There are many best lakes in the US to be explored. The United States boasts many beautiful places, landscapes, green lands, splendid mountains, waterfalls, magnificent oceans, and the beautiful lakes are the surprising beauty of nature.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast who loves the lakes activities, such as swimming, kayaking, jet-skiing, and standup board. This guide to the most famous lakes in the USA will be very informative and fun for you.
The beautiful lakes in the US are spread far and wide, up and down across America’s beautiful landscape, and it’s a fantastic way to experience and appreciate nature.
There are truly awesome water bodies just waiting to be discovered, and thanks to the power of nature and preservation by humans, some of their water are clearer than you might ever have thought possible.
Finding cool lakes in the US is a difficult task. But don’t worry; I have done the hard part for you to enjoy the wonderful lake vacation.
Here is the list of the top ten best lakes in the US that will definitely take your breath away.
Also, check out this guide of the best affordable mountain towns in the US.
10 Best Lakes to Visit in the US
1- South Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe is one of the purest water lakes in the world, which is just one reason, so many people visit each year.
People don’t just come here to swim but to look at it; Lake Tahoe has something for everyone with hikes, skiing, beautiful gardens, monuments, museums, and beaches. There are plenty of options for you and your travel companions to enjoy.
Lake Tahoe has two sides, the North Lake and the South Lake. If you are looking for a quieter, more serene experience, then head to North Lake. It is perfect for the winter with ten peaks and fewer beaches.
Hit the slopes in winter and partake in water sports during the summer or go hiking and rock climbing if you are more of a land person.
However, South Lake is ideal for the summer times with lots of beaches, lower prices, and a few more crowds.
There are several towns around the lake, the main one being south Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Incline Village, and Tahoe City.
Moreover, the adventure traveler won’t be bored, visit in the winter for snowboarding and skiing or enjoy mountain biking and rock climbing in summer.
Lastly, enjoy the water, the waters are incredible. Enjoy a swim go kayaking, on a rafting tour, or try some water skiing.
Click on the link below to book the best Lake Tahoe tours online.
Where to Stay? Best Hotels near Lake Tahoe
Lowest Price Guarantee
2- Priest Lake, Idaho
Nestled in the State’s Northern Panhandle, lower Priest Lake is over 19 miles long and a hidden gem with outdoor fun around every corner.
It is an off the beaten path and a great place to escape and unwind perfectly for some outdoor fun. It’s one to put on your must-visit lakes in the US.
It is an easy drive from many locations in the Northwest and closes to the Canadian border, making it a quick hope over if you live in Canada.
With such amazing scenery, it’s easy to see why there is an abundance of outdoor activities and ways to enjoy nature.
We all love water parks, but at Priest Lake, there is a pretty special place with some naturally built water slides for you to enjoy. The 100-feet natural waterslide is a unique and fun experience to have.
Spend the day enjoying all that Priest Lake has to offer; you have plenty of choices to have fun when you stay here. Besides that, it’s a friendly and accessible place making it an easy and relaxed trip.
Finding a great place to stay can make a big difference, so if you are coming alone or with a group of friends, don’t worry. There are plenty of perfect cabins on the lake to spend your wonderful stay.
Where to Stay? Best Hotels near Priest Lake
Lowest Price Guarantee
3- Lake George, New York
There are many reasons why Lake George is called the “Queen of the Lake” in America. The 32 miles long lake is one of the clearest, cleanest, and large lakes globally.
Located in the southeastern Adirondack State Park, the lake attracts millions of visitors countrywide and internationally who seeks the beautiful nature and fantastic scenery of deep blue water. The crystal clear waters gently lapped the shores of over 170 tranquil islands.
The popular activities of the lake are swimming and boating to hiking and camping. Lined with stunning beaches and popular with houseboat owners and sport fishers, it photographs like a dream.
As a visitor, you can have the time of your life by boating in this breathtaking gift of nature, in addition to that if you know swimming then this peaceful and serene lake is the best place for you.
