As the weather starts to warm up and summertime begins, thoughts of a beach vacation start to fill our heads. If you’re lucky enough to live near a beach, then you probably don’t have to worry about packing up the car and driving for hours just to get some sand between your toes.
If you’re in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and looking for a nearby beach to take the family for a day trip, we’ve got you covered. Below are 17 of the closest beaches to Pittsburgh, including a lakeside beach, horseback riding on the beach, an ocean beach, and more. So you can make the most of summertime without having to travel too far from home.
- Ocean Beaches And Lakeview Beach Vacation
- 1. Geneva-On-The-Lake
- 2. Niagara-On-The-Lake
- 3. Ocean Grove Beach
- 4. Laurel Hill State Park
- 5. Raccoon Creek State Park
- 6. Bethany Beach
- 7. Atlantic City
- 8. Moraine State Park
- 9. Rehoboth Beach
- 10. Ocean City
- 11. Bald Eagle State Park
- 12. Beltzville State Park
- 13. Poe Valley State Park Beach
- 14. Conneaut Lake
- 15. Freeport Beach
- 16. Presque Isle State Park
- 17. South Bass Island
Ocean Beaches And Lakeview Beach Vacation
Geneva-On-The-Lake is one of the closest beaches to Pittsburgh for families. It is located in northwestern Pennsylvania and is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Pittsburgh. The beach is on Lake Erie and has a wide, sandy shoreline. This is a public beach. You can go canoeing and paddle boarding all day long.
There are also several playgrounds, a pavilion, and a picnic area. People love to go fishing on Lake Erie for smallmouth bass. You can even go ice fishing in the colder months.
Lake Erie is the fourth largest Great Lake, and it’s actually famous for a battle that took place in 1812. Lake Erie even has its very own sea monster called Bessie. Lake Erie is roughly 4000 years old.
Niagara-On-The-Lake is a picturesque town located in the Niagara Region of Ontario. The town is situated on the shores of Lake Ontario and is surrounded by vineyards and orchards. The main street is lined with Victorian-era homes and businesses.
Families can visit the many wineries, shops, restaurants, and parks in the area. There are also a number of historical sites to explore, such as Fort George, which was built during the War of 1812. Don’t forget to check out Niagara Falls while you’re there.
One downside? The water is extra cold.
3. Ocean Grove Beach
Just an hour south of Pittsburgh lies one of the state’s most beloved beach towns, Ocean Grove. This quaint little town is situated on a peninsula and is home to some of the best beaches in New Jersey.
Families will love spending a day at the beach here, swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants located right on the boardwalk, so you can make a day of it. You should definitely check out Tent City, Asbury Park, and The Great Auditorium.
4. Laurel Hill State Park
Just over an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh, Laurel Hill State Park is a great option for families looking to escape the city for a day. The park offers plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained, including fishing, swimming, boating, and hiking.
There are also several playgrounds and picnic areas dotted around the park, making it the perfect spot for a summertime family outing.
5. Raccoon Creek State Park
If you’re looking for a quick beach getaway from Pittsburgh, Raccoon Creek State Park is the perfect spot. Just an hour’s drive from the city, the park offers a beach (with sand) on the shores of Raccoon Lake, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing.
There are also plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore, as well as a playground and picnic area for the kids.
6. Bethany Beach
Bethany Beach, located in Sussex County, Delaware, is one of the closest ocean beaches to Pittsburgh for families. The beach town is a great destination for those looking for a relaxing getaway by the water.
Visitors can enjoy the town’s many shops and restaurants, as well as its Boardwalk and beautiful sandy beaches. Bethany Beach is also known for its fishing, kayaking, and surfing opportunities.
7. Atlantic City
Atlantic City is a beach town located on the Jersey Shore in southeastern New Jersey. It is best known for its boardwalk, casinos, and beaches. The city is also home to the Steel Pier, an amusement park located on the water. Atlantic City is a popular summer destination for families from Pittsburgh.
The drive from Pittsburgh to Atlantic City is about five and a half hours. Families can find plenty of things to do in Atlantic City, from playing on the beach to exploring the boardwalk. There are also several family-friendly casinos in town. Steel Pier is a great place to take the kids, with rides and games for all ages.
Other Jersey shore beaches include Cape May and New Jersey. Both get overly crowded, and the Jersey shore tends to get quite dirty in peak season.
8. Moraine State Park
Moraine State Park is a beautiful area located in Portersville. The lake is called Lake Arthur. The park offers a variety of activities for families, including swimming, hiking, fishing, and picnicking. The scenery is stunning, and the wildlife is abundant. There are also many amenities available at the park, such as restrooms and showers.
There are two beaches in this park. How long is the drive? 45 minutes drive from Pittsburgh.
This beach is situated on the North shore of Moraine State Park.
Pleasant Valley Beach
This sand beach is on the South shore of this park.
9. Rehoboth Beach
Rehoboth Beach is a city on the Delaware coast in the United States. The population was 1,151 at the 2020 census, down from 1,461 at the 2000 census. Rehoboth Beach is part of the Cape Henlopen School District.
