15 Best Beaches in Missouri

I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting beach destinations, and when I heard about Missouri’s lake beaches, I knew I had to check them out! And after spending some time exploring them, I can confidently say that these stunning shores are indeed a hidden gem. From the stunning Table Rock Lake to the picturesque Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri’s beaches offer something for everyone. In this article, I’ll share my top 15 picks for the Best Beaches in Missouri that you must check out. Read on!

Best Beaches in Missouri

1. Finger Lakes

I was unsure where to begin my search for the best beaches in Missouri, but after some research, I discovered that one of the best beaches in the state is Finger Lakes. But I didn’t know what to expect. Would they be actual lakes that you could swim in? Or just really big ponds? 

As it turns out, the Finger Lakes are a series of 11 long and narrow freshwater lakes located near Columbia. They’re called Finger Lakes because they resemble a hand with long, slender fingers. And best of all, the lakes are interlinked, providing 4.5 miles of water trail that’s perfect for canoeing and kayaking. 

Other highlights of Finger Lakes include clear water perfect for swimming, plenty of hiking and biking trails, and beautiful lush green scenery. Camping is also available, making this one of the best places to visit in Missouri for a weekend getaway.

2. Public Beach #1

Public Beach #1 is one of the best places to cool off on a hot summer day in Missouri. The beach is located in the Lake of the Ozarks State Park, just a short drive from the popular tourist destination of Branson.

Public Beach #1 is known for its wide sandy beaches and calm, clear water, making it the perfect place to swim and sunbathe. The beach is also a popular spot for families, with plenty of picnic areas and playgrounds to keep kids entertained while their parents relax on the beach or take a dip in the lake. Other amenities at Public Beach #1 include restrooms, showers, and changing rooms. 

In my opinion, Public Beach #1 is one of the best Missouri beaches because of its location, beautiful scenery, and family-friendly atmosphere. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sand or take a dip in the water, this beach has everything you need for a perfect summer day.

3. Creve Coeur Lake Beach

Although I enjoyed my time at Public Beach #1, another beach in Missouri that I highly recommend is Creve Coeur Lake Beach. This is one of the best spots for swimming in the state and also the closest beach to St. Louis.

The beach itself is quite large, with plenty of space for sunbathing, picnicking, and swimming. The water is also very clean and clear, perfect for a refreshing dip. In addition to the beach, there are also several hiking trails located nearby that are perfect for exploring the surrounding nature. And if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, the lake is also a great spot for paddle boarding and kayaking.

Overall, Creve Coeur Lake Beach is an excellent spot for a day trip or weekend getaway. The beach is beautiful, the water is clean and clear, and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. I definitely recommend checking this place out if you’re ever in Missouri.

4. Fugitive Beach

Another top beach destination in Missouri is Fugitive Beach, a former quarry that has been transformed into a haven for swimmers, sunbathers, and picnickers. Located in Rolla, Missouri, near the town’s downtown area, Fugitive Beach is a popular spot among locals and visitors alike.

With its sparkling blue waters and pristine white sand beaches, Fugitive Beach offers the best of the best when it comes to Missouri beaches. Whether you want to swim or simply relax on the shores, this beach is the perfect place to do it. There are also plenty of activities for those who want to stay active, including volleyball and walking/jogging trails. And when you get hungry, there are plenty of food options nearby to choose from.

Due to the deep waters, you will be required to sign a waiver before swimming or diving here. But if you’re up for the challenge, you will be rewarded with an experience unlike any other. And if you wish to spend the night, there is a campsite and lodging located near the beach. So you can wake up to the sound of waves and enjoy another day in paradise.

5. Grand Glaize Beach

Grand Glaize Beach is one of the best beaches in Missouri for swimming, sunbathing, and simply relaxing. The beach is located along the shores of Lake of the Ozarks, a popular recreational destination that attracts visitors from all around the state.