It is a considerable scenic value; this lake is surrounded by hills, woods, and the greenish Adirondack Mountains. Furthermore, there is a vast network of sidewalks in the hills surrounding the lake; it is also a favorite place of hikers.
Enjoy wandering along the path for an excellent viewpoint of the lake, mountains, and many tiny islands. It is certainly one of the best lakes in the US.
Where to Stay? Best Hotels near Lake George
Lowest Price Guarantee
4- Crater Lake, Oregon
It is a bucket list lake in the US for sure; it is the deepest lake in the entire country. The pristine water in this collapsed volcano is so unbelievably blue, which seems magical.
Situated in Southern Oregon; it’s been said that the water in Carter Lake is so intensely blue; it looks like ink. The reality is that all the water is from and snowmelt; no rivers feed it, so it’s crystal clear.
Crater Lake sits in a Volcanic Caldera six miles wide and over a quarter-mile down. A volcanic mountain collapse here around seventy-seven hundred years ago. Rain and natural springs filled it in. And now add water at the same rate it evaporates.
Many spectacular hiking trails surround the lake, featuring bizarre rock formations and scenic outlooks suitable for photographs.
Two Islands exist in Crater Lake Wizard Island and Phantom Ship. Wizard Island was part of the volcano’s eruptions, but it exploded after some water had filled a larger caldera.
The lake has surprisingly high amounts of dissolved salt, and the water alkalinity is usually 7 to 8 ph.
Because of the water’s clarity temperature and neutral average alkalinity, the water can preserve things floating in it very well.
One famous example of this is a log named Old Man of the Lake, floating in for over a century. Crater Lake offers spectacular scenery that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
5- Lake Lowell, Idaho
Situated in the Nampa Caldwell area, Lake Lowell is on the south side of Nampa, about 15 minutes south of Highway 85, and is a canyon county summer favorite.
It is also next to great bird watching; Additionally, the Lake Lowell access is free and offers boating, fishing, hiking, picnic areas, camping, and lots of summer fun.
Lake Lowell is one of the largest off-stream reservoirs in the US. It is 9.2 miles long and is about 2500 feet elevation; the depth averages about 20 feet deep, and the water temperature is about 70 degrees in the summer.
Lake Lowell was created as an irrigation reservoir and is surrounded by rural homes and farmland with views of the Hawaii Mountains off to the southwest.
Not only this, but the lake is famous for its beauty and surrounding landscapes; Lake Lowell’s magnificent beauty has enchanted and captivated travelers for centuries.
Whoever has visited the lake has been pleased by the peace and beauty that it possesses.
6- Hanging Lake, Colorado
Hanging Lake is a breathtaking natural wonder, and it has some of the purest water in the world. Originated from the snowmelt high in the protected flat tops wilderness area, it is Mother Nature’s gift of life.
Hanging Lake is located outside of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on the White River National Forest.
It was formed by a geological fault which causes the lake bed to drop away from the gently sloping valley above it.
It is two and a half hour beautiful drive west of Denver taking i-70.
The hike to Hanging Lake is a short but steep ascent that climbs 1.2 miles or about 2 kilometers through Dead horse Creek Canyon.
There are 1200 feet or 30 meters of elevation to get to the top and the Hanging Lake. But be prepared for elevation strenuous climbs and uneven trail conditions, which means having the right footwear and clothing for all weather conditions.
If you see Rangers, say hello because they will be in the trail to protect you and this national treasure providing information, interpretation, and checking for permits.
While you visit Hanging Lake, “A National Natural Landmark” helps protect the lake and the fragile environment that surrounds so that it can be enjoyed now and long into the future. Hanging Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the US.
Where to Stay? Best Hotels in Colorado
Lowest Price Guarantee
7- Lake Wenatchee, Washington
Lake Wenatchee is situated in a small town of Plain, located in Northern Washington, and is 14 miles north of Leavenworth, another scenic Bavarian small town.