It is home to several amusement parks, including Morey’s Piers, and a fun boardwalk with rides. Jungle Jim’s River Safari, and waterparks like Splish Splash and Adventure Island.
Families can also enjoy plenty of activities outside of the parks, such as visiting the Tanger Outlets for some shopping, relaxing on one of the many sandy beaches lining the shore, dining at any of the delicious seafood restaurants, or taking a short drive to Lewes to explore its historic district.
Whatever you do, you’re sure to create lasting memories during your visit to Rehoboth Beach!
10. Ocean City
Just a few hours south of Pittsburgh, you’ll find the family-friendly beach town of Ocean City. This is a lively city. With its wide beaches, boardwalk full of shops and restaurants, and lively nightlife, there’s something for everyone in this beach town.
When you’re ready to take a break from the sand, check out the nearby Ripley’s Aquarium or take a stroll through the historic downtown district.
Ocean City can get a little crowded, but it’s still a really clean beach vacation area.
11. Bald Eagle State Park
Bald Eagle State Park is one of the closest beaches to Pittsburgh for families. The park is located on Lake Erie, about an hour and a half away from Pittsburgh. The beach is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Visitors can swim, fish, picnic, and hike in the park. There are also playgrounds, grills, and a pavilion for rent.
12. Beltzville State Park
Beltzville State Park is a 2,972-acre state park in Carbon County, Pennsylvania. The centerpiece of the park is Beltzville Lake, a 923-acre man-made lake created by damming Pohopoco Creek. The lake is popular for fishing, boating, and swimming. Other features of the park include 20 miles of hiking trails, a beach, picnicking areas, and a campground.
Beltzville State Park is located about 90 minutes from Pittsburgh. To get there, take I-376 East to Exit 40A (for PA-51 North). Follow PA-51 North for about 30 miles and then turn right onto PA-895 East. Follow PA-895 East for about 6 miles and then turn right onto Pohopoco Drive. The entrance to the park will be on your left.
13. Poe Valley State Park Beach
Poe Valley State Park Beach is a great beach for families. It has a large, sandy beach area with a playground, picnic tables, and grills. There are also plenty of trees for shade. The water is clean and clear, making it perfect for swimming, kayaking, and fishing.
Fun fact? The beach is set on a man-made lake, and you might spot some squirrels while you are walking around. Hungry afterward? Go check out the concession stand, where you will find ice cream, snacks, and other hot food items.
14. Conneaut Lake
Conneaut Lake is a beach located in Crawford County, Pennsylvania. The lake is approximately 3,200 acres in size and has a maximum depth of around 100 feet. The shoreline of the lake is about 27 miles long.
The beach at Conneaut Lake is open to the public from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. During this time, lifeguards are on duty, and there are plenty of activities for families to enjoy. These activities include swimming, fishing, hiking, picnicking, and playing volleyball.
Conneaut Lake is also home to a water park called SeaWorld Adventure Park. This park features rides and attractions for all ages, including a lazy river and a wave pool.
15. Freeport Beach
Just over an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh, Freeport Beach is a great option for families looking to escape the city for a day. The beach has plenty of sand for building sandcastles, and there are also several playgrounds and picnic areas nearby. For those who want to cool off in the water, there is a designated swimming area with a lifeguard on duty.
16. Presque Isle State Park
This area is a 3,200-acre peninsula that juts into Lake Erie. It is Pennsylvania’s only seashore and one of the state’s most popular year-round recreation areas. The site includes a beach with sand, a marina, biking, and hiking trails, a Visitors Center, and many other family-friendly amenities.
Overall there are 13 beaches in this park that you can swim in. The park is open from sunrise to sunset, and there is no admission fee. Parking is available at various locations throughout the park for a small daily fee. There is a guarded beach, so if safety is your number one priority, then this might be the place for you.
Presque Isle State Park offers a variety of activities for families to enjoy, such as picnic areas, so pack a basket. The beach is great for swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles.
There are also plenty of opportunities for fishing, boating, and kayaking. Hiking and biking trails wind through the forests and along the shoreline, providing stunning views of Lake Erie. Check out the Presque Isle Lighthouse, built in the 1870s, if you have some spare time. Here you will get to truly understand the history of the area.
The Visitors Center features interactive exhibits about the area’s history and ecology. Whether you’re looking for a day of fun in the sun or a nature-filled adventure, Presque Isle State Park is sure to please everyone in the family!
17. South Bass Island
Want to have the best beach vacation? Some hotels on South Bass island have their own private beaches, but there are also some public beaches on the island. The island falls in Ottowa County, Ohio. It has a population of just under 150 people and is found in Lake Erie.
The two main public beaches on the island are Downtown Beach and Put-In-Bay Beach.
What is the closest ocean beach to Pittsburgh, PA?
The closest beaches to Pittsburgh are Rehoboth Beach and Ocean Grove Beach. Both are ocean beaches.
How far is Pittsburgh from a beach?
It’s around 360 miles away from the nearest beach. These would be Rehoboth Beach and Jersey shore beaches.
What is the closest saltwater beach to Pittsburgh, PA?
Rehoboth beach, Atlantic Beach, Bethany Beach, and Presque Isle are the closest saltwater beaches near Pittsburgh, PA.