Best Beaches in Chanhassen, Chaska, Waconia, Eden Prairie and Victoria

Tour the beaches of the southwest metro.
Clayhole Beach in Chaska.

The southwest metro is home to many beautiful beaches, from triathlon-friendly lakes and rustic, natural stretches of sand, to clay-hole swimming dives and chlorinated ponds. Here’s the scoop on where you can enjoy those lazy summer days this year. Chanhassen Lake Ann Beach on Lake Ann1456 W. 78th St., Chanhassenlifeguards daily, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. mid-June to mid-August; free. Lake Ann Beach is a hub of fun summer activity. Non-motorized boat rentals are available, so you can explore the entirety of the 117 acre-lake, whether it be in a canoe, kayak, paddle boat, or electric-motored row boat. Because motorized boats aren’t allowed on Lake Ann, beachgoers can relax on the sandy shore in peace and triathlon athletes can train, worry-free. Concessions are available for that mid-afternoon swim break, and nearby soccer and lighted ball fields keep the children entertained well into the evening. Other amenities include picnic shelters, reservable picnic sites, tennis court, volleyball, fishing pier, boat access, reservable canoe racks, and trails.   Greenwood Shores Beach on Lake Ann7110 Utica Lane, Chanhassenno lifeguard; beach open 6 a.m. –10 p.m. daily; free. Lake Ann, nestled in the 102-acre park of gently rolling hills, also offers a non-lifeguarded beach. Greenwood Shores Beach is tucked away in an undeveloped corner of the lake. Although parking is lacking, an extra long hike to that secluded beach just might be the perfect summer adventure. Originally an association lot, this beach has a cozy, neighborhood feel.     Lake Minnewashta Regional Park6900 Hazeltine Blvd., Chanhassen; Located off of Hwy. 41 between Hwys. 5 and 7lifeguards daily, noon–6 p.m. mid-June to mid-August; $5/day, $24 annual permit; 952.466.5250 Part of the Carver County Park System, Lake Minnewashta provides 738 acres of fresh water, with a large sand area for beach lounging, complete with two boat-access areas, changing rooms, and a fishing pier. Pack a picnic or plan a barbeque, using the tables and charcoal grills on site. Vending machines will satisfy those afternoon munchies.   Roundhouse Park Beach on Lake Minnewashta3950 Kings Road, Chanhassenno lifeguard; beach hours 6a.m.–10 p.m.; free. Roundhouse Park Beach is also situated on Lake Minnewashta, but this non-lifeguarded beach, operated by the city of Chanhassen, has more of a neighborhood feel. Nearby Roundhouse Park, which offers a playground and open area to play ball, is known for its old, round water tower. The wooden tower is from the 1950s and is used as a warming house in the winter months. Nearby portable restrooms are available to beachgoers as well.   Carver Beach on Lotus Lake6891 Lotus Trail, Chanhassenno lifeguard; beach hours 6 a.m.–10 p.m.; free The six-acre park on the northwest shorelines of Lotus Lake offers two swimming beaches, a small playground, picnic area, canoe racks, fishing dock, and limited off-street parking. The lake is 240 acres of fresh water.   Chaska Clayhole Beach at Fireman’s ParkChaska Blvd., at the intersection of the old 212 and Hwy. 41lifeguards daily, noon–6 p.m. June 7–August 12; $2 daily, season passes available starting at $25 individual, $40 family; 952.279.5225. Before Clayhole Beach at Fireman’s Park had families spending their lazy summer days swimming and relaxing on the shore, it had a different purpose: bricks. From around 1857 through the 1950s, the clay hole was mined for it’s high-quality clay and turned into bricks in a kiln right there on the beach. But today the mine has become a swimming hole boasting good, clean water—and a good story. Swimming areas are roped off and a nearby park offers more space to play, grill and fish. Amenities include ice cream and pop concessions, a picnic area, volleyball, beach chairs and changing/restrooms.   Eden Prairie Lake Riley Beach9180 Riley Lake Road, Eden Prairielifeguards daily, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. mid-June to the end of August; free Situate yourself under one of the large shade umbrellas while the kids swim off some energy in the lifeguarded area. An adjacent park provides sand volleyball courts, a playground, picnic tables, a nearby fishing pier and boat launch, basketball court, tennis and pickleball courts, and picnic shelters for rent. Hop on one of the major bike trails in the area and peddle over to Lake Riley for a rewarding dip in the lake.   Bryant Lake Regional Park6800 Rowland Rd., Eden Prairieno lifeguard, beach hours 9 a.m.–8 p.m.; free; 763.694.7764 Stop by Bryant Lake Regional Park for a lazy day at the beach. Nestled in 170 acres of rolling hills, woodlands and wetlands, this beach is known for more than its concession stand and sandy-bottomed swimming area. Bryant Lake is home to the park district’s stand-up paddle boarding lessons for ages 14+, and hosts a stand-up paddle boarding club. It is also the training site for the Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club. When you’re tired of soaking up the sun, head over to the 18-hole championship disc golf course for a little friendly competition. (Daily and seasonal disc golf rates apply.)   WaconiaLake Waconia Regional Park8170 Paradise Lane, Waconialifeguards daily, noon–6 p.m. mid-June to mid-August; $5/day, $24 for annual permit As the second largest lake in the metropolitan area, Lake Waconia has room for your family to get outside and play. Large sand area, shade umbrellas, scattered picnic tables, charcoal grills, changing rooms, and a reservable shelter are available. Lake Waconia Regional Park is home to the Waconia Triathlon.   Baylor Regional Park10775 County Road 33, Norwood Young Americano lifeguard, park open 7 a.m.–10 p.m. year round, $5/day or $24 annual permit Just southwest of Waconia on Eagle Lake, this beach offers everything, from a sandy beach area and fishing pier to changing rooms, picnic area and charcoal grills. Sports amenities include disc golf, paddleboats rentals, and volleyball. Make a weekend out of it, and pitch a tent in the nearby campground.   Victoria Lake Minnetonka Swimming Pond4610 County Road 44, Minnetrista, off of Hwy. 7 just north of VictoriaLifeguards 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day; beach hours 9 a.m.– 8 p.m.; $3 per person, $10 season pass; 763.694.7754. This 1.75-acre swimming pond is part-lake, part-pool. Designed in a circle completely surrounded by sand, the body of water is filtered and chlorinated so you have the aesthetics of swimming at the beach with the amenities of a health club pool. The pond simulates a lake, as it gradually gets deeper until it reaches six feet in the middle. Amenities include a changing shelter, concessions, and large beach umbrellas.