundreds of miles from the coast, and is known for the Appalachian Mountains (it is nicknamed The Mountain State, after all) but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a beautiful day at the beach! The state is full of clear water beaches with beautiful lakes, streams, and rivers where visitors can swim, paddle, or catch up on the latest page-turner while basking in the sun.
Top beaches in West Virginia
Whether you want to spend a day at the beach with the kids, or have a quiet afternoon reading or kayaking on your own, there’s a beach for everyone!
Also, because West Virginia is a state of mountains and valleys, dotted with quaint towns and the country roads John Denver made famous, an RV road trip is a wonderful way to explore the state. Travel when you wish, and stay a few days at any spot that interests you in your own home away from home.
While on your travels, be sure to check out a few of these top beaches.
- Tygart Lake State Park
- Sutton Lake
- Lake Stephens
- Lake Sherwood
- Summersville Lake
- Cheat Lake
- Ace Lake
- Shavers Lake
- Cacapon Resort State Park
- Jennings Randolph Lake
West Virginia beaches
West Virginia may not have any ocean beaches, but the state has plenty of picturesque lakes and rivers where visitors can swim, kayak, fish, play in the sand, or relax on the shore with a good book. Here are some of the most popular beaches in West Virginia.
1. Tygart Lake State Park
Tygart Lake State Park, at the bottom of the Allegheny Mountains, is home to the 1,750-acre Tygart Lake. The beach area has a bathhouse, picnic area, horseshoe pit, and bocce ball courts. You can rent kayaks to paddle on the lake as well.
Tygart Lake is also a popular spot for waterskiing and for faster boats. Spend a fun day on the water, or relax on shore and take in the beautiful views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
2. Sutton Lake
Sutton Lake is home to a great family beach, at Bee Run Recreation Area, with a playground and a marina nearby. The beach is covered with fine, sugar sand so the kids can dig and explore. Bring a picnic lunch and spend the day!
At the marina, you can also rent everything from paddleboards and jet skis to pontoon boats or even houseboats for a longer stay on the lake.
3. Lake Stephens
Lake Stephens is home to another kid-friendly beach, with lifeguards on hand to keep an eye on swimmers and shallow water so little ones can splash and play. There’s even a splash pad, along with a water park and marina. There is also plenty of camping at the lake, so you can set up your RV and have a home base while you spend a day on the water.
4. Summersville Lake
Summersville Lake boasts more than 60 miles of shoreline, which means it can accommodate a variety of water fun. Visitors can boat, waterski, fish, and even scuba dive. The sandstone cliffs that surround the lake make for some dramatic scenery as well.
The Battle Run area has a popular beach, and there’s a lighthouse to explore that overlooks the lake. There are concessions near the beach area that include hot dogs and ice cream for hungry beachgoers.
5. Lake Sherwood
Lake Sherwood is surrounded by pines and greenery in the Monongahela National Forest. The lake is perfect for fishing, paddling, floating, and swimming. There’s a boat ramp, and there are several hiking trails in the area if you want to spend some time on dry land. There is also a campground at the lake, so you can bring your RV and stay a while.
6. Cheat Lake
Cheat Lake is near the border of West Virginia and Pennsylvania and is a popular place for boating, waterskiing, windsurfing, and fishing. While the lake has a great, open area for faster boats and jet skis, it also has backwater embayments that provide calmer water for paddling a canoe or paddleboard. The swim beach, along with a playground and bathrooms, are also in calmer areas of the lake.
Cheat Lake is near Morgantown, which has many options for campgrounds, restaurants, and local shops.
7. Ace Lake
ACE Adventure Resort, on Ace Lake, has a variety of inflatables on the water where guests can climb, then launch themselves into the water below. They also have waterslides, a zipline that can drop visitors into the water, trampolines, and more. And yes, there is a kid-friendly beach where the family can spend a while happily making sandcastles or taking a breather from the more thrilling features.
8. Shavers Lake
Shavers Lake, on the site of a West Virginia ski resort, is home to the state’s highest beach. It’s also a beautiful mountain lake where you can canoe, paddleboard, or spend a day at the beach swimming and drinking in the mountain air while taking in the views.
9. Cacapon Resort State Park
The lake at Cacapon Resort State Park offers swimming with beautiful views of the lake and surrounding area. The beach is family-friendly, with easy places for kids to play on land and in the shallow waters at the shore of the lake.
Cacapon Resort also has a variety of other outdoor activities including an observation deck on Cacapon Mountain where you can see West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania all at the same time.
10. Jennings Randolph Lake
Jennings Randolph Lake spans parts of both West Virginia and Maryland, and has a variety of water activities including sailing, fishing, and waterskiing. The lake is also a haven for many birds and animals, making it the perfect place for spotting birds or wildlife. There have been bald eagles residing at the lake for more than ten years.
The sandy beach along the shore is a great place to dig or relax in a beach chair for an afternoon. There are also plenty of campgrounds in the area, meaning you can set up your RV and be close to your home base while you spend the day exploring the lake.
Planning an RV trip to West Virginia
Wandering the mountains and valleys of West Virginia in an RV is a great way to travel. You can stop in villages and towns you want to explore, or set up camp for a night or two by one of the many scenic lakes, and continue on your way when you please. An RV gives you the flexibility to travel when you wish and stop when you want without worrying about where you’ll sleep that night.
You can also stop at some of the best beaches in West Virginia as you explore the state! Also, be sure to check out our other resources for exploring West Virginia. We have guides to the best campgrounds in the state, as well as a guide to West Virginia’s state parks.
If you need help finding or renting an RV for your trip, or simply need more resources on RV travel, RVshare has everything you need, all on one website!
Now, head out for some fun in the sun!