15 Best Beaches in Arizona For A Beach Vacation

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Arizona is definitely a great vacation spot to consider if you like to sightsee and spend time outdoors. You could drop by the famous landmarks in Arizona, like the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, or enjoy some time on the beautiful beaches in Arizona because no vacation is complete without a relaxing trip to the beach.

Luckily, the beaches that can be found in Arizona are beautiful, sunny, and perfect for lounging in the sun. There’s also a lot of variety among them. They’re everything you could hope for when planning to spend some time outdoors during your vacation.

But since there is so much variety and so many options, it might be hard for you to decide which AZ beaches to visit. So here is a list of all the beaches available to help you plan your perfect vacation.

Does Arizona Have Beaches?

There is a common misconception that Arizona is all deserts and cliffs, and although it does contain many of those, it’s not all there is. There are many different beaches in Arizona, with each of them having its own unique charm for you to experience.

Some Arizona beaches even border lakes, artificial reservoirs, and rivers. So there are plenty of different bodies of water to swim, boat, and do activities in. With each of them looking and feeling as different as the beaches themselves. No matter what your tastes are you’ll find the perfect beach in Arizona for you.

Most Famous Beach In Arizona

Centennial Beach

This gorgeous beach lies in Yuma, right along the Colorado River. It is the definition of a sandy beach with over 1,800 tons of pristine sand from the river which makes it one of the most popular beaches in Arizona.

During your trip to this beautiful sandy beach, you can enjoy relaxing in the sun, having picnics, building sandcastles, and of course enjoying the view of the river. This beach is definitely a must-see beach in Arizona.

If you’re planning to visit Centennial beach and want to stay nearby then you could consider staying at the La Fuente Inn & Suites which is not only close to the beach but also other great attractions as well.

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Yuma, Arizona Beaches 

Gateway Park

Also in Yuma, is the beach at Gateway Park. This is probably the shadiest beach in Arizona as it is placed under a freeway bridge that protects the river and beach from the harsh sun.

It’s an extremely popular swimming spot during the summer because of this shade. And the waters are calm as well, so it’s really a relaxing time. There are even some outdoor showers in case you want to rinse off before you leave. 

If you’re washing off to head back to a hotel after your day at the beach then you should know that the Best Western Plus Yuma Foothills Inn & Suites is a great place to stay while in Yuma. They’ve thought of everything and even have a shared lounge complete with a ping pong table and darts.

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Lake Havasu City, Arizona Beaches

Lake Havasu is home to the largest variety of beaches in Arizona and is the perfect place to explore if you want to beach hop a bit. And it’s a fantastic city to explore even aside from the beautiful beaches it offers. It’s a great stop to make! 

Windsor Beach 

There are several beaches along Lake Havasu, but Windsor beach is one of the more popular ones there due to the amount of activities you can do there. In addition to all of your typical beach activities, you could also swim, boat, or even jet ski.

Apart from these water activities, this beach in Arizona features a gorgeous scenery. If you prefer to just relax and take in the landscape then you won’t be disappointed by the beautiful white sand and clear view of the lake that Windsor Beach offers.

To avoid a long drive to Windsor Beach, you could stay at the Island Suites. It’s within a very short range of the lake and also downtown Lake Havasu City, so you won’t be far from the action.

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Rotary Beach

Rotary Beach is another Arizona beach placed along Lake Havasu, but this one is a bit different because it’s part of the Rotary Community Park. The Rotary Community Park contains 40-acres of land which not only includes the beach, but also picnic grounds, barbeque sites, sports courts, and more. 

The beach itself offers a great view of the lake because of its sunny nature. It is the perfect place to sunbathe after you’ve enjoyed all of the nearby activities that the park offers.

A short drive away and you could be at the Quality Inn & Suites which would give you a great experience, complete with access to a full-service restaurant and bar. And it’s a very short distance away from the lake.

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Body Beach

Get ready for a unique experience if you choose to go to Body Beach. This is where a lot of water athletes go to practice, and you’ll have a front-row seat to that practice from your vantage point on the beach.

And aside from that, Body Beach has exactly the sort of beautiful scenery that you would expect from an Arizona beach. It has a great view of rugged mountains in the distance for you to enjoy as you sit by the clear water.

A great place to think about staying if you are interested in visiting Body Beach during your trip would be the Travelodge by Wyndham as it’s only a 5-minute walk to Lake Havasu from the hotel although you might have to go a bit farther to get to Body Beach.

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Cattail Cove State Park

This park has a lot of features that you could check out if you’re interested, but it does include a serene white sand beach that is perfect for a day spent in the sun. There is even a dedicated swimming area for those that want to jump into the water.

And if you get hungry while you’re on the beach then you should have no problem because the beach has shaded picnic tables and a few barbecue grills that you could use. There’s also a dedicated dog section of the beach, so your furry friend can join you as well.

Although there are campgrounds at the park, if you’re willing to drive a little less than half an hour away then you could stay at The Nautical Beachfront Resort. This is a beachfront property itself and comes with an infinity pool, a wet bar, and a restaurant plus more.

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London Bridge Beach

As far as the AZ beaches go, this might be the most ocean-like one that there is. It runs along the Bridgewater Channel but is complete with seagulls, and tropical palm trees lining the beach. It truly feels like you’re at the ocean.

And while you’re at this beach, you have to take a look at the London Bridge. The London Bridge used to have its home over the River Thames in London, England, but around the 1960’s it was moved to Arizona.

A 10-minute walk away from this park and beach is the Days Inn by Wyndham. This is a convenient place to stay because it’s in close proximity to the lake, and it includes many luxuries like an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub.

