Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Most Amazing Lakes in USA For Summer Vacations 2017. Ready for a relaxing vacation? Consider a lake vacation. Here are some of the most amazing lakes for summer vacation in the United States.
List of Top 10 Most Amazing Lakes in USA For Summer Vacations 2017
10. Lake Lanier Islands
Located 30 minutes north of Atlanta, Georgia, this is a truly amazing lake. It is a large lake filled with islands, hence the name. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this beautiful lake is the place to go. It is quite commercialized with resort hotels and water parks, spa center, and campgrounds dotting its white sand shores, but the lake itself is breathtakingly gorgeous.
The lake has an interesting history. The area was originally hills near Gainesville. After the Buford Dam was built in 1956 flooding of part of the Chattahoochee River valley created Lake Lanier, the hills became islands in the lake with 59 square miles of water and 692 miles of shoreline when the lake is at its normal level, making it the largest lake in Georgia. Named for the American poet Sidney Lanier, it was built and is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and controlled by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. In 1957, the US Army Corps of Engineers leased the lake to the Georgia Department of State Parks, who joined forces in 1962 with the newly formed Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority to develop a recreational area. By 1974, Lake Lanier Islands had been operational for a year, featuring boat docks, campgrounds, beaches, a golf course, and the Pine Isle Hotel. A water park opened in 1987.
9. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is definitely one of the most beautiful lakes in the United States. Its water goes from Caribbean blue to dark because it carves a deep hole in the Sierra Nevada. In August of 2012, USA Today dubbed it “America’s Best Lake. The lake was formed approximately two million years ago and is part of the Lake Tahoe basin. The lake itself was shaped during the Ice Age. The water is amazing and crystal clear with varying shades of blue.
On the border of California and Nevada, its surface elevation is 6,225 ft and it is 1,645 ft deep, making it the second deepest in the country and the sixth largest by volume, just under that of the five Great Lakes. It is about 21 miles long and 12 miles wide. It is fed by 63 tributaries with half of the water that enters the lake being in the form of rain or snow falling directly on it. More than 75 percent of the lake’s watershed is national forest land. About two-thirds of the shoreline is in California.
The area surrounding the lake was previously the home of the Washoe American Indian tribe. The Engish name for Lake Tahoe is derived from the Washoe word “dá’aw,” which means “The Lake”.
The lake is divided into North and South. The North Lake offers a more nature-oriented and laid back atmosphere. Tahoe South is more commercial and has a number of nightclubs and casinos. Both Noth and South offer similar recreation including skiing, swimming, hiking, snowboarding, and golf. The lake is a major tourist attraction for both California and Nevada.
8. Lake of the Ozarks
The Lake of the Ozarks is a reservoir in central Missouri with a surface area of 54,000 acres and 1,150 miles of shoreline. The lake’s serpentine form inspired its nickname “The Magic Dragon”. Bass Master tournaments and PGA Club Pro Championships have been held here.
The lake is 92 miles long and was created when the 2,543-foot Bagnell Dam to provide hydroelectric power, stopping the flow of the Osage River. Even though the lake was created for this purpose, it rapidly became a tourist attraction. Although most of the shoreline is privately owned, 17,500 acres was set aside at the beginning for a national park. This part of the shore is now owned by Lake of the Ozarks State Park, which is the biggest state park in Missouri. There you can find Party Cove, a gathering spot for seriously wild parties, and it has been estimated that more than 3,000 boats converge there on the Fourth of July.
Whether you want to go parasailing, kayaking, boating, jet skiing, fishing, or boat riding, this is the place for it. There is also golfing and shopping areas. You can find a wide variety of lake resorts from highly upscale to mountain cabins, as well as great restaurants. There are lakeside bars dotting the shore with mostly a Jimmy Buffet type of music. In other words, your visit to the Lake of the Ozarks can be as wild or as laid back as you want it to be.
7. Lake Superior
Lake Superior is one of breathtaking beauty with such clear water that the average underwater visibility is 27 feet. It is not just the biggest of the Great Lakes, it is the largest body of fresh water on this planet. The lake is 160 miles wide and 350 miles long with a surface area of 31,699 square miles and a water volume of 2,900 cubic miles. The deepest part of the lake is 1,300 feet. During most winters, it is covered by ice on 40 to 95 percent of its surface, but it rarely freezes completely because of its depth.
Located on the edge of Wisconsin, the lake extends to Ontario, Canada, and west to the border of Minnesota. The name “Superior” alludes to the larger size, as it is the largest Great Lake, and to its more northern location.
During the Colonial period, the lake provided a major shipping avenue for furs and remains a hub of shipping today.
