See Lake Geneva Your Way

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US Mailboat Tour

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Jazz Dinner Cruise

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Supper Club Dinner Cruise

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Cocktail Cruise

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Sunday Brunch Buffet Cruise

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Luncheon Cruise

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Black Point Tour

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Full Lake Cruise

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Best of the Lake Cruise

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Ice Cream Social Cruise

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Lake Geneva Cruise Line

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Enjoy all the scenic beauty of Geneva Lake as you cruise around the lake in the choice of several tours. Public Tours include the Ice Cream Social, Sundowners cocktail cruise, full and partial lake tours and the US Mail Boat tour, which has been featured on the Discovery Channel. Private tours can be arranged for weddings and special events, including the Black Point Estates tour. Regular season runs from May-October, can start earlier depending on weather. CLICK HERE for a list of all their tours. The regualr season boat tours depart from the Riviera Docks in downtown Lake Geneva.

Enjoy the holiday season with a magical Santa Cruise aboard the Grand Belle at the Lake Geneva Cruise Line. This cruise will depart Thanksgiving through New Year’s from the tour boats’ winter harbor located in Williams Bay, all in support of “Santa Cause”. Tours Depart Wednesday through Sunday at 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm and 8:30pm from 1 Liechty Dr. Williams Bay.  Tours will not be running on December 24th and 25th.

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Because life's too short to stay home …, gawking in lake geneva, on a mansion-lined footpath, walking is a spectator sport..

A speedboat cruises past Lake Geneva's Stone Manor.

© Beth Gauper

There are thousands of lakes in the north woods, but the most famous one is a stone's throw from Illinois.

Lake Geneva has been the favorite retreat of Chicago folks for 150 years, and everybody who was anybody had a place there: the Wrigleys, Maytags and Schwinns, but also cartoonists, actors, brewers and bottle-cap makers.

Geneva will seem citified to people who vacation on woodland lakes. There's a good reason to go there, though: It's entertaining to gawk at extreme wealth, and there's no better place to do it than Lake Geneva.

The rich built fabulous estates along the 20 miles of shoreline — French chateaus, Tudor lodges, turreted Queen Annes and one Buddhist temple, formerly the Ceylon pavilion at the 1893 World's Fair.

Many are gone, but many remain, alongside newer homes that are bigger and more resplendent than the originals.

Lake Geneva was named a Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which cited its "historical spectrum of American residential architecture."

Miraculously, tourists can see the mansions up close from a footpath used by the Potawatomi and honored by early lakefront landowners.

Today, the rich and poor alike have the right of way on a 2-foot strip around the lake, and they can ogle all they like.

We walked the path one Memorial Day weekend, starting from Library Park in the town of Lake Geneva and heading counterclockwise, along the stretch that was first to be settled.

A few of the houses were close to the water, and we felt like voyeurs traipsing by owners relaxing or grilling on their patios.

But soon the lawns began unrolling in green carpets, putting the mansions at a regal remove. We passed estates owned by the Rockefellers, the Wrigleys and the Swifts.

Even more striking than the buildings were the towering oaks, the carefully pruned shrubs, the tulips and azaleas and pale-blue clouds of forget-me-not.

There were gazebos and ornate boathouses and iron bridges with whimsical dragonflies and ferns worked into their railings.

People walking around Geneva Lake.

At Glen Fern, a 1911 Beaux Arts manor built by a judge, waterfalls coursed down the hillside, and we stopped to watch a yellow-headed bird twittering in a sycamore.

It takes a lot of money to be rich, we realized. Many of the docks still were piled on lawns, massive piles of lumber and steel awaiting the sturdy marina men and their crane.

The boats were high-maintenance teak and mahogany. The vast lawns were lush and devoid of dandelions.

In this town, we deduced, it pays to be a marina owner or a gardener.

Sometimes, the path was nothing but grass. But more often, it was slabs of glowing limestone, or glazed bricks embossed with patterns. A few times, owners gave us a friendly nod as we walked by.

There are a thousand stories about the people on Geneva Lake. House in the Woods, intended as a spring birthday present, was built in the winter of 1905 under a circus tent borrowed from the P.T. Barnum Circus, wintering in nearby Delavan.

The largest house, the 1901 Stone Manor, was built by Otto Young, a penniless German immigrant who sold costume jewelry on the streets of New York but moved to Chicago after the 1871 fire and acquired seemingly worthless land that now is the Loop.

It'd be fun to own a place here, we thought, if only because then we'd know all the gossip. It must be fairly juicy; the creators of "The Young and the Restless" developed the soap opera while living in the 1929 palazzo Casa del Sueño.

We walked another trail in Williams Bay, through the Kishwaukétoe nature preserve, treading a boardwalk over wetlands thick with wildflowers as a turkey vulture circled overhead.

We emerged onto a restored prairie, then Highway 67, the main drag through town.

Following it back to the lakefront, we stopped at the Skagen Hus, a Scandinavian imports started by John Conlin and his Danish wife, Marianne. Conlin said the village bought the 230-acre property in 1989 for $1.2 million, finally ending the clamor from developers.

