Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, marking the unofficial start of summer for many Americans. It’s a holiday to reflect on the sacrifices made by the men and women who gave their lives serving in the U.S. armed forces. It’s also become a holiday for backyard cookouts and getting out on the water. In that regard, the U.S. is blessed with myriad lakes that can be enjoyed all summer long.
Touching four states, Lake Michigan has more than 1,600 miles of shoreline and the most beaches of any lake in the country. From the popular urban beaches of Chicago — you’ll never run out of things to do on Oak Street Beach or North Avenue Beach — to the giant dunes found in Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin to idyllic islands, Lake Michigan has something for those who want to be in the heart of action and those looking to get away from it all.
With clear water and a ring of mountains all around, Lake Tahoe is first and foremost a feast for the eyes. It has plenty to offer your other senses, too, serving as a playground for skiing and other winter sports during cold months and for parasailing and other water sports when the weather turns warm. Elevated hiking and biking trails offer spectacular views, and casinos on the Nevada side of the lake provided entertainment year-round. Receive exclusive amenities when staying at the Virtuoso-preferred Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe or Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe.
Table Rock Lake
While nearby Lake of the Ozarks may be more well-known, Table Rock in the Ozarks of southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas has all the fun without the crowds. Stonewater Cove Resort provides miles of trails for hiking or ATV rides, ziplines, canoes, kayaks, water skiing, sunset cruises and just about anything else you can think of for a perfect day out on the lake. Head into nearby Branson to catch any of a number of country music shows or take the family to the Silver Dollar City theme park.
The history here is unparallelled, with Lake Champlain playing a key role in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Visit Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point on the New York side for an education in history or search for “Champ” the lake monster to indulge your thrill-seeking side. The Moonlight Lady replicates ships from the 1920s that frequented the lake and offers multi-day cruises for exploring the area.
With more coastline than California and famed for slot canyons, it’s easy to find a secret spot on Lake Powell for kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. Rainbow Bridge on the Utah side is one of the world’s biggest natural bridges, and there are plenty of open spaces to build up a head of steam for water skiing and other sports. Given the unique geological formations along the reservoir, hikers and those on Jeep tours are rewarded with breathtaking views.