50 Lakes in the US to Visit This Summer

by Lauren Dana

50 Lakes in the US to Visit This Summer

by Lauren Dana

From the glistening waters of Lake Champlain in Vermont to the white-sand beaches of Lake Winnipesaukee (New Hampshire), to the scenic mountain backdrops that frame Montana's Lake McDonald, here are the 50 best lakes to visit this summer.

From the glistening waters of Lake Champlain in Vermont to the white-sand beaches of Lake Winnipesaukee (New Hampshire), to the scenic mountain backdrops that frame Montana's Lake McDonald, here are the 50 best lakes to visit this summer.

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Lake Chelan, WA / cyda101/iStock
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Lake George, NY

From hiking and kayaking to brewery tours and wineries, this part of New York offers plenty to see and do. The lake itself spans 32 miles and features incredible mountain views. History buffs should pay a visit to Fort William Henry Museum, a 1755-era, British-built fort that was used throughout the French and Indian War.

From hiking and kayaking to brewery tours and wineries, this part of New York offers plenty to see and do. The lake itself spans 32 miles and features incredible mountain views. History buffs should pay a visit to Fort William Henry Museum, a 1755-era, British-built fort that was used throughout the French and Indian War.

Lake Coeur d'Alene
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Lake Coeur d’Alene, ID

This 25-mile lake is one of the most beautiful in the country. Here, popular activities include camping, hiking, boating, fishing, and sunbathing. For stunning views, be sure to visit the Mineral Ridge Scenic Area and National Recreation Trail

This 25-mile lake is one of the most beautiful in the country. Here, popular activities include camping, hiking, boating, fishing, and sunbathing. For stunning views, be sure to visit the Mineral Ridge Scenic Area and National Recreation Trail. 

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Crater Lake, OR

Crater Lake dates back over 7,500 years. Today, visitors come here from all over the country to take in the views and fully immerse themselves in nature. At nearly 2,000 feet deep, it’s the deepest lake in the US (and ninth-deepest lake in the world).

Read more: 5 Stunning West Coast Road Trips

Crater Lake dates back over 7,500 years. Today, visitors come here from all over the country to take in the views and fully immerse themselves in nature. At nearly 2,000 feet deep, it’s the deepest lake in the US (and ninth-deepest lake in the world).

Read more: 5 Stunning West Coast Road Trips

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Lake Powell, UT

Around two million people come to visit this man-made lake annually – and it’s easy to see why. With crystal-clear water, sandy beaches, Lake Powell (which is the second-largest manmade lake in the US), features picturesque surroundings that you have to see to believe. 

Around two million people come to visit this man-made lake annually – and it’s easy to see why. With crystal-clear water, sandy beaches, Lake Powell (which is the second-largest manmade lake in the US), features picturesque surroundings that you have to see to believe. 

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Lake McDonald, MT

Located in Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald is absolutely jaw-dropping. Complete with a colorful, pebble-lined shorefront, spectacular mountain views, and dazzling water, this destination is perfect for hiking, wildlife spotting, and camping. 

Read more: Tips for Avoiding the Masses at National Parks This Summer

Located in Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald is absolutely jaw-dropping. Complete with a colorful, pebble-lined shorefront, spectacular mountain views, and dazzling water, this destination is perfect for hiking, wildlife spotting, and camping. 

Read more: Tips for Avoiding the Masses at National Parks This Summer

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Lake Champlain, VT

Calling all outdoor enthusiasts: You need to add Lake Champlain to your summer bucket list. The lake spans a whopping 587 miles of shoreline -- meaning there is a lot to explore. Bikers will love the 28-mile Island Line Trail, while foodies will enjoy a stop at the Farmers and Foragers food truck, where you can grab burgers and fries and refuel after a day at the lake. 

Calling all outdoor enthusiasts: You need to add Lake Champlain to your summer bucket list. The lake spans a whopping 587 miles of shoreline -- meaning there is a lot to explore. Bikers will love the 28-mile Island Line Trail, while foodies will enjoy a stop at the Farmers and Foragers food truck, where you can grab burgers and fries and refuel after a day at the lake. 

