10 Best Family Beaches in Nebraska [for 2023]
While Nebraska may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of beach destinations, this landlocked state has a surprising array of beaches to offer. Despite what it lacks in the coastline, Nebraska compensates with its picturesque lakes and reservoirs, which provide delightful beach experiences.
Whether you seek pristine white-sand beaches, expansive shorelines perfect for relaxation, or beaches that welcome your furry friends, Nebraska has it all. These family-friendly beaches offer a variety of activities to keep everyone entertained, from swimming and sunbathing to picnicking and water sports.
So gather your loved ones and get ready for the best family beaches in Nebraska where you will find the perfect beach to suit your desires and create lasting memories.
1. Branched Oak Lake State Recreation Beach, Raymond
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Branched Oak Lake State Recreation Beach is one of the best family beaches in Nebraska. Situated on a massive 1,800-acre lake, the beach is equipped with a variety of water activities that cater to all ages and interests. Whether you are into sailing, boating, pontoon boating, kayaking, paddle boating, paddleboarding, or fishing, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
One of the standout features of this beach is the presence of a nearby playground making sure the kids are kept entertained when they’re not swimming in the lake. There are well-maintained showers and restrooms, adding to the convenience and comfort of your visit to the beach.
For those who prefer to eat out rather than prepare their own meals, Graduate Lincoln’s proximity to the beach is advantageous. This means you won’t have to look for the best family hotels in Nebraska, as you can easily stay at hotels that are nearby and have easy access to the beach.
An expert tip for you: Marina’s restaurant, The Take Advantage of the Boat House Bar and Grill. Not only does it offer delicious food, but it also offers spectacular views of the lake, so you can enjoy a memorable dining experience while enjoying the picturesque surroundings.
2. Wagon Trail Lake State Recreation Area Beach, Lincoln
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Wagon Trail State Lake Recreation Beach in Nebraska is a charming destination that families with young children will love. With its sandy shoreline and calm waters, it is a fun place for kids to enjoy. They can enjoy burying themselves in the sand, splashing around in the water, and engaging in beach games with a ball or frisbee. Parents can also drag their kids into the floating boat and create memorable moments together.
Convenience is a major feature of this beach, as it offers a huge parking lot located nearby. This makes it easy to go back and forth between the beach and your car, ensuring a hassle-free journey. Along it the beach is adorned with large trees along the shore, providing ample shade on hot days, allowing families to relax and cool off comfortably.
For those interested in bringing their own watercraft, the Wagon Trail Lake State Recreation Beach has a convenient dock where boats can be launched for free. It is important for you to note that a 5 mph speed limit is enforced while boating, ensuring safety and a peaceful environment for all involved.
3. Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area Beach, Ogallala
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Lake McConaughey State Recreation Area Beach is one of the best family beaches in Nebraska, offering a kid-friendly and enjoyable experience for outdoor enthusiasts. With its natural white sand beach, it is the perfect place for a variety of water sports activities.
From relaxing options like kayaking, paddleboarding, and scenic pontoon rides to more thrilling adventures like scuba diving, water skiing, windsurfing, and sailing, there’s a great chance for everyone to enjoy. The gentle waters near the shore without strong currents make it safe for swimming, ideal for families with young children.
The sugar-white sand here allows children to build giant sand castles and sculptures of all shapes and sizes. For an unforgettable experience, consider camping right on the beach, where you can gather around a campfire, cook s’mores, share stories under the beautiful night sky, and dance to your toes.
One can enjoy the cool and soft sand below. Lake McConaughey State Recreation Area Beach truly offers a family nirvana with its stunning beach and tons of exciting activities.
4. Pawnee State Recreation Area Beach, Lincoln
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Pawnee State Recreation Area Beach, located on the shores of Pawnee Lake, is an ideal family beach in Nebraska. With its calm and clear waters, it provides a safe and pleasant environment for children to play and swim. The gentle waves and sandy shoreline make it ideal for building sand castles and sculptures. Plus, the nearby playground adds an extra element of entertainment for the little ones.
While the kids are busy in the water, teens can engage in a number of exciting water activities like canoeing, paddle boating, kayaking, jet-skiing, and windsurfing. There is something for everyone to enjoy. In the evening, you can create beautiful memories with your loved ones by gathering around a cozy fire.
To make the most of your visit, take some time to explore the other attractions within the Pawnee State Recreation Area. Enjoy activities such as horse riding, archery, and biking on the scenic trails. Pawnee State Recreation Area Beach truly offers one of the best family beach experiences in Nebraska, offering a mix of relaxation, adventure, and natural beauty.
5. Calamus Reservoir State Recreation Area Beach, Burwell
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Calamus Reservoir State Recreation Area Beach in Nebraska is a top choice for family vacations because of its family-friendly atmosphere and exciting possibilities for everyone. With its expansive shoreline and gradual slopes, it is a safe and enjoyable beach for children.
Unlike some beaches, Calamus Reservoir State Recreation Area Beach has a sandy shoreline free of rocks or pebbles, ensuring that your little ones can play comfortably without any disturbance. This beach offers children a variety of beach activities And there’s plenty of space to engage in games, so be sure to bring along your favorite beach toys. While they build sandcastles or frolic in the sand, parents can relax and sunbathe.
