Best Beaches in North Dakota

North Dakota has many great beaches that are perfect for both family fun and weekend getaways.

Some of the best North Dakota beaches are on Lake Sakakawea, where you can enjoy sunsets with your special someone or while relaxing in a hammock under the shade of a tree. Other popular destinations include Grand Beach State Park, Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, Memorial Park Beach at City Hall in Mandan, and Prairie Dog Town Fork River Campground near Beulah.

While every beach is different depending on what you’re looking for – some might be more secluded than others – these are just a few of the most popular choices across North Dakota’s 53 counties. There may not be palm trees swaying over the white sands in North Dakota, but the beaches are just as enjoyable.

North Dakota’s Best Beaches

Lake Sakakawea

Lake Sakakawea is the largest lake in the state of North Dakota and is formed by the damming of the Missouri River. The lake is full of beaches across its massive shoreline, including the likes of Lake Sakakawea State Park, Johnson’s Beach, Fort Stevenson State Park, and Lake Audubon Beach Shore.

These beaches offer swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, fishing, and canoeing/kayaking for people looking to enjoy a day outdoors with their families. Because the locations are easily accessible from almost anywhere in the state by car or boat – it’s not uncommon to see many campers pitching tents along the shoreline near sunset. Driving down the street after 9 p.m., you’ll often hear music blaring from speakers at campsites where families are gathered to celebrate the weekend.

Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

Located near Lake Sakakawea, this is a location between Stanton and Bismarck off Highway 1804 that features the remains of four prehistoric Native American villages from the Late Woodland period. Some trails lead through each village as well as different ceremonial effigy mounds, gravesites, and other points of interest to see along the way. The area features Sakakawea Park along the Knife River that flows into the Missouri River. There are plenty of riverside beaches in this area that are great for swimming or fishing.

Harmon Lake near Mandan

The beach on Harmon Lake is located about 8 miles north of Mandan and is one of North Dakota’s most popular beaches during the summertime because it’s a great place to relax, explore mountain biking trails, go camping, or walk along the rolling hills surrounding the lake. You can find more about Mandan’s lakes and beaches here:

Lake Metigoshe State Park

Lake Metigoshe State Park is a wonderful beach for those looking to get away from the noise of the city and relax with friends and family in a more private setting. This state park is located at Bottineau County near Dunseith and offers swimming beaches, fishing, and canoeing along with group campsites and picnic areas for those looking to make a day out of their trip.

Beach at Riverside Beach Park in Grand Forks

Riverside Beach Park is another wonderful beach located in Grand Forks, ND along the Red River where visitors can enjoy a relaxing day out on the water under the sun. This location is at the end of 1st Street and has beautiful views of Downtown Grand Forks and also features restrooms, picnic areas, and plenty of parking available for those visiting.