"There was a lot of wrenching of hands and big speeches, but now it looks like a great deal," he said.

A sailboat on Lake Geneva.

It's impossible to spend time around Geneva Lake without thinking about money. Walking by the municipal pier in Fontana, we noticed the steep launch fees, even for a kayak.

In the town of Lake Geneva, it costs $25 an hour to park a yacht at pier. People who want to tool around the lake in a rented motorboat pay $105 an hour, and sunbathers pay $7 to use Riviera Beach.

People-watching is free, though, and since the tourists buzzing around Lake Geneva's waterfront reflect the diversity of Chicago, it was top-notch. We also enjoyed the two-hour Full Lake Tour from Geneva Cruise Lines.

It's a good way to find out more about the houses and the people who lived in them, and as the Walworth headed down the lake, we listened intently to the narration.

The women sitting in front of us were too young to care that the 1930s radio show "Amos and Andy" was broadcast from the porch of one home, and they were bored before we reached Williams Bay.

"Oh, look, another big house," one said sarcastically. "I don't know those people."

"Yeah, it gets kind of old after a while," her friend replied.

Besides mansions, there are condo complexes, a country club, a state park and two youth camps. But we also found one classic 1950s resort in Williams Bay, with a small beach and a walk lined by tidy cottages, and when we walked through it, every guest looked very pleased to be there.

Nancy and Jim Maiers have run Chippewa Resort since 1971, and there's rarely an opening because everybody comes back every year.

"We get approached all the time, 'Can we buy our cabin?' " Nancy Maiers said. "But there's wonderful camaraderie; people just love each other, and you can't buy that."

After Labor Day, things ease up. "September is gorgeous," Maiers says.

We heard the same thing while dining at Medusa Grill and Bistro in Lake Geneva, where we struck up a conversation with Duane and Cheryl Halleck of Homer Glen, Ill., a Chicago suburb.

The two visit frequently, bringing their dogs and walking around the lake, watching the landscape change from spring's tulips to summer's roses and lilies.

"It gets crazy here on the weekends in summer, so we try to come on weekdays," Cheryl Halleck said. "And fall is gorgeous."

Even when it's crazy, though, you have to hand it to Lake Geneva: It's one of a kind.

Walking around Geneva Lake.

© Torsten Muller

Trip Tips: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Getting there: It's an hour and a half from Chicago and an hour or less from Madison and Milwaukee.

When to go: September is quiet but beautiful. May and June also are good times to visit. It's quite crowded in July and August and on October weekends.

What to know: Businesses in the entire area say they're in "Lake Geneva," but the village of Lake Geneva is just one of three small towns on Geneva Lake; the others are Fontana and Williams Bay. Nearby Lake Como also is part of the "Lake Geneva" area.

Annual events: First week of February, Winterfest and National Snow Sculpting Championships. Mid-August, Art in the Park and Venetian Festival . October, Oktoberfest.

Lake cruises: The Lake Geneva Cruise Line gives narrated tours from May from October, including the one-hour Geneva Bay Tour, two-hour Full Lake Tour, 2½-hour U.S. Mailboat Tour, 3½-hour Black Point Estate Tour and brunch, lunch, dinner, music and ice-cream social tours.

Reserve in advance, especially on weekends and holidays.

A pretty bay on Geneva Lake.

Lake walk: It's 20 miles, depending on the source. We used the guide "Touring the Geneva Lake Shore Path," which puts the mileage at 19½.

It says that from Williams Bay, it's a 6½-mile or 13-mile walk back to Library Park, depending on which way you walk; from Fontana, it's 8¼ miles or 11¼ miles. It's available at local gift shops.

The guide "Walk, Talk and Gawk," however, puts the distance is 21 miles, and says the walk is 10 miles either way from Fontana.

Lake Geneva Cruise Line advertises Lake Walk tours , in which hikers can walk seven to 10 miles around the lake and travel the rest of the way by boat. Reserve in advance.

Using a stroller would be difficult, and bicycling isn't possible; many spots require climbing steps or making narrow turns.

Canoe and kayak launch: It's free from Chapin Road, but there's no parking. There are fees from the Fontana launch and the Lake Geneva pier, a block east of Riviera Beach.

The walking path around Geneva Lake.

Accommodations: Nearly all the resorts, hotels and inns list their addresses as Lake Geneva, but the only ones in the town and on the lake are the Bella Vista Suites , Harbor Shores and, three blocks away on the lake path, Eleven Gables Inn & Cottage , which welcomes dogs.

The 1856 Maxwell Mansion is near the Baker House, two blocks from the lake near downtown.

The Cove of Lake Geneva and Mill Creek Hotel are just around the corner on Center Street, between the lakefront and downtown.

A short walk from downtown, SevenOaks is a bed-and-breakfast inn with nine suites, each with a porch, stone fireplace and spa tub, in seven one-floor buildings.

