Scenic Lake Views

Summer is the perfect time for a lakeside getaway - days are long, warm and lazy, inviting you to kick back and relax surrounded by natural scenery and water views. Whether you are looking for a secluded hideaway or a full service resort with activities for kids and grownups, here are some of the best lake vacations in the United States and Canada. If you are looking for ideas from specific cities, we've already written about amazing weekend escapes from New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities. Inn at Bay Harbor, Brian Walers Photography


» Michigan - The Inn at Bay Harbor

Michigan - The Inn at Bay Harbor


The Inn at Bay Harbor is located along the Lake Michigan shore, offering lakeside luxury that is perfect for a family vacation or a romantic getaway. Guests have the option of selecting from various styles of rooms and suites, Lakeside Cottages, or Cottages at Crooked Tree. All rooms come with internet access, freshly popped popcorn, coffee, shuttle service, bike rentals, range balls, bike rentals, outdoor game equipment, snowshoe rental, board games, and beach cabana water service.

There are 45 championship golf holes at Crooked Tree Golf Club and Bay Harbor Golf Club. The spa offers massages and you can take advantage of the fitness room, outdoor pool, or hammocks that look out over the lakeshore. Guests have four dining options to choose from with Sagamore’s Dining Room offering an elegant atmosphere that overlooks Little Traverse Bay. The South American Grille and Wine Bar is intimate and has live entertainment every week. The Inn Cafe has fresh ice cream, light meals and gourmet snacks. The Cabana Bar is open during the summer, serving tropical cocktails and poolside fare. If you are looking for unique lake vacations in Michigan, this is a great place to visit. Rooms start at $203 per night.

3600 Village Harbor Drive, Bay Harbor, MI 49770, Phone: 855-688-7023 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Inn at Bay Harbor, A Renaissance Golf Resort

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» Minnesota - Grand View Lodge

Minnesota - Grand View Lodge


Overlooking the tranquil waters of Gull Lake in Nisswa, Minnesota, Grand View Lodge is an elegant resort that offers luxurious accommodations, a championship golf course, world-class spa, and an array of activities for the whole family. Accommodations include cabins, cottages, townhouses, suites, and villas, all of which are fully furnished with chic décor, modern amenities, and have access to all the facilities at the resort.

Tucked away in a tranquil setting amidst pine trees and mineral-rich lakes, the award-winning Glacial Waters Spa will restore mind, body and soul with an array of indulgent treatments, while a nine-hole championship golf course will delight lovers of the game. Seven restaurants and eateries serve excellent cuisine: have burgers beachside at Loony’s Beach Hut or savor gourmet Italian fare by candlelight at the Italian Gardens. Grand View Lodge is one of the best vacation spots in Minnesota for spa lovers. Rooms are affordable, starting at $130 per night.

23521 Nokomis Avenue, Nisswa, MN 56468, Phone: 866-801-2951

More lake vacations: Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Tahoe, Lake Placid 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Grand View Lodge Golf Resort and Spa

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» Washington State - Lakedale Resort

Washington State - Lakedale Resort


Located on the beautiful San Juan Island in Washington State, Lakedale Resort offers both upscale hotel rooms and affordable accommodations in the form of camping in the summer. The property overlooks Three Lakes and a forest, offering visitors plenty of privacy. A fun weekend getaway from Seattle, Lakedale can be reached by ferry or floatplane.

Accommodation choices include modern hotel rooms, log cabins with fireplaces, and canvas cabins. Couples and families enjoy scenic lake and forest views from the rooms and common spaces. Vacation activities include swimming, canoeing, whale watching and wine tasting tours. Romantic cabins are relatively cheap, starting at $179 per night in the summer.

4313 Roche Harbor Road, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, Phone: 360-378-2350

Washington vacation spots: getaways from Seattle, Spokane, Bellevue 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Lakedale Resort

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» California - Gray Eagle Lodge

California - Gray Eagle Lodge


Gray Eagle Lodge in California is within the Lakes Basin Recreation area, giving guests the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of life and reconnect with nature. This pet-friendly lodge has two guest rooms in the building and 20 cabins spread throughout the property. The cabins are far enough from each other to give visitors a sense of privacy and you can find any size, from a romantic getaway for two to a cabin for the whole family.

