- Each state has a lake that is more beautiful than the rest.
- Lake George in New York and Lake Tahoe in Nevada are popular destinations for vacationers.
- Other lakes, like Redfish Lake in Idaho and Lake Martin in Louisiana, are renowned for their fishing and wildlife populations.
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All over the US, people flock to massive lakes to experience the power and beauty of Mother Nature.
Some of the most striking lakes in the country have turned into tourist destinations, boasting water sports, lodges, and beaches. Others are simple bodies of water surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.
Keep reading to find out which lake – whether natural or man-made – in your state is among the country’s most beautiful.
Located south of Birmingham, Lay Lake is a stunning 12,000-acre, tree-lined reservoir in Alabama.
The lake is best known for boating and fishing, as the lake is home to abundant supplies of largemouth bass and spotted bass.
Learn more about Lay Lake here.
Kenai Lake in Alaska was formed from glacial water and features stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
The lake is a popular fishing destination and is home to multiple varieties including sockeye, king, and silver salmon, as well as lake trout, whitefish, rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden.
Learn more about Kenai Lake here.
Watson Lake in Prescott, Arizona, is a popular destination.
The lake and surrounding park is well known in Arizona for its fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, rock climbing, camping, and picnicking.
Learn more about Watson Lake here.
Lake Hamilton in Garland County, Arkansas, is a 7,200-acre reservoir located near Hot Springs, Arkansas.
The lake was created in 1932 and has a sister lake nearby, Lake Catherine.
Learn more about Lake Hamilton here.
Manzanita Lake is a popular fishing and family destination in Lassen Volcanic National Park, California.
The stunning lake offers scenic views of Lassen Peak, the largest volcano in the park at 10,457 feet tall.
Learn more about Manzanita Lake here.
Bear Lake is a scenic lake located in Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado.
The lake is a launch point for many different hiking trails, as well as a popular spot for fishing. However, canoeing and boating are not permitted on Bear Lake.
Learn more about Bear Lake here.
The lake formed by the Saville dam in Barkhamsted, Connecticut, is very picturesque.
The dam is located on the eastern branch of the Farmington River.
Learn more about the Saville dam reservoir here.
Silver Lake in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, is a picturesque lake spanning approximately 40 acres.
The lake is largely residential and is one of the closest lakes to the Atlantic Ocean on the East Coast.
Learn more about Silver Lake here.
Lake Eola in Orlando, Florida, is a popular urban lake known for its swan-shaped paddle boats and wildlife.
Visitors to Lake Eola can grab a bite at one of the restaurants surrounding the lake, or take in a show at the nearby Walt Disney Amphitheater, while views from the lake offer a skyline view of Orlando.
Learn more about Lake Eola here.
Lake Allatoona in Georgia spans more than 12,000 acres and offers 270 miles of shoreline.
The lake, which was officially impounded in 1950, is home to camping, fishing, and other recreational activities.
Learn more about Lake Allatoona here.
Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii, surrounds a 32-acre lake.
The surrounding gardens offer stunning, peaceful views while the lake is a popular fishing spot.
Learn more about Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden here.
Redfish Lake near Stanley, Idaho, is located at the headwaters of the Salmon River and is best known for its sockeye salmon population.
The lake also offers stunning views of the surrounding Sawtooth Mountains.
Learn more about Redfish Lake here.
Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois, is described as “an oasis of art, architecture, and landscape design since 1860.”
Today, the cemetery’s lake, Lake Willowmere, sits against a backdrop of historic buildings and trees.
Learn more about Lake Willowmere and Graceland Cemetery here.
Strahl Lake in Indiana’s Brown County State Park is home to hiking and walking trails as well as bird-watching.
Boats are not allowed on Strahl Lake, but fishing with a state fishing licence is permitted.
Learn more about Strahl Lake here.
Lake MacBride in Solon, Iowa, features this beautiful waterfall.
Lake MacBride State Park also offers swimming, boating, campgrounds, and more.
Learn more about Lake MacBride here.
Lake Lenexa in Lenexa, Kansas, is located in Black Hoof Park.
The 35-acre, deep-water lake offers boating and channel catfish, black crappie, bluegill, sunfish, and largemouth bass fishing with a state fishing licence.
Learn more about Lake Lenexa here.
Cave Run Lake, which is south of Morehead, Kentucky, features stunning mountain views.
Located in the northernmost portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest, the lake spans a whopping 8,270 acres.
Learn more about Cave Run Lake here.
Lake Martin outside Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, is one of the state’s best sites for bird-watching.