On the northeast corner of the lake, the modest Lake Geneva Motel is just a block from Lakeshore Drive on Wells Street and walking distance from downtown. It has tidy rooms and, in summer, small cabins and a small outdoor pool.

On the opposite side of the lake in Fontana, the Abbey Resort is a sprawling complex with a large marina that separates it from the lake.

An ocean-liner boathouse on Geneva Lake.

Not far away, near Big Foot Beach State Park, the Geneva Inn is a hillside boutique hotel on the lake, and rates include a breakfast buffet in its Grandview Restaurant.

In Williams Bay, I liked the Chippewa Resort , a darling family-run 1950s resort with a sand beach, a lawn and unbeatable prices. It's hard to get in, though; proprietors Nancy and Jim Maiers accept reservations on Feb. 14 for the year, 262-245-9566.

The huge Grand Geneva Resort & Spa , which Hugh Hefner opened in 1968 as the Playboy Club, is on neither Geneva Lake or Lake Como. It's on a beautifully landscaped acreage just east of Lake Geneva and has 36 holes of golf, a spa and a large sports club.

Just down the drive, the family-oriented Timber Ridge Lodge has an indoor water park.

Camping: Big Foot Beach State Park , a mile south of Lake Geneva, is right on the lake, with a quarter-mile sand beach, and has campsites with showers.

Dining: On Main Street, Sopra Bistro is a friendly little places that serves sophisticated and rich versions of classic dishes and has a nice beer list.

Also on Main Street, the Egg Harbor Cafe is popular for breakfast and lunch.

In Williams Bay, we liked the adorable and friendly Daddy Maxwell's Antarctic Circle Diner, famous for its French toast and pancakes.

Most restaurants are priced for the Chicago crowd; those on a budget will find plenty of places to pick up sandwiches or pizza.

Craft beer: In a repurposed church downtown, Topsy Turvy Brewery serves its own beer and has a patio.

Information: Lake Geneva chamber , 800-345-1020; Geneva Lake West chamber, 877-275-5102.

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Lake Geneva Ziplines and Adventures

Adventure BIG

Year-Round Outdoor Thrills for Every Adventurer

Free 48-Hour Cancellation

Good Times Ahead

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Award-winning Fun!

We've been recognized among the top 10% of attractions worldwide.

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Here's what you need to know

Bookings of 7 or fewer guests may receive a full refund for any cancellation made 48 hours prior to the start time of their tour. Tours canceled 48-24 hours before their tour start time receive a voucher for store credit in the full amount of the booking. Cancellations made on the day of the event are not refundable.  

Endless Ways to Adventure

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Zipline Tours

Fly through our 100-acre property on 9 unique ziplines.

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High Ropes Course

Experience Lake Geneva’s 17-obstacle jungle gym in the sky.

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Climbing Tower

The Climbing Tower has something for everyone—3 walls, 12 routes to the top, plus a vertical obstacle course!

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Group Bonding & Team Building

Save on our Zipline Tour or High Ropes Excursion for your group of 8 or more.

Outdoor Education for Families & Students

From guided hikes on our 12+ miles of trails, to learning how to build the ultimate camp fire and outdoor shelter, to outdoor lessons that explore the environment around us, we have something for most group sizes and interests.

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Team Building

When you're looking for more than team bonding, Team Building programs offer teams the opportunity to become stronger and more successful. Lake Geneva Ziplines & Adventures will customize a program to help you meet your objectives and have fun along the way.

Adventure Together

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Birthday & Bachelorette Parties!

Come celebrate with us! We have the adventure and the space to hang out.

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Indoor & outdoor Meeting & Rental Spaces

Reserve indoor and outdoor spaces for your party or corporate event.

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12-Miles of Hiking & Biking Trails

Enjoy over 12 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.

“The whole site is beautiful. We had a great time, felt safe and now we want to come back in the winter to try it in the snow!"

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Our Mission

We share our passion for the outdoors by enabling guests to explore outside their comfort zones through hands-on adventures. Our team specializes in providing superior customer service while maintaining the highest standards of safety in the outdoor industry.

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Lake Geneva Ziplines Adventures Gift Certificates are available for all of our Eco Adventures. Our gift certificates have no expiration date and are non-refundable. Please be aware taxes are not included in the dollar amount purchases as tax rates may change.

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Such a Short Drive for So Much Fun!

Using a Google Maps to get here? We recommend searching "Lake Geneva Ziplines and Adventures'" rather than using our street address.

N3232 County Road H Lake Geneva, WI 53147

262-248-9271 [email protected] (Typical response Time: 2 business days. Call or chat for immediate help.)

An Easy Drive From All Around

From Madison, WI: 1 hr 20 min From Milwaukee, WI: 1 hr From Rockford or northern Chicago: 1 hr

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N3232 County Road H Lake Geneva, WI 53147 262-248-9271

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Book your Family Fun Food Tour Here!

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Tours begin 

Saturdays at 1030am.

All reservations can be made by either:

Phone call to (262)470-7141, our team will answer all day every day.