Guests can enjoy numerous trails, which are dog-friendly. There are kid-friendly hikes and a natural swimming hole where families can play with rubber rafts or swim. Guests can go fishing, hiking, biking, and horseback riding, play a round of golf, or participate in watersports along the lake. There are various ponds in addition to the lake and guests can rent a kayak or a row boat. Firewoods Restaurant serves complimentary breakfast and dinner. Afterwards there are s’mores at the campfire. Rooms start at $245.

5000 Gold Lake Road, Graeagle, CA 96103, Phone: 800-635-8778

Top California destinations for couples: San Diego, Newport Beach and Healdsburg. 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Gray Eagle Lodge

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» New York - Belhurst Castle

New York - Belhurst Castle


The Finger Lakes region of NY is home to some of the best lakes on the East Coast. Belhurst Castle is divided into three different hotels, giving guests the ability to customize their vacation and decide what style of historic building they prefer to stay in. The Chambers in the Castle is a stone castle from the 1800s with 11 period guest rooms, 1 ranch home, and 2 cottages with rich woodwork, antiques, and oriental rugs. The Luxurious Vinifera Inn has a fireplace and Jacuzzi in each room so you can feel pampered.

To stay in a mansion from the Georgian Revival, select Historic White Springs Manor that has period rooms and a serene pond. The Isabella Spa lets you relax with a massage, body scrub, facial, hair styling, make-up, or foot and hand treatments. The Belhurst Castle is also a winery where you can indulge in wine tasting. Edgar’s is a restaurant with fine dining within the 19th-century Belhurst Castle. Stonecutter’s serves tavern-style cuisine and has live entertainment. Rooms start at $110 per night.

4069 West Lake Road, Geneva, NY 14456, Phone: 315-781-0201

Weekend getaways in New England: Portland, Vermont, Portsmouth 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Belhurst Castle

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»Best lakes in the U.S.: Oregon - Crater Lake Lodge

Best lakes in the U.S.: Oregon - Crater Lake Lodge



The Crater Lake Lodge in Oregon is a historic hotel that first opened in 1915 and still provides an atmosphere that will take you back to the 1920s with its rustic charm. The lodge is seasonal, open between late-May and mid-October, and offers 71 guest rooms. As a historic building designed to bring guests in touch with nature and take them back in time, do not expect a TV or phone in your room, and some rooms have tubs instead of showers.

There is, however, free Wi-Fi available as well as guest laundry and bell services. Make the most of Crater Lake by going fishing, on a boat-tour, bird-watching, hiking, running, biking, backpacking and rock-climbing. There are educational, family and children’s programs. The Crater Lake Dining Room serves local Oregon favorites, Annie Creek Restaurant & Gift Shop is buffet-style, while Rim Village Cafe is perfect for a quick bite to eat on the go.

1211 Avenue C , White City, OR 97503, Phone: 888-774-2728 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Crater Lake Lodge, Matthew Staver

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»Ohio - The Lodge At Geneva-On-The-Lake

Ohio - The Lodge At Geneva-On-The-Lake


The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake is located in Ohio's wine country overlooking Lake Erie. The resort is now in its second decade of providing relaxation, fun, and romance for guests. There are a total of 109 rooms at this resort, offering modern conveniences such as mini-fridges and high-speed internet. You can also get a room with a roll-away bed, crib, or microwave and there are nine room types of accommodations to choose from, including those with whirlpools, lake views, or balconies.

The resort has pools both indoors and outdoors, allowing guests to go swimming year-round and relax in hot tubs. The fitness center has everything you need to stay in shape during your vacation and although there is no on-site spa, the Lodge works with Lakehouse Inn & Spa which is just 0.25 miles away and offers a discount for Lodge guests. Guests can take the wine shuttle to nearby wineries or rent bikes. There are educational programs, including guided tours and the Conversation Series. The main restaurant is the Horizons Restaurant & Lodge, serving dishes prepared with local produce as well as exclusive wines. The Terrace Grille is on the outdoor patio overlooking Lake Erie and serves grilled specialties. Rooms are affordable, starting at $99. Find more quick getaways.

4888 North Broadway, Geneva, OH 44041, Phone: 866-806-8066 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: The Lodge At Geneva-On-The-Lake

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»West Virginia - Stonewall Resort

West Virginia - Stonewall Resort


The Stonewall Resort in West Virginia covers 1,900 acres of land, offering the perfect combination of outdoor recreation, adventure, and relaxation. The highlight is the Adirondack-style lodge with architecture from the 1920s and modern amenities in the 191 guest rooms. Families may prefer to stay in one of the cozy lakeside cottages in the saltbox style instead, each with hardwood floors, exposed wood beams, private decks and a gas grill.