Lake Wenatchee is no doubt one of the marvelous places on earth; the view of this lake is eye-catching for any nature lover.
People love outdoor activities come to this snowmelt lake for standing paddling, kayaking, and canoeing.
A stunning shoreline is a perfect place to relax and sunbathe; surrounding the lake, there are many campgrounds that are decently large and fit your family.
Outside the lake, travel the roadways for various views and mountains, wilderness open meadows, and wild rivers.
Besides that, you can go on a beautiful hike with amazing views on one of the many trails in the area to explore the forest and find yourself in nature.
The area also has several mountain bike trails that offer miles of well grated single track for beginners and more advanced riders.
If you are looking for somewhere to spend the weekend on the lake, you might want to look into Lake Wenatchee State Park.
8- Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
At 71 square mile, Lake Winnipesaukee is New Hampshire’s largest water body and a major regional recreation and travel destination.
Surrounded by three mountains ranges, the coastline is covered with lush green woods; aside from being impressively glassy during warmer periods, the lashing winds during other seasons can produce choppy waves.
It is no wonder that Lake Winnipesaukee is one of the most popular lakes in America; it could be the ideal summer playground of explorers visiting this paradise.
Also, travelers can enjoy wandering around the numerous villages on Lake Winnipesaukee’s shores by boat or car; these wonderful small villages are worth exploring.
You can also take a walk around the lake to capture the lake’s majestic view, mountains, and several tiny Islands; it also offers various water sports and boat tours. What a wonderful place to travel.
Where to Stay? Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Lowest Price Guarantee
9- Lake Lure, North Carolina
If you prefer to have a peaceful swim while enjoying the scenic view of the rising sun and beautiful green hills, this alluring place in North Carolina can be the best.
Lake Lure is the ideal place to get away, come to unwind and relax from your daily grind, whether you want to sit on a pontoon boat and watch the sunset or hop on a pair of water skies for an adrenaline boost.
Lake Lure has much to offer any outdoor enthusiast; it is a beautiful gem of North Carolina.
Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains and foothills, this idyllic hideaway is less than an hour from three major airports, including Asheville, Charlotte, and Greenville Spartanburg, making it an easy destination to visit.
The lodging is plentiful and diverse, from hotels and motels to Lake Home in Riverside cabins and even a resort.
Water sports are a must-do when visiting Lake Lure; hire a boat for water skiing, wakeboarding, or tubing, or take a fishing trip with a local guide.
Lake Lure has much to enjoy off the water as well. Rent mountain bikes or bring your own to explore trails, go ziplining, horse riding, or hike to a waterfall. Overall, this fascinating place is one of the best lakes in the US.
Where to Stay? Lake Lure, North Carolina
Lowest Price Guarantee
10- lake Champlain, Vermont
A significant piece of Vermont Culture is a body of water covering its Northwestern border; this body of water is called Lake Champlain, and it’s a lot easier to get to this lake.
Lake Champlain is home to over 80 species of fish and over 300 different types of birds covering more than 400 square miles of the surface.
It is one of best lakes in the US which plays a key role for the local Vermonter and New Yorkers who live on it.
Lake Champlain is the main tourist attraction; people travel from all over the country to admire its beauty. There is a variety of different activities that take on the lake, including boating, fishing, tubing, canoeing, and much more.
Even during the winter, people can enjoy the lake by skating, playing hockey, and ice fishing. The views surrounding the lakes are amazing.
In Conclusion, every world’s treasure possesses a charm that is uncomparable; which one of these enchanting lakes makes you want to swim?
Let me know what you are looking forward to doing in the comments below.
Save it on Pinterest to Read it Later!
Need More Inspiration
Best Affordable Mountain Towns in the US
Best Places to Travel Alone in the US
Waterfalls in California
Waterfalls in Arizona
Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that I get a small commission when you purchase something from my links, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST to you. Thanks for the support!