With its wide, sandy shores and calm, shallow waters, Grand Glaize Beach is the perfect place to spend a relaxing day in the sun. The beach also offers plenty of amenities, including bathrooms, changing rooms, and picnic areas. And best of all, the beach is surrounded by beautiful wooded areas and hiking trails, so you can stretch your legs during a break from the sand.

Grand Glaize Beach is the perfect place to enjoy all that Missouri’s lakes have to offer, and I had a great time exploring this beautiful beach during my visit. So if you’re looking for a fun day in the sun or just want to do some relaxing, this is the perfect spot.

6. Long Branch Beach

My trip to Missouri beaches continued at Long Branch Beach, a gorgeous stretch of sand located near Macon. This beach is best known for its warm water and white sand, both of which make it the perfect place to swim, sunbathe, or just relax.

In addition to its stunning natural beauty, Long Branch Beach is also popular for its many family-friendly amenities. You’ll find a variety of picnic shelters and grills throughout the park, along with areas where you can enjoy a game of volleyball or horseshoes. 

There’s also a playground for the kids, making it the perfect spot for a family day trip.

There’s also a marina and a store where you can rent boats for fishing and other water sports. And if you’re looking for something to do in the evening, the beach is also a great place to go for a walk or take in the stunning sunset over the water.

Camping is also permitted, with both modern and primitive campsites available. And if you’re looking for a place to stay in the area, there are plenty of nearby hotels and motels.

7. Moonshine Beach

Another great beach to check out in Missouri is Moonshine Beach, located in Branson. This beautiful stretch of sand sits on the shores of Table Rock Lake and offers stunning views of the Ozarks.

The beach offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy, including swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and more. The clear water and stunning scenery make it a must-visit spot for anyone looking to experience the best beaches in Missouri. There are also a number of nearby trails and walking paths, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon. So, if you’re looking for a beautiful beach with plenty of things to do, Moonshine Beach is sure to exceed your expectations.

8. Mark Twain Lake

I don’t know what it is about Missouri, but the state seems to be an absolute paradise for beaches. After exploring Moonshine beach, I moved on to another great Missouri beach: Mark Twain Lake. This is a man-made reservoir that was created in the 1960s. The lake is named after the famous American writer and humorist, who was born and raised in Missouri.

Today, Mark Twain Lake is one of the best places in Missouri to go fishing, boating, swimming, paddleboarding, and camping. I was amazed by the crystal-clear water and the beautiful sandy beaches. The best part of the lake, in my opinion, is that it’s situated in a scenic and rural area, making it the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

There are also plenty of green spaces around the lake, which are perfect for picnicking or playing games. And for more adventures, the lake is connected to a system of trails that wind through wooded areas and rolling hills. This makes it the perfect place to enjoy a day in the sun, surrounded by nature

9. Truman Lake

Truman Lake is another top beach destination in Missouri. The lake was created in 1979 when the Harry S. Truman Dam and Reservoir were built on the Osage River. The reservoir is the largest man-made lake in Missouri, with a depth of more than 80 feet.

Truman Lake consists of more than 958 miles of shoreline and features two public beaches on its shores. One of these beaches is located at a campground and is only open to campers. The other beach is open to the general public for day use. These beaches are popular destinations for swimming, fishing, boating, and other water activities. They’re also great places to simply relax and enjoy the stunning scenery.

In addition to its two public beaches, there are also several hiking trails and picnic areas, making this a great spot for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. So if you’re looking for a beach in Missouri that offers something for everyone, this is the perfect place for you.

10. Stockton Lake Public Beach

Stockton Lake is a man-made reservoir that was created in 1969 for the purpose of providing water to the city of St. Louis. It is located near the town of Stockton, Missouri, and is one of the best beaches in Missouri for those looking to spend a relaxing day by the water.

