What says summer more than wiggling your toes in the sand, or getting down and dirty and building an epic sandcastle?
Utah County is a pretty far drive from the ocean, but that doesn't mean there aren't opportunities for playing on a sandy beach. And since Sunday is National Play in the Sand Day, it's the perfect chance to get out and experience one of the local beaches.
Check out these nine local parks and recreation areas that have beaches perfect for your summer day.
-- By Stacy Johnson, Daily Herald
This beach along Utah Lake is a great place to head with the family and build a sandcastle.
The area includes picnic tables, a pavilion and a paved running and biking trail that spans 1.75 miles to the Lindon Marina.
But remember that no open fires area allowed, and be careful about swimming in Utah Lake, as it is under advisory for toxic algae.
Location: Vineyard Road, Vineyard
In low water elevation years, the Sandy Beach has plenty of sandy areas to play. In high water years, though, the road dead-ends at Utah Lake.
The beach area is located along the edge of Utah Lake near Spanish Fork.
It is a popular area for fishing, swimming and birding. You can take small boats into the lake at this access point, but nothing bigger than you can carry; no boat trailers are allowed.
Be careful about swimming in Utah Lake, as it is under advisory for toxic algae.
Location: Off 3600 South, near 3200 West in Spanish Fork
American Fork Beach
Newly constructed this summer, the American Fork Beach includes 800 tons of soft sand.
Activities at the beach include swimming, sand play and volleyball. There are also water equipment rentals including paddle boards, kayaks, paddle trikes, Jet-Skis, canoes and boats.
Be careful about swimming or recreating in Utah Lake, as it is under advisory for toxic algae.
Fees: Beach use is free, but access is through the American Fork Boat Harbor, which charges $5 for parking per car or $2 for a walk-in.
Location: Take Pleasant Grove Exit on I-15 and turn left on 6000 West
Wayne Bartholomew Park
Wayne Bartholomew Park has become one of the most popular parks in the county since it opened in 2015.
The park has a three-acre pond with a beach area. There are also volleyball, horseshoe and ring-toss areas.
Fees: Springville residents can get a free parking pass to park at the park or the surrounding streets; non-resident parking passes are $10 and are available at the park.
Locations: 1090 S. 2900 East, Springville
Highland Glen Park
Located near Lone Peak High School, Highland Glen Park is home to a three-acre pond with a beach area.
The pond is a popular place for swimming and fishing. The pond is stocked by the Division of Wildlife Resources.
Location: 4800 W. Knight Ave., Highland
Tibble Fork Reservoir
The Tibble Fork Reservoir area reopened last year after a $7.3 million rehabilitation project. As part of that project, a sandy beach was built on the north shore along the 10-acre lake.
The area is popular for fishing, boating and swimming.
Location: American Fork Canyon
Manila Creek Pond
Opened in 2011, the Manilla Creek Pond includes a fishing and wading pond. There is a roped-off wading spot with a sandy beach that is set apart from the fishing area.
Location: 3300 N. 900 West, Pleasant Grove
Salem Pond may be best known for its' festive Christmas display, but in the summer, it's a great place to wiggle your toes in the sand.
The pond has a small sandy beach area where you can play in the summertime.
Location: 200 W. 300 South, Salem
Spanish Oaks Reservoir
In Spanish Fork Canyon, a popular beach is at Spanish Oaks Reservoir.
There is a beach that offers a great place to play in the sand, as well as swimming and fishing in the five-acre lake.
Location: Spanish Fork Canyon (2931 S. Spanish Oaks Drive, Spanish Fork)