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3 Kansas City Beaches You Need to Visit


Article by Heather Markway

Photography by Stock

Did your tropical vacation get put on hold this year? Consider a stay-cation and treat yourself to one of these local beach destinations. Check out these local Kansas City hot spots to have some fun in the sun before summer's end.

Lake Olathe Park Swim Beach

Cool off on the swimming beach of Lake Olathe! Be prepared to sink your toes in the sand along the water's edge or get a bit more adventurous at the neighboring attraction-Aqua Park, where you can try your turn on the floating obstacle course.

The Swim Beach can accommodate those with disabilities, walkers or strollers. Locker rooms, outdoor showers, and vending machines are available. Sorry, no pets inside the beach area. Swim Beach hours are Thursday-Sunday 11 am-6 pm. Make your swimming reservations online and visit the beach at 445 S. Ward Cliff Dr. Olathe, KS 66061.

Bring your non-alcoholic drinks, picnic baskets, lawn chairs, inflatables and umbrellas for a day of fun!

Done swimming and want to explore? The 170-acre lake is surrounded by 258-acres of community park. From water play to park adventure, you have your pick of activities for all ages. There is truly something for everyone at Lake Olathe!

Other Attractions:

  • Nature Playground: constructed primarily from on-site materials, kids can climb, slide, splash and zip line
  • Spray Ground: water spraying courses for all ages
  • Disc Golf: 18 hole course
  • Marina: complete with canoe, kayak, pedal boat, and paddle board rentals
  • Amphitheater
  • Fishing

Shawnee Mission Park Beach

Take a dip in Money Magazine's Best Beach in Kansas at Shawnee Mission Park Beach! The beach opened in 2018 boasting a sizable lake front swimming area as well as sand volleyball court, shaded concession area and restroom facilities.

Bring your chairs, umbrellas and food (no alcohol please). Any flotation devices used on the lake must be US Coast Guard approved. Sorry no pets allowed inside Shawnee Mission Park Beach, but make your way to the Shawnee Mission Park Dog Park to give your dog it's very own day on the pet-friendly beach.

The swimming beach is open Friday-Sunday 12 pm-6 pm through August 9. Reserve your spot online and find the beach at 7900 Renner Road Shawnee, KS 66219.

After your swim, check out all of the other activities Shawnee Mission Park has to offer:

  • Disc Golf: 18 hole course
  • Dog Park: located at the 87th & Ridgeview entrance
  • Marina
  • Biking & Equestrian Trails
  • Fishing
  • Picnic Shelters & Playgrounds
  • Archery Range

Smithville Lake Beaches

Located just 20 miles north of Downtown Kansas City, Smithville Lake has two public swim beaches to relax on this summer.

The beach facilities at Smithville Lake have showers, changing rooms and restrooms. No pets allowed inside the beaches, but feel free to bring your picnic basket-no alcohol please.

Camp Branch Beach- Located in Camp Branch Park on the east side of the lake. You'll find it across the parking lot from the Camp Branch Marina and Boat Launch.

Little Platte Beach-Located in Little Platte Park on the west side of the lake. Access from 180th street or the Little Platte Trail.

Smithville Lake swimming beaches are open to the public May 1-September 15 from 8:30 am-sunset. No reservations are required. Find a full map and directions to Smithville Lake online. You can also contact or visit the park office for more details at 17201 Paradesian Smithville, MO 64089.

If you're looking for adventure after you've cooled off on the beach, Smithville Lake also offers:

  • Golfing-Two 18-hole public courses
  • Disc Golf-four course locations
  • 2 Full-Service Marinas
  • 1 Sailboat Marina
  • Hiking, Biking & Equestrian Trails
  • Camping-777 campsites
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Fishing

Whether your're looking to sink your toes in the sand or cool off with a swim these local spots are a great option for your Kansas City beach vacation. Happy beaching!