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Lake Superior, MI

As the world’s largest freshwater lake, this one certainly lives up to its name. The lake itself is home to nearly 30 lighthouses, more than 300 shipwrecks, and the 132,000-acre Isle Royale National Park, where travelers can keep busy with plenty of hiking and wildlife spotting opportunities. 

Read more: Add These 10 Underrated National Parks to Your Bucket List, ASAP

As the world’s largest freshwater lake, this one certainly lives up to its name. The lake itself is home to nearly 30 lighthouses, more than 300 shipwrecks, and the 132,000-acre Isle Royale National Park, where travelers can keep busy with plenty of hiking and wildlife spotting opportunities. 

Read more: Add These 10 Underrated National Parks to Your Bucket List, ASAP

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Big Bear Lake, CA

Located 100 miles outside of Los Angeles, Big Bear Lake makes for an easy summertime escape. Here, you’ll find hundreds of miles of hiking trails and 22 miles of shoreline -- so be sure to pack a bathing suit and sunscreen. 

Located 100 miles outside of Los Angeles, Big Bear Lake makes for an easy summertime escape. Here, you’ll find hundreds of miles of hiking trails and 22 miles of shoreline -- so be sure to pack a bathing suit and sunscreen. 

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Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

The 72-mile-long Lake Winnipesaukee is New Hampshire's largest and among the state's most visited. From the white-sand beaches of Weirs Beach to the beautiful scenery (which includes incredible views of the White Mountains), to the many hiking trails (Mount Major is a popular spot), this family-friendly lake is the place to be this summer.

The 72-mile-long Lake Winnipesaukee is New Hampshire's largest and among the state's most visited. From the white-sand beaches of Weirs Beach to the beautiful scenery (which includes incredible views of the White Mountains), to the many hiking trails (Mount Major is a popular spot), this family-friendly lake is the place to be this summer.

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Lake Geneva, WI

Located 75 miles outside Chicago, the quaint lakeside town of Lake Geneva is home to Big Foot Beach State Park and the walkable, historic Shore Path, which is dotted with beautiful, historic mansions dating back to the 19th century. You can even take a hot air balloon ride and admire the dazzling lake from above. 

Read more: How to Visit Door County, WI on a Budget

Located 75 miles outside Chicago, the quaint lakeside town of Lake Geneva is home to Big Foot Beach State Park and the walkable, historic Shore Path, which is dotted with beautiful, historic mansions dating back to the 19th century. You can even take a hot air balloon ride and admire the dazzling lake from above. 

Read more: How to Visit Door County, WI on a Budget

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Lake Shelbyville, IL

Illinois’ Lake Shelbyville has 50-plus miles of public hiking, biking, and walking trails -- not to mention several man-made beaches. Also nearby are golf courses, marinas, and Shelbyville State Fish and Wildlife Area, a popular spot for hunters and fishers. 

Illinois’ Lake Shelbyville has 50-plus miles of public hiking, biking, and walking trails -- not to mention several man-made beaches. Also nearby are golf courses, marinas, and Shelbyville State Fish and Wildlife Area, a popular spot for hunters and fishers. 

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Lake Chelan, WA

With a distinctive and charming small-town vibe, Lake Chelan truly offers something for everyone: expect 50 miles of lakeside fun; adventure (think: ziplining, boating, and even skydiving); over 250 acres of vineyards; 30 wineries; and beautiful surroundings. 

With a distinctive and charming small-town vibe, Lake Chelan truly offers something for everyone: expect 50 miles of lakeside fun; adventure (think: ziplining, boating, and even skydiving); over 250 acres of vineyards; 30 wineries; and beautiful surroundings. 

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Crescent Lake, MN

If you’re looking for some much-needed peace and quiet, head straight to Crescent Lake. It’s actually part of Superior National Forest -- which covers three million acres of land -- so visitors will enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness.

If you’re looking for some much-needed peace and quiet, head straight to Crescent Lake. It’s actually part of Superior National Forest -- which covers three million acres of land -- so visitors will enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness.

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Lake Jocassee, SC

This sprawling South Carolina lake offers mountain views, pristine shorelines, and cascading waterfalls. Lake Jocassee is also home to several types of fish, including rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, and sunfish. The Jocassee Gorges Wilderness Area is also nearby.

