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10 Lakeside Town Getaways for An All-American Summer Getaway

Lakeside towns have earned the title of “quaint and idyllic summer holidays,” and for a good reason. Picturesque little nooks of tall trees shading the afternoon sun, glistening drops of jewel-toned water waiting to be explored, fresh, crisp air, and the feel of gravel are all the elements that make it the stuff of vacation dreams.

From quiet slices of heaven to the perfect hotspot for spring break, click here and see ten lakeside towns to plan your summer getaway.

Priest Lake, Idaho

Douglas fir trees cradle the roads where a population of 800 or so people goes about their daily lives until summer comes along and this town turns into a bustling hive of activity. Just 15 miles from the Canadian border, Priest Lake is home to small local shops and businesses, gas stations, and a one-stop market to get all the essentials you need for a relaxing holiday.

Once you’ve explored the lake and did as many backflips as possible, head to the Indian Rock, where you can immerse yourself in prehistoric pictographs inscribed by Native Americans.

Lake Chelan, Washington

One more American summer getaway destination is a drive through the Cascades in Seattle to this lakeside town just three hours away. Your journey will be peppered with tiny villages until you reach Lake Chelan with an average of 300 annual days of sunshine. The lake is 1,500 ft deep with glistening turquoise blue waters- you’ll have your own little Caribbean to venture and have fun in.

This is a great spot to bring your and paddleboards to take a leisurely paddle on the lake, enjoying the quietness of nature. Head to the local villages to have a delicious meal before heading out to the North Cascades National Park for a remote backcountry camping experience. This park is home to over 300 plus glaciers, alpine forests and is one of the most underrated national parks in the country.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs is a mineral-rich lake popular among local tourists. Despite its name, calm waters await you in this hill-bound resort town. Here, temperatures can go up to 100 throughout July to August. From here, you can explore Lake Hamilton, which is a summer favorite among the partying crowd.

Pere Marquette Lake, Michigan

A state known as the home to dozens of America’s great lakes, Michigan is a summer favorite for many holiday-seekers looking for calm crystal waters, the fresh scent of timbered woods, and all the fudge and wine you can have. Head to Presque Isle and dip into the icy waters of the Superior.

For a less-tourist-packed holiday experience, drive up to Little Presque to enjoy the sounds of nature against a backdrop of beautiful lakeshore. Fill your day with birdwatching, swimming, geologic exploration, and nature photography. Another must-visit in Michigan is Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, just an hour away from Pere Marquette. This is a place where the entire shoreline is filled with cliff-covered waterfronts.

South Lake Tahoe, CaliforniaSouth Lake Tahoe, California

This is one of the top destinations for summer. It’s a popular holiday destination just about any time of the year. But summer is when it’s the place to be if you want to experience everything Lake Tahoe has to offer.

It’s the destination for booze-fueled parties, but if you look for something a little less party and a little more relaxed, places near Emerald Bay are just the right spot. Here, you can bask in the shades of towering trees and take long dips in the cool, turquoise water. For a taste of Tahoe nightlife, head to the local restaurants to sample anything from Mexican fusion to pulled pork sandwiches and Thai green curry.

Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Lake Winnipesaukee is host to one of America’s oldest resort towns, and it now hosts some young and upcoming restaurants and eateries from breweries to bakeries. The lake is the jewel of this town, but for entertainment, you have a good share of festivals, free concerts, and farmers’ markers to explore, try, taste, see and do. If you search for fresh lobster, this is the place to be since there’s always a huge truck that pulls up and only closes shop when every lobster is sold.

American summer getaway: Seneca, South Carolina

Boasting 350 miles of shoreline and covering nearly 29 square miles, you’ll find Lake Keowee so wonderfully pristine and adequately isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city. Located at the Blue Ridge Mountains, Keowee is host to incredible boat parties in its numerous coves. Seneca is the place to be if you want a lakeside holiday experience in the Dirty South.

Ely, Minnesota

Situated just 12 miles from Canada, you’ll find a mesmerizing lake known as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Also home to a wilderness preserve, this lake district is an inland sea with wooded islands, a perfect backdrop for canoeing and kayaking. You’ll feel a sense of relaxation and excitement as you make your way around the medley of interconnected lakes, streams, and waterfalls. Stop on the banks to take a photo with your group, where your scenery will be grand cliffs, ridges, soaring white pines, and ancient Native American rock graffiti.

Lake George, New York

If you’re looking for a city escape, then the beautiful Lake George is the place to go to. Here, you’ll find bliss amidst beautiful green foliage, deep blue waters, and crisp fresh air. It’s a family-friendly place that beckons you to fish, dive, hike, go parasailing, or horseback riding.

Saugatuck, Michigan

Another perfect American summer getaway is a lake in Michigan – a gay-friendly arts destination filled with many galleries and art schools such as the Ox-Bow School of Art and the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. There’s also a whopping total of 140 LGBTQ-owned businesses and the country’s top LGBTQ resorts, The Dunes Resorts.

Just 45 minutes from Garand Rapids, Saugatuck makes for the perfect getaway for city-dwellers looking for a staycation. Hit the shore to soak up some sun, then do some fishing at Lake Michigan. Have lunch with some wine and fresh oysters or save space for a hearty southern meal at the two-time James Beard Award The Southerner.

Article by

Alla Levin

Seattle business and lifestyle content creator who can’t get enough of business innovations, arts, not ordinary people and adventures.

About Author

Alla Levin

Hi, I’m Alla, a Seattle business and lifestyle content creator who can’t get enough of business innovations, arts, not ordinary people and adventures. My mission is to help you grow in your creativity, travel the world, and live life to the absolute fullest!


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