Sunny shores, crystal clear waters, exciting events—Wisconsin’s beaches have it all. And in addition to their scenic beauty, many of these breathtaking coasts are also perfect for family vacations.
Here are our picks for the best kid-friendly beaches in Wisconsin:
- Bradford Beach, Milwaukee
- Schoolhouse Beach, Washington Island
- Nichols Beach, Boulder Junction
- Lion’s Den Gorge, Grafton
- North Beach, Racine
- Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo
- Simmons Island Beach, Kenosha
- Meyer’s Beach, Cornucopia
Below, this article dives into what makes these shores excellent for fun in the sun.
1. Bradford Beach, Milwaukee
Bradford Beach, known for its dazzling gold sand, is a must-see for anyone visiting Milwaukee.
Tourists looking to relax can lay out in the summer sun and enjoy the crash of waves. Meanwhile, the kids can have the time of their life on the sand volleyball courts.
This lively shore also holds several cute tiki huts that serve beverages and food. And what better way to cap off your family beach day than with some ice cream?
Interestingly, Bradford Beach lies along a major migration path for waterfowl. As a result, it’s one of that state’s premier bird-watching destinations.
With everything there is to see and do, it’s no surprise why Bradford Beach is so revered. Many even consider it among the best beaches in the country.
2. Schoolhouse Beach, Washington Island
If you’re seeking breathtaking vistas, look no further than Schoolhouse Beach.
Found on Washington Island in Lake Michigan, this smooth pebble beach is jaw-droppingly gorgeous.
One of the first things visitors will notice is the crystal clear water. It’s excellent for kayaking or snorkeling with adventurous kids.
Public grills and picnic tables are available along the shore. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful place to enjoy some hotdogs with the family.
Still not convinced? Then you should know that Schoolhouse Beach also boasts a wide range of accommodations.
Nature-loving families can pitch a tent and stargaze the night away. Meanwhile, those who prefer the indoors can rent one of the cozy log cabins nearby.
3. Nichols Beach, Boulder Junction
Boulder Junction’s Nichols Beach is the ultimate destination for families who want a relaxing getaway.
First and foremost, this shoreline is perfect for children who are still learning to swim.
The water is shallow and slopes very gently. And since the shore is along a small lake, there are almost no currents or waves.
Plus, no motorboats are allowed in the water—meaning that this destination is almost always quiet and serene.
Because the water is so calm, Nichols Beach also provides some stellar fishing opportunities. And your young ones will undoubtedly remember the first time they catch a large-mouth bass for years to come.
4. Lion’s Den Gorge, Grafton
Families who enjoy time in nature will undoubtedly fall in love with Lion’s Den Gorge.
This scenic waterfront is actually a nature preserve. As a result, there’s little development to distract from its inherent beauty.
In the preserve, visitors can find numerous charming trails to get lost on—and these paths provide mesmerizing views of Lake Michigan’s azure waters.
The park is pet-friendly too. Meaning the family pup can come for the trip.
And the best part? Very few people, even in Wisconsin, know about the gorge.
If you prefer to avoid the crowds, this is the perfect place to visit!
5. North Beach, Racine
Instead of asking what you can do at North Beach, a better question is what can’t you do.
Jet skiing, volleyball, and paddleboarding are just a few of the activities your family can enjoy.
And that’s not even mentioning the frequent events, such as concerts and watersports.
After a thrill-packed day, families have several delectable lakeside restaurants to try out. Plus, nearby Milwaukee holds plenty to do once the sun sets.
To top it all off, North Beach is downright breathtaking.
The golden sands are perfect for children who love building sandcastles. And the palm trees found along the shore provide a distinctly tropical vibe.
This shore gets pretty busy in the summer months. But thankfully, it’s big enough that you can always find a great spot in the sand.
6. Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo
Devil’s Lake isn’t just one of the Midwest’s most gorgeous destinations: it’s also Wisconsin’s largest and most visited state park.
And its popularity is well-earned, because Devil’s Lake is sure to sweep you off your feet.
The majestic bluffs surrounding the water stand as high as 500 feet tall. And there are plenty of trails to the top of them for the budding adventurers in your family.
The water itself is a deep, inviting blue. You’ll definitely have a hard time not jumping in or grabbing a kayak as soon as you see it.
But what makes it even better for families are all the amenities.
Visitors can find restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. Additionally, many of the campsites have electric power.
This means that at Devil’s Lake, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to get closer to nature.
7. Simmons Island Beach, Kenosha
Are you struggling to find a vacation spot that checks all the boxes for your family?
Then you’re in luck—because Simmons Island Beach in Kenosha has something for everyone.
The park’s long boardwalk provides magnificent views of the nearby shoreline. And there’s also a paved bike trail that runs along with it.
In the park are two beautiful lighthouses:
- The Southport Lighthouse is open to the public and part of a museum.
- The North Pier Lighthouse is an iconic red structure perfect for photos. It currently houses an art studio.
This stretch of coast is also rarely crowded and very safe. As a result, it’s easily one of the best family beaches in Wisconsin.
8. Meyer’s Beach, Cornucopia
Despite its picturesque shorelines, Meyer’s Beach in Cornucopia is generally unknown. And that’s great news for you since there’s virtually no crowds or bustle there.
Located on Lake Superior, this shoreline is famous for its sea caves and rock formations.
Not to mention that the coast offers some of the best surfing on the great lakes.
Visitors often kayak near the cliff sides for one-of-a-kind photos. And at low tide, some of the caves are even large enough to walk around and explore.
After some adventuring, visitors can rest on the peaceful sands and enjoy nature.
Meyer’s Beach is relatively remote, which has allowed wildlife and plants to thrive. So if your family loves the outdoors, this is one of the top places to spend quality time together.