When you think of North Dakota, you might imagine grasslands as far as the eye can see under an open expanse of sky. The state is, after all, located in the heart of the Great Plains territory. But North Dakota also has some great beach destinations along its rivers and lakes. With the varied selection of vacation rentals in North Dakota offering prime access to regional bodies of water, the state’s beach spots are some of the best places to unwind for a trip. Here are some of the top places to go for a beach vacation rentals in North Dakota.

1. Lake Metigoshe


Lake Metigoshe is one of the most popular year-round vacation destinations in North Dakota. The lake is located within Lake Metigoshe State Park, which offers various types of camping experiences as well as recreational activities. If you’re looking for more than just swimming in the lake, going fishing or relaxing on the beach, the state park has opportunities for hiking, biking and picnicking as well. Thinking of bringing your camera along? In addition to capturing your moments at the beach on film, you might find that the rolling hills and aspen forests around the lake make for stunning photographs as well.

2. Lake Saskakawea

It’s no wonder Lake Saskakawea boasts more shoreline than the state of California. The lake is one of the three largest manmade reservoirs in the United States. The south side of the shore is where Lake Saskakawea State Park is located. There, visitors will find a range opportunities for water recreation. The park offers boat, kayak, and paddle board rentals at the swimming beach. But visitors can also skip the equipment and enjoy quintessential beach activities including swimming and sunbathing.

3. Devil’s Lake

Aside from the greenery, you’ll see across the shore of the lake, you’ll feel as if you’re by the sea at the Devil’s Lake State Park beach. Two sandy beaches offer prime shoreline experience at the park, while lifeguards and play areas make the area more kid friendly. Find the beaches on the north and south shores of the lake, where swimming and sunbathing are popular from around mid-June to late September. If you’re looking for less sun, head for the south shore beach area, which remains shaded until about midday. However, the south shore beach area is a bit rockier than the north shore.

4. Lake Ashtabula

Nestled in on of the most scenic river valleys in the area, Lake Ashtabula is full of recreational opportunities at any time of the year. For the warmer months, the lake has three designated swimming areas around the lake. Vacationers can go boating, swimming and fishing on the lake, as well as camping and picnicking around it. While you’re at lake Ashtabula, keep an eye out for the white pelican, one of the most unique seasonal wildlife that can be seen around the lake. The 14 wildlife areas at Lake Ashtabula may provide additional opportunities to see wildlife.

5. Lake Tschida

With about 10 campgrounds within the general Lake Tschida area, the lake destination is great for anyone in the Heart River region. As a popular recreation destination, visitors often go swimming, boating, water skiing, camping and picnicking on the lake during the summer. The lake also has 10 boat ramps for anglers. If you want to take a few days to see all Lake Tschida has to offer, consider camping in one of the recreation areas with designated campsites. You’ll find everything you need for a comfortable stay, including shelters, restrooms, picnic tables and more.

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6. Beaver Lake

You won’t have to deal with the sandy evidence from a trip to the beach with a visit to Beaver Lake. The grassy lake area adds gorgeous greenery where you and your family can set up a picnic and enjoy the sun. The shimmering blue waters are perfect for swimming, boating, fishing and even water skiing. Nearby, you‘ll also find hiking trails through the lake’s scenery. Even if you’re just in the mood for a leisurely walk, the park’s gently rolling prairie sets a stunning backdrop that will elevate the experience.

7. Lake Renwick

Spend an afternoon relaxing in the shade of old oak trees near the shore of Lake Renwick. If it gets too warm, take a dip in the water or take a boat out to fish for northern pike and other game fish. The lake’s north shore is home to Icelandic State Park, which has its own charms. See the state’s homesteading heritage by taking a walk through Gunlogson Homestead and Nature Preserve, a 200-acre wooded area said to preserve the state‘s pioneer spirit. You can also lean more about life as a pioneer by visiting the Pioneer Heritage Center located in the park.

8. Jamestown Reservoir

Jamestown Reservoir offers 45 miles of shoreline and two beach areas for public use. The beaches are located by Lakeside Marina on the east side and at Pelican Point Campground on the west. After you have your fill of swimming at the beach, explore the reservoir‘s other recreational offerings. In addition to the hiking and biking trails through the area, a fishing pond near Lakeside Marina and a playground, the site also has a disc golf course and hunting grounds. And if you want to settle in and stay a while, you’ll find luxury cabins at Lakeside Meadow or no-frills cabins at the campgrounds near the beaches.

9. Lake Oahe

Lake Oahe is often touted as one of the best beach destinations in both North and South Dakota. Located on the Missouri River, the lake has more than 50 recreation areas along its approximately 2,250 miles of shoreline. Maximize your lake visit by packing your swimming or fishing gear before you head out. The Beaver Creek Recreation area on the North Dakota side of the lake is known for its great boating, swimming, fishing and water skiing.

10. Missouri River

Don’t miss your chance to swim in the longest river in the United States. The river flows through North Dakota and offers numerous attractions in addition to swimming beaches along the way. You’ll find several of North Dakota‘s lakes, such as Lake Saskawea, connected to the Missouri River. But if you’re looking for a spot on the river to relax and enjoy beach vibes, drive along River Road from Bismark to take your pick.

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