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Many people don’t know this, but there are quite a few beaches in Vermont! How else would Vermonters cool off during the sweltering northeast summers?
Even though it’s a small state, there’s usually one of the great Vermont beaches a short drive from wherever you’ll be visiting.
These beaches usually feature a lake for you to dip into, sand to relax on, and sometimes even picnic tables, concession stands, and hiking trails.
Honestly, no matter what beach you choose to visit on this list, you’re in for a great time! These beaches tend to be particularly popular among families visiting Vermont because they are filled with fun activities.
Best Beaches in Vermont
Sand Bar State Park
First on the list of best beaches in Vermont is Sand Bar State Park in Milton, Vermont.
This underrated sandy beach is right on Lake Champlain, one of the most beautiful places to visit in the entire state (and the rest of New England, to be honest).
The park is generally open between 10 AM and 8 PM, and the best time to go is right in the morning.
Mid-day is usually when the park starts to get busy, so if you get there early, you’ll be able to avoid the crowds that come as the day goes on. Then you’ll also be able to grab one of the picnic tables as your own!
Sand Bar State Park does have a small entrance fee, but it’s worth it. There’s a playground, picnic area, and boat rentals available.
Fun activities at the park include swimming, hiking, boating, and even fishing! Of course, you can almost always find people lounging out in the sand near the water.
Bomoseen State Park
Next is Bomoseen State Park, which is rather massive at just around 3,500 acres of land! It’s right by Castleton, which is one of Vermont’s college towns.
Its main feature is Lake Bomoseen, one of the best beaches in Vermont. Nearby towns also include Benson, Fair Haven, and Hubbardton.
Generally, the state park is open between late May and Labor Day.
It has longer daily hours, opening at 10 AM and staying open until sunset each evening! For a great time, be sure to watch the sunset over the lake.
Compared to other Vermont beaches, Bomoseen State Park has tons of activities, and that’s because it actually doubles as a campground with multiple tend and RV sites, as well as some lean-tos.
At the swimming beach, you can grab something to eat at the snack bar, have a picnic, rent a pedal boat, go fishing, hit the trails, go hiking, and more. There are even great nature programs!
Read next: Best Places to Visit in Vermont
Boulder Beach State Park
Another of the incredible beaches in Vermont is none other than Boulder Beach State Park in Groton! The beach here is Lake Groton, and the area is lovely because it’s in the Groton State Forest.
What sets Boulder Beach State Park apart from other Vermont beaches is the sheer number of picnic spots.
Seriously – there are just over fifty different picnic spots throughout the park! That’s why it serves as a popular get-together spot for families in the area, especially for reunions.
For the ultimate gathering, be sure to call ahead of time and rent the picnic pavilion. It costs around $100 but is quite large, seating up to 100 people. Plus, it has picnic tables and access to grills and restrooms.
The park is open from 10 AM to sunset between late May and Labor Day weekend each year.
Amenities include a playground, concession stand, nature programs, and wheel-chair accessibility.
Activities at the park include boating (there’s even a boat rental stand), relaxing on the beach, and fishing!
Crystal Lake State Park
Located in Barton, Crystal Lake State Park is a popular summer destination that serves as the home for Crystal Lake, a glacial lake with a sandy shoreline!
This is one of the outdoor areas in Vermont known for being very well-maintained, and it has a lovely atmosphere.
Like other beaches in Vermont, Crystal Lake State Park is only open between late May and Labor Day weekend, opening at 10 AM and closing at sunset each evening.
Be sure to stay and watch the sunset over Crystal Lake! This is usually one of the quieter times at the park, just like in the morning when it first opened.
One of the best things to do at Crystal Lake State Park is to book a night’s stay in the cottage. There’s just one cottage at the entire park, so reserve your spot well in advance!
Other great things to do at the beach include playing on the playground, swimming, boating, and fishing. In addition, there’s a concession stand in case you get hungry while you’re there.
Silver Lake State Park
Silver Lake State Park in Barnard is a smaller park with a beach, but it’s still very much worth visiting.
As the name suggests, the park’s main feature is none other than Silver Lake. It’s a popular place to visit among families!
The park is open between late May and Labor Day weekend and closes at sunset each night.
This park is so spectacular because there are around fifty different camping spots, including RV sites, tent spaces, and even lean-tos for those who want to enjoy the wilderness a bit more.
The park was opened in the 1950s and now is filled with great activities! Amenities at the park include showers, a playground, a concession stand, boat rentals, and nature programs.
There are tons of water activities, like boating, fishing, and swimming. You can also relax on the sand near the water (or under the shade).
Camp Plymouth State Park
Camp Plymouth State Park in Ludlow is one of the most beautiful beaches in Vermont!
Covering just shy of 300 acres, Camp Ludlow State Park features Echo Lake and tons of outdoor attractions just waiting to be explored by a traveler like you.
This park is opened a bit later than others, from late May to late September.
However, it does close at sunset each evening, though those spending the night at the park, of course, get to stay there.
In addition to four cottages available for rent, there are also six lean-tos that you can stay in to enjoy the great outdoors.
Unlike other parks, Camp Plymouth State Park has been around for quite a while, dating back to the eighteenth century.
