What Are the Best Lakes for Boating in the U.S.?

Big Bear Lake

If you love your boat, you'll probably want to take it everywhere. In the United States, there are countless lakes worth exploring, where you can enjoy the clear, fresh water and plenty of diverse fish species to catch.

What are the best lakes for boating in the U.S.? And how can you make the most of your lake adventures?

The Best Lakes for Boating in the United States

These are some of the best lakes for boating across the U.S.:

  • Lake Havasu. Featuring 400 total miles of shoreline, this lake in Arizona is incredibly scenic. Around it, you can find canyons, cliffs, and majestic waterfalls – as well as a near-perfect climate for most lake enthusiasts.
  • Flathead Lake. In Montana, you can find one of the clearest lakes in the U.S. Whether you’re interested in sailing, fishing, speed boating, or another favourite lake activity, you can have it all here. There are 13 different access points, though depending on where you want to enter, you may need a tribal recreation permit first.
  • Big Bear Lake. Nested in Southern California, Big Bear Lake rarely has rainy days – and is home to consistently warm, pleasant weather. Throughout three seasons, you can enjoy activities like kayaking, jet skiing, and even fishing. Anglers love it for its trout, bass, and catfish. When you’re done on the lake, you can visit “The Village,” which is home to many interesting restaurants and shops.
  • Lake Tahoe. One of California’s most popular lakes, Lake Tahoe, occupies an area within the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains. The high winds from the mountains make it an ideal place for sailing and windsurfing, but there are plenty of other awesome activities to try here – including scuba diving.
  • Lake Travis. On Lake Travis in Texas, you can go paddleboarding, wakeboarding, sailing, or kayaking – or you can get out of the water and go ziplining through the canyon. It’s also a big destination for live music, considering its proximity to Austin.
  • Lake Champlain. At the intersection of New York, Vermont, and Quebec, Lake Champlain is most commonly used as a place for sailing, fishing, and canoeing. And if you visit in winter, you can try ice skating.
  • Lake George. If you want stunning views of the Adirondack Mountains, there’s no better place than Lake George. Covering 32 miles, this “Queen of American Lakes” has tons of interesting launch sites – and no shortage of activities to try.
  • Lake Placid. Also in New York, you can find Lake Placid – which as the name suggests, is the perfect place to relax. Known for being incredibly clean, this beautiful lake is a great destination for almost any type of vessel. And if you want an adrenaline rush, you can try cliff diving at Pulpit Rock.
  • Lake Wallenpaupack. In Pike County Pennsylvania, you can find Lake Wallenpaupack. It’s stacked with recreational activities for visitors and has amazing views. And if you visit during the popular Wally Lake Fest, you’ll get to enjoy some amazing food and music at the same time.
  • Like Powell. Near the edge of Arizona is Lake Powell, technically situated in Utah. This manmade lake is surrounded by deep red sandstone cliffs – and some of the most beautiful water you’ll ever see. Popular activities here include fishing, water skiing, and wakeboarding, and you should definitely visit the Rainbow Bridge National Monument while you’re there.
  • Lake Michigan. One of the five Great Lakes, Lake Michigan borders four different states and is located near both Chicago and Milwaukee. Lake surfing, fishing, and kayaking are all popular here, but visitors often spend most of their time visiting major cities nearby.
  • Lake Superior. Another Great Lake is Lake Superior, which is by far the largest freshwater lake in the U.S. It has more than 1,300 miles of shoreline and a wonderfully rocky coast. Salmon, whitefish, and trout are common here.
  • Tappan Lake. At Tappan Lake in Ohio, you can find a picturesque spot for tubing, wakeboarding, and everything in between. It also has excellent campsites and hiking trails for people who love being on land as much as water.
  • West Okoboji Lake. People love West Okoboji Lake for its impressive depth and beautiful blue tint. Whether you’re interested in fishing or more adventurous activities like parasailing, you can find just about anything you want here.
  • Lake Cumberland. Technically a reservoir, Lake Cumberland is a favourite destination for competitive fishing; it’s home to some of the largest bass, trout, and walleye in the country. It’s also an excellent destination for houseboats and camping.
  • Lake Lanier. At Lake Lanier in Georgia, you’ll have the opportunity to row, canoe, and camp next to the water. When you’re done on the water, you can visit the water park or go golfing, hiking, or walking.
  • Lake Okeechobee. Don’t let this mouthful of a name fool you: Lake Okeechobee is super accessible. Sometimes called the “Inland Sea,” this is known as one of the best fishing lakes in the country, thanks to its largemouth bass surplus. With more than 730 square miles, you’ll never run out of things to try here.
  • Norris Lake. With surprisingly clear waters and astonishing views of mountains, Norris Lake in Tennessee is an ideal destination for fishing for bass or walleye. You can also rent a hydrobike and cross the lake in a totally novel way.
  • Lake of the Ozarks. You’ve heard of the Ozarks, but have you ever heard of the Magic Dragon? This is the nickname for the Lake of the Ozarks, which is often hailed as THE best recreational lake in the U.S. You can try almost any conceivable aquatic activity here, go sightseeing, and wind down at the end of the day with some amazing stores and restaurants.

Purchasing the Right Boat

Are you ready to hit the lakes and enjoy the time of your life? You’ll have a much better time if you’re on the right boat. And you can find the boat of your dreams right here at TheYachtMarket. Browse our selection of new and used boats for sale today!

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