Email a request for invoice to [email protected]

OR visit our Tripadvisor listing :

For more information about the tour, read on in our blog, press release or

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Important Notes and Considerations

1- The Family Fun Food Tour is unable to accommodate special diet requests at this time. Special diet requests might include low salt, low carb, vegetarian, and allergy concerns. Lake Geneva Tours is working to make accommodations possible in the future.

2- The tour requires some light walking, which is approximately 1.5 miles of walking in a 3 hour time frame

3- While the Food Tour reservation is required a week in advance, payment may be made shortly after reservation as needed. Call or email for details or to place your order.

4- Please call or email if you have Children under 12 you intend to bring on the tour.

5- Please call or email if you have a group of more than 4. 

6- Private groups might be arranged, please call or email for details.

What Food is Included in the tour

Our tour is a celebration of the rich culture and historical people groups of the area: 

Enjoy italian beef served up from Gino’s East

Taste fresh-roasted Geneva National Roast coffee

Crunch into a cinnamon-covered churro

Say Cheeese! With your own personal cheese platter

Finish the tour with a Cinnamon-Sweet Churro

What about extras?

Each food stop will include a cool glass of ice water.

The establishments offer many other beverage options.

Feel free to place your own private order for a beverage or food item not included with the tour itself.

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Lake Geneva Cruise Line

1 - Tours

Founded in 1873, Lake Geneva Cruise Line is deeply rooted in the history of Lake Geneva. Our fleet of eight classic boats from a variety of historical eras, gets locals and visitors out on the water! We offer a wide variety of boat tours including narrated scenic tours; brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises; and private parties.

May through October you will find us at the Riviera Docks in Lake Geneva. Tours run daily, and tickets can be purchased from our ticket boat on the docks or online. Popular tours include our Geneva Bay tour featuring breathtaking historical estates, our US Mailboat tour including mail jumpers delivering the mail to lake homes, and our Fall Foliage tour flaunting beautiful fall colors.

Late November and December you will find us at our winter harbor in Williams Bay. We celebrate the holiday season with families as we cruise over to Santa’s Hideaway aboard our Santa Cruise.

Our boats cruise May through December, but our office is open year-round as we help families, couples, and businesses plan private parties, weddings, and corporate outings.

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80 Best Small Lake Towns in the U.S.

L ake life is rich with simple pleasures. Summer entices with boating, swimming and various water sports. Year-round fishing brings anglers from all over to enjoy the bounty. Hiking trails provide an active escape into the wilderness, with lake views in the distance. 

But it’s the small towns situated along these majestic lakes that deserve attention. Rustic cabins, swanky resorts, down-home dining, elevated cuisine, bustling breweries and historic downtowns thriving with art galleries, antique shops and boutiques add culture and dimension to the bodies of water nearby. 

We rounded up 80 small lake towns with populations of 20,000 or less for you to enjoy the beauty and peace you’re looking for in one of the thousands of lakes across the United States.

Note: We may earn money from affiliate partners if you buy through links on our site.

80. Oswego, New York

Population:  17,470

Where to stay: Best Western Plus Oswego Hotel And Conference Center 

Best time to visit:  Summer brings with it a number of cool outdoor festivals where you’ll enjoy good food, live music and friendly sports.

*All population numbers come from the latest census records.

The Experience: Oswego

Oswego's location at the meeting point of Lake Ontario and Oswego River makes it perfect for those who love the water. You’ll be able to enjoy both river and lake activities as well as pretty mountain scenery. 

The town is also pretty on its own and has a surprisingly diverse dining scene that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a town with less than 20,000 people.

79. Wahiawa, Hawaii

Population:  17,122

Where to stay:  Wahiawa apartment

Best time to visit:  April to October is the dry season in Hawaii, so if you want to avoid heavy rains, this is the best time to go.

The Experience: Wahiawa

Hawaii is known more for its beaches than its lakes, but that doesn't mean you can't take a lake vacation in the beautiful state. 

Smack dab in the middle of Oahu, Wahiawa is graced with its namesake reservoir. This is one of the few lakes in the state where you are allowed to fish, though be prepared to release anything you catch. The lake is very peaceful since it's mostly reserved for recreational fishing, which means that you won't have to worry about screaming tourists driving your catch away. 

Wahiawa also provides the opportunity to experience a different side of Hawaii — one that is closer to the mountains than to the beach. Of course, the beach is always a short drive away. 

78. Laconia, New Hampshire

Population: 16,476

Where to stay: Lake Opechee Inn and Spa

Best time to visit: Come during summer for swimming. In fall, enjoy the New England foliage and have guaranteed solitude.

The Experience: Laconia

Laconia is a tiny town with a relatively small lake. But size is part of what makes the area an idyllic lake vacation spot. 

You won’t have to worry about loud crowds, banks full of trash and no parking spaces. Lake Opechee is as tranquil as it gets, so you’ll be able to hear the birds sing and feel like you have the water almost all to yourself.