The lake is home to a number of different waterbird species, including the anhinga, great blue heron, great egret, snowy egret, tri-coloured heron, and the roseate spoonbill.
Learn more about Lake Martin here.
Echo Lake in Acadia National Park is one of the most popular spots for freshwater swimming on Maine’s Mount Desert Island.
The lake also offers fishing and boating to visitors, as well as beautiful hiking views.
Learn more about Echo Lake here.
Patterson Park Boat Lake in Baltimore, Maryland, dates back to the Civil War.
The lake has a large population of largemouth bass and bluegill. However, don’t expect to go home with your catch of the day – the lake operates on a catch-and-release basis for fishing.
Learn more about Patterson Park Boat Lake here.
Lake Mattawa in Orange, Massachusetts, is home to year-round trout fishing as well as stunning New England fall foliage.
Largely surrounded by year-round homes and summer cottages, the lake offers swimming as well as a launch for boats.
Learn more about Lake Mattawa here.
Lake Superior, located above Michigan’s upper peninsula, is the largest freshwater lake in the world.
Also the largest of the “Great Lakes,” Lake Superior covers 31,700 square miles and its waters reach a depth of 1,332 feet. Visitors can lay out on the lake’s stunning beaches, or venture onto one of the surrounding hiking trails.
Learn more about Lake Superior here.
Lake Itasca is located in Itasca State Park, Minnesota’s oldest state park.
The entire park totals more than 32,000 acres and has more than 100 lakes, although Lake Itasca holds the title of the largest as the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
Learn more about Lake Itasca here.
Mayes Lake at LeFleur’s Bluff in Mississippi is home to camping, fishing, and a nine-hole golf course.
LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is located within the city limits of Jackson, making the lake a veritable urban oasis.
Learn more about Mayes Lake and LeFleur’s Bluff State Park here.
Table Rock Lake in Stone County, Missouri, offers more than 800 miles of shoreline and spans over 43,000 acres of surface area.
Offering everything from swimming to boating and water skiing, the lake is also a great vacation spot with lakefront cabins, resorts, and campgrounds located on its shores.
Learn more about Table Rock Lake here.
Lake McDonald in Flathead County, Montana, is surrounded by Glacier National Park.
Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park, measuring 500 feet deep and 10 miles long. There’s also a historic hotel that sits on the lake called Lake McDonald Lodge, which was built in 1914.
Learn more about Lake McDonald here.
Lake McConaughy in Keith County, Nebraska, is nicknamed Big Mac because of its immense size.
Lake McConaughy is the largest lake in the state of Nebraska. Its surface area is 30,000 square acres, and its dam is considered one of the largest in the world. Fishermen love to come to this lake because the fish are so big that they win awards.
Learn more about Lake McConaughy here.
Nevada’s Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is one of the most famous and beautiful lakes in the world.
Lake Tahoe is a popular destination for vacationers who want to experience the blue waters and the lake’s long list of activities, which include water sports, casinos, and rafting.
Learn more about Lake Tahoe here.
Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire is the largest and the most beautiful lake in the state.
Located in the foothills of the White Mountains, Lake Winnipesaukee offers an unforgettable landscape. The 72-square-mile lake is known for its wooded shoreline and blue waters.
Learn more about Lake Winnipesaukee here.
Lake Hopatcong in the Jefferson Township of New Jersey is the state’s largest freshwater lake.
Lake Hopatcong has 45 miles of shorelines that provide a wide array of activities, including kayaking, sailing, and fishing.
Learn more about Lake Hopatcong here.
Heron Lake in northern New Mexico offers great views of the Brazos Cliffs.
Heron Lake is especially beautiful because it’s called a “quiet lake.” This means boats can only operate at no-wake speeds, enforcing the lake’s tranquil atmosphere.
Learn more about Heron Lake here.
Lake George in northern New York is known as the “Queen of American Lakes.”
In 1791, Thomas Jefferson described the 32-mile-long Lake George as “the most beautiful water I ever saw.” Like Lake Tahoe, this lake is a popular travel destination, offering tourists water activities and sweeping views of the Adirondack Mountains.
Learn more about Lake George here.
Located just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, Lake Norman is the largest manmade lake in the state.
Lake Norman has 520 miles of shoreline, and its surface measures 32,475 acres. The massive lake is known as a popular destination, offering water sports, regattas, and cruises.
Learn more about Lake Norman here.
Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota is surrounded by nature and wildlife.
Lake Sakakawea is 368,000 acres and is surrounded by a sweeping state park. Visitors can swim at the beach, experience wildlife, sleep under the trees, and take a long hike around the lake.
