Swimming lakes & beaches near Louisville
Lakes are great and there are lots of them within a two hour drive of Louisville. We have compiled a list of lakes that a fun to visit and cool off in within a two hour drive of Louisville.
Want to take a dip, enjoy beaches near Louisville and not go to far from home? We have you covered. Take a look at our list of lakes that are about a two hour drive from the Louisville area and swim friendly.
For 2023, check with each lakes near Louisville and beaches near Louisville location before heading out as they may not have the same opening dates!
Many of the state parks have beach access, it’s not hard to find beaches near Louisville. We encourage everyone to check in with the parks before they go. On any given day the parks close the beaches for a variety of reasons.
Most of these lakes near Louisville locations do not have life guards on duty. Keep an eye on children at all times. Make sure you have them in proper water safety gear like puddle jumpers for young children. Or, life vests, especially for those who are not strong swimmers.
Pack your sunscreen, towels, chairs, sand toys, and food. Floats are a must. Also, we always wear water shoes because the kids don’t like the feeling of the lake bottoms and sometimes the bottom is really rocky. It makes the visit more pleasant!
If you are driving relatively far, pack a change of close for the way back! We always relax on the way back and nap or watch a movie. Be sure to pack enough snacks and drinks for the day because with so much activity, the kids ask for food constantly. And, many of these places do not have concessions.
Lakes in Kentucky (within a two hour drive of Louisville)
Here are some lakes in Kentucky that are so much fun for families and many have beaches. We just love that families can hop in the car and be at a beautiful lake in less than two hours and make for a fantastic day!
Barren River Lake – Lucas, KY. (Beach at resort park, do not have to stay there to use it)
Nolin Lake State Park – Mammoth Cave, KY. (Beach)
Rough River State Park – Falls Of Rough, KY (Rent a pontoon and take it out on the lake for swimming!)
Green River Lake – Campbellsville, KY (Great beach!)
Herrington Lake – Harrodsburg, KY (Marina available for rentals)
Laurel River Lake – London, KY (The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains a swimming beach at the spillway of Laurel River Lake dam. Lifeguards are not provided.)
Taylorsville Lake – Mt. Eden, KY (Rent a boat and take it out to go swimming in the lake!)
Lakes in Indiana (within a two hour drive of Louisville)
Being so close to Indiana, we have more options! There are lovely places to cool off at the beaches at lakes in Indiana. Remember, most of these places have a fee for admission (per car).
Lake Monroe – Bloomington, IN (2 Beaches, free after park admission. They also have a pool that’s $3 extra per person)
Deam Lake – Borden, IN (Beach)
Hardy Lake – Scottsburg, IN (Beach). We found this one more recently and it is our favorite one that is pretty darn close to Louisville.
Hidden Paradise – St Paul, IN (Campground with lake fun)
Morse Park and Beach– Hanover, IN
Patoka Lake – Birdseye, IN (Beach, free after park admission. They also have a pool that’s $3 extra per person)
Starve-Hollow State Recreation Area – Vallonia, IN (A large beach is available for swimming from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Restrooms, dressing facilities, showers, and food concessions are available to visitors. Wheelchair ramps allow access to beach and concession area.)
*we recommend you call and/or check online to be sure the swimming area is open. Sometimes specific lakes close the beaches for one reason or another.
Lakes swimming not for you? Check out swimming pools and splash pads in Louisville.
So many ways to stay cool in summer. Here are all of our posts that include water fun ideas.
Did we miss a lake that is great for swimming? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about it.