Fog sits on the water as the sun slowly peeks its head over the tree line. Waking birds sing their good morning songs as the rest of the forest starts to wake up and you sit on your cabin porch. Take a sip of coffee, breathe deep, and soak in the natural beauty of your surroundings. This moment is one of the many pleasures of a lake vacation.
On the one hand, lakes are a great place to relax. You can spend your days hiking, swimming, boating, kayaking, or simply sitting on the shore and witnessing nature in its purest form. On the other hand, a lake vacation can also be a massive adventure filled with wave runners, fast boats, parasailing, and more.
Whatever sounds most appealing, there is a lake somewhere in America to meet your needs.
Here are some of my favorite lake vacations around the US.
Moosehead Lake is often called Maine’s crown jewel. Animal lovers can devote most of their time wildlife watching for fish, birds, and if you are lucky, you might spot a moose. Kayakers can head to the water to explore hidden coves and forgotten inlets around this beautiful lake. Moosehead though has many more water adventures than just kayaking. There is also boating, white water rafting, scenic flights over the lake, and fishing.
Adventurers who would rather keep their feet on dry land also have plenty of options like skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and snowmobiling. Moosehead also has a variety of family friendly activities. All this makes it easy to see why Moosehead Lake is one of the top lake vacation spots in America.
With a depth just slightly under 2,000 feet, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in America and among the top ten deepest lakes in the world! Crater Lake was once a volcano but has long since been flooded. Today, outdoor lovers come to enjoy this massive lake and explore the deep blue water. It is a very picturesque area with epic views of surrounding cliffs that are almost as high as the lake is deep.
However, the chief adventure to enjoy in Carter Lake is to scuba dive to see all the strange volcanic formations and moss fields. If that sounds a little extreme, do not worry, you can also hop on a boat and tour this stunning lake while staying dry.
For those of you who feel the call to get out into the wild, Lake Kabetogma is your next destination. The lake is gorgeous, and the surrounding area is full of cool wildlife like bears, wolves, bald eagles, loons, double-crested cormorants, and moose. One thing that makes this striking lake different is that many of the campsites can only be reached by boat, which gives you the sense that you are cut off from civilization. Lake Kabetogama is an ideal spot for those that want to spend their vacation getting in touch with nature.
If the idea of roughing it out in the wild on your lake vacation is not appealing, then don’t worry. There are some perfect lake getaways with waterside hotels equipped with all the luxuries of home. An excellent choice is Lake Havasu in Arizona.
Many of the waterside resorts have pools, boat docks, paddleboats, and jet skis. The lake has over 400 miles of coastline packed with tons of fun adventures. There is boating, beaches, swimming, shopping, off-roading, and even golfing. Another perk of Lake Havasu is that it gets over 300 days of sunshine a year, so chances are high for a perfect sunny vacation.
What better lake vacation to end on than the Great Lakes themselves. The five lakes, Michigan, Erie, Ontario, Huron, and Superior are over 10,000 years old. Famed for their pristine clear waters, these lakes are major hotspots for wildlife watching, nightlife, shopping, sailing, wineries, and camping. Since they cover so much area, there are seemingly endless things to do, making them appealing to every type of traveler.
Whether you are camping in the middle of nowhere, spending hours rushing around the water on a boat or relaxing by the pool with your family, lakes are a memorable vacation option. While America has thousands of lakes to choose from, these are the best of the best. Each one offers an exciting time filled with limitless possibilities.
What’s your favorite lake?
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Stephen Schreck is a world traveler, nomad, and adventure backpacker. Knowing a life of aimlessly wandering the globe in search of adventures was the only life for him he set out to make his dream his reality. Currently he is trying to conquer his fears and tackle his bucket list. Follow Stephen's adventures at A Backpacker's Tale or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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