Lake Lanier

America is known for many good things, from fast food to NFL football to land as far as the eye can see. It’s also known for having lots and lots of beautiful lakes, especially Michigan lakes.

With so many lakes across the United States, you’re probably within driving distance of a fantastic lake of some sort. So, which lakes are the absolutely best in America? It’s a tough question. I mean, everyone looks for something different in a lake. Some people love large lakes that look almost like the ocean, while other thrive at small, inland lakes where you can always see the shore. But, there are some lakes that stand above the rest when it comes to beauty and popularity.

I’ve put together a list of the “11 Most Beautiful Lakes in America,” offering a little bit of something for everyone. These lakes are found all across America, so wherever you live, one of these probably is relatively close to you. We’re heading into the perfect season to visit a lake, too. For those who aren’t lucky enough to live near the ocean, going to a lake is the next best thing. So, get your sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and bikini or trunks and check out 11 beautiful lakes in America to visit. Three Michigan lakes are included in here, too.

  • 11 Most Beautiful Lakes in America

    I’ve put together a list of the 11 most beautiful lakes to visit in America. This tally includes lakes from coast to coast. Some fun activities, depending on the currents, include swimming, wind surfing, going on a boat on the lake, having a picnic at the shoreline and more. What’s your favorite lake? Reach out to Anne Erickson on social media and add to my list.

    Lake Lanier

    Lake Lanier

  • Seneca Lake, New York

    Seneca Lake is the biggest of the 11 glacial Finger Lakes. It’s 38 miles long and more than 618 feet deep, making it one of the deepest lakes in America. What’s extra cool is that the U.S. Navy even does some testing for submarines in this lake, because of its depth.

    Seneca Lake

    Seneca Lake is the largest Finger Lake by volume and is the second longest by length, just shorter than Cayuga Lake. Seneca Lake is very deep, reaching depths exceeding 600 feet. This creates the perfect environment for grape growing and is at the foundation of the wine industry in the Finger Lakes.

  • Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming

    If you’ve ever been to Yellowstone Park, you’ve probably visited Yellowstone Lake. The massive lake is a part of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. It’s actually the biggest lake in the park and one of the biggest highly elevated freshwater lakes in North America.

    Yellowstone Lake - Yellowstone National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

    Situated at 7,733 feet (2,357 m) above sea level, Yellowstone Lake is the largest high elevation lake (above 7,000 feet / 2,134 m) in North America. It is roughly 20 miles (32.2 km) long and 14 miles (22.5 km) wide, with 141 miles (227 km) of shoreline and a surface area of 132 square miles (342 km 2).

  • Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada

    The famous Lake Tahoe is located right on the state line between California and Nevada. It’s stunning, as it is surrounded by the glorious Sierra Nevada Mountains. This is the largest alpine lake in North America, making it a must-see lake.

    Visit Lake Tahoe | The Official Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

    The official guide for everything you need to know about Lake Tahoe. Browse hotels, things to do, restaurants, events & more in South Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada has adventure during all seasons, so check out everything Tahoe has to offer and book your stay now.

  • Lake Santeetlah, North Carolina

    Here’s a special lake located within the Nantahala National Forest and surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains. This is also a very pure lake, as its shoreline is mostly protected from development. It’s a beautiful destination for fishing, jumping in a canoe or kayak or a picnic.

    Lake Santeetlah | RomanticAsheville.com

    Beautiful Lake Santeetlah is one of most unspoiled lakes you'll find in the North Carolina mountains, and often called one of the most beautiful in the country. Located about 100 miles west of Asheville along the Indian Lakes Scenic Byway, it's located in the "wild west" of Graham County.

  • Hanging Lake, Colorado

    Hanging Lake is so glorious. It’s located in the middle of Glenwood Canyon in the White River National Forest, and it’s actually part of the Southern Rocky Mountains. This lake “was formed by a geologic fault which caused the lake bed to drop away from the valley floor above,” according to the USDA Forest Service, and is a designated National Natural Landmark.

    Hanging Lake Hike - Get Reservation and Permit on VisitGlenwood.com

    Glenwood Springs, Colorado - Hanging Lake: Make a Reservation. Choose between shuttle or bike to the trailhead. All reservations include a permit to hike!

  • Lake Superior, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan

    The Great Lakes are, of course, some of the most famous lakes in the world. One that’s often left of best-of lists is Lake Superior. It’s the largest freshwater lake in the world and has a whopping 10% of the world’s surface freshwater. Drink up.

    Lake Superior

    Known for its sparkling waves and rugged shorelines, Lake Superior contains more water than the other Great Lakes combined. Superior is the northernmost lake and the least affected by invasive species, habitat degradation, and other human-driven changes. The deepest and coldest Great Lake, Superior's nutrient-poor waters have allowed native coldwater fishes to flourish.

  • Lake Michigan, Wisconsin/Michigan/Illinois

    Lake Michigan is simply a landmark. It’s actually the most deadly lake in America, due to the high volume of drownings. But, aside from the scary, it’s a beautiful and large lake. The lake is spread over more than 307 miles, and there are many beach towns across those miles.

    Pure Michigan

    Whether you are traveling with your family or making memories with friends - you are on the brink of planning a vacation so unique, it can only be classified as Pure Michigan.

  • Lake Lanier, Georgia

    Located in the northern part of Georgia, Lake Lanier runs nearly 40,000 acres. It stems from the construction of the Buford Dam. This lake is known for its super clear water. The water is actually crystal blue. How beautiful, right?

    Welcome to Lake Lanier, Georgia!

    Lake Lanier is one of America's favorite lakes. With several million visitors annually enjoying its recreational facilities, Lake Lanier is the most popular lake in the southeast. You will enjoy the time you spend at Lake Lanier. We guarantee it. Lanier is the largest lake ...

  • Lake Jocassee, South Carolina

    Lake Jocassee is in the Appalachian Mountains, and it’s actually a man-made reservoir. Its water flows from the mountains. This is another lake known for its very clear water, so you get to see all the fish and underwater creatures when you look down into the water flow.

    Devils Fork

    Rowdy Harris Park Manager I am Rowdy Harris, Park Manager at Devils Fork State Park. My entire life, I have always enjoyed the outdoors, but never really considered being a park ranger. I was looking for something to do for the summer during college, and found out the state parks hired seasonal employees.

  • Lake Okeechobee, Florida

    Lake Okeechobee is the biggest freshwater lake in Florida. It’s a very popular spot for largemouth bass fishing. Those who visit the lake get to learn the history and today’s experience of the Seminole community at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, which is a bonus.

    Lake Okeechobee

    Lake Okeechobee means "big water" in the Seminole Indian language, an appropriate name for a water body whose opposite shore can't be seen from the water's edge. With a surface area of 730 square miles, it is the largest lake in the southeastern United States.

  • Lake Erie, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York

    The Lake Erie shoreline touches Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York. The body of water offers some of the warmest waters you’ll find in the Great Lakes. Lake Erie also offers some fantastic areas to swim, making it a popular vacation lake.

    Great Lakes - Lake Erie

    It is the smallest of the four Great Lakes that touch Michigan's shores and accounts for a stretch of coastline from the Ohio border to the mouth of the Detroit River in the southeast region of the state.

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