If you’ve never been to Nebraska, you’re rolling your eyes at that title right now. Beaches? In landlocked Nebraska? It’s true – we may be just about as far away from the ocean as you can get in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean we’re lacking in sandy, sunny swimming beaches. Here are some great places to spent a hot summer day.
Lake McConaughy, Ogallala
Lake Mac is BIG - with over 100 miles of white sandy shoreline, it's hard not to have fun here. Lake Ogallala is right next door for anglers and campers who want to get away from the biggest crowds.
Linoma Beach, Gretna
The curious little beach with a lighthouse has seen some troubles over the years with declining tourism and general disrepair, but in 2011 it made a triumphant return.
Iron Horse Lake, Pawnee County
Iron Horse Lake is part of a small park in Dubois that offers the standard fun family beach activities. Camping, grilling, swimming, and making sand castles are just a few.
Calamus Reservoir, Burwell
An extremely popular fishing destination in the Sandhills, Calamus Reservoir has a lot more to offer. Besides the swimming beach, there are five boat ramps and lots of room for primitive and modern camping.
Lewis and Clark Lake, Crofton
The Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area is a beloved place to get out into nature and spend some time with family and friends. It's the second largest lake in the state, right after McConaughy. Its breathtaking natural beauty is one of its stand-out features.
Branched Oak Lake, Near Malcolm
If you're looking for (mostly) untamed natural beauty, Branched Oak Lake is a lovely place to visit. Hiking and camping are popular here, and there's even an area where you can camp with your horse!
Fremont Lakes, Fremont
This recreation area is made up of 20 sandpit lakes and about 40 acres of land. It's a peaceful place to spend an afternoon or to camp for a night or two.
Johnson Lake, Lexington
Johnson Lake is ideal for all kinds of water recreation, from fishing to swimming to boating and water skiing. Two campgrounds and a golf course will make you want to stay for a while.
Mormon Island Recreation Area, Hall County
The Mormon Island State Recreation Area is part of a chain of small lakes created in the 1960s to add some recreational opportunities to the area. Mormon Island is a fantastic place to watch the annual sandhill cranes migration. A swimming area is separated from the fishing and boating areas.
Oliver Reservoir, Kimball
This western Nebraska gem is big enough to accommodate anglers, water skiers, boaters, and swimmers. With 175 camping spots, you can count on meeting some fun fellow campers while you're there.
There’s a nice mixture here of completely natural beaches – with grassy, rocky shorelines – and softer, sandy beaches. No matter what your preference, there’s a beach in Nebraska for you to love. At just 10 beaches, we’ve barely scratched the surface here of what Nebraska has to offer. What’s your favorite Nebraska beach?