As prime coastal recreational areas, beaches attract an increasing number of users worldwide. However, current studies have shown that beaches are subject to plastic pollution, one of the most significant global environmental threats. Considering the health of tourists and ecological environmental management of beaches, microplastics on recreational beaches are urgently being studied. This paper first focused on microplastics on the recreational beaches of Haichow Bay, which is located on the central coast of China and faces the Yellow Sea. The microplastic pollution level, occurrence, and distribution were investigated. Our study demonstrated that microplastics were consistently found on all studied beaches, which emphasized their extensive distribution throughout recreational beaches. The average microplastic abundance was 106.50 +/- 34.41 items/kg, demonstrating that the microplastic pollution level on the studied beaches tended to be in the middle-to-low position compared with previous studies. In total, eight colors were found, more than 90% of microplastics were less than 1 mm in size, and fiber and fragments were the dominant shapes. Resort beaches contained the highest number of microplastics, indicating that the microplastic pollution level on recreational beaches was directly related to the tourism intensity. Five types of plastic were found in the samples, i.e., polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), PS (polystyrene (PS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and nylon. Land inputs were the main source of pollution. This study provided baseline information on microplastic pollution that can be used for effective and comprehensive management of recreational beaches and suggests that the management of plastic use and recycling on beaches should be integrated into China’s’coastal zone management practices.