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Statewide Austin Bismarck Eureka Springs Greenbrier Heber Springs Hot Springs Jordan Mountain Pine Murfreesboro Paragould Rogers
Statewide Travel 1

Arkansas “Beach” Getaways


Arkansas may be landlocked, but a beach-like getaway may not be as far away as you think. While it doesn’t have traditional oceanfront beaches, Arkansas has over 2,340 stunning lakes and reservoirs that provide opportunities for summer fun and relaxation. You may not find any palm trees, but you will discover crystal blue waters, soft sand and killer sunsets that give you a tropical feel. Paired with the surrounding landscapes of lush forests and rolling hills, you can experience a beach getaway that is distinctly Arkansan.

If you are looking for a summer escape where you can kick back, soak up the sun and feel the sand on your toes, look no further than these Arkansas beaches.

Photo courtesy of Indian Lakes Resort.

Indian Lakes Resort – Austin

Although it’s been a popular central Arkansas destination for nearly 30 years, my family just discovered Indian Lakes Resort last summer. With its three lakes and various activities, from swimming to fishing to boating and camping, it quickly became a favorite spot. My kid and the kid in me love the slides that allow you to fly into the water at speeds that seem impossible. A mix of sandy and grassy areas surround the swim beach, along with picnic tables and plenty of shade trees.

Sand Island – Lake Norfork (Jordan)

Sand Island on Lake Norfork offers a serene and picturesque setting, with a white sandy beach perfect for relaxing and enjoying the sun. Whether you’re looking to swim in the refreshing lake waters, build sandcastles with the family or simply relax under the shade of a beach umbrella, Sand Island provides a picturesque location. Other popular beaches on Lake Norfork include Barren Point Beach, White Bluff Beach and the secluded Briar Creek Sandbar, accessible by boat only.

DeGray Lake State Park Beach – Bismarck

The Lodge at DeGray Lake State Park is on an island with over 3 miles of shoreline, including several sandy beaches. Walk the Island Trail to find a spot for your family, or drive out to the Caddo Bend day-use area. This sandy beach is perfect for family outings and has plenty of parking, picnic tables and restrooms.

Lake Ouachita Beach – Mountain Pine

Located in Mountain Pine, Lake Ouachita is the largest lake in the state, with some of the cleanest and clearest water in the nation. The state park surrounding the lake features a sandy beach area with picnic spots, swimming and water recreation activities. The main beach is near the visitor center, or visit Spring Beach near Three Sisters Spring. If traveling by boat, check out Hotel Island and Wild Child Island for an off-the-beaten-path experience.

Lake Ponder Beach – Paragould

Lake Ponder is a small, peaceful spring-fed pool located at Crowley’s Ridge State Park just outside of Paragould. The lake has been designed with both sandy and grassy beaches and features a fun waterslide that kids (and adults) will love. The lake is closed to fishing, but nonmotorized boats such as kayaks and paddle boats are allowed. The beach is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and has a small day-use fee.

Lake Catherine Beach – Hot Springs

The Spa City is a luxury destination with healing mineral water and hot spring-fed baths. It’s the perfect place to explore history or relax in style. Not far from the center of town, the sandy beach of Lake Catherine beckons sun seekers and water enthusiasts alike. The clear and pristine lake offers a perfect respite from the summer heat.

Lake Bennett Beach – Greenbrier

Built in 1935 as the United States’ first Soil Conservation System watershed project, Lake Bennett is now a popular central Arkansas beach destination. The sandy beach is perfect for lounging while the kids splash in the swim area. There are boats for rent and a snack bar to keep away the hangries. The beach is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Sandy Beach – Heber Springs

Sandy Beach is one of the most popular beaches on Greers Ferry Lake. Located in the heart of Heber Springs, the beach features plenty of sand, a large swimming area and rather than palm trees, pine trees provide shade.

Beaver Lake – Rogers/Eureka Springs

Beaver Lake has 14 beaches scattered along the 487 miles of shoreline. If you visit Eureka Springs, Dam Site Park South, locally known as “The Island,” is a popular area. Pebble Beach and Prairie Creek Swimming Area are easily accessible from the Rogers side of the lake.

Lake Leatherwood – Eureka Springs

Lake Leatherwood features cool, spring-fed waters and one of the largest hand-cut limestone dams in the country. The swim beach and historic diving platform built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s is popular amongst locals and visitors.

Lake Greeson – Murfreesboro

The twelve-mile man-made lake features six swimming beaches managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a swim beach within Daisy State Park. One of Arkansas’s five Diamond Lakes, the waters of Lake Greeson are crystal clear and cool on a summer day.

If you are heading to one of these beaches or your favorite local swimming hole this summer, be sure to pack your bag with one of these great beach reads.

Check out these articles for more ways to enhance your Arkansas Beach Vacation:

13 Pontoon and Houseboat Rentals in Arkansas
15 Refreshing Swimming Holes in Arkansas

Photos courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism unless otherwise noted.

Arkansas "Beach" Getaways

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Julie Kohl works from home as a writer and teaches art part-time at a local private school. A former Yankee who was "converted" to the south by her husband, Julie has grasped on to rural life in a sleepy, blink-your-eyes-and-you'll-miss-it town in central Arkansas where they raise chickens, farm hay and bake bread. Julie loves adventure and sharing it with her husband and son. They frequent the trails, campgrounds and parks of Arkansas, always on the hunt for new adventures and new stories to share. Learn more on her blog Seek Adventures Media.

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