This sprawling South Carolina lake offers mountain views, pristine shorelines, and cascading waterfalls. Lake Jocassee is also home to several types of fish, including rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, and sunfish. The Jocassee Gorges Wilderness Area is also nearby.

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Skaneateles Lake, NY

Skaneateles Lake, which is part of the Finger Lakes region in Central New York, touts beautiful blue-green waters, as well as a charming downtown area filled with a variety of shops and restaurants. Skaneateles Lake has also gained the nickname “The Roof Garden of the Lakes” since its altitude is higher than the other Finger Lakes. 

Read more: Natural Beauty, Warm Hospitality, and Lots of Vino in NY's Finger Lakes Region
 

Skaneateles Lake, which is part of the Finger Lakes region in Central New York, touts beautiful blue-green waters, as well as a charming downtown area filled with a variety of shops and restaurants. Skaneateles Lake has also gained the nickname “The Roof Garden of the Lakes” since its altitude is higher than the other Finger Lakes. 

Read more: Natural Beauty, Warm Hospitality, and Lots of Vino in NY's Finger Lakes Region

 

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Lake Cumberland, KY

Located about 70 miles south of Lexington, this scenic lake stretches over 63,000 acres and has more than 1,200 miles of beautiful shoreline. Here, you can go jet skiing, tubing, and water skiing. It’s also famous for its striped bass fishing. 

Located about 70 miles south of Lexington, this scenic lake stretches over 63,000 acres and has more than 1,200 miles of beautiful shoreline. Here, you can go jet skiing, tubing, and water skiing. It’s also famous for its striped bass fishing. 

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Summersville Lake, WV

West Virginia’s largest lake is home to 60-plus miles of shoreline (from rocky cliffs to peaceful coves), as well as an array of watersports activities like scuba diving and boating. Cliffs can reach as high as 100 feet, making it a great spot for hikers and climbers. 

West Virginia’s largest lake is home to 60-plus miles of shoreline (from rocky cliffs to peaceful coves), as well as an array of watersports activities like scuba diving and boating. Cliffs can reach as high as 100 feet, making it a great spot for hikers and climbers. 

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Flathead Lake, MT

With over 200 square miles of water and 185 miles of shoreline, Montana’s Flathead Lake should definitely be on your itinerary. Popular activities include sailing, fishing, camping, swimming, and more. Along the way, be sure to pick up some locally grown fruits and vegetables like cherries, apples, and more. 

With over 200 square miles of water and 185 miles of shoreline, Montana’s Flathead Lake should definitely be on your itinerary. Popular activities include sailing, fishing, camping, swimming, and more. Along the way, be sure to pick up some locally grown fruits and vegetables like cherries, apples, and more. 

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Lake Travis, TX

Lake Travis may only be 30 minutes outside of Austin, but it truly feels like a world away. Here, you can charter a boat, cliff jump, or simply swim in the crystal-blue waters. When it comes time to refuel, there are plenty of options. We love Poodies for burgers and live music, and Shack 512’s delicious s’mores: the perfect summertime treat!

Read more: What to See and Do in Austin, TX

Lake Travis may only be 30 minutes outside of Austin, but it truly feels like a world away. Here, you can charter a boat, cliff jump, or simply swim in the crystal-blue waters. When it comes time to refuel, there are plenty of options. We love Poodies for burgers and live music, and Shack 512’s delicious s’mores: the perfect summertime treat!

Read more: What to See and Do in Austin, TX

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Delta Lake, WY

Located in Grand Teton National Park, Delta Lake is not to be missed. Its dreamy turquoise-emerald waters, combined with the stunning mountain views, make this the perfect place to chill out -- literally! Because of its high elevation, the water is quite cold. 

Located in Grand Teton National Park, Delta Lake is not to be missed. Its dreamy turquoise-emerald waters, combined with the stunning mountain views, make this the perfect place to chill out -- literally! Because of its high elevation, the water is quite cold. 

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Lake Tahoe, CA

While Lake Tahoe is mostly known for skiing, it’s also an ideal lake to visit in the summertime. From hiking and kayaking to horseback riding and sunbathing on the beach, Lake Tahoe offers plenty to see and do. 

