Article: Make a splash at Wisconsin’s best beaches | Girl on inflatable flamingo at beach in Oneida County Wisconsin Photo Credit: Oneida County Tourism

Make a splash at Wisconsin’s best beaches

Wisconsin is home to great lakes (and Great Lakes), so you’ll find plenty of places to stick your toes in the sand, take a dip in a crystal-clear Northwoods waters, or just marvel at the stunning scenery. Here are some of our favorite beaches in the Badger State.

Note that the locations listed may not have lifeguards on duty; swim at your own risk.

Northern Wisconsin

The far northwestern corner of Wisconsin touches Lake Superior, and visitors looking for a spot on the shoreline will find Maslowski Beach just west of Ashland on U.S. Highway 2; it’s home a nice swimming beach as well as an artesian well, a playground, and access to the city’s Waterfront Trail.

The Northwoods of Wisconsin is home to one of the largest concentrations of freshwater lakes in the world, so it’s no surprise that it’s a great spot for beachgoing, too. Notable beaches include Nichols Beach and North Trout Lake near Boulder Junction in Vilas County, Eagle Lake County Park & Beach near Eagle Lake in Vilas County, Torpy Park in Minocqua (on the border of Vilas County and Oneida County), and Hodag Park in Rhinelander in Onedia County. 

Of course, Door County—which juts out into the waters of Lake Michigan in northeastern Wisconsin—has its share of special places to enjoy the water. Nicolet Beach at Peninsula Park is a popular sandy beach that’s sheltered from the lake winds in Green Bay, and Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Island is well-known for its clear blue water and uniquely smooth limestone rocks.

Central Wisconsin

One of the most scenic spots in Wisconsin, Devil’s Lake State Park is also home to two large swimming areas on the northern shore and southeastern shore of the lake. High Cliff State Park in Calumet County sits on the northeastern shore of Lake Winnebago—Wisconsin’s largest inland lake—and has a well-maintained swimming area. Sunset Beach Swimming Facility in Sunset Point Park in the nearby village of Kimberly has a man-made swimming area that’s suitable for all ages with waterslides and diving boards.

Southern Wisconsin

On Geneva Lake just north of the Illinois border, beach lovers will find two great spots for swimming: Big Foot Beach State Park, which offers 5 miles of hiking trails, playground areas, and a family campground in addition to its swimming beach, and Riviera Beach, a popular downtown spot in Lake Geneva. (Note that paid admission is required at Riviera Beach from 9:30am to 6pm, when lifeguards are present.)

Moving back to the shores of Lake Michigan, Bradford Beach is Milwaukee’s largest and most popular public beach and is also a popular spot for beach sports like volleyball and soccer. Slightly further south in Kenosha, Simmons Island Park & Beach is a great place to spend a day on the water.

Read more about of Wisconsin’s top swimming beaches here.

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