77. Burrillville, Rhode Island

Population:  16,158

Where to stay:  Private Island Cabin on Lake

Best time to visit:  If you love lake beaches, we recommend coming in the summer, when in-the-know Rhode Islanders flock to Spring Lake Beach. If swimming is not a requirement, however, come in the fall to enjoy the New England foliage.

The Experience: Burrillville

Burrillville is a unique town that divides itself into "villages" rather than neighborhoods. The villages are all named after old mills. In the summer, the most popular of these villages is Glendale, which sits on the shores of Spring Lake. This beachy lake is warm on the surface and cool underneath. It is also clear and sandy, so you won't need water shoes.

Glendale also has all the summer beach staples that you could want from a historic town: an arcade that's almost 90 years old, rides for kids, a beanbag toss game and a waterslide. Fried foods are also easy to acquire. There's even a diving dock to practice your form. 

Note: Spring Lake is only one of the town's lakes. There's also the Wilson Reservoir, the Pascoag Reservoir and the Crystal Lake, which is next to an eponymous golf course.

76. Payson, Arizona

Population:  15,545

Where to stay:  Wooden Nickel Cabins

Best time to visit: Go in the spring to enjoy water sports and activities without having to survive the oppressive heat of the Arizonan summer.

The Experience: Payson

Located near the center of the state, Payson labels itself as "the heart of Arizona." The small town is not marked by one big lake, but rather, by a collection of several small-ish lakes within and around it. 

Boating, kayaking and fishing are particularly popular pastimes. For a variety of lakeside activities, make sure you visit Woods Canyon Lake and Chevelon Lake.

75. Lakeway, Texas

Population:  15,138 

Where to stay: Lakeway Resort and Spa 

Best time to visit:  Spring is the perfect moment to visit, since the days are warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities on land and in the water, but they’re not sweltering.

The Experience: Lakeway

If you need an escape from Austin, take a break in nearby Lakeway, where you’ll be able to fish, sail and do water sports on Lake Travis. The town is welcoming and friendly, and there’s not much more to do than enjoy the water.

Hey, that’s good in our lake town book.

74. Mount Dora, Florida

Population:  13,897

Where to stay:  Cottage with boat ramp

Best time to visit:  Spring and fall are the perfect time to go swimming in Florida. It's still hot enough to jump into cold lake waters, but it's not fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk hot. The crowds are also fairly controlled.

The Experience: Mount Dora

Florida is so famous for its beaches that its lakes are often ignored by both Floridians and outsiders. If you don’t want to make this common mistake, plan a trip to Mount Dora. 

The town is situated on Lake Dora in Lake County. Not surprisingly, there are several other small lakes like Lake Beauclair and Lake Carlton. Boating is bigger than big here, but there is also a golf course, parks and cultural museums around town.

Since Mount Dora is a mere 40 minutes from Orlando, it can be an easy day trip for when you want a break from all the theme parks.

73. Mountain Home, Arkansas

Population:  12,393

Where to stay:  Home on Lake Norfork

Best time to visit:  Mountain Home is the most beautiful in the fall, given that Arkansas is famous for its foliage. Despite the cooler weather, you can still engage in water sports like boating or simply enjoy the beautiful lake views and hiking trails.

The Experience: Mountain Home

Located within the southern Ozark Mountains, Mountain Home is a perfect lakeside destination. The city has long been a lake resort town, thanks to its position between Norfork Lake and Bull Shoals Lake. It has a lot to offer in terms of pretty cabins by the lake as well as shopping and dining. You'll find bars, boutique shops and restaurants in the city center. 

Most people rent a lake house and spend the day enjoying water activities, then hit the town at night. Of course, you're more than welcome to stay in the house with your group and take in the quietness of the lake.

72. Eufaula, Alabama

Population: 12,065

Where to stay:  Baker Street Bed and Breakfast

Best time to visit:  Winter tends to see a number of bass fishing competitions.

The Experience: Eufaula, Alabama

Straddling the border between Alabama and Georgia, Lake Eufaula is one of the best bass fishing spots , even earning the name of "Bass Fishing Capital of the World."

The eponymous Alabama town that surrounds it takes this title very seriously, hosting a number of fishing competitions year-round that bring in thousands of visitors to the area. When you're not on the lake (though you'll want to spend most of your time there), you'll want to walk around the historic town and see its well-kept buildings that date back centuries. 

71. Port Washington, Wisconsin

Population: 11,000

Where to stay:  Large historic house

Best time to visit: Winter can be inclement, so we recommend heading over in the summer when the water will be pleasant.

The Experience: Port Washington

The absolute coolest thing to do in Port Washington is to go on a scuba diving shipwreck tour. Yes, Lake Michigan is gigantic enough to have numerous shipwrecks. You can even get your certification while visiting. 

If diving isn't your thing, you can still enjoy the lake from the harbor or at North Beach Park. 

70. Clinton, Tennessee

Population: 9,964

Where to stay: Hickory Star

Best time to visit: Come the first weekend in October to attend the Clinch River Antique Festival . Over 100 antique dealers line the streets, while food, entertainment and antique shops stay open for late night fun. 

