We live in the middle of the United States in Kansas. Land locked Wichita, Kansas. My husband and I are from the west coast and love to be at the beach. Last summer we decided that we should try out some of the lakes around us and find some that we could enjoy, even if they are all man made.
Since we have children we wanted to find a lake with a nice swim area and beach. We live close to Wichita so the lakes we went to were Cheney, Afton, Wellington and El Dorado Lake.
Lake Afton has a lot of rocky edges around the lake. However they do have 3 swimming areas. There are also 2 playgrounds for kids to enjoy. Lake Afton hosts a variety of activities for every member of the family including dancing, go-cart races, the national drag boat races, jet ski races, antique car shows, concerts, outdoor public shooting range, fishing contests, young hunter courses and the state and national jamborees.
Cheney, in our opinion is a lot nicer looking lake than Lake Afton. However the 4 swimming areas were rather small and there wasn’t any playground equipment for kids to play on if they would rather be out of the water. But the edges of the lake were not jagged rock covered, there are several areas that you can camp at that have beaches which made it nice. The bad part about Cheney is that they do not have a store to purchase items you run out of or forgot, you have to drive to the town of Cheney to get them.
Wellington Lake is small and secluded. Not as busy as Lake Afton or Cheney. There is a fairly large swimming area with playground equipment on the beach. The roads are mostly gravel so it is not ideal if your family wants to go bike riding. There are also not very many campsites, but with the lake not being busy there are usually plenty of sites available. They do host concerts at the lake, however they do not have many restroom facilities so they set up port-a-potties for the concerts. I would recommend Wellington Lake if you wanted to go just for the day to swim and have a picnic.
El Dorado Lake has great beaches to go swimming from and is usually a very popular lake even though it is further away. They also offer ADA playgrounds, trails for riding horses, full service marina, a sailing club, 1000 campsites, shower houses and restrooms and even a laundry facility. They also have cabin rentals if you wish to stay over night but do not want to camp in a tent or RV.
So if you live in the Wichita Kansas area and have the urge to go to the beach, I suggest you try out these 4 lakes that are fairly close by. You can go just for the day or camp overnight!