Lake Vacation Destinations Welcome Travelers to Explore New Places

Looking for waterfront destinations without the “beach” crowds? Consider visiting some of the best lake vacation destinations. Here guests play, relax and take lake life to the next level. Some do draw big crowds, but others offer a secluded option for nature lovers. Read on to learn more and start planning a much-needed getaway.

Lake Vacation Destinations: New Areas for Water Lovers

lake vacation destinations florida

Photo: iTrip Vacations®Lakes of Central FL

Central Lakes Region, Florida

Central Florida is home to three counties that have multiple lakes. Polk County, located between Tampa and Orlando, features more than 550 natural freshwater lakes. Lake County, northwest of Orlando, has 1,000 lakes. Those staying in Orlando and Kissimmee have access to eight lakes, known as the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.

Of the thousands of options, popular lakes in Central Florida include Lake Tohopekaliga, Clermont Chain, Lake Kissimmee and Lake Okeechobee.

Crater Lake, Oregon

As the deepest lake in the U.S., Lake Crater is no secret. It was formed more than 7,700 years ago when a Mount Mazama erupted. Today, the lake is known for its clear, blue waters.

More than 90 miles of trails welcome hikers to connect with nature. Other activities range from local tours to exploring scenic overlooks and bicycling. Crater Lake is also one of the snowiest places in the U.S., with an average of 43 feet of snow per year.

lake dillon vacation rentals

Photo: iTrip Vacations® Keystone

Lake Dillon, Colorado

In Summit County, Colorado, visitors will find Dillon Reservoir. Also known as Lake Dillon, this freshwater hot spot sits between the towns of Dillon and Frisco. Additionally, the reservoir supplies water for the city of Denver. However, water lovers are welcome to enjoy recreational activities.

To get started, head to Dillon Marina, one of the highest deep water marinas in the world. Other sites include Frisco Bay Marina, camp grounds and hiking trails near Lake Dillon.

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Lake Havasu, Arizona

Lake Havasu sits in west Arizona and houses the London Bridge. The bridge moved to Arizona and was dedicated in 1971. Today, the area offers 400 miles of coastline and 60 miles of waterways.

One of the best places to start is Lake Havasu State Park. The attraction has beaches, trails, boat ramps and picnic areas. Visitors will also love the white sand, desert foliage, wildlife viewing options and diverse landscapes.

Lake Norman, North Carolina

Lake Norman is the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. It’s located only 20 miles from Charlotte and offers year-round outdoor adventures.

With 520 miles of shoreline, the lake is separated by four counties. Visitors will find seven small towns in the area – each offering their own attractions and culture. To get started, visit Mooresville or Davidson. While on the water, enjoy access to marinas, charters, fishing spots and watersports.

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Lake Tahoe, California

Among the crown jewels of California is Lake Tahoe. This large freshwater lake sits on the borders of Nevada and California, and offers two destinations. Guests will find North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe, both rich in vacation experiences.

Lake Tahoe provides a place for water recreation and snow skiing. However, travelers also enjoy one of the most scenic drives in the U.S., measuring 72 miles.

Lake Travis, Texas

Those in central Texas near Austin have access to Lake Travis. This giant measures nearly 64 miles and has 271 miles of shoreline. Plus, there are hundreds of access points throughout the area. Guests should note Lake Travis operates as a reservoir and includes part of Colorado River.

Lake Travis is a hot spot for water recreation and entertainment. During the day, visitors enjoy boating, fishing and fun. At night, restaurants and clubs come alive with music and events.

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Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

The largest lake in New Hampshire, Lake Winnipesaukee measures 72 miles and features views of three mountain ranges, including White Mountains.

When visiting, guests can explore multiple villages along the coast. All communities offers parks and docks, and many host fun events. Travelers will also find fishing spots, public boat launches, hiking trails and nature preserves.

Table Rock Lake, Missouri

Those staying in Branson love the clear waters of Table Rock Lake. This man-made lake is known for its coves, which attract anglers and boaters.

More than 800 miles of shoreline welcome guests to enjoy water recreation activities and hiking. In addition, the lake never freezes so guests can participate in year-round fishing. Table Rock also has an ample supply of bass and several marinas.

Still looking for more lake vacation destinations?

Here are other cities that may surprise travelers: Nashville (Tennessee), Marietta (Georgia), Minneapolis (Minnesota); Bigfork (Montana), Charlevoix (Michigan), Portland (Maine), Reno (Nevada). Each have multiple lakes perfect for outdoor adventures and escaping big-city life.

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