Read more: 4 Affordable Ways to Enjoy Lake Tahoe's Beautiful Shoulder Season

While Lake Tahoe is mostly known for skiing, it’s also an ideal lake to visit in the summertime. From hiking and kayaking to horseback riding and sunbathing on the beach, Lake Tahoe offers plenty to see and do. 

Read more: 4 Affordable Ways to Enjoy Lake Tahoe's Beautiful Shoulder Season

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Piney Lake, CO

Adventure lovers take note: Piney Lake should be on your list. Whether you’re fishing for trout, embarking on a scenic hiking trail, or going kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding, be sure to take a moment to admire the gorgeous surroundings (blue skies, snow-capped mountains, lush greenery, and ultra-clear water).

Adventure lovers take note: Piney Lake should be on your list. Whether you’re fishing for trout, embarking on a scenic hiking trail, or going kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding, be sure to take a moment to admire the gorgeous surroundings (blue skies, snow-capped mountains, lush greenery, and ultra-clear water).

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Lake Martin, AL

Lake Martin is a 44,000-acre reservoir complete with around 800 miles of wooded shoreline, so you’ll have no trouble reserving your own private slice of lakeside paradise. It’s also a popular spot for bass fishing. Must-see sites include Acapulco Rock Island and Goat Island, which is inhabited by plenty of adorable goats. 

Lake Martin is a 44,000-acre reservoir complete with around 800 miles of wooded shoreline, so you’ll have no trouble reserving your own private slice of lakeside paradise. It’s also a popular spot for bass fishing. Must-see sites include Acapulco Rock Island and Goat Island, which is inhabited by plenty of adorable goats. 

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Lake Mead, NV

This man-made lake is less than 30 miles from the Las Vegas strip and stretches through both Nevada and Arizona. Popular activities include swimming, boating, hiking, cycling, camping, and fishing. Lake Mead National Recreation Area is also the first and largest recreation area in the country.

Read more: 7 Cheap Day Trips from Vegas

This man-made lake is less than 30 miles from the Las Vegas strip and stretches through both Nevada and Arizona. Popular activities include swimming, boating, hiking, cycling, camping, and fishing. Lake Mead National Recreation Area is also the first and largest recreation area in the country.

Read more: 7 Cheap Day Trips from Vegas

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Jordan Pond, ME

Although it’s not technically a lake, the 187-acre Jordan Pond, which is part of Acadia National Park, is definitely worth the trip. While no swimming is allowed, visitors can kayak and canoe here. After a fun-filled day in the sun, enjoy a meal at the famed Jordan Pond House restaurant, where you can enjoy fresh seafood and incredible views.  

Although it’s not technically a lake, the 187-acre Jordan Pond, which is part of Acadia National Park, is definitely worth the trip. While no swimming is allowed, visitors can kayak and canoe here. After a fun-filled day in the sun, enjoy a meal at the famed Jordan Pond House restaurant, where you can enjoy fresh seafood and incredible views.  

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Lake Nyona, IN

This 104-acre lake -- located an hour from South Bend -- tends to fly a bit under the radar, so that’s good for social distancing. It’s especially popular among fishers. The lake is home to bluegill, largemouth bass, striped bass, and pumpkinseed fish. 

This 104-acre lake -- located an hour from South Bend -- tends to fly a bit under the radar, so that’s good for social distancing. It’s especially popular among fishers. The lake is home to bluegill, largemouth bass, striped bass, and pumpkinseed fish. 

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Deep Creek Lake, MD

Part of the 1,800-acre Deep Creek Lake State Park, Deep Creek Lake is home to nearly 70 miles of shoreline. It’s great for picnicking, sunbathing, boating, and even people-watching. Adventure lovers will appreciate the hiking trails, which all offer really incredible views. 

Part of the 1,800-acre Deep Creek Lake State Park, Deep Creek Lake is home to nearly 70 miles of shoreline. It’s great for picnicking, sunbathing, boating, and even people-watching. Adventure lovers will appreciate the hiking trails, which all offer really incredible views. 

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Tablerock Lake, MO

With its tree-lined shores, crystal-clear waters, and ample wildlife spotting opportunities, Table Rock Lake is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Ozarks. Moonshine Beach is one of our favorite spots on the lake with its spacious, sandy beaches.

