Yes, Arizona is a landlocked state meaning there are technically no ocean beaches. However, there are loads of lakes, rivers, and reservoirs that provide gorgeous beaches for you to explore.
Arizona is an extremely dry state known for its droughts and almost hellfire summers. Yet it is home to some of the most incredible beaches in the country.
Below are 20 of the best beaches in Arizona that you need to visit (if you want to see our favorite Arizona national parks, see here). Enjoy a relaxing stroll along the water, feel like sand beneath your feet, and relax as you work on your tan while sunbathing.
Just don’t forget to bring your sunscreen!
1. Cattail Cove State Park
Cattail Cove State Park is a 2,000 acre park located on Lake Havasu’s eastern shore and is home to one of the best beaches in the state of Arizona.
The lake is around 45 miles long making it a great place to escape for the summer or just the weekend.
Throughout the park, there are hiking trails, grills, picnic tables, and over 60 campsites. Meaning you can always be on the go to bask in the blazing sun.
Take the time to relax and enjoy some fishing where you can catch crappie, striped bass, and flathead catfish.
For the more adventurous visitors, you can also go paddle boarding, kayaking, or enjoy a peaceful swim on the lake at Cattail Cover. There is a small fee to be paid but the breathtaking views are worth every cent.
2. Tempe Beach Park
Tempe Beach Park is one of the most popular beaches in the state of Arizona.
It’s perfect for a range of activities for everyone to enjoy. It is located in Tempe Town Lake and you can find thousands of Arizona residents here in the summer months.
You can get some fresh air while working out on more than five kilometers of walkways and exercise trails in this 25-acre urban sanctuary.
Numerous celebrations and events, including the Tempe Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade, Innings Festival, Aloha Festival, and others, take place in Tempe Beach Park.
There are splash playgrounds and grassy fields for smaller children to enjoy. Tempe Beach Park is great for anyone looking to cool off in the summer sun and relax in the sand.
3. Lake Havasu State Park
If you ever find yourself on London Bridge then you simply must take yourself along to Lake Havasu State Park. Here you will find various white sand beaches to really dig your toes into.
The Park was created when Parker Dam dammed the Colorado River and created some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet.
There are over 40 campsites for anyone looking to extend their stay and various boat ramps for the sailors of the world.
The lowland desert and the coastline are both traversed by the 1.75-mile Mohave Sunset Trail.
Anyone from sunbathers to thrill seekers can find the perfect way to spend their summer at Lake Havasu State Park.
4. London Bridge Beach
If you can’t bear to part with the views of London Bridge, then head south to London Bridge Beach. Once you set your eyes on the turquoise waters, you will never want to leave.
The area is equipped with grassy parks, picnic tables, volleyball courts, and playgrounds for everyone to enjoy. Or if you want to cool off take a try at paddle boarding and kayaking.
London Bridge Beach is perfect for family days out or a romantic date night.
Anyone can enjoy the amenities at London Bridge Beach or bring a small lunch and watch the waves pass you by. This is the perfect place to breathe in the fresh air and simply enjoy the moment you are in.
5. Buckskin Mountain State Park
Located in Parker, Buckskin Mountain State Park is home to some of the finest views in Arizona.
The distance between Parker Dam and Headgate Dam is an incredible 18 miles giving you plenty of space to spread out and rejuvenate.
Many visitors enjoy a cooling swim in the lake, play basketball, or volleyball or even go boating. You will never even think of the word ‘bored’ when you are at Buckskin Mountain State Park.
Not to mention the views of the mountain are Instagram-worthy. You are going to want to bring your phone and camera fully charged.
6. River Island State Park
While you are planning your trip to Buckskin Mountain State Park, you need to add some time to explore the beach of River Island State Park. Enjoy a range of water activities including water skiing and paddle boarding.
Or rent a boat and sail the water of the lake for the day.
For those who prefer to be on land, there are plenty of hiking trails where you can climb up and see some of the incredible views this state park has to offer.
