Are you planning a vacation? Instead of traveling to exotic international locations, why not go down to a local lake? Don't be put off by the ordinary language we've used to describe 'local' lakes. The US has more than 100 beautiful lakes spread out over the varying geographical backgrounds, and all of them are beyond compare.
Most of the lakes are gorgeous with sun-filled backdrops, breezy winds, looming mountains, and emerald-clear waters filled with a range of sea life. If you want a wonderful vacation, all you have to do is find a lakeside cabin alongside any of the US's beautiful lakes, and you are guaranteed a great time.
We've listed our top ten favorite freshwater lakes in the US that is a must-visit if you are in the area.
Crater Lake is unique as it formed when Mount Mazama erupted nearly 8000 years ago. The crater formed by the mountain eventually filled up with water creating a land-locked lake that is now called Crater Lake. As the lake is filled by rain and snowmelt, it remains pristine and extraordinarily clear all through the year.
The clear waters allow sunlight to penetrate nearly 400 feet down in the 1943 feet deep lake. This makes the lake a great place to swim, fish, and scuba dive. The lake is surrounded by nearly 2000-foot cliffs, and the scenery around the lake is mind-blowing.
Address: Crater Lake National Park, OR 97604
Also Read: Oregon Top 10 Attractions
This lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the US. It is a favorite destination for tourists due to the several ski resorts overlooking the river banks. The crystal-clear alpine lake is famous for its clear waters, and the panorama of the surrounding mountains reflects on the water, making it a photographer's dream.
The mountain and lake scenery are top attractions all through the year, and tourists also love the national parks bordering the lake. Most of the lake and the area surrounding it are devoted to tourism. There are restaurants, clubs, and casinos all around the lake that cater to these guests. For sporting enthusiasts, the area also offers winter sports like skiing, snowmobile riding, snowshoeing along with water sports, hiking, and bicycling.
Address: 3066 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Also Read: Top 10 Things To Do In and Around Lake Tahoe
Lake Michigan is the only one of the great lakes to be located entirely in the US. The lake is spread over more than 307 miles, and it is stunning. It has several cities located on its shores and thousands of beaches as well.
Most of the beaches exhibit soft and off-white sand, and they have islands like Beaver Island, Fox Islands, Northerly Island, and Manitou Islands located just off the borders.
The Lake is also famous for its several national parks like the Hiawatha National Forest, Manistee National Forest, Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness, and Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Address: Lake Michigan - WI, MI, IL
The Finger Lakes is a popular tourist destination located in Upstate New York. The lakes are so-called as they are long and narrow resembling fingers. The eleven lakes are enormous, and there are dozens of things that tourists can do throughout the year.
The lakes have picturesque waterfalls, magnificent parks, gorgeous beaches, one-of-a-kind museums, and resorts all along the borders. The Finger Lakes area is also New York's premier wine-producing region with more than 100 different vineyards and wineries located on the lake borders.
Address: Finger Lakes, New York
Also Read: New York State Top 10 Attractions
The impossible deep blue waters of Lake Powell have stunned almost every visitor. On top of that, this is a man-made lake, and it is utterly surprising that the lake turned out so beautiful. Of course, there was a considerable hue-and-cry when the Glen Canyon was dammed and the Canyon filled with the waters of Colorado River, but it turned out to be worth it.
Visitors can see the red sandstone river banks through the pristine, sapphire-hued river water. The river is lined with gorgeous beaches, and tourists flock to the area during the peak summer season. The lake also offers sport fishing and water sports for interested visitors. If you are in Arizona, a short drive to this man-made wonder is a must.
Address: Lake Powell, UT 86040
Also Read: Utah Top 20 Attractions
The Lake of the Ozarks is located in the heart of Missouri, and it is one of the premier tourist destinations in the state. The lake is bordered with world-class resorts that offer water sports like boating, swimming, scuba diving, and sports fishing.
You can also find world-class golfing facilities spread out near the lake borders, with the most famous being the Lodge of Four Seasons, The Shawnee Bend Golf Course, and the Osage National Golf Course. State parks also border the lake, and hiking and camping are available to visitors during peak tourist season.
Address: 5815 Osage Beach Pkwy, Osage Beach, MO 65065
Lake Mille Lacs is a sports fisherman's dream. The lake offers shoreline break fishing, shallow reef-top fishing, and multi-species fishing that make it very popular with sport fishers. The lake is open for fishing all through the year with large fish houses building on the lake for walleye, perch and tullibee fishing in winter.
Apart from the fishing, the lake is beautiful with a lovely backdrop that reflects the seasonal changes in weather. The two islands in the center are also a significant attraction as they house the Mille Lacs National Wildlife Refuge.
Address: HCR 67, Box 195, Brainerd, MN 56359
Also Read: Minnesota Top 10 Attractions
Havasu Lake is one of the most exciting lakes along the Colorado River. It is famous for the London Bridge. This historical point of interest is one of the main attractions on the lake, but the natural scenery around the lake is beautiful as well.
You can enjoy water sports, hiking, camping, and cultural events held around the lake. The lake is also famous for its fishing, boating, and unique wildlife. You can further explore diverse geology of sand dunes, rugged canyons, wilderness areas, abandoned towns, and numerous roads and trails located all over the area.
Address: 1550 London Bridge Road, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
Also Read: 20 Best Attractions in Arizona
Lake Norman is about 34-miles long, and it has three picturesque towns of Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville perched on its banks. The man-made lake offers excellent fishing and boating, but it is equally famous for its sporting facilities and resorts. Of course, the lake is gorgeous as well.
Address: Lake Norman State Park, Charlotte, NC
Also Read: North Carolina Top 10 Attractions
Not many people know about tiny Lake Chelan, and it is a well-kept secret. The beautiful 50.5-mile lake is the largest natural lake in Chelan County, and it is gorgeous. The glacier-fed lake has deep clear water, and it is surrounded by beautiful resorts, vineyards, wineries, and gourmet restaurants. However, the entire area has a small-town feel, which makes it a great place to visit with family.
Address: Lake Chelan Marina, Chelan, WA 98816
Also Read: Washington Top 10 Attractions