The beach is also ideal for water activities, allowing older members of the family who are sports enthusiasts to join in on the fun-filled water adventures. A standout feature of the beach is the Calamus Reservoir State Recreation Area.
It has a pet-friendly policy. You don’t have to leave your furry family members behind because they can join in on the holiday fun. Calamus Reservoir State Recreation Area Beach is one of the best family beaches in Nebraska, offering a safe, sandy shoreline, plenty of space to play, and the opportunity for a
memorable family vacation.
6. Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Area Beach, Trenton
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Surrounded by a vast, pristine lake, Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Beach is an idyllic haven for nature enthusiasts looking to get away from the bustling cities. This highly recommended beach is packed with outdoor activities, making it the perfect destination for families and adventurers alike.
The crystal clear water invites you to swim and play while your little ones make sand sculptures. As you soak in the natural beauty, keep an eye out for the graceful deer that pop out of the surrounding forests for a refreshing drink. For those seeking more adventure, Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Beach offers fishing, camping and boating, water sports, and more.
Provides ample opportunities to engage in various water sports like skiing and sailing. You can also go for exhilarating hikes along with nearby sightseeing spots while immersing yourself in the picturesque landscape.
Whether you’re in need of an essential or craving a tasty snack, there’s the conveniently located Good Life Marina nearby, which offers groceries, fishing gear, and delectable treats. Prepare for an unforgettable experience at Swanson Reservoir State Recreational Beach, where nature’s wonders await.
7. Iron Horse Trail Lake Beach, Pawnee
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Iron Horse Trail Lake Beach is a great beach in Nebraska. This beach is one of the best family-friendly destinations in the state. Its soft sand provides the perfect canvas for building sand castles and sculptures, while the calm waters ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for children.
Apart from picturesque landscape views, this beach is equipped with a variety of facilities that caters to families. You can indulge in a fun game of volleyball on the sandy court, while your little ones can have fun on the appropriately sized playground. The presence of picnic tables and grills allows for comfortable dining and convenient food preparation.
For families traveling with RVs, Iron Horse Trail Lake Beach has a designated campground that accommodates RVs. However, it operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is recommended to arrive early in the day to secure a good spot. This beach combines natural beauty with recreational activities and convenient amenities Providing a complete family experience.
8. Mormon Island State Recreation Area Beach, Doniphan
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Mormon Island State Recreation Area Beach is a quieter and less crowded destination, making it the best place to relax and enjoy the sun. With its quaint atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, it’s a peaceful setting for relaxation, tanning, and a leisurely read. For families, the beach boasts a variety of activities to keep the kids entertained.
They can make sand sculptures, swim in the freshwater, or play at the nearby playground. The presence of basic amenities such as restrooms, showers, picnic areas, grills, and a boat ramp add convenience and comfort to your vacation. A particularly captivating feature of the area is the springtime sandhill crane migration. It is truly a remarkable experience to witness the majestic mating dance of these birds.
This event represents the largest congregation of sandhill cranes in the world, making it well worth a visit. Mormon Island State Recreation Area Beach is a quiet and charming destination with lots of amenities and activities for families. The opportunity to witness the mesmerizing sandhill crane migration during spring adds to the allure of this beach.
9. Fremont State Recreation Area Beach, Fremont
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Fremont State Recreation Area Beach is the ultimate family vacation destination. Known for its crystal clear waters and well-maintained shoreline, this beach is one of the safest in the state. With a rope-off area separating shallow and deep water and a sandy or free of rocks, you can enjoy the water here without worry.
The beach offers a wide range of activities for all ages and interests. From kayaking and jet-skiing to water skiing and canoeing, there is something here for everyone. And sailing enthusiasts will find ample opportunities to indulge in their passion.
Families with kids will appreciate the nearby playground, allowing little ones to have a blast while parents relax on the beach. For those interested in fishing, a pier is available, and picnic shelters provide shaded areas to enjoy a meal away from the heat of the sun.
An expert tip for golf enthusiasts is that the Fremont State Recreation Area The beach is conveniently located only a 15-minute drive from two picturesque golf courses: Fremont Golf Club and Valley View Golf Course. This close proximity allows people to conveniently combine their love for the beach with a round of golf in beautiful surroundings.
10. Oliver Reservoir State Recreation Area Beach, Kimball
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Discover the perfect family getaway at Oliver Reservoir State Recreation Area Beach, one of the best family beaches in Nebraska. This idyllic destination boasts a picturesque setting adorned by lush greenery and crystal-clear blue waters. Relax on the soft sand while bonding with your loved ones, creating memorable memories together.
Partake in fun activities at the nearby playground, where you can push your kids on the swings and watch them smile. Take a refreshing dip in the pristine waters, creating endless laughter and joy. For a serene experience, embark on a serene boat ride, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings.
The beach also offers scenic hiking and biking trails, ideal for leisurely family strolls amid picturesque landscapes. Breathe in the fresh air, marvel at the wonders of nature, and enjoy the serenity that envelops this remarkable destination. Oliver Reservoir State Recreation Area Beach truly embodies the essence of a perfect family beach retreat in Nebraska.