Minnesota, known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” is an absolutely gorgeous state in America. There are tons of rivers and lakes throughout the state, making it a beautiful state for swimming, fishing, and lounging in the sun. The beaches are known for being hotspots for kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, and so much more. This is why both locals and out-of-state visitors flock to the many beaches of Minnesota once the temperatures start to rise. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the best beaches in Minnesota and what makes each one unique.
You’ll learn all about the beaches, where they’re located, and what sort of activities you can take advantage of as well.
Lake Nokomis Main Beach
Are you looking for a large beach with tons of beautiful blue water to swim in? Then you’ll want to look no further than Lake Nokomis. Lake Nokomis Main Beach is located in Minneapolis. This is a fantastic beach option for families, especially since it has tons of amenities available for use. There are both restrooms and picnic areas. The beach area is pretty huge — this is what makes it so appealing to large families looking to spend a day at the beach. Additionally, parking in the area is easier than other options as there are many places for you to pay for parking. Overall, this is a fantastic beach if you happen to have kids and want plenty of space and facilities to use.
Park Point Beach
Located in Duluth, MN, Park Point Beach is an absolutely gorgeous sight for beachgoers. This is definitely one of the prettiest beaches in the state. It is also particularly large as it stretches across six miles. The sand here is incredibly soft, and the water is stunning. When you’re at this beach you’re greeted by stunning views of Lake Superior. In addition, the sand dunes are breathtaking as well. Many amenities are available such as picnic tables, grills, and even volleyball courts. The area also offers playgrounds where your kids can run around and have fun in the sun.
Also known as Onyx Beach, Black Beach is a stunning and unique experience for beachgoers. This is the only beach of its kind in Minnesota. This beach is a small area along Lake Superior that is memorable thanks to its gorgeous black sand. What makes this sand so fascinating is the fact that it is not actually naturally occurring. The black sand is the result of Taconite mining that used to take place in Minnesota. The beach is open year-round, and the amenities include restrooms and a picnic area. However, parking can be difficult here. The beach is also pretty small, and the water can be freezing — even in the middle of the hot summer season. However, we definitely recommend checking this beach out if you’re interested in a unique experience.
Afton State Park Beach
If you’re looking for more of a hidden gem experience, then you’re going to want to head to Afton State Park Beach. Afton State Park is a beautiful area located on the shores of the St. Croix River. This park is absolutely beautiful any time of the year; however, if you’re looking for a more secluded beach experience, then you need to check out the beach here. The secluded beach features tons of sandy shore where you can park your beach towels and lounge in the sun. Additionally, there are tons of trees around where you can shade yourself when the heat gets unbearable. This is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a quieter beach experience.
Itasca State Park Beach
Itasca State Park is one of the oldest parks in the United States. It is an incredible park to visit as there are lots of recreational activities that you can enjoy there. However, one of our favorites is the beach that is located inside the park. What makes this beach so unique is that it is located right on the headwaters of the Mississippi River. This means that you can witness the source of the Mississippi River! This is also an incredibly family-friendly beach. The shoreline is pretty shallow, so you can feel safe while splashing around with your kids. If you’re looking to visit, the beach is located to the north of Park Rapids, MN.
Square Lake Park Beach
Square Lake Park Beach is an absolutely gorgeous beach option that both locals and tourists head out to. What makes this beach so special is that it features both a sandy area and a lush green area with lots of grass. This is a perfect spot if you’re looking to have both a picnic and a day at the beach. Square Lake Park Beach is also a favorite among parents because the water is incredibly clean, and there are always lifeguards on duty during the summer season. Another fun fact about this beach is that it is known for being a popular destination for scuba diving. In fact, many people head out here with scuba teachers to learn how to scuba dive.
Fort Snelling State Park Beach
Once again, if you’re looking to get away from the crowds, you will need to find specific beaches that don’t attract huge crowds. Fort Snelling State Park Beach happens to be one of those beaches. This is a fantastic option if you’re looking to relax on the sand and open up a book to read. The beach is located in the heart of the Twin Cities and offers beachgoers a relaxed atmosphere. While you’re there, you can even rent a canoe or a kayak and enjoy the water and nature that way. Overall, this is a fantastic beach option if you want to hear the sounds of nature.
Iona’s Beach Scientific and Natural Area
If you’re less interested in sunbathing and more interested in walking along the beach, then check out this small beach known as Iona’s Beach. This beach is actually a Scientific & Natural Area (SNA). This beautiful coastline is located in Two Harbors, MN. You’ll immediately notice the beauty of the beach thanks to the pink pebbles that cover the shorelines. This is an excellent spot to hike around and explore for a bit. The sound of the water and the beauty of the beach make it a perfect spot for a relaxing day trip. This is also an excellent beach for fishing if you consider yourself an angler!
Lake Harriet North and South Beach
The Lake Harriet area is known as a fantastic family-friendly spot. There are actually two beaches found at Lake Harriet — Lake Harriet North Beach and Lake Harriet South Beach. Many families often head to both of these beaches. Both of these small beaches are great for families with small kids. The sand is soft, and the water is perfect for swimming. The beach also features a floating swimming dock and playgrounds for the kids to enjoy. It’s also important to note that this is an incredibly popular beach in Minneapolis. That means that the beach will fill up pretty quickly in the summertime.
Bde Maka Ska 32nd Street Beach
Also located in Minneapolis, Bde Maka Ska 32nd Street Beach is a fantastic beach if you’re looking to mingle with others. This beach was once called Lake Calhoun Beach and is one of three beaches that Bde Maka Ska has to offer. This beach gets pretty crowded in the summertime as it has a lot to offer. From sand volleyball courts to swimming docks, there’s a lot that you can do in this area. You can even rent bikes nearby and ride them along the bike pathways. Despite this beach being a popular and often crowded destination, we still think this is a great option as you can meet new people and have lots of fun!
Summary of the 10 Best Beaches in Minnesota
|1||Lake Nokomis Main Beach||Blue water, large beach area, good parking, lots of amenities, family-friendly|
|2||Park Point Beach||Gorgeous views, very large, sand dunes, picnic tables, grills, playgrounds, volleyball courts|
|3||Black Beach||Black sand, small lake, can be cold, restrooms and picnicking|
|4||Afton State Park Beach||Large lake, blue water, lots of amenities, picnicking, family-friendly|
|5||Itasca State Park Beach||Headwaters of Mississippi River, historical, shallow shoreline, family-friendly|
|6||Square Lake Park Beach||Clean water, sand and lush grass, picnicking, lifeguard on duty, scuba diving|
|7||Fort Snelling State Park Beach||Uncrowded, kayaking & canoeing, relaxed atmosphere|
|8||Iona’s Beach Scientific and Natural Area||Scientific & Natural Area, pink pebbles, hiking, fishing|
|9||Lake Harriet North and South Beach||Floating swimming dock, soft sand, playgrounds, family-friendly|
|10||Bde Maka Ska 32nd Street Beach||Swimming, biking, volleyball, mingling|
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