A Summer Getaway | Beaches You Can Drive to from the QCA

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summer getaway beaches

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life with a summer getaway to the beautiful beaches within driving distance from the Quad Cities area. Whether you’re seeking a serene lakeside retreat or an adventure-filled beach excursion, these destinations offer something for every traveler. Pack your sunscreen and towels as we explore the sandy shores and tranquil waters awaiting just a short drive away. Get ready to make unforgettable memories on your Quad Cities beach getaway!

Girl sitting by the lakeBig Hollow Recreation Area West Burlington, IA
Known for its diverse outdoor activities such as fishing, target practice, hiking, and camping, this beautiful outdoor oasis not far from the QCA also offers opportunities for water recreation. Families often enjoy canoeing on the lake and teaching their children how to fish in this serene setting.

Coralville Lake and West Overlook Campground & Beach Iowa City, IA
Nestled in Iowa City, Coralville Lake and its accompanying campground and beach provide a wonderful getaway for a day trip or a weekend retreat. Beyond the natural beauty, visitors can explore the nearby shopping and dining options in Iowa City.

West Okoboji Lake Arnolds Park, IA
Part of a chain of glacier-carved lakes bordering Minnesota and Iowa, offers miles of beaches, carnival attractions on the pier, and ample opportunities for dining and shopping. Families can enjoy a variety of activities in this hidden gem of the Midwest.

Carnival by the beach

Coconut Cove Resort Hazel Green, WI
Completed in 2018, Coconut Cove Resort in Hazel Green, Wisconsin, offers a new campground and beach experience along the Mighty Mississippi. With various amenities, reservations for this picturesque spot fill up quickly.

North Overlook Beach Pella, IA
Managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, North Overlook Beach near Lake Red Rock offers a combination of beach and campground experiences. Known for its wildlife sightings, this destination is accessible for a nominal fee per carload of visitors.

Lake Storey Beach Galesburg, IL
A local favorite just 45 minutes away. Visitors can enjoy summer events like concerts and fireworks!

Door County Beaches Wisconsin
Offers a picturesque getaway with its quaint towns nestled along the bay of Lake Michigan. Families can enjoy peaceful weekends in lakeside Airbnbs, exploring charming shops, and indulging in local cuisine.

Lake Geneva Wisconsin
Boasts a public access beach amidst downtown shops and eateries. Families can enjoy the beach and easily explore the nearby Kenosha waterfront when seeking a change of scenery.

The Upper Peninsula Michigan
Despite its distance, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan offers breathtaking landscapes, waterfalls, and beaches along Lake Michigan. Families can explore various attractions and enjoy local delicacies during their visit.

girl playing in sand

Charles Mears State Park Pentwater, MI
A white beach paradise known for its stunning sunsets. Families can enjoy activities like climbing Mount Baldy and indulging in local treats like ice cream and fudge.

Pentwater Michigan beach

Indiana Dunes State Park Chesterton, IN
Situated at the southern end of Lake Michigan, offers beautiful beaches and towering sand dunes. Families can embark on a day trip to explore the natural wonders and enjoy a peaceful drive home.

Loyola Beach Chicago, IL
Near the Loyola lighthouse in Chicago, provides a serene escape with playgrounds for children and scenic views of the Chicago skyline. Visitors can relax by the calm waters and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.


A version of this story was published on April 22, 2021, by author Becky Clark; it has since been updated.

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Summer in the QCA

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