25 Low-Key Beaches Within Driving Distance of Cincinnati

Since the weather is warming up, we figured you might need some vacation inspiration, and who doesn't love a good beach trip? Ohio may not be on a coast, but 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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​​Alum Creek State Park
3615 S Old State Road, Delaware, Ohio
Distance: 2 hours
Bring the whole family (including the dog) to this beautiful lake where you can do everything from swimming to mountain biking. Camp along the waterfront of Alum Creek Lake, play the 18-hole disc golf course and take your pup to the dog park and swim area. The giant lake is ripe for tons of water activities like jet skiing, boating and kayaking. And the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the "3,000-foot beach is (the) largest inland beach in Ohio's state park system."
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Alum Creek State Park

3615 S Old State Road, Delaware, Ohio
Distance: 2 hours
Bring the whole family (including the dog) to this beautiful lake where you can do everything from swimming to mountain biking. Camp along the waterfront of Alum Creek Lake, play the 18-hole disc golf course and take your pup to the dog park and swim area. The giant lake is ripe for tons of water activities like jet skiing, boating and kayaking. And the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the "3,000-foot beach is (the) largest inland beach in Ohio's state park system."
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.
​​Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park
301 Huntington Beach Drive, Fairport Harbor, Ohio
Distance: 4 hours
Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park has breathtaking views a Lake Erie all year long, which are only interrupted by a white-and-red lighthouse. The 21 acres of shoreline is filled with sand for sunning and relaxation. When the weather is warm, there are boats available for rentals plus spaces for picnicking, sitting around a campfire and hiking.
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Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park

301 Huntington Beach Drive, Fairport Harbor, Ohio
Distance: 4 hours
Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park has breathtaking views a Lake Erie all year long, which are only interrupted by a white-and-red lighthouse. The 21 acres of shoreline is filled with sand for sunning and relaxation. When the weather is warm, there are boats available for rentals plus spaces for picnicking, sitting around a campfire and hiking.
Geneva State Park Beach
4499 Padanarum Road, Geneva, Ohio
Distance: 4 hours 15 mins
Geneva State Park is home to a child-friendly beach that sits on the shore of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. After spending some time on the shore, head over to Geneva-on-the-Lake for some time in the quaint, old-school beach town.

Geneva State Park Beach

4499 Padanarum Road, Geneva, Ohio
Distance: 4 hours 15 mins
Geneva State Park is home to a child-friendly beach that sits on the shore of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. After spending some time on the shore, head over to Geneva-on-the-Lake for some time in the quaint, old-school beach town.
East Fork State Park
3294 Elklick Road, Bethel, Ohio
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-do weekend getaway.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

East Fork State Park

3294 Elklick Road, Bethel, Ohio
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-do weekend getaway.
​​Lake Logan State Park
30443 Lake Logan Road, Logan, Ohio
Distance: 2 hours
Located inside the popular Hocking Hills area of Ohio, the 400-acer Lake Logan offers tons of space for boating, fishing and swimming. Plus, the scenic areas along the shore are perfect for picnicking and hiking. Stay the night at one of the many beautiful Hocking Valley cabins available for rent.
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Lake Logan State Park

30443 Lake Logan Road, Logan, Ohio
Distance: 2 hours
Located inside the popular Hocking Hills area of Ohio, the 400-acer Lake Logan offers tons of space for boating, fishing and swimming. Plus, the scenic areas along the shore are perfect for picnicking and hiking. Stay the night at one of the many beautiful Hocking Valley cabins available for rent.
Indiana Dunes National Park
1600 N. 25 East, Chesterton, Indiana
Distance: 4 hours
Indiana Dunes features a 15-mile coastline, 50 miles of trails and several sand dunes on the shore. The park is a beautiful hidden gem in Northern Indiana.

Indiana Dunes National Park

1600 N. 25 East, Chesterton, Indiana
Distance: 4 hours
Indiana Dunes features a 15-mile coastline, 50 miles of trails and several sand dunes on the shore. The park is a beautiful hidden gem in Northern Indiana.
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.

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.
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.

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.
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, camp or stay in one of the many cabins or the lodge within the state park.

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, camp or stay in one of the many cabins or the lodge within the state park.