We’re officially in the throes of summer. And a great way to combat the heat of the season is with a visit to one of the many beaches that fill the Magnolia State. The beaches located on the Gulf Coast are probably the first that come to mind, but they’re not the only ones you’ll find. Mississippi is actually home to several lakeside beaches (and even a few poolside ones). Read on for 11 of our favorites.
1. Lower Lake Beaches at Sardis Lake Recreation Area
The Sardis Lake Recreation Area includes not one, not two, but three beaches. A great spot for swimmers of all skill levels, the recreation area provides life jackets at no charge. Additional amenities include nature trails, picnic areas, camping, and more. The recreation area’s main office is located at 4155 Clay St., Vicksburg, MS 39183.
2. Old Bridge Beach
Situated on Bay Springs Lake, this secluded beach is tucked away in the unincorporated community New Site. But with pristine white sand and crystal clear water, this hidden gem is definitely worth the effort it takes to get to. Visit Old Bridge Beach at Hwy. 4 and Prentiss County Rd. 3501, New Site, MS 38859.
3. Clearwater Key at Geyser Falls
Part of the Geyser Falls Water Park, Clearwater Key features eight acres of white sand beaches and a pool filled with crystal clear water. The Caribbean-themed attraction even includes poolside cabanas, a hot tub, and an onsite café, making it ideal for a quick tropical getaway. Visit Geyser Falls at 209 Black Jack Rd., Choctaw, MS 39350.
4. Starkville KOA
A great summertime visit, this lakeside campground includes a private beach, charming cabins, and its own water park. Day passes are available for the water park and beach, so you don’t have to actually stay at the campground to take advantage of its incredible amenities. Visit Starkville KOA at 2661 County Lake Rd., Starkville, MS 39759.
5. Presley’s Outing
When you need a quick tropical escape, pay a visit to this secluded spot. Dubbed a "little slice of paradise," the lakeside retreat is centered around Goode’s Mill Lake and includes a white sand beach that’s perfect for soaking up the sun. There are also boat rentals, grills, and an on-site restaurant, so it’s a great place to spend an entire summer day. Visit Presley’s Outing at 10501 Presleys Outing Rd., Moss Point, MS 39562.
6. Pep’s Point
In business since 1939, Pep’s Point is where the locals go to cool off – and for good reason. In addition to a white sand beach, the water park features a pavilion, picnic tables, volleyball nets, miniature golf, and water slides that flow directly into lake. And since the lake is spring-fed, the water is nice and cold - no matter how hot it is outside. Visit Pep’s Point at 382 Peps Point Rd., Hattiesburg, MS 39401.
7. Lake Tiak-O’khata
Head to this small town resort, and you’ll find a gorgeous white sand beach, complete with water slides, a volleyball court, and supervised swimming area, making it a great place to bring the entire family. There’s also an onsite restaurant and picnic areas, so you can easily spend all day at this waterfront spot. You can even turn your day trip into an overnight stay since the resort also includes cabins, a lakeside motel, and an RV Park. Lake Tiak-O’khata is located at 1290 Smyth Lake Rd., Louisville, MS 39339.
8. The Blue Lagoon at Paradise Ranch and Resort
Offering the best of both worlds, the Blue Lagoon is an artesian-fed pool that’s surrounded by gorgeous white sand. The makeshift beach is part of a campground, so you can stay overnight, turning your day of fun into a mini tropical vacation. Visit Paradise Ranch and Resort at 660 Hwy. 48 West, Tylertown, MS 39667.
9. Enid Lake Recreation Area
Located about 150 miles north of Jackson, this recreation area is the perfect spot to escape the summer heat. The area includes four designated beaches, so there’s plenty of room – even during the hottest days of summer. Nearby, The North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center, which includes an aquarium, interactive exhibits, and artifacts, is a must-visit. Enid Lake Recreation Area is located at 264 County Rd. 39, Enid, MS 38927.
10. Yogi on the Lake
Located just outside of Jackson, Yogi on the Lake is a great place for a day of fun in the sun. Aside from a white sand beach, you’ll find a swimming pool, splash pad, water slides, miniature golf course, campground, and restaurant. Yogi on the Lake is located at 143 Campground Rd., Pelahatchie, MS 39145.
11. Chewalla Lake Recreation Area
Escape the heat of summer (and the crowds) with a visit to this secluded spot in the Holly Springs National Forest. With a spring-fed lake that’s surrounded by a white sand beach, it’s the perfect place for everything from relaxing under the sun to splashing around in the refreshingly cool water. The recreation area is located at 726 Chewalla Lake Rd., Holly Springs, MS 38635.
So, how many of these beaches will you visit this summer? Was your favorite beach included? Tell us in the comments section.