Top 10 Beaches in and Around the Twin Cities

Looking to cool off during the warm days ahead? Suit up and take a dip at one of these local spots.

Long summer days in Minnesota call for eating ice cream in the hot sun, feeling the sand between your toes, and jumping off a dock into one of our 10,000-plus lakes to cool off. To help you take advantage of the warm weather and Minnesota’s picturesque shorelines, we have compiled 10 of the best beaches near the Twin Cities to check out this summer.  

Bde Maka Ska 32nd Street Beach at sunset
Bde Maka Ska 32nd Street Beach

Photo by Lane Pelovsky, Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

Bde Maka Ska 32nd Street Beach

Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis offers a variety of beach access points, but this location is known for its scenic views and proximity to fun water activities. Canoe, kayak, paddle board, and pedal boat rentals are available nearby to upgrade your beach experience. Tan in the sand, go for a swim, take a walk along the fishing pier, and enjoy your beach day! 

Lake St. Croix Beach

Just 25 miles outside the Twin Cities is Lake St. Croix, the lower portion of the St. Croix River along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. Enjoy swimming, soaking up the sunshine, or fishing—over have been over 60 species of fish documented from Lake St. Croix, so try your luck and cast a line. 

Bryant Lake Regional Park

Head to Eden Prairie’s Bryant Lake to take in the rolling hills, quiet waters, and wooded shoreline. The park’s various amenities—including picnic areas, grills, a playground, canoe and kayak rentals, and nearby walking trails—ensure that everyone enjoys the day on the lake.  

Square Lake Park

Stillwater’s Square Lake offers a quiet beach with clear blue waters. The boat launch, fishing pier, hiking trails, and picnic benches allow for a day full of summertime activities.

Cedar Lake Point Beach

Located within Minneapolis’ Cedar Lake Park and surrounded by green foliage, Cedar Lake Point Beach offers beautiful scenery to elevate your beach day. Canoeing, paddle boarding, fishing, walking trails, and swimming are available. 

Snelling Lake Beach

Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul offers a wide, sandy swimming beach attended by a lifeguard Memorial Day through Labor Day. Despite its proximity to the airport, this state park offers a quiet refuge amid the hustle and bustle. Enjoy the overlooks, scenic trails, and beach facilities.   

Visitors hanging out in the sand and the lake at Phalen Regional Park Beach
Phalen Regional Park Beach

Courtesy of the City of St. Paul

Phalen Regional Park Beach

Phalen Beach is a large beach in St. Paul that offers sailing and rowing lessons, a splash pad, and sand volleyball courts.  

Shady Oak Beach

Minnetonka’s Shady Oak Beach recently opened for the summer, with day or season passes available for purchase. This family-friendly spot provides storage areas, changing rooms, inflatables, a play area, a high-dive, sand volleyball courts, and lifeguards.  

Tony Schmidt Regional Park

A lakefront park in Arden Hills, Tony Schmidt Regional Park provides a swimming beach with a nearby pavilion for picnicking. Playgrounds and walking trails are also available to top off your outdoor adventure. 

French Regional Park

Known for its extensive, interactive playground, French Regional Park in Plymouth also offers beach access for swimming on the north shore of Medicine Lake. This park is a hidden gem for families—its play area, lighted trails, and fishing pier can entertain all ages. 

Minnesotans love to boast about the state’s many lakes—and for good reason! Grab your beach towels and sunscreen, and enjoy a summer day in the sun. 

Julia Jacobson is a rising senior at the University of Notre Dame, studying political science and journalism. Outside of her coursework, she participates in her school’s mock trial team and works as a teaching assistant for an introductory political science course. Julia was born and raised in Minnesota, and loves traveling both domestically and internationally. In her free time, she enjoys reading and journaling.