Because of that, there are quite a few amenities built over the years, including three pavilions (one of them can be perfect for banquets), a concession stand, and a playground.
The park is also top-rated among those interested in panning for gold. Travelers come from far and wide to pan for gold there!
Read next: Cabins in Vermont
Branbury State Park
Branbury State Park is easily one of the scenic beaches in Vermont that you won’t want to miss out on.
It’s located in both Leicester and Sailsbury near Mt. Moosalamoo. The sandy beach at the park is called Lake Dunmore.
This park is opened between early May and early October. There are many campsites there, including tent sites, lean-tos, and even one cottage that can be rented out. For an incredible night in nature, be sure to reserve a night in the cottage!
While there is a beautiful beach for swimming, boating, and fishing purposes, Branbury State Park also has a lot more than that.
There are tons of great hiking trails that lead to breathtaking views and spaces to discover, like caves and waterfalls. Plus, there are many scenic views that will truly take your breath away.
Elmore State Park
Elmore State Park features Lake Elmore and is one of the more recent additions to the sandy beaches in Vermont!
The park was officially established in the early twentieth century but is known for its excellent staff and family-friendliness.
Like Branbury State Park, Elmore State Park is open between late May and early October.
It also features an incredible amount of campsites, with around forty tent spots and fifteen lean-tos that come with a nearby picnic table for cooking and eating.
Other great amenities ta Elmore State Prak include bathrooms, hiking trails (that lead to a scenic view at the fire tower), boat rentals, a concession stand, tons of picnic spots, and the beach!
The beach is perfect for swimming, boating, and hiking. Plus, the park is wheelchair accessible.
Burton Island State Park
One of the most popular beaches in Vermont is Burton Island State Park! It’s massive and is right near St. Albans Point in the northern part of the state.
The unique thing about this park is that it’s actually on an island (like the name suggests), and you have to hop on a boat to get there!
The Vermont state park is open between late May and mid-September. You’ll want to hop on the Island Runner Ferry, which will bring you from Kill Kare State Park over to Burton Island State Park.
You can also bring a bike on the ferry if you want since the park features many different trails that allow you to explore the island.
Facilities at Burton Island State Park include campgrounds (yes, you can spend a night on the island!), cabins, a marina with internet access, disc golf courses, a museum, hiking trails, restrooms, and of course, a rocky beach!
There’s also an entire bistro where you can grab food for breakfast and lunch.
Maidstone State Park
One of the lesser-known Vermont beaches is Maidstone State Park! It features none other than the beautiful Maidstone Lake in Essex County.
It’s one of the hidden gems because it’s relatively remote compared to other beaches in the state.
This park has regular hours like most other parks, open between late May and Labor Day weekend. If you’re looking for a true getaway, this is definitely where you’ll want to go.
There are campsites and lean-tos as well, so you can fully unplug during your trip.
At the park, fun activities include hiking, fishing, boating, and swimming.
There arae also picnic spots and showers available for public use! If you’re traveling with a large group, rent out the picnic pavilion (or go on Monday; it’s free on that day).
Waterbury Center State Park
Located in Waterbury (which is famously home to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory) is none other than Waterbury Center State Park!
The park is massive and features the Waterbury Reservoir, where you can partake in many outdoor activities and water sports.
Waterbury Center State Park is open between May and October. The newest addition to the park is an accessible trail that leads to two different fishing spots/docks, which are also accessible.
In addition, there are many camp spots right along the water which are first-come-first-serve.
Other amenities at the park include picnic tables, a trail, boat rentals, and the beach. The beach is perfect for swimming, hiking, and boating!
The latest craze is to go paddleboarding in the water, but it can be quite a challenge if you’ve never done it before!
Lake St. Catherine State Park
Lake St. Catherine State Park is a favorite beach area among Vermonters! It’s in Poultney and features Lake Saint Catherine in the northern part of the state. The park is relatively well maintained, and many people rave about the incredible staff.
Open between late May and early October, the park has many camp spots that you can enjoy during the warm months.
There are fifty tent spots, RV spots, and eleven different lean-tos that you can rent to truly get outdoors.
The park features a concession stand, picnic spots, disc golf (a Vermont favorite), a playground, and nature programs.
The beach is, of course, the main attraction where you can go boating, swimming, fishing, and more.
Last but certainly not least is Caspian Lake! It’s one of the most popular places to visit during the summer months, and it’s in the general area of Stowe, Johnson, and St. Johnsbury. It’s also a short drive from Montpelier and Waterbury.
The most popular thing to do at Caspian Lake is to go fishing. There are many different fish that you can find in the lake!
Other fun things to do at the lake include boating, bird-watching, and enjoying the beautiful weather.
One of the unique things about Caspian Lake is the local tradition. Many people will come out every Sunday night to enjoy live classical music.
It’s played at the Landon Lake House and can usually be heard along the lake’s waters!
Other Vermont Beaches You Want to Check Out
- Grand Isle State Park on South Hero Island
- North Beach in Burlington
- Thayer Beach in Colchester
Do you recommend other Vermont beaches? Drop them below! We’d love to hear from you!