Read more: A Laidback Hideaway in the Ozarks

With its tree-lined shores, crystal-clear waters, and ample wildlife spotting opportunities, Table Rock Lake is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Ozarks. Moonshine Beach is one of our favorite spots on the lake with its spacious, sandy beaches.

Read more: A Laidback Hideaway in the Ozarks

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Echo Lake, NH

Echo Lake, which is part of Echo Lake State Park, is perfect for swimming and picnicking. If you’re up for more fun, you can also embark on a scenic hike. It’s around 70 miles from Portland, so it’s an easy day trip or weekend getaway. 

Echo Lake, which is part of Echo Lake State Park, is perfect for swimming and picnicking. If you’re up for more fun, you can also embark on a scenic hike. It’s around 70 miles from Portland, so it’s an easy day trip or weekend getaway. 

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Diablo Lake, WA

Diablo Lake is just as beautiful in person as it is in pictures. If the majestic views aren’t enough to inspire your travels here, this will: The lake is right off the highway, perfect for an easy road trip stop. You’ll definitely want to snap photos of the turquoise waters and towering mountains. 

Diablo Lake is just as beautiful in person as it is in pictures. If the majestic views aren’t enough to inspire your travels here, this will: The lake is right off the highway, perfect for an easy road trip stop. You’ll definitely want to snap photos of the turquoise waters and towering mountains. 

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Wonder Lake, AK

Wonder Lake is part of Alaska’s iconic Denali National Park, and it’s absolutely astounding. Its beautiful sights, like the fantastic mountain views, draw millions of visitors each year. Pro tip: Be sure to bring some bug spray as the region tends to attract mosquitos in the summertime. 

Read more: Your Affordable Guide to Anchorage, Alaska

Wonder Lake is part of Alaska’s iconic Denali National Park, and it’s absolutely astounding. Its beautiful sights, like the fantastic mountain views, draw millions of visitors each year. Pro tip: Be sure to bring some bug spray as the region tends to attract mosquitos in the summertime. 

Read more: Your Affordable Guide to Anchorage, Alaska

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Lake Pend Oreille, ID

This scenic lake features awe-inspiring views of both the Cabinet Mountains and the Selkirk Mountain Range. At 43 miles long, Lake Pend Oreille is the state's largest (it also boasts 111 miles of shoreline!). Farragut State Park and City Beach are two popular spots along the lake. Here, you can expect to spot wildlife like moose, bald eagles, bears, deer, and salmon. 

This scenic lake features awe-inspiring views of both the Cabinet Mountains and the Selkirk Mountain Range. At 43 miles long, Lake Pend Oreille is the state's largest (it also boasts 111 miles of shoreline!). Farragut State Park and City Beach are two popular spots along the lake. Here, you can expect to spot wildlife like moose, bald eagles, bears, deer, and salmon. 

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Lake Oconee, GA

Halfway between Atlanta and Augusta, Lake Oconee is an ideal and convenient place to spend a long weekend -- especially come summertime. Here, visitors can experience some of the best fishing, recreational, and camping opportunities Georgia has to offer. Additionally, the surrounding towns are full of eclectic antique shops and boutiques.

Halfway between Atlanta and Augusta, Lake Oconee is an ideal and convenient place to spend a long weekend -- especially come summertime. Here, visitors can experience some of the best fishing, recreational, and camping opportunities Georgia has to offer. Additionally, the surrounding towns are full of eclectic antique shops and boutiques.

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Lake Kissimmee, FL

This 35,000-acre Central Florida lake offers plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities (deer, eagles, and turkeys have all been seen here). The lake is also popular for bass fishing. 

Read more: Experience a New Kind of Florida in Kissimmee 
 

This 35,000-acre Central Florida lake offers plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities (deer, eagles, and turkeys have all been seen here). The lake is also popular for bass fishing. 

Read more: Experience a New Kind of Florida in Kissimmee 

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Lake Ouachita, AR

Lake Ouachita is Arkansas’ largest lake. Here, travelers can enjoy 40,000 acres of clean and crystal-clear water to kayak, boat, swim, scuba dive, and fish. The lake is part of Lake Ouachita State Park and is surrounded by the beautiful Ouachitas National Forest, so you can certainly expect picturesque views from all angles. 

