Suburban districts are imperial for urban development because of its vital roles in catering recreational needs of urban residents and in reshaping urban ecological structure. Beijing, one of the biggest cities in China, has nearly all the recreational land types and also has a long history of recreation development. Thus, the authors, taking Beijing as a study case, conduct research on distribution rules of recreational lands in suburban metropolises. Recreational land types are divided into three groups: public recreational land, commercial recreational land and farm (subsidiary) recreational land. Recreational land database is built up according to this classification. With the aid of GIS, the distribution rules are analyzed in this study. First, there are 161 public recreational land samples, including urban parks, country and forest parks, scenic spots and historic sites. Scenic spots and historic sites are located in outer suburbs, while parks are located along the main roads. Public recreational land has a trend to network structure from line structure. Second, 114 commercial recreational land samples are considered. Transport and water are the main factors in their distribution. Additionally, golf courses, hippodromes and recreational villas are near the center of Beijing, while theme parks, summer resorts and skiing courses are much farther. Third, the data of 222 farm recreational land samples are collected, including farm resorts, traditional country hotels and farm parks. Most of farm recreational lands are near famous scenic spots. In traditional agricultural districts, there would be some farm parks, such as apple parks, cherry parks and watermelon parks. This research aims to find these distribution rules of recreational land in rural districts, which could be applied in urban planning and recreation management. However, the authors point out that there are some issues existing in recreational land distribution of suburban Beijing. Although recreational land follows distance differentiation rules, some commercial recreational sites, such as golf courses and recreational villas are too close to built-up districts and occupy too much space. Most residents can not afford the cost. Furthermore, though there is much land for recreation in suburban Beijing, transport infrastructure and recreational facilities are underdeveloped. Most area of scenic spots and historic sites could not be used for recreation for the above two reasons. Finally, built-up lands have not been restricted in suburbs. Some recreational area is used for apartment building in the name of golf course, skiing parks and farm resorts.