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8 Popular Beaches in Iowa (2023)

Iowa is a Midwestern U.S. State with no Ocean boundaries. However, that doesn’t stop it from having its own beaches. Iowa’s geographical region is blessed with numerous lakes and rivers. On its east lies the Mississippi River, whereas on its west are the Missouri River and Big Sioux River. This natural setting and several in-land water bodies grant Iowa numerous beautiful beaches. This landlocked state of Iowa has less but a beautiful stretch of coastline that provides for beach activities and water-based fun. And unlike the ocean, Iowa’s lakes, and rivers are supervised, which gives you another reason to explore the Iowa beaches.

Iowa experiences harsh summers. The daytime temperature here goes on an average high of 90°F, especially during the months from June through August. This, besides, when topped with rain, makes the season very hot and sticky. And to escape the summer heat and humidity, Iowans often choose to escape to one of its beaches. Iowa’s coastline has beautiful backdrops of nature and picturesque views. There is nothing like taking a quick dip in the water while enjoying the natural setting all around. And for that, here are some of the Best beaches to visit in Iowa.

8 Popular Beaches in Iowa

Have a look:

1. Beach at the Honey Creek State Park

The Honey Creek State Park is nestled on the shores of Lake Rathbun. The shores of Lake Rathbun make up for a small but visit-worthy beach in Iowa. This wonderful location allows for family-friendly fun both inland and on water. Visitors can access the shores of the lake for water adventures, including water skiing, jet-skiing, sail boating, kayaking, paddle boating, and canoeing. Within the coastline is a dock where visitors can sit and soak in the picturesque views. There is also a beach volleyball field and a picnic ground closeby. Expert swimmers can access Lake Rathbun for swimming as well. There are a few restrooms and shower rooms within the beach itself. There are so many things to do in the nearby State Park for land-based fun. Though in case you want to stick to the beach, then biking and sandcastle building are a few fun things you can try.

2. Lake Icaria Beach

Lake Icaria is a water reservoir in the north of Corning, Iowa. The lake features a marina, playgrounds, picnic shelters, cabins, a primitive campground, a non-primitive campground, along with a long beach. Its 300 feet of sandy shoreline is a small part of the grassland, though it is enough for enjoying the beach activities. The lake has a roped swimming area where both kids and adults can have the best time of their day. Swimming here is marked as safe, and even novice swimmers can step down into the water for the same. Summer is a popular season at Lake Icaria beach, which also calls up for food trucks. Visitors can find several food vendors throughout the season selling delicious and affordable snacks. Here, other beach amenities include clean restrooms, picnic tables, and stand-up grills. The beach also has a kid’s playground and a sandy volleyball court. Activities like boating and camping are extremely popular here.

Lake Icaria Beach

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3. Kent Park Beach

Kent Park beach is a charming beach with a clean sandy shoreline. The beach operates from the Saturday of Memorial Day through Labor Day. It isn’t as popular as other Iowa beaches, but this fact also makes it secluded and serene. The beach is surrounded by beautiful trees and grasslands and is quite neat when compared to other beaches in the state. Visitors often come here to lie on the shore, bask under the sun, or for swimming. However, since the beach doesn’t have any lifeguards on duty, swimming here comes with its own possible risks. Close to the beach is an 86-site campground that allows camping and RVing. The campground operates from Mid of April through October and is available at a mere price of $20 per site. Besides the campground, a sheltered picnic site is also near the beach. Visitors can also indulge in activities like hiking, cycling, and a game of volleyball at the beach.

4. West Lake Beach

West Lake Beach is one of the best beaches in Iowa. It is located in Scott County and is known for being toddler-friendly and Iowa’s safest beach. It has a separate toddler swimming area, and the water quality for that specific section is checked every week. Also, the beach has alert lifeguards on duty that ensure utmost safety for both kids and adults. The water here is shallower, which makes swimming here easy even for novices. Besides that, West Lake Beach has a spacious and grey sandy shoreline. You can often find visitors making sandcastles or laying under the sun, getting themselves the perfect tanned look. And since the beach is quite clean, spending time here feels nice and warm. Close to the beach is a shaded picnic spot where families can enjoy their afternoon and evening time. West Lake Beach is also a great place to observe glorious sunsets. However, since the beach is so nice and popular, it often stays crowded.

5. Beach at Lake Macbride State Park

Lake Macbride State Park is a popular lakefront destination offering a beautiful beach. Lake Macbride features a flat shoreline along with shallow water. While when swimming at many Iowa lakes isn’t safe, Lake Macbride comes with an exception. There are a few roped-off areas that allow individuals to swim or take a quick dip safely on the beach. Or the ones who want to explore the lake water on craft can step down for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. Boating rental services are available right at the coastline for an affordable price. Other Lake Macbride amenities include food concessions, restrooms and showers, and a kid’s playground. The beach is also popular for fishing and has a bait shop on-site. The most common fishes anglers can find here include walleye, channel catfish, and muskie. The lake has a dozen of fishing jetties, and a section of its shoreline is designated as 24-hour fishing access.

6. Beach at Gull Point State Park

The Gull Point State Park is located on the West Shore of Lake Okoboji, which provides it with an exciting beach. The Lake Okoboji beach here is popular for its golden sand and a long and clean stretch. The golden soft powdery sand at the beach calls for lying down and basking under the sun. And since Okoboji is a natural lake, the water here appears to be crystal clear. The beach is very popular for boating, fishing, and snow skiing (depending on the weather). Canoeing, sail boating, powerboating, and jet skiing are popular summertime recreation options. Though the lake isn’t safe (protected) for swimming, visitors can access the shallow shoreline for a quick dip during the summer season. The Lake Okoboji shoreline is also popular for its mesmerizing sunset views.

7. Ainsworth-Orleans Beach

Ainsworth-Orleans is a family-friendly beach on the shores of Spirit Lake. The eastern portion of the beach comes in handy for swimming and boating activities. At the same time, the western part of the beach comes out as a private recreational zone featuring summer cabins and boat docks. Since the water of Spirit lake is quite clean, individuals often bring young kids here for swimming lessons. Besides swimming, water skiing is also a popular activity at Ainsworth-Orleans Beach. Nearby the beaches are a few picnic spots and a clean restroom for visitors’ ease. The beach also features a few play points where kids can have a great time. Besides being a summer hotspot, Ainsworth-Orleans Beach is also a favorite fall spot. The fall weather and beauty draw a considerable crowd here.

8. Whitebreast Beach

Another popular beach in Iowa, the Whitebreast Beach, is on the shores of Lake Red Rock. The beach is a part of the WhiteBreast recreational area and is located on the south side of the lake. Though the area is more popular for its campground, it also draws beach lovers on a daily basis. Its huge sandy spread allows visitors to access the lake for various water adventures, including swimming, kayaking, water skiing, canoeing, and boating. For cleaning after a long day in the sand, the beach has showers and outdoor wash-off stations. Once done with the watercraft, visitors can enjoy their further time one the picnic tables and grills nearby. Other popular facilities and activities here include hiking trails, a playground, and 128 camping sites. The area allows for both tenting and RVing. However, before accessing WhiteBreast beach, double-check beforehand as the area is often prone to flood.

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