Lake Ouachita is Arkansas’ largest lake. Here, travelers can enjoy 40,000 acres of clean and crystal-clear water to kayak, boat, swim, scuba dive, and fish. The lake is part of Lake Ouachita State Park and is surrounded by the beautiful Ouachitas National Forest, so you can certainly expect picturesque views from all angles. 

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Owasco Lake, NY

Located in the heart of upstate New York in Cayuga County, Owasco Lake is nice for swimming, picnicking, and boating. With 11 miles of expansive shoreline, you will have lots of room to spread out and take in the scenery. Also nearby is Fillmore Glen State Park, which has five waterfalls and miles of scenic hiking trails. 

Located in the heart of upstate New York in Cayuga County, Owasco Lake is nice for swimming, picnicking, and boating. With 11 miles of expansive shoreline, you will have lots of room to spread out and take in the scenery. Also nearby is Fillmore Glen State Park, which has five waterfalls and miles of scenic hiking trails. 

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Walden Pond, MA

Concord’s Walden Pond has quite a fascinating history: It was often frequented by local residents Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, the latter of whom even wrote about the pond in his 1854 book, Walden. Today, the pond is designated as a National Historic Landmark. 

Read more: Calling All Literature Lovers, You Need to Add These 9 Cities to Your Bucket List

Concord’s Walden Pond has quite a fascinating history: It was often frequented by local residents Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, the latter of whom even wrote about the pond in his 1854 book, Walden. Today, the pond is designated as a National Historic Landmark. 

Read more: Calling All Literature Lovers, You Need to Add These 9 Cities to Your Bucket List

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Lake Hopatcong, NJ

The Garden State’s largest freshwater lake is about an hour outside of New York City. Here, visitors can boat, sail, kayak, swim, and partake in other various water sports. An array of beaches, restaurants, and marinas line its 45 miles of shoreline.

The Garden State’s largest freshwater lake is about an hour outside of New York City. Here, visitors can boat, sail, kayak, swim, and partake in other various water sports. An array of beaches, restaurants, and marinas line its 45 miles of shoreline.

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South Holston Lake, VA

Situated in the Appalachian Mountains, this 7,850-acre lake is one of Virginia’s most picturesque. A majority of South Holston Lake is surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest, which provides a serene and secluded ambiance as you swim, boat, or kayak your way along the water.

Situated in the Appalachian Mountains, this 7,850-acre lake is one of Virginia’s most picturesque. A majority of South Holston Lake is surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest, which provides a serene and secluded ambiance as you swim, boat, or kayak your way along the water.

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Cherokee Lake, TN

Surrounded by miles of rolling farmland, the 59-mile-long Cherokee Lake is the perfect destination for rest and relaxation. Here, you can sunbathe along the shoreline, swim in the water, and take advantage of the nearby hiking and biking trails. 

Surrounded by miles of rolling farmland, the 59-mile-long Cherokee Lake is the perfect destination for rest and relaxation. Here, you can sunbathe along the shoreline, swim in the water, and take advantage of the nearby hiking and biking trails. 

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Lake Wallenpaupack, PA

The Pocono Mountains’ Lake Wallenpaupack offers over 50 miles of shoreline plus hundreds of acres of hiking trails and campsites. The lake is also renowned for its fishing. You can expect to catch smallmouth bass, striped and hybrid striped bass, walleye, and yellow perch.

Read more: What to See and Do in the Poconos, PA

The Pocono Mountains’ Lake Wallenpaupack offers over 50 miles of shoreline plus hundreds of acres of hiking trails and campsites. The lake is also renowned for its fishing. You can expect to catch smallmouth bass, striped and hybrid striped bass, walleye, and yellow perch.

Read more: What to See and Do in the Poconos, PA

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Lake Pontchartrain, LA

Lake Pontchartrain is the largest body of inland water in Louisiana, stretching across six parishes. While it is technically an estuary and not a lake, it’s still worth the time. Dozens of adorable eateries, shops, and attractions can be found along the water.