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Parker, Arizona Beaches

River Island State Park

This is one of the most intimate beaches in Arizona, there are mountains along the riverbank and the state park is nestled at the bottom. It makes for a very cozy and tucked away area that even has a grassy lawn behind the beach. And there’s shade provided by mesquite trees that line the back of it.

There are hiking trails all around the area, places to have picnics, and opportunities for you to indulge in all the water activities that you can think of. You can even paddleboard there if you like to try something fun.

After you’ve spent your day intimately tucked away at the beach in the park, you could consider staying the night at Hampton Inn in Parker. The rooms there have everything you’ll need to stay comfortable, and there’s even a charming little snack bar.

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Buckskin Mountain State Park

If you’re looking for an Arizona beach that overlooks the most sparkling water that you’ve ever seen, look no farther than the beach at Buckskin Mountain State Park. This thin beach follows the shoreline of the Colorado River for a while and is very close to some gorgeous rugged mountains.

A lot of people choose to swim in the cooling waters that the river has to offer, but if you’d prefer to stay on land then you could relax in the sun or take advantage of some of the local hiking trails.

There is a very nice hotel called the Harbour Inn about five minutes away from the park if you’d like to stay conveniently close to it. The hotel has plenty of amenities including a barbecue area and some picnic tables, perfect for a cozy outdoor dinner. 

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Tempe, Arizona Beaches

Beach @ Tempe Beach Park

Tempe Beach Park has a lot more to offer than just its beach and great access to the Tempe Lake, which is an artificial reservoir that has stunningly blue, cool waters.

The main draw to this Arizona beach is that you’ll have access to all sorts of entertainment. Not only are the trails for walking, biking, and jogging but there are also picnic areas and water activities as well. And Tempe Lake often has concerts and festivals going on that you could keep an eye out for as well.

For all of you that are planning to check out this lively beach in Arizona, you could always stay at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites. This hotel is within a 15-minute drive of the park and even includes a fitness center.

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Lake Powell, Arizona Beaches

Wahweap Beach

This lovely beach lies along Lake Powell, and it’s a fairly secluded bay. You probably won’t have to deal with too many crowds as you enjoy the beach and soak in the sun, which can be a nice change from the normally busy AZ beaches.

There are plenty of other things to do on and around the beach as well, including some hiking trails ranging from easy walks to some more difficult ones. The best part is that you can bring your dogs on walks along the beach and hiking trails as well, as long as they’re on a leash.

A great place to think about staying while you’re in the area would be the Baymont by Wyndam Page Lake Powell. It includes everything you could need in lodgings and more, such as an indoor pool and hot tube as well as breakfast served each morning. 

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Patagonia Lake, Arizona Beaches

Patagonia Lake State Park

This Arizona beach is particularly charming because of its location, it’s right in the middle of a desert which makes this man-made lake feel like an oasis. The spot is made even more special because of the rolling hills and mountains that surround it.

You can swim almost anywhere in the lake to cool off, except for the boat docks. And if you’d like, you could take a boat out into the middle of the lake, jet ski, or fish. All of these things are popular activities that many people enjoy doing there.

When you’re finished exploring the park and beach, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Nogales is waiting for you less than a half-hour away. It’s the perfect place to rest up after your day at the beach, you can enjoy an on-site whirlpool or if you’re still feeling energetic you could try out their tennis court.

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Safford, Arizona Beaches

Roper Lake State Park

This park has a great beach scene, and not only will you have views of the beautiful Roper Lake from its sandy shores but you’ll be right at the base of the majestic Mt. Graham. The scenery is impeccable.

And there’s plenty to do at the park as well, including bird watching some of the many bird species that have made their home in the park, fishing, and other activities in the water. Plus you’re very close to the “Sky Island” mountain range, which is utterly breathtaking.

Exploring this beautiful park will leave you in need of some rest, and there’s no better place in the area to get it than the Best Western Desert Inn. The rooms are stocked with everything you need, and there’s even an outdoor pool. And they serve breakfast every morning. 

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Mesa, Arizona Beaches

Pebble Beach

This is one of the best beaches for swimming out of all the Arizona beaches. There are no boating or motorized vehicles allowed because of the shallow waters. As such, there’s not as much noise and no disturbances in the water while you try to swim.

The beach itself is quite unique because of the rocks and pebbles that line it. It’s truly a beautiful spot, and a really popular one as well so make sure to get there early, because after the beach fills up then you’re out of luck!

You might want to stay nearby in order to make sure that you can get to the beach early, and in that case, the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson would be perfect for you. There are plenty of amenities here, and they even have a library that you could check out. 

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Peach Springs, Arizona Beaches

Diamond Creek Beach

This might be the hardest Arizona beach to access, but it’s worth the trouble if you’re not crazy about crowds because you’ll be mostly alone at this secluded and beautiful beach.

The reason it’s so hard to access is that it’s at the end of a very quiet road. In addition, you need a permit to go there because it’s located on Hualapai Indian Tribal Land. 

But the hassle to get there is worth it, and you’ll be rewarded with great views, a secluded visit, and activities such as swimming and white water rafting if you’re really adventurous.

There aren’t a lot of lodgings around this area, but about an hour away there is the Hualapai Lodge which is a great place to stay, and it even has its own full-service restaurant so you don’t have to travel in order to eat.

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Discovering Beaches In Arizona

When it comes to the beaches in Arizona, you really can’t choose the wrong one. Beaches might not be the first things Arizona is known for, but each is unique and beautiful, just like the state itself.

You can visit multiple ones during your trip if you choose to, since a lot of them are fairly close to each other. However, each of the AZ beaches still offer their own distinctive experiences.

Alternatively, you could choose to stay in the same area, and just relax at your favorite beach. Either way, enjoy your trip, enjoy the scenery, and enjoy the relaxation and beauty that comes from visiting an Arizona beach.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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