Do you appreciate the outdoors, and spend your vacations experiencing nature? Maybe you love what large cities offer in terms of activities, but also crave the serenity of the outdoors. If either of these sound perfect, then it’s time to talk about lakes.
America is blessed with beautiful lakes in nearly every region of the country. Whether you make it your goal to see all of them in your lifetime, or just your favorites, here is a regional listing for touring America’s most breathtaking lakes.
Lake George, New York
Thomas Jefferson could not resist this lake; he called it “the most beautiful water I ever saw.” Nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, the spring-fed Queen of American Lakes is peppered with islands and activities like hot air balloon rides, vineyards, camping, art museums and views of fabulous mansions along Millionaire’s Row.
The Finger Lakes, New York
The long and narrow lakes resembling fingers are home to a great wine region. They also offer you the opportunity to see many important historical sites relevant to religion, the Underground Railroad, and Women’s suffrage. That’s on top of an amazing region with shorelines, woods and waterfalls.
Lake Santeetlah, North Carolina
It’s hard to believe a man-made lake could be so sublime, but the Smoky Mountains’ lake is the perfect escape. You can fish, canoe, or hang out on a beach somewhere on the 76-mile coast and spend your nights camping in the surrounding Nantahala National Forest.
Turkey Lake, Florida
Turkey Lake in Orlando is one of the top fishing lakes in Florida, and boasts 183 acres of parkland alongside it. It’s a great way to spend a day away from all the other Orlando attractions. And there’s no better place to appreciate Turkey Lake and Orlando than at the Westgate lakes resort and spa where you’ll stay on the lakefront and enjoy the recreational opportunities available to guests. Westgate even offers its own lake experience on a private island called Sunset Key.
Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming
Don’t let the fact this lake is frozen half the year keep you from visiting. Its clear water and geysers, near to the famous hot springs, offers sights and adventures for kayaking and hiking.
Crater Lake, Oregon
An eruption of Mount Mazama formed this lake’s container 8000 years ago, and rain and snow did the rest of the work. It is America’s deepest lake, and boasts visibility of over 90 feet. Scuba divers will revel in its mysteries, while explorers can wander islands rising from its depths and the Pinnacles, volcanic ash solidified into stone spires.
Salt Lake, Utah
If you’re touring the largest and deepest lakes, you also need to visit the largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere. The lake is home for many birds you can see, and offers other recreational activities such as kayaking, hiking and simply floating in a lake that makes it easy.
Lake Clark, Alaska
If you are looking seclusion, this lake in Alaska wilderness is for you. You can reach it by dogsled or floatplane, or even on foot for the really adventurous. Expect great fishing and kayaking on the whitewater rivers, and hiking in the surrounding forest.
Lake Superior, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin
The largest freshwater lake in the world can be visited from many places, especially since its shoreline is 2700 miles long. There are waterfalls, sea caves and sandstone cliffs to discover, and activities galore like swimming, hiking, and kayaking.
Lake Tahoe, California
Another famous American, Mark Twain, called Lake Tahoe the “fairest picture the whole earth affords.” The alpine lake formed during the Ice Age is second in depth to Crater Lake. The beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is spectacular, but even they can’t compete with the lake’s palette of blue.
Caddo Lake, Texas and Louisiana
Imagine being able to see the world’s largest cypress forest, connected by the lake where you might see Bigfoot. Mysterious and beautiful, it’s also home to crocodiles hiding under the tree roots.
Chain of Lakes, Minnesota
Known as the land of 10,000 lakes, Minnesota’s capital city, Minneapolis, is host to a string of beautiful lakes chained together in parks. You can swim, boat, bike, and walk the circuit of lakes, and experience the metropolitan life, including the Mall of America, at the same time.
Lake Oconee, Georgia
What makes golfing even better? Golfing framed around a gorgeous lake. Located between Atlanta and Augusta, Lake Oconee will make it difficult to concentrate on your golf game as you take in the water and its Native American history.
Whether your favorite vacation is an earthy outdoor challenge, or an urban exploration, you can discover the beauty of nature all over America in its lakes. As you plan your next trip, be sure to include these wonders in your itinerary.