Even though you are miles away from the Atlantic Ocean in North Carolina, the state has several lakes with fine sandy beaches. At these lakes, you will find areas that are ideal for building a sandcastle, catching a tan or playing some games. Some beaches even feature water parks to maximize your fun.
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Located within the city limits of Elizabethtown is Jones Lake State Park. Its beach extends into the waters of Jones Lake. It is popular with families with children because of the shallow water, and that water is always a tea color according to the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. The swimming area is open from Memorial Day thru Labor Day and features lifeguards. If you prefer to ride the waters canoes and paddle boats can be rented at the local pier. Additional activities at Jones Lake include fishing, hiking, canoeing, camping and picnicking. There is a free boat ramp and game fishing is allowed. Common fish caught at Jones include catfish, yellow perch and blue spotted sunfish.
Jordan Lake is a 14,000-acre attraction surrounded by nine recreation areas. The majority feature beaches that are perfect for playing a game of football, picnicking or building sandcastles. The best swimming beaches can be found at Crosswinds, Poplar Point and Vista Point. Other popular activities on this lake include fishing, waterskiing and kayaking. The swimming beaches have showers and changing areas. None of the beaches have lifeguards but they are open year round.
Hope Mills Area
Fantasy Lake is located along a 6-acre man made lake that features the Fantasy Lake Water Park. For added excitement, this lake has water slides and trapeze swings leading into the lake water. Around the sandy white beaches are picnic areas with barbeque grills and a snack bar. Fantasy Lake is open to the public from Memorial Day to Labor Day and lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Five miles east of Fort Bragg is Smith Lake. This lake features a wide sandy beach area with an aquatic playground filled with floating trampolines, slides, swings that carry you out over the water. Lifeguards are on duty from noon to 7 p.m. Other common activities here include mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding and paint ball.
The beach at Lake Waldo is a public water park that includes a lazy river, water slides, rope swings and slides. It is located 13 miles southwest of Fayetteville. As of 2010, the beach charges admission of $10 for children 10 years and under and $12 for everyone else. The private beach is open Memorial Day through Labor Day and there are lifeguards on duty. Paddleboats or a fishing boat can be rented at the water park. Lake Waldo also has a popular campground.