Sure, we can lament the fact that PA doesn’t cozy up to the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean. But why do that when we have perfectly stunning beaches that will make us feel as though we’ve journeyed hundreds of miles to the ocean? Now that summer’s in full swing, it’s the perfect time to pack up the family and head to one of these beaches in Pennsylvania that promises a relaxing day away.
1. Presque Isle State Park
Boasting the only "sea shore" in PA, Presque Isle State Park is
the place to go this summer. After all, it boasts more than a handful of beaches, most of which boast such amenities as a lifeguard, changing rooms, and concession stands. Waterworks Beach, for example, features a wheelchair ramp that leads directly to the water, a playground, and a picnic pavilion.
Presque Isle State Park is located at 301 Peninsula Dr,, Erie, PA 16505.
2. Bald Eagle State Park
Throw your towel on the sand along the 1,200-foot sandy beach at Bald Eagle State Park. Cool off in the 1,730-acre lake, or spend the day sunbathing on the shore. The beach-area also features a playground, changing rooms, and public bathrooms. Bring your own picnic. Or, stock up on goodies at the concession stand.
Bald Eagle State Park is located at 149 Main Park Rd., Howard, PA 16841.
3. Laurel Hill State Park
Feel as though you've journey a million miles away when you lounge on the beach at Laurel Hill State Park. Jump into the cool waters of the 63-acre Laurel Hill Lake. Or, dig your feet into the sand of the 1,200 foot sandy beach. Of course, you'll find plenty of other things to do at the beach, including boating, kayaking, canoeing, and watching the kids play at the playground. A concession stand is also available.
Laurel Hill State Park is located at 1454 Laurel Hill Park Rd., Somerset, PA 15501.
4. Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach
Can you just smell the ocean air when you close your eyes and jump into the cool water at Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach? The popular recreational facility promises a full day of adventure. Spend the day in an inner tube, wading in the cool water, jumping into the water from the over water swing, and leaping into the water from the high dive platform. Or, go kayaking, play a game of beach volleyball, or have a picnic.
Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach is located at 130 Lakeview Dr., Lebanon, PA 17042.
5. Poe Valley State Park
Flanked by Bald Eagle State Park, number two on our list, Poe Valley State Park offers a cozy setting for beach-goers. The 620-acre state park boasts a pristine sandy beach leading in to the cool water of 25-acre Poe Lake. Sunbathe as you watch the kids play on the beachfront playground. Then, embark on one of the park's hiking trails, go fishing, or grill dinner on one of the park's charcoal grills. Paddle boats are also available for rent.
Poe Valley State Park is located at 136 Poe Valley Rd., Penn Township, PA 176832.
6. Conneaut Lake
Most people know Conneaut Lake because of its old-fashioned amusement park. But, it also offers a gorgeous spring-fed lake and beach. Walk along the sand leading into Conneaut Lake. Or, wile away the hours basking in the sun, having a picnic, or playing an impromptu game of beach volleyball with other beach-goers. Other popular activities on Conneaut Lake include water skiing, boating, and fishing.
7. Raccoon Creek State Park
PA boasts its fair share of cozy beaches - like the one at Raccoon Creek State Park. The 500-foot sandy beach promises a quiet beach-going experience. Stake your claim on the sandy beach or the lush green grass before heading into the cool water. Then, relax with a picnic lunch or with goodies purchased at the beach's concession stand.
Raccoon Creek State Park is located at 3000 PA-18, Hookstown, PA 15050.
8. Pine Grove Furnace State Park
You've got your choice between two stunning sandy beaches at Pine Grove Furnace State Park: the two-acre Fuller Lake or the 25-acre Laurel Lake. Fuller Lake, which allows
only swimming, is known for being one of the state's coldest lakes. Laurel Lake, also pretty cold, is open to swimmers and to boaters. Fuller Beach is the only beach with lifeguards.
Pine Grove Furnace State Park is located at 1100 Pine Grove Rd., Gardners, PA 17324.
So, we don’t have access to the ocean in PA. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t feel as though we’ve been transported straight to a beach alongside the ocean, especially when we visit these eight stunning beaches in Pennsylvania. Prefer a natural waterpark to the beach? Then,
click here to read about an-action packed water attraction, Dutch Springs.