Things are heating up in KC with the heat indices hovering near 110 degrees. Why not head to the beach? A day of fun at the beach in landlocked KC can be had for a few bucks at most…and a vivid imagination would be helpful, too!
Blue Springs Lake at Fleming Park (which is in Lee’s Summit, not in Blue Springs - go figure…) has a one-acre beach and a marina. This lake is Lake Jacomo’s little sister (also in Fleming Park) but Jacomo doesn’t have a beach. You can rent a variety of styles of boats at each marina.
Longview Lake is in Kansas City, between Raytown and Lee’s Summit and just a stone’s throw from Grandview. Longview has a one-acre swimming beach and a full-service marina. Boat rental is available at the marina.
These two Jackson County MO beaches have lifeguards on duty and shower/restroom facilities. They are open from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm on weekdays; 11:00 am to 7:00 pm on weekends and holidays. Admission is $3/child or senior; $5/adult. Season passes are available.
Shawnee Mission Park Beach is in western Johnson County at 79th and Renner Road. The beach is open most days from 12 pm to 6 pm. Open Water Swim from 6pm until 7:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Daily rates are: $3/day for kids 12 and under and seniors; $5/day for the over 12 set, with $.50 surcharge for non-residents. Shawnee Mission Park also has a marina where you can rent canoes, fishing boats, two person sailboats and pedal boats!
Kill Creek Park Beach is located in Olathe, KS in the newest park in the Johnson County Parks & Rec system. The swimming beach and marine are open Saturdays and Sundays from 12 pm to 6 pm. Prices are the same as at Shawnee Mission Park Beach and the marina offers similar boat rentals.
Smithville Lake, just north of the metro area, offers boating, swimming beaches, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, hiking trails and more. Pack a cooler and go! The Army Corps of Engineers is in charge and they require a $1/swimmer fee. You can’t really beat that price!
Also up north is the Watkins Woolen Mill State Park with a swimming beach at Williams Creek Lake. The Park is outside of Lawson, Missouri – just north of Excelsior Springs and east of Kearney. Camping, biking and fishing are also available here.
Head the opposite direction (south for those of you not paying attention…) and you’ll find Hillsdale Lake in Miami County, Kansas. That’s the county just south of Johnson County. Two beaches with bathroom facilities are open from sunrise to sunset. The lake is surrounded by a beautiful Kansas State Park. Fishing, camping and boating are some of the other popular activities at Hillsdale.
Clinton Lake just outside of Lawrence, Kansas also has a popular swimming beach. Consider making this trip a whole weekend – camping, fishing (even a small children’s fishing pond), boating, trails, archery, disc golf courses, four playgrounds and sand volleyball courts!