There is an indoor/outdoor pool on site as well as a daily 100-passenger excursion boat, and many opportunities to swim, bike, hike, canoe, kayak, boat, fish, geocache, and golf. There are over 16 miles of trails for hiking and you can rent bikes or Segways as well. Rent pontoons at the Marina or get pampered at the Mtn. Laurel Spa. TJ Muskies Lounge offers a relaxed environment for good drinks with a pool table and music. Lightburn’s Restaurant at the Palmer Course is in the golf course’s clubhouse and serves light gourmet meals. Stillwaters is the signature restaurant with local, fresh cuisine. Rooms start at $130 per night.

940 Resort Drive, Roanoke, WV 26447, Phone: 888-278-8150 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Stonewall Resort

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»Arizona - London Bridge Resort

Arizona - London Bridge Resort


The London Bridge Resort is a gorgeous, full-service hotel right on the edge of Lake Havasu in Arizona, making it a perfect getaway. There are 122 spacious suites, including studio, resort suites, and deluxe suites, with one or two bedrooms. All suites include fully-equipped kitchens, Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs. Within the resort, you will find three pools as well as a whirlpool spa. There is also a splash pool with a 94-foot waterslide. The resort has an on-site marina, boat dock, and watersport rentals such as kayaks, paddleboats, and jet skis.

Throughout the property, you will find scenic walking paths or you can use up your energy at Kokomo Havasu, the largest of the Southwest’s dance clubs with 21 bars and 10,000 square feet of space. There is an on-site fitness center and a shoreline walking trail. The London Bridge Day Spa offers massages, facials, body scrubs, and more. Martini Bay has drinks, DJs, pork tenderloin, shrimp, and a casual atmosphere with outdoor seating. The Splash Grill serves a hot breakfast buffet and poolside meals. Rooms start at $119.

1477 Queens Bay, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403, Phone: 928-855-0888 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: London Bridge Resort

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»Oregon - Harriman Springs Resort & Marina

Oregon - Harriman Springs Resort & Marina


Harriman Springs Resort & Marina covers 14,400 acres of land with many areas to interact with nature or simply relax in a lodge-style resort atmosphere. Guests can either stay at a campsite, RV space, or one of the fully-furnished, luxurious cabins. Every cabin has two or three rooms and includes modern bathrooms, gas-burning fireplaces, a fully-equipped kitchen, cozy interiors, a flat screen TV with cable and DVD players, back patios with furniture, and propane BBQs.

The 10 tent sites and 10 RV sites each have access to laundry, bathrooms, fire pits, and picnic tables. The marina has a loading ramp, moorings for boats, and the ability to rent fishing or patio boats. You can rent a canoe or choose to go on a guided adventure. There is an on-site General Store for essential groceries and fishing supplies. Guests can go fishing, boating, bird watching, hiking and hunting in the summer. The Harriman Springs Restaurant and Bar has a gourmet menu as well as a range of wine and craft beer. Rooms start at $150.

26661 Rocky Point Rd, Klamath Falls, OR 97601, Phone: 844-733-2263

Romantic getaways in California: from Los Angeles, from San Diego, from San Francisco 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Harriman Springs Resort

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»Montana - Meadow Lake Resort

Montana - Meadow Lake Resort


Meadow Lake Resort is a golf resort near Flathead Lake, Glacier National Park, and Big Mountain at Whitefish, offering guests modern comforts with easy access to local natural wonders. The Inn at Meadow Lake includes 18 standard inn rooms as well as six spa rooms, each of which is right by the spa, golf pro shop, front desk, and restaurant. All inn rooms have patios or verandas to give guests views of the golf course or mountains, cable TV and DVD player, mini-fridge, microwave, and a coffee-maker.

There is also the option to do a resort vacation rental, in either a condominium or deluxe vacation home so you can feel as if you are at home. The resort organizes activities to keep your children entertained or you can spend some time with them in the family game room. There is a recreation center, volleyball, tennis, outdoor playground, fitness room, full service day spa, several indoor/outdoor pools and spas, and an 18-hole championship golf course. Truby’s Fine Food & Spirits has steaks, seafood, burgers, pasta, brick-oven pizza, and more. Fireside coffee is available to guests.

