17 Low-Key Beaches Within Driving Distance of Cincinnati

Ohio may be landlocked, but that don't let that fool you — we have plenty of breezy beach options for when the water is calling your name. Yes, they may be on a lake or riverfront, but they check most of our boxes when we're in need of a little sand between our toes, sunshine on our skin and a cool, refreshing dip in the water.
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Indiana Dunes National Park
1600 N. 25 East, Chesterton, Indiana
Distance: 4 hours
Indiana Dunes is the state’s only National Park. With a 15-mile coastline, 70 miles of trails and several sand dunes on the shore, the park is a beautiful hidden gem in northern Indiana.
Photo via Facebook.com/INDUNES

Indiana Dunes National Park

1600 N. 25 East, Chesterton, Indiana
Distance: 4 hours
Indiana Dunes is the state’s only National Park. With a 15-mile coastline, 70 miles of trails and several sand dunes on the shore, the park is a beautiful hidden gem in northern Indiana.
Photo via Facebook.com/INDUNES
Caesar Creek State Park
8570 OH-73, Waynesville, Ohio
Distance: 1 hour
Caesar Creek State Park offers a 1,300-foot beach that is open to the public from dusk to dawn. After a day of hiking, mountain biking, fishing or boating, hang out on the beach or take a dip in the lake.
Photo: Jason Hale

Caesar Creek State Park

8570 OH-73, Waynesville, Ohio
Distance: 1 hour
Caesar Creek State Park offers a 1,300-foot beach that is open to the public from dusk to dawn. After a day of hiking, mountain biking, fishing or boating, hang out on the beach or take a dip in the lake.
Photo: Jason Hale
East Fork State Park
3294 Elklick Road, Bethel, Ohio
Distance: 45 minutes
One of Ohio’s largest state parks, East Fork in Clermont County is home to a beach on East Fork Lake. Additional camping amenities and trails for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking, as well as access to fishing and boating, make East Fork a must-see weekend getaway this summer.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

East Fork State Park

3294 Elklick Road, Bethel, Ohio
Distance: 45 minutes
One of Ohio’s largest state parks, East Fork in Clermont County is home to a beach on East Fork Lake. Additional camping amenities and trails for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking, as well as access to fishing and boating, make East Fork a must-see weekend getaway this summer.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Nolin Lake State Park
2998 Brier Creek Road, Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Distance: 3 hours
The 333-acre Nolin Lake State Park is on the northern perimeter of Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, but the lake itself covers nearly 5,800 acres. Nolin Lake is home to unique wildlife, beautiful scenery and plenty of areas to explore. Caves along the water and plenty of jumping rocks make the destination a no-brainer for the adventurous, and the beach at the state park is a great place to relax after a long day on the water.
Photo via Facebook.com/NolinLakeStatePark

Nolin Lake State Park

2998 Brier Creek Road, Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Distance: 3 hours
The 333-acre Nolin Lake State Park is on the northern perimeter of Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, but the lake itself covers nearly 5,800 acres. Nolin Lake is home to unique wildlife, beautiful scenery and plenty of areas to explore. Caves along the water and plenty of jumping rocks make the destination a no-brainer for the adventurous, and the beach at the state park is a great place to relax after a long day on the water.
Photo via Facebook.com/NolinLakeStatePark
Jump Rock Swimming Hole
Robbie Ridge Road, Stanton, Kentucky
Distance: 2 hours
Jump Rock is a famous spot to those familiar with Red River Gorge. Drive into the RRG Geological Area and soon after passing through Nada Tunnel, park at the Sheltowee Trace Trail parking lot. Hike the short trail and cross the suspension bridge over Red River to gain access to the small sand beach and the best swimming hole in the gorge.
Photo via Facebook.com/OfficialRedRiverGorge

Jump Rock Swimming Hole

Robbie Ridge Road, Stanton, Kentucky
Distance: 2 hours
Jump Rock is a famous spot to those familiar with Red River Gorge. Drive into the RRG Geological Area and soon after passing through Nada Tunnel, park at the Sheltowee Trace Trail parking lot. Hike the short trail and cross the suspension bridge over Red River to gain access to the small sand beach and the best swimming hole in the gorge.
Photo via Facebook.com/OfficialRedRiverGorge
Hueston Woods
College Corner, Ohio
Distance: 1 hour
Hueston Woods Beach is free to the public and open dawn to dusk. Sit on the beach and watch boats pass by, rent a kayak or camp or stay in one of the many cabins or the lodge within the state park.
Photo via Facebook.com/HuestonWoodsStatePark

Hueston Woods

College Corner, Ohio
Distance: 1 hour
Hueston Woods Beach is free to the public and open dawn to dusk. Sit on the beach and watch boats pass by, rent a kayak or camp or stay in one of the many cabins or the lodge within the state park.
Photo via Facebook.com/HuestonWoodsStatePark
Old Field Beach at Indian Lake State Park
OH-235, Lakeview, Ohio
Distance: 2 hours
Within Indian Lake State Park, Old Field Beach provides two beaches for swimmers on its 5,100-acre man-made lake .
Photo via

Old Field Beach at Indian Lake State Park

OH-235, Lakeview, Ohio
Distance: 2 hours
Within Indian Lake State Park, Old Field Beach provides two beaches for swimmers on its 5,100-acre man-made lake .
Photo via
Brookville Lake
14108 State Route 101, Brookville, Indiana
Distance: 1 hour
A lakefront park only an hour from downtown Cincinnati that offers camping, hiking and boating in addition to the beach that you can kick back and relax on.
Photo via Facebook.com/BrookvilleLakecom

Brookville Lake

14108 State Route 101, Brookville, Indiana
Distance: 1 hour
A lakefront park only an hour from downtown Cincinnati that offers camping, hiking and boating in addition to the beach that you can kick back and relax on.
Photo via Facebook.com/BrookvilleLakecom
Nickel Plate Beach
1 Nickel Plate Drive, Huron, Ohio
Distance: 3 hours 45 minutes
Nested on Lake Erie, Nickel Plate Beach is on the shore right between Toledo and Cleveland. Cookout on one of the available grills and play beach volleyball at the courts, or rent paddle boards and kayaks and hit the water.
Photo via Facebook.com/NickelPlateBeach

Nickel Plate Beach

1 Nickel Plate Drive, Huron, Ohio
Distance: 3 hours 45 minutes
Nested on Lake Erie, Nickel Plate Beach is on the shore right between Toledo and Cleveland. Cookout on one of the available grills and play beach volleyball at the courts, or rent paddle boards and kayaks and hit the water.
Photo via Facebook.com/NickelPlateBeach
Kelleys Island State Park Beach
920 N. Division St., Kelleys Island, Ohio
Distance: 4 hours 15 minutes
Kelleys Island State Park is located in Lake Erie’s Emerald Isle. The small but beautiful 100-foot beach is great for families and those looking for some relaxing time with Mother Nature.
Photo via kelleysisland.com/swimgatsandybeach

Kelleys Island State Park Beach

920 N. Division St., Kelleys Island, Ohio
Distance: 4 hours 15 minutes
Kelleys Island State Park is located in Lake Erie’s Emerald Isle. The small but beautiful 100-foot beach is great for families and those looking for some relaxing time with Mother Nature.
Photo via kelleysisland.com/swimgatsandybeach