10 Best Family Beaches in South Dakota [for 2023]
South Dakota, famous for the iconic Mount Rushmore, may not be known for its coastal beauty, but it does boast a surprising array of picturesque and family-friendly beaches. While the state lacks oceanfront beaches, the beaches in South Dakota boast their own unique attractions and natural landscapes.
These hidden gems offer the perfect setting for a memorable family vacation. Apart from swimming in the breathtaking waters, there are plenty of fun-filled activities to enjoy along the beach. From paddle boating and sailing to fishing and beach volleyball, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
So, pack your bags, mark your calendars, and embark on an adventure to discover the best family beaches in South Dakota. With these enchanting destinations, you and your loved ones are bound to have an unforgettable time.
1. Lewis & Clark Recreation Area Beach, Yankton
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Lewis & Clark Recreation Area Beach, located in one of South Dakota’s most popular parks, is an exceptional destination for beach enthusiasts. With its wide sandy coastline and crystal-clear waters, it has become a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re craving a relaxing day of sunbathing, building sandcastles with your kids, or a refreshing swim, this beach offers it all.
From kayaking and canoeing to boating, fishing, and water From skiing to sailing, there’s something to please everyone. While camping near the beach is an option, you can choose to stay at the nearby Lewis & Clark Resort. Renowned as one of the best family hotels in South Dakota, it offers convenient proximity to the beach, ensuring a seamless vacation experience.
For a better getaway, check out the rest of the Lewis & Clark Recreation Area Make time for The park has many exciting activities suitable for the whole family. Take part in horse riding, test your skills at the archery range, compete on the basketball court, or enjoy a round of golf. The park’s diverse offerings guarantee that there is always something to suit everyone’s preferences.
2. Ravine Lake Beach, Huron
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Ravine Lake Beach With its easily accessible location on the picturesque shores of Ravine Lake and its wide range of activities, it truly stands out as a mecca for family fun. A major attraction of Ravine Lake Beach is the beach There is an abundance of water activities available to visitors. Families can rent tubes, kayaks, paddle boats, and bumper boats, with these options ensuring that both kids and adults can enjoy a variety of water adventures. There are several specially designed watersports for families with kids.
There are other attractions and experiences. Kids can engage in the eternal joy of making sand sculptures on the beach while fueling their creativity and imagination. The shallow waters of Ravine Lake Beach also provide an ideal environment for teaching children to swim and enjoy the water in a safe and controlled manner.
When it’s time for a fun feast, families can take to the nearby Putters and Scoops, where they can enjoy delicious ice cream. It adds an extra element of joy to a beach day, making for a fulfilling experience for all. For those planning special occasions or gatherings, Ravine Lake Beach features gazebos nearby that can be rented.
3. Angostura State Recreation Area Beach, Hot Springs
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Angostura State Recreation Area Beach is a hidden treasure among the best family beaches in South Dakota. It provides a picturesque setting for a fun-lled family day out. The soft, powdery sand is perfect for building sand sculptures and castles, igniting their creativity and imagination.
The gentle and shallow waters allow young children to splash around and swim safely under parental supervision. Teenagers, on the other hand, can indulge in a variety of water adventures. They can try their hand at canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and even water skiing while satisfying their thirst for excitement and adventure.
The beach offers clean toilets and showers to ensure a comfortable experience for the whole family. Picnic areas are also available, so you can enjoy a pleasant lunch or snack while enjoying the natural beauty. One of the standout features of Angostura State Recreation Area is its interpretive program, especially during the summer.
These programs provide an opportunity for families to engage in nature-centered activities and explore the unique natural features of the nearby Black Hills. Such experiences foster a deeper appreciation for the environment and create lasting memories for the whole family.
4. North Point Recreation Area Beach, Lake Andes
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North Point Recreation Area Beach is one of the best family beaches in South Dakota, offering a combination of kid-friendly amenities, exciting water activities, and convenient accommodation options. One of the standout features of this nearby playground is that it is equipped with swings, slides, and a jungle gym. This ensures that children have plenty of opportunities for active play and entertainment during their visit to the beach.
The beach itself boasts cool blue water that is perfect for kids to splash around and enjoy. The sandy beach presents an excellent place for kids to build sand castles and castles. You can participate in exciting activities like water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, sailing, windsurfing, and paddle boating. To ensure safety, life vests are available for rent for a worry-free experience on the water.
It is recommended to rent cabins located close to the beach area. These fully furnished cabins provide a comfortable and convenient accommodation option for families. They often come with amenities like picnic tables and grills, so you can enjoy a delicious barbecue right on the beach. And firewood is usually provided, the perfect setting for a memorable campfire night under the stars.
5. Lake Vermillion Recreation Area Beach, Canistota
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Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and take a quiet family vacation at Lake Vermilion Recreation Area Beach. This hidden gem offers a secluded stretch of sandy shoreline and breathtaking views that easily rival popular beach destinations. It has a peaceful atmosphere and the absence of large crowds.
Here, you can relax on the shore, sunbathe to achieve the perfect tan, or immerse yourself in an engrossing novel. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters and feel the stresses of everyday life melt away. Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines and enjoy the thrill of fishing. Adventurers can go on a canoeing or kayaking expedition, exploring the pristine waters and enjoying the unspoiled beauty of nature.