100 St. Andrews Drive, Columbia Falls, MT 59912, Phone: 406-892-8700

More ideas: 25 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Montana. 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Meadow Lake Resort

»Minnesota - Northern Lights Resort

Minnesota - Northern Lights Resort


The Northern Lights Resort is the perfect getaway for families who want to have a relaxing trip where they get to enjoy the outdoors with modern comforts. There are a total of 12 rental lodges and lake cabins for guests to choose from, some of which allow pets. The lodges vary in size, and are designed to comfortably fit four to six guests. Each has a rustic feel, gorgeous views, bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, dining rooms, living room, and more. The Fireside Lodge is the most spacious and sleeps 16 guests.

Some lodges have grills, picnic tables, fire pits, and private docks. While staying at Northern Lights, you can rent a boat, have fun on the floating water park for kids, go fishing, or borrow a mountain bike. In addition you can relax on the private beach, play beach volleyball, ride a hydrobike, watch satellite TV, go hiking, play lawn games, take advantage of Wi-Fi, relax in the sauna or with a book from the library. There is no restaurant on site, but occasional social events with snacks take place in the Aurora Room. Cabins start at $150 per night.

10179 Bay Club Road, Kabetogama, MN 56669, Phone: 800-318-7023

Midwest ideas: Chicago weekend getaways, Trips from Minneapolis 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Northern Lights Resort

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»Quebec, Canada - Fiddler Lake Resort

Quebec, Canada - Fiddler Lake Resort


Fiddler Lake Resort is a Quebec, Canada, resort with luxury cottages and 50 luxurious holiday homes guests can rent short-term in the St. Sauveur Valley, with six resort chalet styles to choose from. Each chalet offers an affordable relaxing option for one or two families to stay together, and some have private heated pools, saunas, and hot tubs. The chalets have anywhere between three and five bedrooms, making them great for groups up to 18. Each of these log cabins has high-speed wireless, full kitchens, heated floors, large screened porches, stone fireplaces, and cathedral ceilings.

Most have Jacuzzis and barbecues. The resort has a game room, heated indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, and Fiddler Lake. On the lake, you can pedal a boat or a canoe along 2.8 kilometers of water or go for a hike or snowshoe adventure in the nearby forest. You can rent a bike to enjoy the cycling paths throughout the area. Cuisine Spontanee Traiteur has gourmet food, take-out meals, and catering or you can head to Les Friands Gourmets for a spit roast or BBQ. Phone: 800-721-0371

More ideas: 26 Most Beautiful Romantic Places to Visit in Canada. 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Fiddler Lake Resort

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»Washington - Lochaerie Resort

Washington - Lochaerie Resort


Lochaerie Resort offers private cabins on Lake Quinault within the Olympic National Park and it has been giving guests a memorable vacation during all seasons since 1926. When it started, Lochaerie was a hostelry with cabins and today it is just the cabins, each of which has a rustic atmosphere with a private bath, full kitchen and fireplace. There are a total of six cabins to choose from, some of which date back to the 1920s or 1930s, each with one to three bedrooms.

As the resort is right in the middle of a natural area, every cabin gives guests gorgeous views, some with direct access to the various on-site walking paths. Guests can go birdwatching, search for the largest trees recorded in Olympic National Park, fishing (with a permit), or borrow a kayak or canoe. Other activities include geocaching, hiking, mushrooming, sailing, wildlife watching, and visiting Onion Rock. Although there is no restaurant on site, the full kitchens in each cabin allow you to prepare any food items you bring with you.

638 North Shore Road, Amanda Park, WA 98526, Phone: 360-288-2215

Oregon vacation spots: Portland, Eugene, Bend, Lincoln City 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Lochaerie Resort

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»Michigan - Halfway Lake Resort

Michigan - Halfway Lake Resort


Halfway Lake Resort in Michigan is situated within over 200 acres of gorgeous forest by Halfway Lake, giving guests a chance to listen to birds while sipping coffee. The resort has eight modern cottages on the lake, each of which has two bedrooms, a tub and shower, living room, dining area, Wi-Fi, satellite TV, and a full kitchen. Children have access to a playground and guests of all ages can take advantage of boating and fishing.

The resort has picnic tables, grills, a fire ring, lifejackets, kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and an outdoor hot tub. Water lovers can go swimming or take advantage of the fishing dock, without any need to get a license. The area is popular during warm weather for the water activities. There isn’t an on-site restaurant, but guests can go down the road for a prepared meal or make their own in their cabin’s kitchen.