The lake has a public beach where visitors can sunbathe, swim, and picnic. There are also several hiking trails that wind through the nearby woods. And for those who want to stay overnight, there are primitive camping sites available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Stockton Lake is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the tranquility of nature. It’s a great place to relax, unwind, and just take in the beauty of Missouri’s natural landscape.

11. Rocky Falls Beach

There’s no shortage of unique beaches in Missouri, and my next favorite is Rocky Falls Beach. Located near Winona in the southeastern part of the state, Rocky Falls Beach is best known for its dramatic 25-foot waterfall. But the falls are just one of the reasons to visit Rocky Falls Beach. The rock that surrounds the falls is believed to be some of the oldest in Missouri, dating back more than 1.5 billion years.

But aside from its geological significance, Rocky Falls Beach is also a great place to cool off on a hot summer day. The water is refreshing, and the beach is perfect for sunbathing and relaxing. There are also plenty of hiking trails in the area, making this beach the perfect spot for a day of adventure.

Just be sure to bring your camera because Rocky Falls Beach is one of the most photogenic places in Missouri.

12. Lake Lincoln Beach

Another great beach in Missouri is Lake Lincoln Beach, located at Cuivre River State Park. This lake beach offers an abundance of water-based activities, including swimming, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and picnicking.

While swimming is permitted, the best thing to do here is rent a kayak/canoe and take it out on the lake. There are plenty of coves and inlets to explore, and the scenery is simply beautiful. If you don’t have your own kayak, don’t worry; you can rent one at the park. Or, if you’re feeling really lazy, you can take a leisurely stroll along the lake beach and enjoy the views.

Lake Lincoln Beach is also home to a campground, making it the perfect place for a weekend getaway. The campsites are spacious and well-maintained, and there are plenty of amenities nearby if you need them.

13. Wakonda Lake Beach

I would never have guessed that one of the best beaches in Missouri would be located in La Grange. But that’s exactly where Wakonda Lake Beach is located inside Wakonda State Park.

This 1,054 acres recreational area consists of six lakes, with Wakonda Lake Beach being the only one that offers a beach area and swimming. In fact, this is one of the Missouri beaches that has the largest natural sand area, making it a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the sun.

The water is crystal clear, and there’s a roped-off swimming area that’s perfect for families with small children. I also loved that there were plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas available for rent, as well as showers. The other lakes are used for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.

The park also has a modern campground and picnic area, as well as hiking and biking trails. So if you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation without having to travel far, then this is the perfect Missouri beach for you.

14. Allison Cove Beach 

If you’re looking for the closest beach to St. Louis, look no further than Allison Cove Beach at Lake Wappapello State Park. The park is located just a few hours south of the city and offers visitors a variety of outdoor activities, including swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, boating, and camping.

The beach itself is beautiful, with crystal-clear water and plenty of room to sunbathe, swim, or just relax with a good book. There are also several hiking trails in the park perfect for exploring the surrounding woods and wildlife. And if you’re looking for even more adventure, the park also offers horseback riding, canoeing, and fishing.

Allison Cove Beach is the perfect spot for a relaxing day at the beach. And with so much to do in the park, you could easily spend a whole weekend here and never get bored.

15. Smithville Lake

Just a short drive from Kansas City is Smithville Lake, another one of the best beaches in Missouri. Smithville Lake is a man-made reservoir that was built in the 1970s as a multipurpose project for water supply, flood reduction, recreation, water quality control, and fish and wildlife conservation.

Over the years, the lake has become a popular spot for swimming, fishing, boating, and camping. The beach area at Smithville Lake is well-maintained and has a large deck area where you can sit back and relax in the sun. There are also picnic areas, restrooms, and showers available.

I recommend checking out Smithville Lake if you’re looking for a great beach destination near Kansas City. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a day of swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.

In summary

Missouri is home to some of the best beaches in the country. Whether you’re looking for wide sandy beaches, calm waters, or plenty of activities, the beaches of Missouri have it all. So start planning your trip today and experience the best that Missouri has to offer.