The Experience: Clinton

Rated in the top 10 antiquing districts in the country, Historic Downtown Clinton oozes small town charm. Along with its antiques, collectibles and gifts, the area is rich in unique eateries like Hoskins Restaurant , which features an authentic 1940s soda fountain. 

Meanwhile, the pristine beauty of Norris Lake is minutes away. A stay at Hickory Star provides topnotch access to the lake. 

69. Lake Arrowhead, California

Population: 8,940

Where to stay: Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa  

Best time to visit: Summer is by far the best time to visit this quaint lake town. Unlike winter, when the weather is very cold and partly cloudy, summer welcomes warm-weather activities, while the village is alive with al fresco fun. 

The Experience: Lake Arrowhead

Nicknamed the “Alps” of Southern California, Lake Arrowhead is tucked into the San Bernardino National Forest, offering bountiful activities from dining and imbibing to hiking, cycling, boating, fishing and more. A stay at the town’s renowned Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa will position you in the middle of all the action. 

Since the lake is private, you’ll have access to lakeside luxury, including exclusive access to boating and the beach. Sip a beer with a breathtaking view at Lake Arrowhead Brewing Co ., enjoy a wine flight and delicious eats at The Grapevine , go to Skypark for an epic day of activities, and on your way out of town, treat yourself to the shrimp and grits at Stone Creek Bistro . 

68. Sandpoint, Idaho

Population: 8,386

Where to stay: The Lodge at Sandpoint

Best time to visit: June through October promises comfortable temperatures. July is especially enticing, when the lake is warm and the landscape surrounding it is a vibrant green.

The Experience: Sandpoint

Situated on Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, with its world class hiking and biking trails, ski slopes and more. A stay at The Lodge at Sandpoint will put you up close and personal to the lake, making for easy access to boating, fishing and swimming.

Events , including theatrical performances, concerts and fairs, thrive in the summer. Situated in the rugged Selkirk Mountains, Schweitzer Mountain Resort entices as well, with its uncrowded ski slopes and beautiful views of the lake below. 

67. Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Population: 8,262

Where to stay: Bayou Cabins

Best time to visit: Come in May when the small lake town hosts its annual, world-famous Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival . 

The Experience: Breaux Bridge

Situated on the shores of Lake Martin, this small lake town is known as “the crawfish capital of the world.” Stay at the original bed and breakfast, Bayou Cabins, for an authentic Cajun experience. 

The lake is home to the largest nesting area of wading birds in the country, earning it a spot on Audubon Society’s top 10 bird watching spots in the U.S. Visitors can also enjoy world-class fishing here and in the Atchafalaya Basin. Stroll through downtown for a lovely array of antique shops and quaint boutiques, and be sure to dine at Buck & Johnny’s for a menu filled with mouthwatering Cajun dishes. 

66. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Population: 7,894

Where to stay: Maxwell Mansion

Best time to visit: Skip the peak of tourism, and come in October. You’ll catch the stunning fall foliage, while many scenic boat tours and signature cruises continue throughout the month. 

The Experience: Lake Geneva

This small resort city is beaming with fun. Lodging at Maxwell Mansion is filled with luxurious charm. It was the first mansion built in Lake Geneva (in 1856!) and is known for hosting dignitaries and socialites. 

Outdoor adventures are endless in Lake Geneva. There’s ziplining, golfing, hiking and biking, petting zoos and horseback riding, lake activities, skiing and so much more! The annual Winterfest & the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championship makes the most of the snowy season. And the best lakeside dining can be found at Pier 290 , which is a year-round restaurant accessible by land, water and ice.

65. Whitefish, Montana

Population:  7,870

Where to stay:  Good Medicine Lodge

Best time to visit: Whitefish is a small town in the mountains , so it has things to do year-round. During the winter, skiing, Nordic trails, dog sleds, mountain climbing and sleigh rides are available. During the summer, Whitefish Lake and guided flying tours are open, as are the parks and farmers' markets. 

The Experience: Whitefish

Settled in 1903, Whitefish was a logging and railroad town for some five decades before the town found a new way to bring in dollars: golfing. By the mid-1990s, Whitefish had a 36-hole golf course, the largest in all of the vast state of Montana. 

It's still a railroad town today, although it has more to offer than 100 years ago. The surrounding area is full of farms that provide fresh meat and produce, which means you're spoiled for farm-to-table restaurant meals. 

Aside from the fantastic food, Whitefish is a fantastic place to hit the slopes. It's where 1994 Olympic gold medalist Thomas More learned to ski. 

64. Clewiston, Florida

Population:  7,781

Where to stay:  Lake condo with boat slip

Best time to visit:  Come during winter to enjoy fishing without running into alligators on the lake. Alligators like the sun, so cold weather is actually your friend.

The Experience: Clewiston

Surrounded by sugar cane farms, Clewiston is located on Lake Okeechobee — Florida's largest freshwater lake. 

