Arkansas is full of great places to swim but sometimes you just want to smell the salty air. Luckily, the ocean isn’t that far away. Here are the 4 closest beaches to Arkansas.
When I was a kid, we went to the beach every summer. The entire family would pile in our mini-van late at night and we would make the 10 hour drive to the coast. Our beach of choice was in Destin, Florida.
My parents chose to drive at night because they didn’t want to spend a day of our vacation driving. We kids would sleep almost the entire way which I’m sure was also a huge perk. As a parent now, I can totally understand this.
We would often arrive in Destin before sunrise and we would head straight to the beach. It was amazing to sit in the dark and listen to the waves crash. I can still hear it all these years later.
Once the sun came up, we would head to a restaurant for breakfast then call our hotel to ask if we could check in early.
Those were fun times but I’m sure the drive was grueling for my parents. So, this made me wonder, “Where is the closest beach to Arkansas?”
Closest Beaches to Arkansas
If you want sand between your toes but you don’t want a terribly long drive, you’ll love these beaches.
4. Sea Rim State Park in Texas
“At this park, you can camp, go birding and beach combing, paddle in a canoe or kayak, swim, fish, hunt (in season) and walk. Stroll along the Gambusia Nature Trail Boardwalk, which takes you through the marsh.
Stay at one of 15 campsites with utilities or in our cabin. We also offer primitive camping on the beach.” -source
Sea Rim State Park distance from Arkansas
Just 7.5 hours south of Little Rock you will find Sea Rim State Park in Texas! This park offers over 5 miles of Gulf shoreline for plenty of fun in the sun.
Sea Rim State Park location
You’ll find Sea Rim State Park here:
19335 S. Gulfway Drive
Sabine Pass, TX 77655
3. Bay St. Louis Beach in Mississippi
We can’t let Texas have all the beach fun. Mississippi has several beaches that are also worth the drive from Arkansas.
Bay St. Louis Beach distance from Arkansas
In just 7 short hours from Little Rock, Bay St. Louis Beach is one place you won’t want to miss. This beach is a hidden treasure.
Bay St. Louis Beach amentities
Bay St. Louis Beach is beautiful and extremely clean. You can actually walk a good way out into the water to play before it gets too deep.
Everyone raves about the restaurants that are near the beach so there’s no shortage of delicious food to keep you fueled!
Bay St. Louis Beach perks
Perk: Bay St. Louis Beach is only 40 minutes from New Orleans in case you get a craving for beignets.
2. Front Beach in Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Just down the road from Bay St. Louis Beach is Front Beach in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
Front Beach distance from Arkansas
This beach is just 7 hours from Little Rock so, if you play hooky from work, you can make it down there while everyone else is still sitting in their cubicles!
Front Beach perks
Great parking, beautiful beaches, paved walking trails and a gorgeous view is Front Beach in a nutshell. This beach even offers chairs and umbrellas for rent!
If you get hungry (and you will), Ocean Springs is home to many excellent restaurants that serve up some of the best BBQ and Seafood in all of Mississippi!
1. Gulf Shores, Alabama
Gulf Shores slogan is “Small Town, Big Beach” and it shows!
Gulf Shores distance from Arkansas
The trip to Gulf Shores is going to take a bit longer than the others. You might have to stop for an extra cup of coffee (which also results in an extra bathroom break). However, if you’re a robot and drive without stopping, you’ll reach Gulf Shores in 8.5 hours from Little Rock.
Public Beaches in Gulf Shores
“There are currently eight public beach access locations in Gulf Shores:
West 13th Street
West 12th Street
West 10th Stree
West 6th Street
West 5th Street
West 4th Street
Gulf Place West and East Beach”
The city also provides life guard services between March and October.
Gulf Shores attractions
Once you get your fill of sand, there are plenty of other attractions in Gulf Shores like chartered fishing and golfing.
Pro tip: Don’t miss Bahama Bob’s Beach Side Cafe! The Bahama Bob Burger with bacon and pineapple is out of this world!
Beaches Near Arkansas
These short trips will help you when you have a craving for the ocean and some seaside shrimp but don’t forget that there are excellent places to swim in Arkansas if you just need a quick dip to cool off!