8 Breathtaking Beaches in U.S. Places You Didn’t Even Know Had Them

We just learned that America’s own Maui is the world’s best island, and that Clearwater, Florida is the best beach in the U.S. But what do you for beachy fun if your travels don’t find you near an ocean? Well, we’ll tell you: Check out these amazing (and sandy!) beaches located in U.S. destinations you probably didn’t even know had beaches.

This mighty freshwater lake looks every bit as expansive as the ocean from its beaches. At the top of your list should be Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula — there are beaches all around the thing, but Bete Grise and Great Sand Bay top the list. In Minnesota, check out Park Point, Duluth and in Wisconsin, go to Big Bay State Park Beach.

Colorado is known for its mountains more than its beaches, that’s for sure, but the sandy beach at Grand Lake is one to pencil into the summer’s planner. With mountains as the backdrop against the clear water, this is a perfect place to chill with your bare feet tucked into the sand.

Chicago’s famous waterfront might have you clued into the fact that the Great Lakes make for excellent summertime beaches and it’s true: Lake Michigan is magnificently beautiful. For a surreal and sandy view of it, spend some time at the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan.

Although most Oregon and southern Washington destinations aren’t too far from the Pacific, the Columbia River Gorge makes for a great beach-day destination for those who don’t want to make the drive to the ocean, especially those in the Portland area. The views are remarkable and the sunshine is abundant in the summer.

When in the Lake Erie area (northeastern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania), you’ll want to head up to Headlands Beach State Park. This beach destination is the perfect spot for sunbathing in the warmer months.

Though the California coasts are what beach dreams are absolutely made of, farther inland, Lake Tahoe has earned its reputation as a stunningly beautiful mountain-beach combo destination. Whether you approach it from the California or Nevada side, you’ll find those blue waters to be the perfect place to set your gaze this summer.

When in northern New York, make a point to check out Hamlin Beach State Park, which rests on the shores of Lake Ontario. Though Lake Ontario is the smallest of the Great Lakes, it’s still great! And the beach at this state park is simply lovely.

The beaches are a bit more dirt and rock than sand here in the land of the Grand Canyon, but you’ll have no trouble finding a place for your towel at Havasupai Falls. It’s so beautiful (and teal!) that you’ll wonder why you’ve never focused your beach attention inland before now.

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