What we liked: If you can't drive to the coast, this is the next best thing! And we've been there even on the weekends and never felt too cramped for space.
What we would change: given the adjacent farms and the people who don't curb their dogs, the lake can be closed to swimming because of bacterial contamination, so you need to check before heading out. The state monitors the water quality carefully, and closes the beach the minute bacteria are rising, so check the website or call the park office before heading out.
Website and other important information: Sandling and Beaver Dam beahces are located on Hwy 50 (Creedmoor Road), between Creedmoor and North Raleigh.
Website: The park website is at http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/fala/main.php. Click on the red Area Closures/Notices line to get the latest on water quality.
Hours: The park is pretty much open 8 to 9 all summer, seven days a week
Fee: $6 per carload for the day