The Great Lakes have a reputation for being prone to ship accidents, one of the most famous accidents being on Lake Superior when the Edmunc Fitzgerald went down in a storm killing all the crew members.
About 80 species of fish can be found in Lake Superior’s waters.
On the Ontario shore, there are more than 32 lighthouses. Some are abandoned or destroyed, but some remain active to help guide ships and act as emergency lights/
The Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center opened in 1973 and now attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year.
Just the enormity of the lake and the beauty of the water take hold of your being. Yet there are various things to do. You can take the ferry and visit some of the 22 islands of the lake. Explore quaint harbor towns along the shore. Enjoy stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking. Take the Raspberry Island lighthouse tour, or visit the Haughton Falls natural area. It is a commune with nature and a history lesson in our modern time.
6. Wallowa Lake
Wallowa Lake is located south of Joseph, Oregon at an elevation of 4,372 feet. It was formed by glaciers in the Pleistocene period and is surrounded by moraines, or accumulations of rock and debris from glaciers.
First inhabited by the Wallowa band of Nez Perce Indians before Oregon became a state, the area was given to them in the Treaty of 1855. When the gold rush began the government started treaty negotiations intended to remove Wallowa country from the reservation but the Nez Perce refused to sign. Violence ensued and eventually the government took the land. The Nez Perce were banished from the area. There are many monuments and the lake and surrounding towns in honor of the tribe. The nearest town was named Joseph in honor of Chief Joseph, the leader of the tribe.
Wallowa Lake is 3.7 miles long and 3/4 mile wide. Its depth is 299 feet, deep for a lake that size. Because of the elevation it sometimes freezes solid in the winter. It usually warms enough for swimming in early to mid-July.
In 1917 local farmers got together and built a dam for irrigation. In 1996 structural deficits were identified and it is being considered for reconstruction to repair it and allowing fish passage.
In 1923, an amusement park was built at the sound end of the lake containing a restaurant, store, bowling alley, dance hall, outdoor movie theater, horse drawn carousel and cabins for anyone who wanted to stay overnight. In 1940 a severe snowfall crushed most of the buildings and the park was not rebuilt. The inn survived, however, and remains in operation. More stores, restaurants, and rental accommodations developed and the area is a tourist community.
The lake is surrounded by mountains and is an awe-inspiring sight. There is a 60-acre park with picnic tables and paved trails through the wooded grounds. The lake itself is a great place for swimming, kayaking, and fishing, and there is a tram that climbs to 3700 feet to the top of Mount Howard providing a spectacular view of the area.This is one of Top 10 Most Amazing Lakes in USA For Summer Vacations 2017.
5. Lake Chelan
Lake Chelan in Chelan County in Washington state is a narrow lake but 50.5 miles long. It is a conduit from the mountain peaks to the fertile land below. It is the third deepest lake in the nation. It is actually a glacial valley, surrounded by nationally protected forest and private apple and cherry orchards, along with some small wineries. Although the valley has only 6,500 full-time residents, this resort area can accommodate 25,000 guests during the summer. Roads go less than halfway to the lake’s headwaters and beyond that are dark evergreens covering the mountains.
All of this splendor can be seen from the lake, making it one of the most beautiful lakes in the country.
There are many activities and most of the lake is open year-round, but the upper end is closed during April, May, and June. The tributaries are closed all year to protect adult trout for spawning season. The best fishing is usually mid-April through June. In June and July, rainbow trout are planted in the lower lake.
You can enjoy water skiing, wakeboarding, jet skis, or a relaxing boat tour, or of course, a fishing trip. There are wine tours to the wineries and vineyards in the area. There are three state parks around the lake. The Wenatchee National Forest adjoins the lake on two sides and two other state parks, Twenty-five Mile Creek State Park and Lake Chelan State Park are at the southern border. In fact about 87% pf the lake;s watershed is owned by federal, state, or local entities.
If you want a truly off-grid experience, visit the town of Stehekin at the northern end of the lake. It lies beyond where the roads stop and is actually only accessible by plane or boat.
Of course, there are numerous motels, hotels, and vacation rental properties and several convention centers in the area.
4. Lake Powell
Lake Powell is a reservoir on the Colorado River, between Utah and Arizona. Most of it is in Utah, including the Rainbow Bridge, one of the largest natural bridges in the world. Lake Powell was created by the flooding of Glen Canyon by the Glen Canyon Dam. It stores water for Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico.
The lake was named after a Civil War veteran, John Wesley Powell whose party explored it three wooden boats in 1869.
Lake Powell welcomes almost three million visitors each year.