For families with young children, the grassy area near the beach is an excellent outlet for their boundless energy. Provides playground. Let them run free while you take part in lively games like tag or catch while you relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
If golfing is a shared passion within your family, you’ll be pleased to know that Lake Vermilion Recreation Area Beach is conveniently located near more than 10 golf courses. Enjoy a leisurely round of golf amidst picturesque landscapes, combining your beach holiday with your love for the sport.
6. Oahe Downstream Recreation Area Beach, Fort Pierre
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Oahe Downstream Recreation Area Beach is a picturesque destination nestled along one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the United States. This is an exceptional retreat for families who want to connect with nature and take a break from the fast-paced city life. The beach invites you to indulge in a truly memorable holiday.
The crystal-clear water attracts swimmers of all ages, providing a refreshing respite from the summer heat. A peaceful boat ride along the vast reservoir allows you to explore the immense beauty of the surrounding landscape. There are a range of facilities designed to enhance your visit.
Clean and easily accessible restrooms and showers ensure comfort and convenience during your stay. The beach offers well-maintained picnic areas, perfect for enjoying your delicious snack while taking in the breathtaking views. For an added touch of magic, a visit to the neighboring Ohe Downstream Buttery Garden is highly recommended Is performed. This captivating garden is an interactive paradise, home to an array of 17 species of prairie plants and a plethora of vibrant butterflies.
7. Sylvan Lake Beach, Custer
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Sylvan Lake Beach stands out as one of the best family beaches in South Dakota. Because of its spectacular cliff jumps, water adventure rentals, stunning views, wildlife sighting opportunities, and a chance to create cherished memories with your loved ones. One of the highlights is the cliff where you can take turns leaping, which takes you to the ocean and add an exciting element to the shore experience.
The beach offers non-motorized boat rentals such as kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats. The stunning natural scenery surrounding Sylvan Lake Beach provides a great backdrop for family photos. Perfect for engaging in creative activities like building unique sand castles. You can have the opportunity to watch wildlife in their natural habitat with your entire family.
While you swim in the crystal-clear waters, you might be lucky enough to spot bison or elk passing by, adding a touch of the wilderness to your beach day. It’s important to note that during peak season, The beach can get crowded, and parking lots ll up quickly. To ensure a more private and quiet experience, it is recommended to arrive early in the morning or visit on weekdays.
8. Hartford Beach State Park, Corona
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Hartford Beach State Park, located on the picturesque shores of Big Stone Lake, is a truly idyllic beach for families. The park’s pristine shoreline is perfect for sunbathing and enjoying a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters, which provide great respite from the summer heat. One of the main reasons I highly recommend this beach is because the South One of the best family beaches in Dakota is the availability of camping options.
Hartford Beach State Park offers two options for camping: electric campsites and cozy cabins. This ensures that families can choose the accommodation option that best suits their preferences and needs. In addition to camping, the park offers a variety of outdoor activities that will keep the whole family entertained.
Whether it’s horseshoes, fishing, archery lessons, or a friendly game of volleyball, the park’s natural wooded wilderness adds to the charm and presents a beautiful backdrop for exploration and relaxation. It’s important to note that there are limited food concessions or stores around Hartford Beach State Park.
To ensure a memorable and hassle-free experience, I recommend packing delicious meals and snacks for the whole family. This way, you can completely immerse yourself in the beauty of the park without worrying about the availability of food.
9. Mina Lake Recreation Area Beach, Mina
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Situated on one of the state’s first man-made lakes, this beach not only offers a beautiful natural setting but also has a number of features that make it an ideal choice for young children. Safety is a top priority at this beach, as the calm waters ensure a peaceful and safe environment for children to enjoy.
Unlike some other beaches, Mina Lake Recreation Area Beach has a shoreline free of small rocks or pebbles, removing any potential danger to beach-goers. There is a wonderful playground adjacent to the beach, where children can have fun after their water activities.
There are plenty of exciting options for older kids and adults too. Adventurous souls can engage in a variety of water sports such as windsurfing, canoeing, water skiing, kayaking, and paddle boating. These activities ensure that the whole family can participate and create lasting memories together.
For those looking to extend their stay, the Meena Lake Recreation Area provides a convenient solution. Instead of tent camping, which may not be the most appropriate option for families with young children, the park offers RV rental options that sleep 4-5 people comfortably, depending on the RV chosen.
10. Stockade Lake Beach, Custer
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Stockade Lake Beach sits on the largest lake in Custer State Park. With its picturesque beach and stunning sunset views, it’s the ideal place for relaxation and family bonding. Stockade Lake Beach is one of the best family beaches in South Dakota because of its laid-back atmosphere, wide variety of activities, and the natural beauty that surrounds it stand as one of the beaches.
You can lay down a blanket and enjoy a family picnic on the shorelines, while the crystal clear water invites you to swim together and create lasting memories. Stockade Lake Beach One of the highlights is the opportunity to teach your kids how to fish. This entertaining and educational activity allows children to connect with nature and learn new skills.
As the day draws to a close, take a peaceful boat ride with your loved ones and watch the breathtaking sunset over the water. The calmness of the lake and the vibrant colors of the sky create a truly magical experience. The beach is surrounded by beautiful forests with beautiful walkways. It’s a haven for hikers, offering easy trails that allow you to explore the great outdoors and breathe fresh air.