When you think of Ohio, I’d imagine BEACHES aren’t something that come to mind. BUT…there are actually some great beaches in Ohio. With many pools being closed this summer it’s nice to find a place to get in the water and cool off. Check out these options!
Beaches in Ohio
Some General Information
*Most of these beaches are free, but some do require admission.
*In many cases, lifeguards aren’t on duty so swim at your own risk.
*It’s always a good idea to check the water quality if you want to swim. Here’s one place that monitors the water and posts findings: Ohio EPA
*This information is subject to change, so be sure to use the links and check directly with each beach to ensure accuracy.
If we missed a beach or if you have a favorite, please leave a comment for others to see.
Salt Fork State Park
Last summer I discovered this gem and I wished I knew about this place sooner. It was a gorgeous day and we’d been in the car from a trip to Pittsburgh. I saw a sign on the side of the road for Salt Fork State Park and decided to take a detour and explore. I’m sure glad I did. The beach was wider than expected and the water was very warm.
Website: Salt Fork State Park
More Information: The 2,500 foot beach is one of the largest inland beaches in Ohio.There is a bathhouse with showers, lockers, toilets and a snack bar. At this state park, you’ll also find a golf course, lodging (camping, cottages and Salt Fork Lodge), boating, and more.
Making a stop at The Wilds would be a great activity to pair with a visit to Salt Fork State Park.
Alum Creek State Park
This beach is very close to Columbus. It is Ohio’s largest inland beach.
Website: Alum Creek State Park
More Information: The sand is mixed with gravel pieces so it isn’t the kind for building sandcastles. There are bathrooms off the beach.
Rentals such as boats, jet skis and paddle boards are available from Alum Creek Marina.
If you want to explore, there are hiking trails. Kids will enjoy the Storybook Trail.
Nearby Attractions: Polaris Fashion Place
About an hour away from Dublin you’ll find Indian Lake.
More Information: Some people live here year-round and others just use the lake seasonally. It is bustling with people on the weekends and holidays. In addition to lake activities (swimming, boating, paddle boarding, fishing, etc.) there are many restaurants and ice cream shops off the shore. Some restaurants (ex. Tilton Hilton) even allow boats to dock there.
Nearby Attractions: Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta.
This is a pretty short drive from Columbus.
Website: Buckeye Lake State Park
Deer Creek State Park
This beach is in Mt. Sterling, Ohio so it is approximately 40 minutes from downtown Columbus.
Website: Deer Creek State Park
Lake Logan State Park
Lake Logan is a popular fishing spot in Hocking Hills but there’s also a beach. Use the link below and scroll down to the map to see where the beach is located.
Website: Lake Logan State Park
Nearby Attractions: There are SO many activities in Hocking Hills such as hiking, horseback riding, ziplining, etc.
Dillon State Park
The swimming beach is located near the park office. There’s a snack bar, playground and game area.
Website: Dillon State Park
Cedar Point Beach
Staying at Hotel Breakers means you are right on property for this beach. It’s a wonderful hotel and having beach access is a great way to relax after a day at the park. This beach is open to Cedar Point Amusement Park, Cedar Point Shores Water Park, Cedar Point Resorts guests and Season and Platinum Passholders.
Website: Cedar Point Beach
I grew up going to this beach on the shores of Lake Erie when I was little and have taken my children here. It’s located in the suburb of Bay Village, which is on the West side of Cleveland.
Website: Huntington Beach
More Information: Lifeguards are on duty during certain parts of the season. Only US Coast Guard life jackets are approved, no flotation devices. A concession stand is open from noon – 7 pm daily, weather permitting.
Nearby: Malley’s Chocolate Shoppe & Ice Cream Parlor (the North Olmstead location) was another favorite spot as a kid. Inside is a carousel of seats that slowly spins around. It’s such a unique touch to an ice cream parlor. Plus, the hot fudge is amazing!!
Headlands Beach State Park
Located in Mentor, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland) is Headlands Beach. There’s a concession area, restrooms and changing booths.
Website: Headlands Beach State Park
During the summer season, there are lots of family-friendly activities to do in this area.
More Information: The old-school strip has arcade games, amusement rides, restaurants, live music and more. There are many wineries and places to mini-golf. This is a fun getaway!
Maumee Bay State Park
There are two sand beaches- one on the shore of Lake Erie (near Toledo) and the other inland around a lake.
Website: Maumee Bay State Park
More Information: The Troutman Nature Center is a state-of-the-art center staffed by a naturalist.
Nickle Plate Beach
Enjoy the scenic views of Lake Erie and the Huron lighthouse.
Website: Nickel Plate Beach
Apple Valley Lake
There are three private beaches so you need to be an owner, renter or guest to access this area. Find out more information about the beaches and the TONS of other things to do in the area: Apple Valley Lake Information
Another related water activity is creeking. Check out Best Parks to get Down & Dirty.