Summertime brings longer days, warm nights, heat waves and the constant hum of air-conditioning units. If you don’t want to be stuck indoors all summer long, grab some sun block, a wide-brimmed hat and head to the beach! Even though we live in the Sacramento valley, and a couple of hours from the Pacific Ocean, it doesn’t mean we can’t spend our days lounging at the beach. Luckily, we have access to many local lakes where we can be playing in the sand within just a short drive from downtown. Two local “beaches” that our family enjoys visiting are Beal’s Point and Rollins Lake.
Beal’s Point is located just 30 minutes from downtown at Folsom Lake. Conveniently located off of Auburn-Folsom Boulevard, in Granite Bay, Beal’s Point is a great place for kids and families, with all the amenities for a fun-filled summer day. They have a sandy beach and buoyed swim area with lifeguards present. If you would like to BBQ, there are pits on site, picnic tables and plenty of shade with grassy areas to play on.
Most moms are concerned with “facilities”- and they do have clean restrooms and even a snack bar in case you forget snacks. My kids love getting ice-cold sweet treats at the snack bar after a long day of playing in the sand!
You can spend the day building sand castles and swimming in the lake, or you can rent rafts, paddle boards, pedal boats and kayaks on site. Summer hours for Beal’s point are 6am to 9pm. If you are feeling adventurous, you can pack a tent and spend the night in their campground (reservations are required).
Rollin’s Lake is another one of our favorite day-trip destinations. Located between Colfax and Grass Valley off of Highway 174 (approximately an hour drive from downtown Sacramento), this lake has everything a family needs for a day of fun! If you are feeling adventurous, you can rent boats, paddleboards, kayaks or canoes. For the less adventurous, you can just kick back and relax at the swimming beach. They have plenty of picnic tables and shade, along with BBQ pits for your day outing. If you forget something at home – no worries, as they have a well-stocked marina store. If you have a child who likes to fish, the lake is stocked daily. We took our children fishing for the first time here, and even though Grandpa or Daddy should have been the ones to catch a fish, it was my daughter who had the biggest “bite of the day”. She was grinning ear to ear while the men were fuming…oh well. Better luck next time to the real fishermen! Rollin’s Lake also has clean restrooms and showers if you would like to clean off before you leave.
Both lakes are easily accessible and are fun for the whole family. So, don’t stay cooped up inside this summer – take advantage of the beauty of our surroundings and spend a day out at the beach!
By Heather Crivellone