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10 Great Lakes to Get Your ‘Boating On’ this Summer

Summer is here, which means vacations and getaways on the water are here. Whether you own your own boat or simply like to rent one when possible, boating on a lake provides you with great views, plenty of sunshine, lots of fishing and exploration, and a variety of memories.

No matter if you want to stay local or head out of state, or if you’re looking for a party location or someplace a little more tame, be sure to check out the 10 great lakes to get your boating on this summer.

Lake of the Ozarks

Even if you’re wondering what happened to Party Cove at Lake of the Ozarks, you can still have a lot of fun taking a boat out on the water.

This large reservoir is located near the Osage River in central Missouri, and it’s definitely a popular spot for those who like the outdoors and ample entertainment.

Plus, even though plenty of people still head there to party; it’s calmed down a bit over the years and is a great place for families as well.

Priest Lake, Idaho

Close to Canada, Priest Lake is a 19-mile freshwater lake is housed in a small town that gets overwhelmed with visitors when the summer comes.

Rent cabins, go hiking, and definitely be sure to hit up Indian Rock.

Lake Travis, Texas

From Devil’s Cove to Hippie Hollow, there are plenty of places for you to explore at Lake Travis, Texas.

In addition to the other boaters you’ll meet along the way, you can also take in the barge equipped with a water slide, stereo system, and margarita maker.

Keep in mind it’s not party central all year round, so you can still head there for some relaxing boating expeditions too.

Lake Havasu, Arizona

Notorious for spring breakers, Lake Havasu is the lake you want to experience when it’s time to party. In fact, this location has been the destination for MTV’s Spring Break more than once, proving it’s a college student favorite.

If you want to explore this area, either be ready to have a lot of fun or head there during a slower season for less traffic.

Lake Tahoe, California

With a beach bar, plenty of sand volleyball, and a variety of restaurants, Lake Tahoe delivers an incredible experience for any boater looking for a good time.

Plus, Lake Tahoe is actually located in both California and Nevada, so you can easily opt for day trips to some of your favorite destinations while visiting this area.

Lake Saint Clair, Michigan

Lake Saint Clair takes boating up a notch by offering a pizza boat delivery service. That’s right. If you’re anchored up trying to catch fish or just enjoy the scenery, you can have your own pizza delivered right to your boat.

Lake Norman, North Carolina

North Carolina has a lot of great activities and boating adventures, but Lake Norman is one of the most popular. During the summer, boaters like to line up together and create one big party, which is nothing short of a good time.

Lake Martin, Alabama

If your dream boating vacation includes plenty of water along with things to do, then Lake Martin is a must-visit. Here, you’ll not only have access to a 41,000-acre lake, but you can also enjoy cliff jumping and plenty of beach adventures.

Marina Del Ray, California

Close to Los Angeles, Marina Del Ray is a manmade harbor that is home to some of California’s most elite.

Even if you don’t have a yacht like most of the people who live here, you’ll definitely want to stop by and see the great views along with how the other half live.

Lake Placid

Boating with a view is easy at Lake Placid. After all, it’s not every day you go boating with the Adirondack Mountains behind you.

In addition to great scenery, you’ll enjoy two unique islands that are perfect for picnics or camping. Plus, there are smallmouth bass, perch, and trout galore if you’d like to go fishing.

Lake Placid also isn’t notorious for parties, so if you want something that delivers a quieter experience, this would be it.

Summertime is meant for boating, and if you want parties or you want isolation, you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for when you opt for one of these 10 best summer boating locations.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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