It’s summer and feels like an oven in Phoenix, so you may be wondering where is the closest beach from Phoenix and how long does it take to get there?
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Beaches Near Phoenix Arizona
Where is the closest beach from Phoenix? The answer is going to depend on your definition of beach.
If you’re looking for a fresh water beach, the Colorado River in Lake Havasu has the best beaches in Arizona. It is about a 3.5 hour drive to Lake Havasu from Phoenix and you can choose from several beaches including Lake Havasu State Park, London Bridge Beach and Body Beach. Another sandy beach area is at Cattail Cove State Park.
Rocky Point, Mexico
If you’re looking for a sandy beach with salty water the closest beach is located in Puerto Penasco, Mexico or Rocky Point as it is generally referred to. Playa Bonita Beach is around a 4 hour drive from Phoenix. You will need to stop at the border crossing between Mexico and Arizona, so this may add time to your commute. Don’t forget your passport.
San Diego Beaches
The next closest beach is in San Diego. You can drive to Pacific Beach, LaJolla Beach, Mission Beach, or Torrey Pines in about 5.5 hours. Of course, traffic can alter these drive times.
Beaches in Phoenix
If you’re looking for a beach in the Phoenix area, you will be disappointed because we don’t have any. While two man-made beaches are currently being constructed in the Valley, Phoenix doesn’t have any beaches to speak of. VAI Resorts in Glendale and Cannon Beach in Mesa are expected to open soon.
Where can you Cool Off?
What? No beaches, where do Phoenicians cool off? Luckily, we have the Salt River, Colorado River, and several large lakes near Phoenix. Cities also have public pools and splash pads.
The most popular lake near Phoenix is Lake Pleasant.
Lake Pleasant is one of the largest lakes in Arizona, however it doesn’t have a beach. You can swim in the lake, but there is no official swimming area or sandy beach to lay out your beach towel. At least not any more. You can, of course, improvise and find an area of the lake away from boats to swim.
Many people cool off in the lake around the coves found in Lake Pleasant, but the water is very deep in many of these areas and rocky so it isn’t anything like a beach. Despite the lack of beach, we love Lake Pleasant. From the center of Phoenix, Lake Pleasant, is about 40 miles and is a really great lake for water sports just don’t expect a sandy beach.
The Salt River is a popular summer destination and there are areas along the river you can set up a shade tent, lay out your beach towels and splash in the water. There is no beach though.
Colorado River – Paria Beach
Arizona has a beautiful beach on the Colorado River near Page, Arizona. It is in a pretty remote area, but I would rate it as the best beach I’ve been to in Arizona.