Many hikers enjoy the sights of Wedge Hill Trail which takes you to magnificent views that will stay with you forever.
Bring your tent and enjoy some wild camping on the beach!
7. Gateway Park Beach
In the northeast corner of Yuma, you will find one of the most luxurious beaches in Arizona. Gateway Park Beach is a tranquil area where the sand is white and the waters are blue.
Many come here in the summer to escape the blazing sun underneath the shaded trees.
There is plenty to do here but the best activity is laying out your beach towel and soaking in the views. With plenty of sunscreen on hand and a few snacks, you can have an unforgettable day at Gateway Park Beach.
Don’t forget to bring your dog along for a glorious paddle in the water and a heart thumping run along the sandy beach. Even pets need to relax!
8. Lake Powell
Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir and is a popular spot among residents and visitors alike. It is north of Glen Canyon Dam and provides incredible views.
Swimming here is not the first activity that comes to mind. People prefer to fish in the deep waters as you never know what’s lurking below.
There are 1,900 miles of shorelines meaning there is plenty of space for everyone to have a slice of heaven.
All you need is some walking shoes, a beach towel, sunscreen, and plenty of water for a relaxing day.
You can get some steps in by exploring many of the canyons in the surrounding area or forget about the struggles of life and soak in some sun.
9. Centennial Beach
The Colorado River runs directly alongside Yuma’s stunning beach.
It is one of the most well-liked beaches in Arizona because it is the epitome of a sandy beach, with more than 1,800 tons of pure sand from the river.
This is deemed a must-see beach in Arizona with its gorgeous sandy shorelines and wonderful waters. You only need to take one step on this beach to understand why so many people visit each year.
You can enjoy picnics, sandcastle building, sunbathing, and, of course, taking in the river scenery while visiting this lovely sandy beach.
10. Rotary Community Park & Beach
This is another Arizona beach that can be found in Lake Havasu. Rotary Beach is located in Rotary Community Park which has plenty for everyone to enjoy.
The beach’s sunny location makes for a fantastic view of the lake. After taking part in all the park’s neighboring attractions, it is the ideal area to sunbathe.
There are loads of accommodations, restaurants, and bars in the surrounding areas that are a great way to end the night.
But we highly recommend you spend your afternoon lounging on the sand and playing in the sports courts.
Anyone can enjoy their time at Rotary Beach by simply looking out and enjoying the magical views on display.
11. Patagonia Lake State Park
The setting of this beach in Arizona, which is in the middle of a desert and gives the impression that it is an oasis, makes it particularly charming.
The surrounding mountains and undulating hills add to the location’s uniqueness.
One of the great things about this beach is that you can swim almost anywhere to cool off from the scorching Arizona sun. Just stay well away from the boat docks and you will be fine.
Or you can take a boat out into the lake and enjoy some thrilling jet-skiing or a spot of peaceful fishing. You will see everyone taking the time to just enjoy the sun and it is highly recommended that you do the same.
12. Roper Lake State Park
There are five miles of hiking trails in this 400-acre park, and there is plenty of water for boating, swimming, and fishing.
This park has a fantastic beach setting, and from its sandy shores, you can enjoy views of the lovely Roper Lake as well as being close to the base of the magnificent Mt. Graham. Perfect scenery is present.
Prefer the calmness of bird-watching over the thrills of jet skiing?
Enjoy catching sights of some rare bird species that live in the park. You are also close to the Sky Land Mountain Range which is perfect for exploring.
You are going to want to bring a few snacks for this action-packed day.
13. Roosevelt Lake Marina
This beach is enjoyable and distinctive in that you may set up a tent right on the beach. It is easily located off of Highway 188 at the northwest end of Roosevelt Lake.
You can claim a piece of beachfront property if you arrive early enough.
Roosevelt Lake expands for miles and has created small alcoves that are perfect for exploring. With a designated campsite, you can find your pitch and head off on the water.
Families with little children will feel safer here because the water remains shallow for quite a few feet after leaving the beach.
Always keep an eye on your children when they are near water, and making sure they are wearing life jackets may allay some of your concerns.