Lake Powell is 186 miles long and has 1,960 miles of shoreline, more than the whole west coast of the United States. There are 96 major canyons to explore but you will have to go by boat because there are no roads leading to most of them.
The fishing is good but you could also swim, scuba dive, go snorkeling, water ski, go kayaking, take a boat tour, or rent a boat and cruise the lake. Land-based activities include horseback riding and hiking. You could even get a bird’s-eye view of the lake and canyons around it by airplane or helicopter.
In early June, the water starts to warm and stays warm into October. Lake Powell is designated as a “high desert” area because of its 3,700 ft. elevation. Water temperatures cool significantly in the winter but climb into the high 70’s in the summer. When it snows at Lake Powell, the contrast of the white to red-rock cliffs and blue waters is a truly amazing sight.
3. Lake Cumberland
Lake Cumberland is a reservoir in Kentucky built for flood control and production of hydroelectric power. It has a shoreline of 1,255 miles and covers 65,500 acres. The main lake is 101 miles long and about a mile wide at the widest point. It has a rugged appeal that it indescribable.
The lake is a major spot for tourism and attracts millions of visitors yearly. Some of the state’s most experienced fisherman offer guided fishing tours or you can rent a boat from the marina and go it on your own. Rent a houseboat and just enjoy the scenery. The swimming and skiing fine, too. Lake Cumberland is one of the best fishing and boating destinations in the Eastern United States.
The state park has a large campground with hook-ups and there are hiking trails along which you may see much of the abundant wildlife. Bears have been spotted from time to time swimming in the lake. Guided horseback rides are available. There is also disc golf and an indoor pool complex. There are facilities for tennis, caving, and biking.This is the among Top 10 Most Amazing Lakes in USA For Summer Vacations 2017.
2. Redfish Lake
Redfish Lake, in central Idaho, is located in Sawtooth National Recreation Area, at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains. It is named after the sockeye salmon that once returned from the Pacific Ocean in such massive amounts that the surface of the lake was said to have shimmered red during the spawning season. Now, however, so few make it back to the lake to spawn that they are protected and must be returned to the water if caught. The lake is 4.5 miles long and about three-quarters of a mile wide. Rainbow and Dolley Varden trout can be found in the lake.
The area around the lake has great mountain biking trails with popular loops including Fishhook Creek trail around Redfish Lake, Potato Mountain, or Elk Mountain. The Sawtooth Mountains are possibly the most challenging granite walls in the Western United States. The marina offers a shuttle across the lake where mountain climbers often start their journey.
At the north end of the lake, rental cabins provide a comfortable night’s rest while enjoying the view of the mountains and the lake.
1. Lake Havasu
Lake Havasu is a reservoir on the Colorado River on the border of California and Arizona. It is 45 miles long and has 450 miles of shoreline. It was named after the Mojave word for blue, as the Mojave tribe inhabited the area once. The shoreline is in the transition zone from the Mojave Desert to the Sonoran Desert.
White sturgeon were stocked in Lake Havasu in 1967. Some were found dead downstream but may still exist in the lake. Since these fish can grow to 20 feet long and can live for 100 years or more, people still try to catch site of a white sturgeon in the lake. There are also large and small mouthed bass, carp, crappie, channel and flathead catfish, Razorback Sucker, Readear Sunfish and Sunfish in Lake Havasu and fishing is a popular activity for much of the year.
The Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is located at the upper end and upriver. Lake Havasu State Park is along the eastern shore in Arizona. The Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge extends southeastward up the riparian zone of the Bill Williams River canyon from the southeastern end of the reservoir and dam.
Robert Paxton McCulloch bought the London Bridge at auction for $2,460,000 in 1968 and brought it to the lake area, where it was reconstructed stone by stone, and it is now the focal point of the lake. Now it connects Lake Havasu City to an island in Lake Havasu where a resort, restaurants, and a golf course are located.
The lake has sandy beaches, inlets and coves, canyon walls, and cool and inviting water and beckons millions each year for fishing, swimming, skiing, and other water sports, as well as enjoying the recreation off-shore. It hosts boat races and regattas including the International Jet Sports Association world finals, which is an annual event.
Lake Havasu is also a popular spring break destination for college students from the southwest. Many of these go to Copper Canyon where they tie their boats together and attend parties from boat to boat.
The shore has thousands of miles of areas designated for dune buggies, motorcycles, and four-wheelers as well as hiking trails.
There you have it; the Top 10 Most Amazing Lakes in USA For Summer Vacations 2017. The only problem is deciding which one to visit, since they each have unique beauty and charm!