Boating and fishing are the things to do here, with boat rentals and boat tours available from several providers around town. You won't want to swim here, though, given that the lake has a population of resident alligators. And while this may disrupt some of your lake-vacation fantasies, it does give you the opportunity to do an airboat ride and try to spot some of these reptiles.

Outside of the water, you can go golfing, visit the sugar factory or learn about the culture of the indigenous Seminole at the Thi-Ki Museum.

63. Devils Lake, North Dakota

Population: 7,344

Where to stay: Totten Trail Inn  

Best time to visit: Winters are frigid here, so plan a summer trip to enjoy swimming and boating.

The Experience: Devils Lake

Visitors flock to Devils Lake for its world-class hunting and fishing. Large numbers of walleye, northern pike and white bass, have earned it the reputation of being the “Perch Capital of the World.” 

Nearby Grahams Island State Park features more than 1,000 acres of wooded land to explore. Also, check out Ranch Steakhouse for dining in a restored barn and Proz Lakeside at the Cove for a quintessential sports bar experience, complete with an outdoor tiki bar. 

62. Winthrop Harbor, Illinois

Population: 6,705

Where to stay:  Large family home

Best time to visit:  Come during summer to actually enjoy the water without the merciless wind of winter.

The Experience: Winthrop Harbor

Straddling the border with Wisconsin, Winthrop Harbor is the northernmost Illinois lakeside community on Lake Michigan. Since it's only an hour and a half away from Chicago, it's a popular weekend getaway for weary city slickers. 

Head to North Point Beach for a sandy day, or get into nature at North Dunes Nature Preserve.

61. Monticello, New York

Population: 6,433

Where to stay: YO1 Wellness Resort

Best time to visit: Plan a trip around the second week of October for a first-class ticket to fall foliage and fun festivals like Oktoberfest. 

The Experience: Monticello

Located within the Catskills region, Monticello is a charming little town that offers prime access to camping, fishing and sought-after culinary endeavors like Cellaio , an Italian-inspired steakhouse with a menu curated by the acclaimed chef Scott Conant.

It’s also home to luxury wellness retreat YO1, which borders Bailey Lake. The colorful forests of the Catskills beg for exploration, whether on foot, mountain bike or via zipline. 

60. Hampstead, Maryland

Population: 6,401

Where to stay:  Woodland retreat

Best time to visit:  Yes, fall is gorgeous, but if you come in the summer, you can use a slide that goes straight into a lake, and it's hard to beat that.

The Experience: Hampstead

Other than a golf course, there isn't much going on in Hampstead outside of the water. But if what you want is to spend 98 percent of your summer splashing around, you'll find a lot of fun ways to pass the time. 

Cascade Lake is a favorite with families, particularly because it was a waterslide that goes straight into the lake. Believe us, you could spend the entire day sliding down time and time again. Swimming is highly encouraged. 

If you want to be in the water but don't really love swimming, head to Pretty Boy Reservoir instead. Though you won't be able to swim, you spend the day hiking and birdwatching in beautiful trails, or spend time in the water boating and fishing.

59. Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Population: 6,389

Where to stay: A waterfront lake house rental

Best time to visit: Dubbed “The Oldest Summer Resort in America,” the town beckons you to enjoy its charm during the warmer months. Some would argue autumn is the perfect time to come, however, with its fiery fall leaves leading hikers up Mount Major. 

The Experience: Wolfeboro

A resort area situated beside the 72-square-mile Lake Winnipesaukee, this lake town swells with visitors during the summer or for big events. Wolfeboro has several markets and festivals year-round to enjoy, including farmer’s markets, music festivals , antique boat and car shows, pond hockey tournaments and fishing derbies. 

Be sure to check out the new Pavilion Restaurant for seasonal cuisine in a charming atmosphere. 

58. Meredith, New Hampshire

Population:  6,384

Where to stay:  The Ballard House Inn

Best time to visit: Head on over to Meredith during the summer or fall seasons, where farmers markets will be stuffed with fresh goods and the water activities will be in full swing. 

The Experience: Meredith

Located mostly on Lake Winnipesaukee, Meredith used to be a farming community in the mid-1700s. By the mid-1800s, a railroad made it a popular summer resort.

Today, people still flock to the town to curl their toes on its beaches, take a leisurely trip on a paddleboat, or head to the Mills Falls market.

Jump on the small shuttle train and get a scenic ride to the nearby Weirs Beach. Then tour its bustling boardwalk. 

57. Big Bear Lake, California

Population:  5,241

Where to stay:  Fawnskin Cottage

Best time to visit: Beat the crowds and head to Big Bear during the spring. It's a slower time of year there, but you'll skip the influx of summer travelers. 

The Experience: Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake is surrounded by miles of the San Bernardino National Forest and 25 miles north of San Bernardino itself. It's a very popular tourist destination spot, which is why we're recommending a visit during the springtime months. 

There is tons to do in Big Bear. The lake itself is seven miles long and has numerous types of fish to catch, and there are many miles of hiking trails in the forest. And, of course, there's skiing during the winter. There's even an Alpine zoo and a solar observatory.