14. Willow Beach
Willow Beach is a hidden treasure in Fort Mohave. Many visitors park at the Willow Beach Marina before moving down to the gorgeous beach that is nestled between the walls of the Black Canyon.
On the Colorado River, it’s well situated between Lake Mohave and Lake Mead, making it a perfect area to hire a powerboat to take in the expansive views and spot a variety of species, including bighorn sheep.
Visitors from all over the world camp overnight in the full-service RV park and tent campground to enjoy the glorious views of Black Canyon as soon as they wake up. Or, it is a short 30-minute drive from Boulder City.
15. Bullhead City Community Park
Bullhead City is a small community in Arizona. With a history that dates back to the 1800s, there is plenty to learn and see during your stay. And one of the main attractions is the beach area at Bullhead City Community Park.
Here anyone can enjoy a relaxing day on a small beach. Make sure to bring a picnic and plenty of games to keep you and the family entertained all day long. Visitors are encouraged to swim in the blue waters to cool off from the heat.
16. Bartlett Lake Marina
Bartlett Lake Marina is located just under an hour’s drive from Tempe Town Lake. It is in the heat of the Tonto National Forest and is one of the most incredible beaches in Arizona.
With over 2,800 acres, there is never a moment to be spared.
One of the best ways to experience Bartlett Lake Marina is to hire a platoon boat and explore for hours on the water.
For those looking to make some more wild memories, there are also Party Yacht tours where you can meet like-minded people while seeing parts of the lake you never thought possible.
For a more relaxed experience, hire a kayak or paddle board and take a slow journey on the lake.
17. Lake Saguaro
The Stewart Mountain Dam, which was finished in 1930, crested Saguaro Lake.
It was the final reservoir on the Salt River to be constructed. With more than 20 miles of shoreline, there are endless sandy beaches for everyone to enjoy.
Saguaro Lake Marina, which has a restaurant and boat concessions, a Maricopa County Sheriff’s aid station, picnic tables, restrooms, and boat ramps are all part of the Saguaro del Norte Recreation Site, which is close to the dam.
A road leads to Butcher Jones Beach, which is a few miles north of Saguaro del Norte and offers swimming, picnicking, and toilet facilities.
18. Havasu Falls
If you are ready to put in the work then you will definitely reap the rewards of reaching Havasu Falls. It takes just a short hike to reach the falls and you will be welcomed to these incredible blue waters at the bottom of a free-falling waterfall.
Havasu Falls is part of The Havasupai Tribe Reservation meaning a permit is required if you want to visit during the season. If you are lucky enough to be given a permit, take advantage and visit the falls for as long as possible.
19. Body Beach
Body Beach is known for being one of the shortest beaches in Arizona but it is one of the most popular for water sports. It is only half a mile long but there is plenty of room for everyone to grab a spot and get comfy.
However, one thing that attracts the more naturalists of the world is the beach’s nudist section. If you prefer going au natural and letting everything really breathe, you can do it at Body Beach.
Or you can keep your bathing suit on and have a go at jet skiing, kayaking, or paddle boarding. Perfect if you want to try something new and make some memories.
20. Pebble Beach
Pebble Beach is one of the most famous attractions in Phoenix. It is perfect for families and tourists looking to take the stress out of traveling and just relax.
The water is at an almost perfect temperature year round meaning it always has a small crowd forming. We suggest going during the week for a quieter experience where you can take in the sounds of nature.
This beach does have a small fee to enter but it is worth it for the incredible views and activities you’ll find. From snorkeling to rowing, you can spend hours on the water simply enjoying each movement.
Arizona is known for its scorching sun and less-than-friendly wildlife. It is the last state you would expect to find some of the most incredible beaches. And you are seriously missing out.
Above are 20 of the best beaches that you simply have to visit on your next trip. After a day of exploring the canyons, pack a beach towel and a picnic and head to a beach for a day of relaxing.
Let your troubles melt away as the sun warms your skin and you take a dip in the blue waters to cool off!
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