16878 County Road 505, Newberry, MI 49868, Phone: 906-869-0098

More romantic vacations: Holland, Frankenmuth and Grand Rapids. 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Halfway Lake Resort

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»Best lakes on the East Coast: New York - The Hedges Of Blue Mountain Lake

Best lakes on the East Coast: New York - The Hedges Of Blue Mountain Lake


The Hedges of Blue Mountain Lake sits among the gorgeous Adirondack Mountains, NY and gives guests the ability to enjoy the Adirondack Park, lakes, forests, and Evergreens. Adults can choose to stay in one of the 12 lodge rooms. Families can pick between a cabin with up to four bedrooms or one of the four suites. You can rent the Lodge on Twitchell Lake, a 7-bedroom lodge perfect for family reunions and larger groups.

Each accommodation has relaxing rustic style with modern amenities. The Birch Room in the Moose Lodge is perfect for relaxing with a puzzle or game. Guests have free access to the fireplaces, sitting rooms, lodge porches, game room, tennis court, beach, docks, and boats. Boating, fishing, swimming, the Children’s Playground, libraries, and ping pong are popular activities. Guests can hike, bike, canoe, or white water raft through the Adirondack Park. The Dining Room serves a complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast, dinner with four courses, and an evening snack.

1 Hedges Rd. Blue, Mountain Lake, NY 12812, Phone: 518-352-7325

East Coast honeymoon vacations: Bar Harbor, Nantucket, Hilton Head Island 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: The Hedges Of Blue Mountain Lake

»British Columbia, Canada - Roche Lake Resort

British Columbia, Canada - Roche Lake Resort


While many people choose to visit Roche Lake Resort to go fishing, you can also simply spend the time connecting with nature as the resort is located along Roche Lake in Roche Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada. There are seven campsites that are just a short walk to the lodge and have picnic tables and campfire pits. Or you can stay in one of the 17 duplex chalets which are individually-owned, each with a unique appearance.

All chalets are around 900 square feet and can house 6 people. They have kitchens, fireplaces, dining areas, private washrooms, and balconies. The on-site Lodge has a convenience store, ice cream machine, Wi-Fi, and cell phone booster. The resort has an over-sized outdoor pool and a six-person hot tub which are open between May and September. Roche Lake Resort Steak & Trout House is the restaurant for those who don’t want to take advantage of the kitchen in their chalet. This fully-licensed restaurant specializes in steak and trout, but also has many other items, including a kids menu. Phone: 250-828-2007

More ideas: Romantic Trips in British Columbia. 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Roche Lake Resort

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»The Inn at Watervale

The Inn at Watervale


The Inn at Watervale is a relaxing retreat in Arcadia. The inn started as a summer resort in 1918, continuing this tradition today. The inn features a range of rooms as well as cottages, each of which has a unique history. Some of the buildings date back to the logging years in the late 1800s. Guests can stay at a room in the inn with shared baths for short stays or rent a cottage, each of which has a private bath, for a week at a time. Guests can take advantage of Lower Herring Lake to go for a swim or visit one of the beaches.

Crossing the bay brings you to Boo Hoo and the Point for diving from shore or you can float along the Outlet. There is enough Michigan shoreline for every guest to have their own area of the beach or you can hike or bike ride through the nearby wooded paths. Dinner at Watervale is announced with a dinner bell and is prepared with fresh local ingredients.

1244 Watervale Rd, Arcadia, MI 49613, Phone: 231-352-9083

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»Washington State - Ross Lake Resort

Washington State - Ross Lake Resort


Ross Lake Resort in the North Cascades National Park is the perfect place to go if you are looking to relax and get away from it all. The resort has three bunkhouses on log floats as well as 12 individual cabins. There are four styles of cabins, giving you the ability to house up to ten people and are furnished with running water, electricity, tableware, pots, pans, bedding, and towels.

While at the resort, you can rent a boat to explore Ross Lake, take a short boat ride, or take advantage of the boat that takes visitors to see the Seattle city lights. With its location in a National Park, guests can also go fishing and hiking, with miles of trails nearby. There isn’t a restaurant at the resort as it is designed as a retreat, so be sure to bring food to prepare in your cabin’s kitchen.

503 Diablo St, Rockport, WA 98283, Phone: 206-386-4437 20 Best Lake Vacations in North America - Photo: Ross Lake Resort

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20 Best Lake Vacations in North America