Anytime is the best time to head to the shore for an all-American lakeside vacation, regardless of the season. No matter where you live, chances are there is an amazing lake near you—even in the deserts of the Southwest. Believe it or not, there are tens of thousands of lakes across the U.S., from small serene ponds to the grandeur of Oregon’s Crater Lake. Can’t choose the ultimate lake getaway for you? No worries, we have done the research for you and have come up with the six best lakeside vacations in the U.S.
Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada Border
When it comes to picking one of the best lakeside retreats in America, Lake Tahoe has to be at the top. If you want to experience the excitement, charm and beauty of North America’s largest alpine lake, then pack your bags and book a stay on the shore of this amazing cobalt blue natural wonder. The Tahoe area is a year-round tourist haven that has something for every member of the family, with the ultimate in swimming, boating, skiing, hiking, fishing and biking. There are also tons of indoor activities to keep you busy as well, like world-class casinos, luxurious hotels and museums. To experience the best that Lake Tahoe has to offer, check into the Beach Retreat & Lodge nestled on the south rim of the lake. You will have full access to the Timber Cove Marina where you can choose from every watersport activity imaginable from motor boats to canoes to jet skis. Enjoy lakefront dining at the Tavern and sip a glass of wine with friends at the outdoor firepit for a vacation you will never forget.
Moosehead Lake, Maine
Getting lost in the wilds of Maine is a dream come true for many outdoor adventurers. The unspoiled wilderness, solitude and pristine beauty of Moosehead Lake offers you the perfect atmosphere for your lakeside vacation. This 40-mile-long lake is home to more than 80 islands and is bordered by seemingly endless forested shorelines. After you wander the lakeshore nature trails you will soon discover how it got its name—the moose outnumber humans three-to-one. The best way to enjoy your stay in this Maine wonderland is at the Lodge at Moosehead Lake. This luxury-chic lodge provides you with an authentic Maine North Woods experience, with first-class amenities like amazing cuisine and rooms with mountain and lakefront views. Also, take advantage of their great outdoor adventure packages like moonlight canoe trips, seaplane safaris and expertly guided wildlife tours.
Jenny Lake, Wyoming
In the shadows of the Grand Tetons, you will find an ancient glacial remnant—Jenny Lake. You can discover its hidden secrets by boat or climb along its mountainous shores on trails that lead to the highest points along this awe-inspiring mountain range. Stay right in the middle of Grand Teton National Park at Jenny Lake Lodge. The Lodge is at the foot of the Teton Range and its cozy cabins are elegant, private and relaxing. As soon as you have unpacked your bags, head right to Jenny Lake Boating and get out on the water to soak in the grandeur of this scenic wonderland. Take a boat shuttle to the Cascade Canyon Trailhead where you can hike up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point for awe-inspiring views. If you want to enjoy the serenity of the lake, rent a kayak or canoe and paddle around Jenny Lake for some amazing photos of the Tetons and the incredible wildlife that call Jenny Lake their home.
Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
This part of Idaho is just teeming with lakes, but the star of the show has to be Lake Coeur d’Alene. Even though the lake is only 40 minutes from the city of Spokane, vacationing on Lake Coeur d’Alene is like escaping to another world. You can paddle yourself around the lake or book a scenic cruise and sit back and enjoy the amazing wildlife and fabulous lakefront homes and hotels that dot the gorgeous shoreline. The best way to enjoy the lake is to book an unforgettable stay at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. From rooms with lakefront views to relaxing treatments at their spa to dips in the incredible infinity pool, your stay will be magical.
Lake Placid, New York
Lake Placid is an unbelievable lake vacation destination nestled in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. You can find year-round fun at Lake Placid and the multiple lakes that make up the area. You may know the name from the 1980 Winter Olympics and it’s still a hub for snow sports and other outdoor winter activities. If you want to stay at the only resort directly on Lake Placid, then check into Lake Placid Lodge. The lodge is balanced on the edge of the forest and offers you breathtaking views of the lake and picturesque shoreline. This luxury resort is designed to replicate the rustic and glorious Adirondacks camps of old. Start your day off with a farm-to-table breakfast on the terrace of Artisans overlooking the lake and then head down to the dock and take your pick of boats to explore the five-mile-long lake that is home to rustic camps and luxury homes. Don’t forget to check off the village of Lake Placid and the Olympic Village where there are year-round activities that will fill everyone’s bucket list.
Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Deep in the Lake Region of New Hampshire, you will find iconic Lake Winnipesaukee, where you will have an enormous assortment of vacation options along the nearly 300 miles of shoreline and eight neighboring towns. People have been coming here for ages to marvel at its clear waters, beautiful islands, mountain scenery and vast choices of outdoor activities. Choose from staying near the bustling public beaches for tons of family fun or find a secluded waterfront cove that offers serenity and privacy for those who want to recharge their batteries. The best way to enjoy your stay at Lake Winnipesaukee is to experience a quintessential lakeside cabin experience at Proctor's Lakehouse Cottages. Sit on the porch of your cozy cabin and listen for the call of the loons and watch the playful otters who make their home on the lake. Explore the big lake on a sailboat or kayak the serene waters of the hundreds of little islands and bays that hold hidden treasure. For an evening on the water, hop aboard one of M/S Mount Washington's popular theme cruises that include dinner and live music.