The Best Lake Destinations in the U.S.

Lake destinations are lovely places to go on vacation. They offer serenity and natural beauty, watersports and relaxation.

With that in mind, the following are some of the best lake destinations in the country.

Table Rock Lake

Table Rock Lake is close to Branson, Missouri. It’s located in Stone County, in Southwest Missouri. There are 800 miles of shoreline and beautiful water. You can go fishing, paddle boarding, or boating. The shores are lined with trees and clear beaches plus there are more than 100 resorts adjacent to the lake and a number of campsites.

You’re also within driving distance of all the entertainment Branson has to offer. According to, there are more than seven million visitors a year that come to Branson. The live entertainment scene is one of the most unique in the world.

There are other lakes in the Ozarks area in addition to Table Rock, including Bull Shoals Lake and Lake Taneycomo.

Crater Lake

Crater Lake is the deepest in America. The depth goes down to more than 1,900 feet. Crater Lake is a vivid shade of blue because of the depth, and it’s surrounded by cliffs, making for dramatic and breathtaking scenery. Crater Lake is fed entirely by snow and rain, and it’s one of the cleanest bodies of water in the world.

Crater Lake is in a dormant volcano that was at one point 12,000 feet tall. Eruptions formed Wizard Island, which is a cone rising from the water. The park has several volcanic features, and there are old-growth forests with 15 species of conifers.

Crater Lake is attractive to scuba divers, but you can’t reach the absolute bottom. While you’re down below, you’ll see moss meadows, trout and salmon, and lava formations.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe holds appeal for athletes and adventure-seekers, but also people who want rest and relaxation. In the winter, Lake Tahoe is known for skiing and snowboarding. In the summer, it’s all about the water.

During the summer, the weather is warm and beautiful, and there are beaches and extensive trails to explore.

There are also great restaurants, and there’s some nightlife in the surrounding communities. Lake Tahoe boasts 72 miles of shoreline.

When visiting, you can opt to stay on the north or south shore. The north shore is less crowded and more expensive. The north shore is also more centered around nature and outdoor sports. The south coast is more affordable and has more nightlife as well as casinos.

The lake is split with Nevada to the east and California to the west. For gambling, pick the Nevada side.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan spans more than 300 miles, and along the shores are natural beauty and great towns and cities to explore. One must-see destination is Mackinac Island. Mackinac is a small car-free island. It’s located where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this was where wealthy auto manufacturing magnates would summer.

The Grand Hotel remains on Mackinac Island as a throwback to the luxury and glamour.

Lake Michigan itself stands alone as an attraction.

The freshwater is clear, and the beaches are white and sandy. The winters around Lake Michigan are long, making people even more excited for the warm summers.

Lake Havasu

Arizona’s Lake Havasu is prominent among the party crowd, but there’s more to it than that. Lake Havasu is in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, along the California-Arizona border. The area has more than 300 days of sun a year, and it’s popular for boaters, swimmers and hikers.

Attractions nearby include Lake Havasu State Park and Bridgewater Channel.

Lake Havasu is a spring break destination, making it best to avoid in March and April if you don’t want to run into crowds.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is in Arizona and Utah. It’s longer than the U.S. West Coast. There are incredible natural wonders including Antelope Canyon and Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. You can also visit Rainbow Bridge National Monument and Navajo Canyon.

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is located in Wisconsin. It’s peaceful and scenic, and some islands make up the Apostle Islands archipelago, which is in Lake Superior. The archipelago is off the northernmost point of Wisconsin, and you can only access it by boat.

The islands are colorful sandstone cliffs and sea caves formed through erosion.

You can take a boat or kayak tour to view the natural wonders closer. You can also fish, scuba dive and visit beaches. The only lodging, due to how remote this area is, is campsites.

Lake George

Park of the Adirondacks region of New York, Lake George, includes more than 170 islands. You can take in a full view of the lake by hiking Prospect Mountain or you can rent water sports equipment.

Lake George Village has a year-round population of only around 3,500 people, but it swells during the summer. Thick forests surround the lake, and the water is pristine. There are strict rules about the type of watercraft allowed on Lake George. The area is around an hour north of Albany and is surrounded by mostly wilderness.

Lake George is a Finger Lake, and you can explore the shoreline on a cruise.

Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake is in Montana, and it’s the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi in the lower 48 states. Flathead Lake features more than 200 square miles of water and over 185 miles of shoreline.

Flathead Lake offers a number of public access sites, and there’s camping and swimming managed by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

For a day trip, head to Wildhorse Island, on the lake’s west shore, only accessible by boat.

At Salish Point is a swimming area that’s roped off.

America has genuinely stunning lakes that rival anything you might see on a traditional beach. They’re worth exploring for their pristine waters and unique activities.

Author: nohoarts