Oklahoma is probably not the first state you’d think to go for your beach vacation, but the Sooner State has plenty of clear lake waters worth swimming in. Some of these lakes have sandy beaches perfect for relaxing and working on your tan. You may find it hard to believe that Oklahoma can be a beach destination but once you explore some of these places, you’ll realize that it isn’t such a bad idea after all. Hurry up and book your Oklahoma vacation rental before everyone else learns about one of the best kept secrets!

1. Tom Steed Reservoir

This beautiful 6,400-acre lake in Kiowa County is surrounded by many amenities, including picnic tables, shelters, a boat ramp, grills, and a swimming beach. However, one of the main attractions is the abundance of waterfowl. Bird watchers flock from all over to see the many species of ducks and other birds in the reservoir waters and its surroundings. If you get tired of sunning yourself on the sand, grab a pole and cast a line to try and land crappie, large-mouth, and black bass, as well as some big catfish.

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2. Lake Texoma

Sitting on the state line between Oklahoma and Texas is the 89,000-acre Lake Texoma, one of the biggest reservoirs in the nation. You’ll forget that you’re not at the ocean, especially when you see the string of islands in the middle, and the white, sandy beaches similar to what you’ll find along the Gulf of Mexico. About 6 million boaters, skiers, anglers, golfers and campers come to Lake Texoma each year, and you could be one of them!

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3. Cedar Lake

Cedar Lake is a wonderfully scenic place to spend a few days. This 86-acre lake has two sandy beaches, and the north shore is surrounded by trees and mountains of the Ouachita National Forest. Take a dip in the warm lake waters while you enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Fishing, boating, and camping are also popular activities here.

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4. Broken Bow Lake

Another one of Oklahoma’s most scenic and popular tourist areas is Broken Bow Lake. Two state parks are situated around this large lake, Beavers Bend State Park and Hocatown State Park. Each park has a swimming beach and opportunities for camping, fishing, skiing, canoeing, and horseback riding.

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5. Keystone Lake

Only fifteen miles west of Tulsa, you’ll find 330 miles of shore at Keystone Lake. Start by checking out Walnut Creek State Park. It has many sandy beaches backed by woodlands on peninsulas jutting into the lake. Just across the lake is Washington Irving Cove Recreation Area. Less than 10 miles away are Keystone State Park and Salt Creek Cove Recreation Area which both have additional swimming beaches.

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6. Lake Eufaula

Lake Eufaula is the 15th largest lake in the United States and the largest lake completely in Oklahoma’s state boundaries. 600 miles of shoreline, sandy beaches and rocky coasts coexist with the lake’s clear blue water, which is popular with scuba divers. Want to sunbathe or make a sandcastle? Lake Eufaula State Park, Arrowhead State Park, Crowder Point East and Crowder Point West, Juniper Point and Porum Landing all have sandy beaches.

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7. Lake Tenkiller

Lake Tenkiller, in Eastern Oklahoma, has 130 miles of shoreline. Cherokee Landing State Park is on a peninsula that juts into the lake, with a beach located in the campground on the southern tip of the park. Go swimming at Tenkiller State Park, on the northern shore of the park’s southern peninsula near Fisherman’s Point. Keep an eye out for the buoys separating the designated swim beaches and boating areas. Another great place for scuba diving, Lake Tenkiller is noted for its clear water. The best place is near Skunk Island north of the Illinois River Dam.

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8. Canton Lake

Canton Lake has five recreational areas, but only one of them, the Sandy Cove Recreation Area, has a beach. Extend your stay at a nearby vacation rental or at the campground located on the north end of the Canton Dam. In addition to campers, Canton Lake also attracts picnickers, boaters, fishermen and hunters every year. There are great fishing opportunities and the lake’s gentle, sloping beaches are inviting for swimmers and sunbathers.

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9. Great Salt Plains Lake

Great Salt Plains Lake has a sandy beach and high red bluffs, but what makes this lake special is that has the only hour-glass shaped selenite crystals in the world. This unique state park has a barren landscape comprised of salt leftover from an ocean that covered Oklahoma in prehistoric times. Fun fact: the salt water in the lake is half as salty as the ocean.

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10. Fort Gibson Lake

Fort Gibson Lake, in the northeast hills of Oklahoma, has 225 miles of shoreline and a wide sandy beach. Fishermen, boaters, and anyone who just enjoys the water will appreciate this lake. And it’s not just great during the summer. In the spring, you’ll be greeted with the beauty of redbud, sand plum and dogwood blossoms. In the fall the changing leaves of hickory, oak, red maple, black gum and Woodbine, set the hills aglow with color.

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