If you’ve never been to Nebraska, you’re rolling your eyes at that title right now. Beaches in 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 spend a hot summer day.

There’s a nice mixture here of completely natural beaches in Nebraska- 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? Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re looking for more great natural beauty in Nebraska? Check out these sand dunes in Nebraska.

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.

More to Explore

Beaches In Nebraska

Are there any beaches in Nebraska?

Nebraska, being a landlocked state, does not have any oceanic beaches, but it does boast a number of beautiful lakes and reservoirs that offer sandy shores and recreational opportunities reminiscent of traditional beach destinations.

  • Lake McConaughy (Big Mac) - Nebraska's largest reservoir spanning 20,000 acres, offering sandy beaches for swimming, sunbathing, boating, jet skiing, and fishing.
  • Harlan County Reservoir - A scenic destination in south-central Nebraska with sandy shores, clear waters, and opportunities for swimming, picnicking, camping, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
  • Branched Oak Lake - Located near Lincoln, the state capital, features a sandy beach and amenities like picnic areas, playgrounds, and hiking trails.
  • Lake Minatare - A picturesque lake in western Nebraska offering a sandy beach for relaxation, swimming, and picnicking, surrounded by stunning natural landscapes.
  • Lewis and Clark Lake - Situated in northeastern Nebraska, this reservoir boasts sandy beaches, campgrounds, and water activities such as boating, fishing, and water skiing.
  • Calamus Reservoir - Nestled in the Sandhills region, Calamus Reservoir provides a tranquil beach setting for swimming, sunbathing, camping, and fishing, along with hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities.
  • Lake Maloney - Located near North Platte, this reservoir offers a sandy beach area for swimming, picnicking, and camping, attracting visitors seeking a beach-like experience.


These lakes and reservoirs in Nebraska may not have an oceanic coastline, but they offer beautiful sandy beaches and recreational activities, allowing residents and travelers to enjoy beach-like experiences in the heartland of the Midwest.

What lakes are safe to swim in in Nebraska?

Nebraska has several lakes that are considered safe for swimming. Here are some of the safest lakes in Nebraska to swim in:

  • Lake McConaughy: Located in western Nebraska, Lake McConaughy is a popular destination for swimming. It has designated swimming areas, and the water is generally considered safe for recreational activities. However, it's always a good idea to check for any advisories or warnings before swimming.
  • Harlan County Reservoir: Situated in south-central Nebraska, Harlan County Reservoir offers safe swimming areas along its sandy shores. The reservoir is regularly monitored, and water quality is generally suitable for swimming.
  • Branched Oak Lake: This lake near Lincoln is a popular spot for swimming, and the water is generally considered safe. It has designated swimming beaches with lifeguards during peak season.
  • Lake Minatare: Located in western Nebraska, Lake Minatare provides opportunities for swimming, and the water quality is typically safe for recreational use.
  • Lewis and Clark Lake: Situated in northeastern Nebraska, Lewis and Clark Lake has designated swimming areas where visitors can enjoy safe and refreshing swimming experiences.

Explore Nebraska