Lake Pontchartrain is the largest body of inland water in Louisiana, stretching across six parishes. While it is technically an estuary and not a lake, it’s still worth the time. Dozens of adorable eateries, shops, and attractions can be found along the water.

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Fontana Lake, NC

This 29-mile lake boasts over 240 miles of shoreline. And, while its deep, blue water is cold, it’s great for fishing. Plus, those who visit will be treated to captivating views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This 29-mile lake boasts over 240 miles of shoreline. And, while its deep, blue water is cold, it’s great for fishing. Plus, those who visit will be treated to captivating views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

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Sylvan Lake, SD

Located in South Dakota’s Custer State Park, Sylvan Lake dates back to the 19th century. Today, visitors come here to picnic, boat, swim, rock climb, or hike. After a day well spent exploring the lake, head to the on-site Sylvan Lake Lodge for breathtaking views paired with delicious bites. 

Read more: 3 Unmissable Sunrises and Sunsets in South Dakota’s Black Hills

Located in South Dakota’s Custer State Park, Sylvan Lake dates back to the 19th century. Today, visitors come here to picnic, boat, swim, rock climb, or hike. After a day well spent exploring the lake, head to the on-site Sylvan Lake Lodge for breathtaking views paired with delicious bites. 

Read more: 3 Unmissable Sunrises and Sunsets in South Dakota’s Black Hills

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Indigo Lake, OH

Indigo Lake is located in Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park and is a popular spot for bass fishing and birding. The bowl-shaped, scenic lake certainly lives up to its name: The glistening water features a beautiful blue hue.

Indigo Lake is located in Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park and is a popular spot for bass fishing and birding. The bowl-shaped, scenic lake certainly lives up to its name: The glistening water features a beautiful blue hue.

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Lake Lanier, GA

The tranquil, 30,000-acre Lake Lanier is less than one hour away from Atlanta’s hustle and bustle, meaning it’s ripe for a day trip or long weekend. Here, travelers can boat along the crystal-blue waters, embark on a scenic hike, or soak up the sun from the shore.

The tranquil, 30,000-acre Lake Lanier is less than one hour away from Atlanta’s hustle and bustle, meaning it’s ripe for a day trip or long weekend. Here, travelers can boat along the crystal-blue waters, embark on a scenic hike, or soak up the sun from the shore.

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Lake Michigan, MISC

This giant lake is the fifth largest in the world and spans Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Whether you prefer to swim, sunbathe, or scuba dive (fun fact: Lake Michigan is reportedly home to around 1,500 shipwrecks), this iconic body of water offers something for everyone.

Read more: Exploring the Shipwrecks of Lake Michigan

This giant lake is the fifth largest in the world and spans Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Whether you prefer to swim, sunbathe, or scuba dive (fun fact: Lake Michigan is reportedly home to around 1,500 shipwrecks), this iconic body of water offers something for everyone.

Read more: Exploring the Shipwrecks of Lake Michigan

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Maroon Lake, CO

This small Colorado lake is popular for photo opps because of the mountain backdrop, which reflects beautifully onto the water. It’s also a popular hiking and wildlife spotting destination. 

This small Colorado lake is popular for photo opps because of the mountain backdrop, which reflects beautifully onto the water. It’s also a popular hiking and wildlife spotting destination. 

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Portage Lake, AK

Located in the Chugach National Forest, Portage Lake dates back thousands of years. Today, it’s deep enough to submerge an 80-story building. The lake itself is home to several species of salmon, and visitors may also spot dense, blue icebergs in the water. 

Located in the Chugach National Forest, Portage Lake dates back thousands of years. Today, it’s deep enough to submerge an 80-story building. The lake itself is home to several species of salmon, and visitors may also spot dense, blue icebergs in the water. 

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Trillium Lake, OR

This 63-acre lake is great for boating, swimming, and fishing. Visitors will also enjoy incredible views of Mt. Hood, which is about eight miles away. You can also hike or bike around the lake, as well. The lake is about 90 minutes from Portland by car.

This 63-acre lake is great for boating, swimming, and fishing. Visitors will also enjoy incredible views of Mt. Hood, which is about eight miles away. You can also hike or bike around the lake, as well. The lake is about 90 minutes from Portland by car.

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