Arkansas may be landlocked, but there are still fun beaches to enjoy! Even though it doesn’t touch any oceans, Arkansas has many beautiful lakes and rivers with sandy beaches perfect for swimming, building sandcastles, and enjoying the sun. So if you are planning a trip here, this article covers the top beaches in Arkansas!

Beaches in Arkansas

Here are some of the best beaches in Arkansas:

1- Lake Ouachita Beach

With over 40,000 acres of pretty, see-through water, Lake Ouachita is the most incredible lake in Arkansas. The Ouachita National Forest circles it. This makes it a fantastic place for families. At Lake Ouachita, families can swim, paddle kayaks, ride boats, and fish. The beautiful scenery and activities make Lake Ouachita a top spot for families. The lake has scenic cabins, or you can stay at a nearby family resort like Staybridge Suites Hot Springs.

Lake Ouachita Beach
Lake Ouachita Beach

Also, there is a family-style bathhouse on the lake for families with small children. Make sure to bring a cooler when you visit to store all the fish you’ll catch – Lake Ouachita is excellent for fishing! The stunning views and variety of activities make Lake Ouachita a top family beach destination in Arkansas.

2- Lake Bennett Beach

Lake Bennett Beach is a popular spot to go boating, have a picnic, camp, and swim. Your family will enjoy many fun water activities at Lake Bennett Beach. Kids can paddle canoes and kayaks. The water near the shore is shallow. The sand is soft. There are a few rocks that could hurt little ones playing.

Your loved ones can also try exciting activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, sailing, and rafting. Be sure to check out the scenic hiking trails around Lake Bennett too. It’s excellent for you to breathe fresh air on the trails.

3- Lake Charles Beach

If your family loves kayaking and party barge rides, you should visit Lake Charles Beach. The lake is also excellent for fishing fans. You can catch many big bass, channel catfish, and bluegill here. Paddle around the peaceful waters by renting pedal boats or kayaks at the marina. At the beach, kids can have lots of fun. You can teach them to swim in the lovely clear water.

Lake Charles Beach
Lake Charles Beach

You can watch them learn how to fish. Make sandcastles together on the sandy beach. Pull them around on floaties in the water while they laugh. Also, you should try camping overnight with your loved ones. Watch the sunset. Have a cozy bonfire. And gaze up at the stars. A night camping here with your family would be peaceful.

4- Lake Dardanelle Beach

Lake Dardanelle Beach is on a 34,300-acre reservoir along the Arkansas River. It is one of the nicest beaches in Arkansas for your family. Here you can pick from many fun activities.

You should visit Lake Dardanelle Beach on hot days. It’s a fantastic spot in Arkansas to cool off with your family. While you relax on the beach, teens can water ski and boat. The beach has nearby picnic spots for your meals. It also has pavilions you can rent for shade from the hot sun.

5- Lake Catherine Beach

Lake Catherine Beach is an excellent spot for families to swim. Pretty Falls Creek waterfalls are right nearby too. This beach is quiet and peaceful. It’s far from noisy cities and crowds. You can lay out on the soft sand and get lost in a good book or work on your tan. Kids will have fun exploring the oasis-like lake. They can swim and see the close waterfall.

Lake Catherine Beach
Lake Catherine Beach

The wide beach has space for games. Your family can also play golf at the course near the beach. The course has pretty views and fresh air. Lake Catherine Beach makes for calm, scenic family trips in Arkansas. Swimming, exploring, and golfing surround you with nature’s beauty.

6- DeGray Lake 

Way up in Arkansas’s Ouachita Mountains lies sparkling DeGray Lake. It was created by damming the Caddo River back in the early 1970s. One excellent public beach spot is at DeGray Resort State Park. This state park sits on the western shore of DeGray Lake. It has a lovely stretch of sandy beach with sparkling blue waters lapping at the shore. Tall oak and pine trees provide shade pockets so you can get out of the sun.

The beach also has a bathhouse, snack bar, and areas for picnicking or grilling out. After splashing around in the lake, rinse off in the showers, then enjoy a meal at one of the picnic tables. At DeGray Resort State Park, you’ll find the perfect facilities along with a beautiful natural beach setting. You can also explore the coves and inlets by rental boat or paddle board.

7- Bull Shoals Lake

This small beach is different from normal ocean beaches. It has pretty views of Bull Shoals Lake, the White River, and the green forests around it. You should visit this little beach with your kids. It has a shallow part where children can splash around. Nearby is a marina to rent boats. You can boat and explore the river area. The marina also rents fishing gear.

Enjoy weekend family trips here. The state park has fun programs. Like campfire cooking demos. Nature walks. And trout fishing workshops. Your family will have memorable times at this quaint Arkansas beach. You can swim, boat, fish, and join park programs.

Bull Shoals Lake
Bull Shoals Lake

8- Beaver Lake

One of the most popular beaches in Arkansas is Beaver Lake. This large lake in northwest Arkansas was created by damming the White River. It has over 480 miles of shoreline! 

One great public beach area is Hobbs State Park. You’ll find soft, white sand and shallow water perfect for kids. Bring your bucket and shovel to build sandcastles, then wade into the calm, clear water to cool off. Keep an eye out for beavers building dams along the shore!

9- Lake Chicot Beach

Down in southeastern Arkansas, near the Louisiana border, lies Lake Chicot. It’s known as Arkansas’s largest oxbow lake. Oxbows form when a river changes course, leaving behind a curved lake. Lake Chicot State Park has excellent swimming at its Cedar Grove sandy beach on the western shore. The beach has a bathhouse, picnic sites, and a fishing pier. Walk along the pier to do some crabbing or drop in a line.

10- Greers Ferry Lake Beach

This pretty lake in north-central Arkansas was created by damming the Little Red River. It has wooded hills rising above its clear waters. Drowning Beach is one of the most popular spots. It gets its odd name from trees that “drowned” when the lake was created. The soft white sand here is perfect for building castles or playing volleyball. Many people also like swimming out to rafts anchored just offshore.

Greers Ferry Lake Beach
Greers Ferry Lake Beach

11- Lake Norrell Beach

For a smaller, quieter lake experience, visit Lake Norrell. This little state park lake is just outside of Little Rock. It doesn’t allow motorized boats, just kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards. The swimming area has a lovely sandy beach and grassy area. The water is pretty shallow, so it’s great for small children. Bring your picnic lunch to enjoy at the shady tables after swimming.

12- Lake Frierson Beach

Lake Frierson State Park is tucked into the southwest corner of Arkansas near Hope. Its tranquil waters are perfect for all sorts of boating. One nice sandy beach area is called Pavilion Beach and has picnic tables right next to the water. You can wade in from shore or bring tubes or rafts to float around the swimming area.

The Bottom Line

Whether you want to swim, build sandcastles, or go boating, Arkansas has no shortage of fun beaches. The warm, clear waters of the Natural State’s many lakes and rivers offer plenty of room to splash around. So grab your sunscreen and enjoy some time at one of Arkansas’s great sandy beaches!

FAQs about Beaches in Arkansas

Are there any beaches in Arkansas with waterfalls?

Lake Catherine has a beach area with views of the beautiful Falls Creek waterfalls. The sound of the rushing falls adds to the peaceful setting. Lake Ouachita also has small waterfalls that feed into it along shale bluffs. The waterfalls cascade right into the lake.

What water activities can you do at Arkansas beaches?

Arkansas beaches offer lots of water sports in addition to swimming. Many lakes allow water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, and paddling kayaks or canoes. You can also go scuba diving at some spots. Fishing from shore or boat is popular too. Rental boats are available at many marinas.

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