The Best Beaches Near Pittsburgh

beaches near pittsburgh

The Ultimate Guide to Beaches Near Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is renowned for its stunning cityscapes, rich history, and lively sports scene. However, surprisingly, the city also boasts some fantastic beaches. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive list of the most scenic beaches in and around Pittsburgh that you can visit for a refreshing retreat.

Presque Isle State Park

beaches near pittsburgh

Presque Isle State Park, nestled on the shores of Lake Erie, is a must-visit for beach lovers.

About Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park offers a multitude of beautiful beaches for visitors to choose from. The park’s location on the shores of the magnificent Lake Erie offers breathtaking views and a serene ambiance. Find the beach that draws the least crowd, and surrender yourself to the tranquil atmosphere.

Presque Isle State Park, a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula stretching into Lake Erie, is Pennsylvania’s only “seashore”. Visitors to the park can take advantage of its recreational activities, such as swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, biking, and in-line skating. Connected to the mainland four miles west of downtown Erie, the park forms Presque Isle Bay, a deep harbor for the city. It is also a National Natural Landmark, a favorite spot for migratory birds, and home to many endangered, threatened, and rare species of Pennsylvania. With its sandy beaches and historical significance, there is something for everyone at Presque Isle State Park. Overnight accommodations are available nearby.

Activities at Presque Isle State Park

Visitors can indulge in a range of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. The park’s well-maintained walking trails are perfect for leisurely strolls or energetic jogs.

Laurel Hill State Park

beaches near pittsburgh

Laurel Hill State Park is another gem in Pittsburgh’s crown. The park features a 1,200-foot sandy beach tucked neatly around a 60-acre lake, making it a delightful destination for beachgoers.

About Laurel Hill State Park

Laurel Hill State Park, though landlocked like the rest of Pittsburgh, provides a beach experience that rivals those of coastal areas. The park’s 1,200-foot sandy beach, surrounding a 60-acre lake, is a haven for visitors seeking a peaceful retreat from city life.

At 4,062 acres, Laurel Hill State Park is a mountainous expanse located in Somerset County. A captivating lake, Laurel Hill Lake, is a major feature of the park, which is surrounded by thousands of acres of state park and state forest lands. The park offers a vast trail system that allows visitors to explore and witness the many different species of plants and wildlife. Don’t forget to check out the Jones Mill Run Dam and the Hemlock Trail Natural Area when you visit!

Activities at Laurel Hill State Park

The park offers a variety of recreational activities such as boating, hiking, and bird watching, in addition to swimming and sunbathing at the beach. The park’s picnic areas make for a perfect family outing.  As far as beaches near Pittsburgh are concerned, this should be on your must-visit list!

Keystone State Park

beaches near pittsburgh

Keystone State Park is known for its beautiful Keystone Lake and the vast expanse of pristine beaches that surround it. Keystone State Park, sprawled across 1,200 acres, is an excellent choice for short trips and extended vacations throughout the year. Camping, cabins, multiple pathways, and a lake are all just a short stroll away, making it perfect for wildlife observation and outdoor activities. It’s conveniently located close to Pittsburgh, the Laurel Highlands, and all the attractions they offer.

About Keystone State Park

Keystone State Park might not be as popular as some other parks in Pittsburgh, but it certainly is a hidden treasure. The park is home to Keystone Lake, and its surrounding beaches offer ample space for visitors to relax and unwind.

Activities at Keystone State Park

Activities at Keystone State Park are not limited to swimming and sunbathing. The park is also a favorite among fishing enthusiasts and offers boat rentals for those who wish to navigate the serene waters of Keystone Lake.

Conneaut Lake

beaches near pittsburgh

Conneaut Lake, located in Northwestern Pennsylvania, is about 90 miles from Pittsburgh. Its remoteness ensures a peaceful beach experience, away from the bustling city crowds.

Located in western Crawford County and extending into Sadsbury and Summit Townships, Conneaut Lake is the largest natural lake in Pennsylvania by surface area. It boasts a surface area of 925 acres and is a well-known summer destination, with people from the local area and Pittsburgh area vacationing here, as well as those who have homes on the lake. The largest draw to the area is Conneaut Lake Park, a popular resort renowned for its amusement park.

About Conneaut Lake

Conneaut Lake, situated in New Conneaut Lake State Park, is a tranquil spot that offers an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. The lake is surrounded by a sandy beach, which is perfect for a quiet day out.

Activities at Conneaut Lake

Visitors can enjoy a range of activities, including swimming, boating, and fishing. The park also offers picnic spots and camping facilities for overnight stays.

Raccoon Creek State Park

beaches near pittsburgh

Covering 7,572 acres, Raccoon Creek State Park is one of Pennsylvania’s most popular state parks. It was initially a Recreational Demonstration Area managed by the National Park Service in the 1930s during the period of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Visitors to the park can enjoy the picturesque 101-acre Raccoon Lake, as well as a variety of modern and rustic facilities, including group camps from the CCC era.  Raccoon Creek State Park features a 500-foot sandy beach surrounded by grassy hills, providing a picturesque setting for a day at the beach.

About Raccoon Creek State Park

Raccoon Creek State Park, with its 500-foot sandy beach and surrounding grassy hills, provides a perfect setting for a relaxing day out. The park’s natural beauty and tranquility make it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Activities at Raccoon Creek State Park

The park offers a variety of recreational activities, including swimming, picnicking, hiking, and bird watching. The park’s walking trails offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Moraine State Park

beaches near pittsburgh

Moraine State Park is home to a stunning 3,225-acre lake that boasts two lovely beaches.  The picturesque scenery of the hills, lush woodlands, and shimmering lakes masks a landscape that has experienced the repercussions of continental glacial advancement and extensive mineral extraction. The central element of the park is Lake Arthur, which covers 3,225 acres and has a perimeter of 42 miles. Every year, more than a million visitors, including boaters, picnickers, hikers, cyclists, horse riders, cabin renters, and swimmers, come to the 16,725-acre park, unaware of the contributions to its restoration from the legacy of coal mining and oil and gas drilling. Nowadays, the park is a shining example of environmental engineering success and offers a broad selection of recreational pursuits throughout the year.

About Moraine State Park

Moraine State Park offers two beautiful beaches near Pittsburgh for visitors to choose from, located on the shores of a sparkling 3,225-acre lake. The park’s natural beauty makes it a must-visit destination for beach lovers.

Activities at Moraine State Park

Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, and hiking. The park also offers picnic areas and camping facilities.

The beaches in and around Pittsburgh offer a unique blend of natural beauty and recreational activities. Whether you’re a local looking for a quick getaway or a tourist exploring the city, these beaches are sure to provide a memorable experience. So, next time you’re in the mood for a summer getaway, remember that one of these beaches near Pittsburgh is close to you!

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