Although you are not likely to think of Colorado, the eighth largest state in the U.S., when considering the most picturesque, water-activity laden, soft, sandy beaches to visit - well, think again. These amazing beach destinations, many of which the local residents are not privy to, are whispering for your attention. Even though Colorado is a landlocked state, consider enjoying calm, pristine waters surrounded by majestic Rocky Mountains. It’s the special eye candy treat you will undoubtedly treasure reserved exclusively at these enchanting beach sites. Relax and sun on the tranquil shorelines. Soak up the unique beach experience that each of these Colorado water havens will provide for a memorable time.

5 Best Beaches To Visit In Colorado

1. Blue Mesa Reservoir, Curecanti National Recreation Area

102 Elk Creek, CO 81230

Best time to visit: May through September

Noted as the largest lake nestled within the state of Colorado, Blue Mesa stretches twenty miles and boasts 96 miles of strapping, rocky shoreline to indulge your water and lounging pleasures. Located between Montrose and Gunnison, Blue Mesa Reservoir is part of Curecanti National Recreation Area and part of a hydroelectric project, along with Morrow Point Reservoir and Crystal Reservoir, efficiently supplying electricity to the region. This gem of a destination will allow you the option to play out all your recreational fantasies including windsurfing, boating, water skiing, wakeboarding, and horseback riding. For anglers, the water is well-stocked with trout and loads of premium fish ready to capture. Don’t forget to enjoy a bite to eat at Pappy’s Restaurant. Average temperatures range in the comfortable 80 degree zone during the summer months for a soothing sun soak. A definite “must do” on the list of summertime favorite beach spots to visit.

2. Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

11999 Highway 150, Mosca, CO 81146

Best time to visit: May through July

Escape the urban chaos and treat yourself to this incredibly scenic, quiet and secluded setting. Medano (Spanish for sand dune) Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve invites exploration, reconnecting with nature and frolicking along the rolling sand dunes. Home to the tallest dunes in North America along with one of the most delicate and intricate dune systems in the world. Star Dune rises 755 feet from its base to its crest. Breathtaking views abound to dazzle the eyes. Don’t forget your camera! Enjoy cooling off in the refreshing and beckoning waters from the flowing creek. Great fun can be had building sand creations, sand sledding, skim boarding, and even rafting when the water level is high. An adventure for the entire family!

3. Chatfield State Park

11500 Roxborough Park Rd, Littleton, CO 80125

Best time to visit: May through September

Float your boat on over to this popular, yet tranquil, metro Denver destination. Very scenic, ardent mountain views provide a calming backdrop for this ideal swim spot. Lots of traditional water activities including boating, canoeing, water skiing and fishing to keep you occupied as well as a lovely floating eatery to satisfy your foodie palate. Chatfield is a great place to spend the day as a romantic twosome or for a family day-trip---it aims to please. For those who enjoy outdoor cooking, picnic tables and grills are a stroll away from the water. There is a nearby area for dogs-off-leash for those desiring to have your favorite four-legged buddy tagalong (nominal fees do apply.)

4. Boulder Reservoir

5565 N 51st St., Boulder, CO 80301

Best time to visit: May through September

Indulge in the unexpected, bask in the golden sun of one of the largest beaches in Colorado. Only a short distance from Boulder and Longmont, Boulder Reservoir is a beach lover’s paradise. Magnificent Rocky Mountain views for sun worshipers, runners and fun seekers to behold. Expect to see lots of friendly wildlife in this 700 acre state park when you venture beyond the warm sand. Activities galore are provided for all your water interests including boating, water skiing, fishing and swimming. For your water enjoying comfort, water certified lifeguards are on duty daily during the swim season.

5. Jackson Lake State Park

26363 Country Road 3, Orchard, CO 80649

Best time to visit: May through September

Selected as the “Top 15 Park Beaches” by Reserve America, Jackson Lake is a beach goer’s dream. It’s prime location northeast of Orchard, Colorado in western Morgan County, gives it extra locale appeal. Sandy beaches with beautiful, tree-lined, shores provide ample shade. Jackson Lake is a haven for swimmers and water sports enthusiasts who enjoy boating, water skiing, jet skiing, and fishing. Birdwatching and other wildlife activities are sure to occupy the kids. This beach spot provides a geocaching treasure hunt of fun and a vacationer’s paradise! Register to participate at the official geocaching website.

This article was written by Sharon Cleveland Blount.