We know, Nevada isn’t really known for its beaches. This southwestern state is land-locked and has an arid desert climate but don’t be surprised if these are some of the best beaches you’ll ever set foot on. The Silver State has a number of river systems, some of them with dam-formed lakes, which creates luscious settings for both nature and humans to enjoy. With summer in full swing, here are 10 of the best beaches in Nevada that you should definitely check out. Pack your bags and find a vacation rental in Nevada, because the beach is calling.

1. Sand Harbor Beach

sand harbor
Source: Flickr/Ken Lund

Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe is without a doubt one of Nevada’s most beautiful beaches. The sand is soft between your toes and the water looks like a painting. This beach is also great for families with small children. Just be sure to get there early to beat the crowds because it’s definitely the most popular beach in the area, especially during the summer months.

2. Boulder Beach

boulder beach
Source: Flickr/Angel La Canfora

Boulder Beach, part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, is located about five miles north of Hoover Dam. In addition to the beach, many visitors are drawn here for the campground. Boulder Beach’s campground consists of 154 sites with hook-ups for recreational vehicles. Scuba diving is also allowed at North Boulder Beach’s Dive Park, north of the designated swimming area.

3. Cottonwood Cove Beach

cottonwood cove beach
Source: Flickr/Andy Blackledge

Cottonwood Cove Beach, located on the Lake Mohave section of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a beautiful beach with even better fishing opportunities. Depending on the time of year, fishermen have been known to reel in several different types of fish, including bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie, and trout. Don’t worry if you’re not into fishing because Cottonwood Cove also offers boating, waterskiing, swimming and camping. Rent a boat, or bring your own and stay in one of the boat slips at the marina. Landlubber? Cottonwood provides RV services too.

4. Chimney Beach

chimney beach
Source: Flickr/Wayne Hsieh

This gorgeous beach is located on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. Named after the chimney that sits on the beach, Chimney Beach is dog-friendly and usually not very crowded because of the 15-minute hike it takes to get there. The trailhead parking is about 2.6 miles south of Sand Harbor, and the hike begins on the lake side of the highway just beyond the restrooms. The extra effort will be more than worth it because chances are, you’ll be getting this gorgeous beach to yourself.

5. Baldwin Beach

baldwin beach
Source: Flickr/Ken Lund

Another great Lake Tahoe beach is Baldwin Beach, located on the south shore. It stretches for nearly half a mile and offers panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The beach is perfect for swimming and picnicking but mostly popular as a kayak launching point for people heading to Emerald Bay. Kayak rentals are available on site, or you can bring your own from your vacation rental.

6. Zephyr Cove Beach

zephyr cove beach
Source: Flickr/Srikanth Madduri

Zephyr Cove Beach is more than just a mile of beautiful sand. Maybe not the best destination for families, this beach is popular for its fun, party atmosphere and modern campground. Enjoy the volleyball courts, beach chair, and umbrella rentals, and of course, the beach cocktail service from the popular Sunset Bar & Grille at Zephyr Cove Resort. For the perfect mix of relaxation and recreation, this is the place!

7. Nevada Beach

lake tahoe

Another great Lake Tahoe Beach, Nevada Beach is less than a mile long and located on the east shore. Nestled among native pine trees, this quiet beach is perfect for swimming, fishing, boating, and camping. The campground offers dozens of campsites for tent and TV camping, and each site has a starting BBQ and fire ring. Some sites are in the wooded areas, and many have a view of the lake.

8. Secret Cove

tree stumps
Source: Flickr/Jan Arendtsz

Secret Cove is another beach in the Lake Tahoe beach series, located on the east shore, south of Chimney Beach. Parking can be difficult here, and you may have to walk little ways to reach the beach from your car. Maybe leave the kids at home for this one because Secret Cove is a nude beach! There’s nothing quite like enjoying a scenic view of Lake Tahoe in your birthday suit.

9. Willow Beach

lake mead

Located within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Lake Mojave, Willow Beach is popular because visitors can easily load up on a boat and see Hoover Dam from the bottom. The beach also has 235 miles of shoreline to explore with some of the unique scenery and wildlife to see. Boat rentals are available as well as canoes and other watercrafts to fully enjoy your day on the water. Extend your stay by using one of the campground and RV spaces.

10. South Nets Beach

nevada

About an hour’s drive north of Reno is Pyramid Lake, a remnant of Lake Lahontan. Here, you’ll find rock formations resembling pyramids rising our of the salty water. Be sure to watch for bighorn sheep on the way along State Route 445. Also nearby is the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Reservation which allows fishing, boating and camping with a permit. You can also learn more about the history of the lake and tribe at the Visitor Center.