Best Beaches in Iowa

While a landlocked state, Iowa has plenty of great beaches along its many rivers as well as public swimming parks and manmade beaches. Few things are better than getting out in the sun on a beautiful Iowa summer day, so find a great Iowa beach near you and enjoy the water and sunshine!

We’ve compiled a list of the best beaches across the state of Iowa, which you can view below:

The following are several of our favorite beaches in Iowa that we wanted to highlight:

Coralville Beach

This is by far one of the best beaches in Iowa! It has something for everyone: water sports, such as kayaking and boating; swimming; picnicking with plenty of picnic tables overlooking the shoreline; fishing along one side of the beach where you can find lots of bluegill and other fish waiting to be caught. If you like exploring different types of food trucks, then this place also has a handful that come on weekends and holidays! There’s also a huge sand volleyball court that’s open to the public whenever lifeguards are on duty (usually only on the weekends & holidays), which is perfect if you’re looking to play some beach volleyball with friends or meet new people!

Grandview Park Beach

Grandview Park Beach is connected to an awesome bike path along the Skunk River, so it makes for a great walk or ride into town. If you feel inspired to take your paddle boarding out over the river, there are plenty of boating services right outside of this park where they can drop off equipment and pick it up again when you’re done for the day. The natural scenery here is pretty great, so be sure to bring your camera along!

Lake MacBride Beach

This beach, located in the town of Solon along Lake McBride, is absolutely breathtaking. With large bluffs standing tall above the beach and a hill-like center that overlooks the winding lake, you couldn’t ask for more scenic views while enjoying the water. There’s also another nearby smaller beach called River Park that overlooks the Iowa River, which is perfect if you like riding bikes or walking around with your dog without having to worry about other people around. This beach is also rarely crowded, which makes it even better!

Spirit Lake Beaches

Spirit Lake is one of the best lakes in all of Iowa, and it has several great beaches that go along with it! There are too many to list here, but many of the most visited include Miniwaukon Beach, Marble Beach State Recreation Area, McClelland Beach, and Harlan Beach. The town of Spirit Lake has many great shops that are perfect for grabbing lunch between playing in the water. Be sure to check out East and West Okoboji Lakes just to the south, which make up the largest natural lake system found in Iowa, as they have just as many great beaches to choose from. If you’re planning a summer family trip in Iowa that isn’t too far from home, be sure to consider Spirit Lake!

Big Creek Park Beach

This is another great beach right on Lake Macbride State Park. It gets crowded here throughout the summer because people come from all around to camp within the park itself. The nice thing about this beach though is that there’s not only one good part to swim in but several different areas depending on your preference; if you like catching fish or kayaking, then you can go to the designated kayak & fishing area. If you’re just up for a casual swim, then you can stay in the main swimming area right next to the parking lot where families set up their lawn chairs and umbrellas.

Coralville Lake Beach

Located just south of Iowa City, Coralville Lake Beach may be small in size but this doesn’t make it any less beautiful. It has are several trails nearby that will allow you to hike up the hills surrounding the area if you want some privacy from other people or just want some fresh air while gazing at the scenery around you. There are lifeguard stands here too during most of the summer so everyone can swim safely within its shores. I would recommend going during sunset though because the view of the sun sinking down over the rolling hills is truly fantastic.

George Wyth Beach

This beach is located on George Wyth Lake in George Wyth State Park in Waterloo, IA. The State Park has some pretty unique features including a bike path along the Cedar River, so it makes for a great walk or ride into town. If you feel inspired to go paddleboarding, you can rent paddleboards and other water equipment from Maxx Rentals, which is located right by the beach. They’ll help you choose the right equipment and will pick it up again when you’re done for the day.