Learn more about Lake Sakakawea here.
Salt Fork Lake in southeastern Ohio is one of the most beautiful recreational lakes in the state.
When Salt Fork Lake was built in 1956, it was meant to become a reservoir that provided drinking water to a nearby city. But locals demanded a recreational lake, and in the ’60s, Salt Fork Lake became a state park that now welcomes nature lovers.
Learn more about Salt Fork Lake here.
Broken Bow Lake in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, is completely surrounded by lush forests.
Broken Bow Lake measures 14,000 acres and has 180 miles of shorelines. It’s known for its crystal clear water because its bottom is covered in rocks instead of mud. Meanwhile, the forests that surround the lake are great for hikers and explorers.
Learn more about Broken Bow Lake here.
Crater Lake in Klamath County, Oregon, is known for being the deepest lake in the country.
Crater Lake is 1,943 feet deep and was formed by a volcano. The surrounding landscape of the lake is nothing short of amazing, offering views of snowcapped mountains and majestic trees.
Learn more about Crater Lake here.
Pennsylvania’s Lake Wallenpaupack in the Poconos is perfect for nature lovers.
Located in northwestern Pennsylvania, Lake Wallenpaupack was built in 1926 and has 52 miles of shoreline. The 5,700-acre lake is also surrounded by forest, hiking trails, and wildlife.
Learn more about Lake Wallenpaupack here.
Bowdish Reservoir in Rhode Island has picturesque campgrounds.
Bowdish Reservoir is 226 acres and is surrounded by 200 acres of forests. Visitors can stay at the Bowdish Lake Campground to experience the activities and hiking trails.
Learn more about Bowdish Reservoir here.
Lake Marion in South Carolina is so big that it spans five counties.
Lake Marion is 110,000 acres and reaches Berkeley County, Calhoun County, Clarendon County, Orangeburg County, and Sumter County. The man-made lake is known for its fish and other wildlife.
Learn more about Lake Marion here.
Lake Oahe in South Dakota stretches for a whopping 231 miles across the state.
Lake Oahe starts at the Oahe Dam, which is near Pierre, South Dakota, and ends near Bismark, North Dakota. The lake that snakes through both Dakotas is perfect for fishing and hunting.
Learn more about Lake Oahe here.
Norris Lake in Tennessee is known as a fisherman’s paradise.
Norris Lake stretches 34,000 acres and has 22 marinas with resorts. The lake also flows past three state parks, but the real draw is the fish population. There are 14 different kinds of fish that call Norris Lake home.
Learn more about Norris Lake here.
Lake Texoma is north of Dallas, Texas, and has some of the best natural views in the state.
Lake Texoma stretches 90,000 acres across the Texas and Oklahoma border. The lake has islands, marinas, and wildlife. The lake is also known for its sea bass population.
Learn more about Lake Texoma here.
The Great Salt Lake in Utah is the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere.
The Great Salt Lake’s surface area measures 1,700 square miles and stretches 75 miles. It’s sometimes called America’s Dead Sea, but you can find islands, state parks, and large bird populations at the lake.
Learn more about the Great Salt Lake here.
The beautiful waters of Lake Champlain in Vermont actually provides drinking water for about 200,000 people.
Lake Champlain is 435 square miles, and its deepest point reaches 400 feet. There are 587 miles of shoreline to enjoy the beautiful water and views of the lake.
Learn more about Lake Champlain here.
Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia has been called the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
The lake, which is surrounded by the breathtaking mountain range, stretches for 40 miles and offers visitors 500 miles of shoreline to explore.
Learn more about Smith Mountain Lake here.
Although Lake Chelan in Washington is narrow, it’s the largest natural lake in the state.
Lake Chelan is considered the gateway to the North Cascades National Park, offering visitors sweeping views of the mountainous Cascades. The lake is also surrounded by vineyards and small towns.
Learn more about Lake Chelan here.
Summersville Lake in Nicholas County, West Virginia, is surrounded by rolling green hills.
Summersville Lake is the largest lake in the state, measuring 2,700 acres and providing 60 miles of shoreline.
Learn more about Summersville Lake here.
Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago is known for its fishing.
Lake Winnebago is very shallow, measuring just 15 feet deep on average, but the lake is more famous for its fishing. Fishermen from all over the world come to the lake to catch bass and walleye.
Learn more about Lake Winnebago here.
Jackson Lake in Teton County, Wyoming, is in the Grand Teton National Park.
Visitors to Jackson Lake enjoy water sports and recreational activities all while staring at the beautiful white Tetons in the background.
Learn more about Jackson Lake here.
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