56. Osage Beach, Missouri

Population: 5,080

Where to stay: Margaritaville Lake Resort

Best time to visit: Late spring in Osage Beach has comfortably warm weather, ideal for those who can’t take the blistering heat the area experiences in the height of summer. 

The Experience: Osage Beach

Situated right on the Lake of the Ozarks, Osage Beach is home to a wide array of shops and local restaurants and ice cream parlors. Of course, you’ll want to spend your warm-weather days out on the lake, but a visit to Margaritaville Lake Resort for a cocktail is also worthy of your time.

Fun fact: This is the town where the Netflix show “Ozark” is set.

55. Lakeport, California

Population: 4,910

Where to stay: A cozy cottage by the lake on Airbnb

Best time to visit: Come at the tail end of peak season, which corresponds with harvest season for the area (August through October), to enjoy the lively energy without the high prices, plus the beautiful fall foliage. 

The Experience: Lakeport

Located along the west shore of Clear Lake, Lakeport puts you in the heart of Northern California’s wine country. The largest natural freshwater lake in the state, Clear Lake offers 68 square miles to enjoy a day in the sun. 

Popular activities include boating, fishing, off roading, bird watching, wine tasting at the over 30 wineries in the area and more. Check out Red’s at the Skyroom for California comfort food, sustainable proteins, handcrafted cocktails, and local beer and wines. 

54. Bigfork, Montana

Population: 4,668

Where to stay: Flathead Lake Lodge

Best time to visit: The summer is short but enjoyable, so catch it while it lasts from early July to mid-August. 

The Experience: Bigfork

Bigfork has it all. It’s equal parts ski village, lakeside resort and Wild West town. Resting on the shores of Flathead Lake, Flathead Lake Lodge is a family-owned and -operated Dude Ranch offering visitors endless recreation. 

Take part in sailing, lake cruises, stand-up paddleboarding, wakesurfing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and lakeside campfires, or explore the allure of the Rocky Mountains. Stop for a bite at Stone Hill Kitchen for local, fine dining cuisine, and be sure to kick back with a cold one at Flathead Lake Brewing Co .

53. Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona

Population:  4,370

Where to stay:  Mountain Haven Inn

Best time to visit:  Summer in Arizona can be incredibly hot, so spring and early fall are actually the best time to enjoy the lake while it's still warm.

The Experience: Pinetop-Lakeside

If you think Arizona is all arid desert, think again. Pinetop-Lakeside is a lush wonderland of lakes and forests that will bust every stereotype you have of the state. In fact, this is where Arizonans who do live in the desert come for a change of scenery. 

The town is surrounded by nature trails, and Woodland Lake provides a space for some outdoor fun. If you want even more nature, you can visit the Jacques Marsh Wildlife Area. Or, if on the contrary, you want to be outdoors but still in civilization, do some rounds at the Pinetop Lakes Golf & Country Club.

52. South Haven, Michigan

Population:  4,354

Where to stay:  Inn at the Park

Best time to visit:   You can't wrong visiting any time of year. But if you like warmer weather, summer is when to come to South Haven. It's perfect for nature lovers with scenic trips everywhere you look. 

The Experience: South Haven

Located at the mouth of Black River on Lake Michigan, South Haven is a gorgeous resort town with beaches, hiking trails and orchards. Go for a local wine sampling in the center of town, visit one of several museums, or take your pooch to Decadent Dogs . 

And be sure to visit Clementine's , a restaurant favored among locals that serves classic American food. It's situated in an 1896 building that used to be a bank, and it still has many of the original features. 

51. Tiptonville, Tennessee

Population: 4,272

Where to stay:  Eagle's Rest Inn

Best time to visit:  Tennessee is at its most beautiful in the fall, when it is graced with mild weather and gorgeous fall foliage.

The Experience: Tiptonville

This west Tennessee town is located near the Missouri border. While visiting, you'll have access to Reelfoot Lake State Park and Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuge. And if that's not enough water for you, you'll also have the Mississippi River to the west. 

Water pretty much defines life in Tiptonville. Residents and visitors take advantage of the town's natural surroundings, especially to enjoy water sports.

50. Chelan, Washington

Population: 4,146

Where to stay: Riverwalk Inn

Best time to visit: Go in October to experience Lake Chelan Crush, a two-weekend grape-crushing and wine-tasting event. It's also apple harvesting time, so you can find an orchard to apple pick, too. 

The Experience: Chelan

Chelan is located on the southern tip of Lake Chelan, a long and narrow lake that stretches for 51 miles. Grab a fishing pole and search for lake trout, longnose suckers, brook and rainbow trout, among many other species. 

Chelan is also a popular destination spot for wine lovers, as there are over 35 wineries located in the area. The downtown is host to a lot of little shops, restaurants and bakeries. 

49. Salt Springs, Florida

Population: 4,127

Where to stay:  Lakeview Cabin

Best time to visit:  Come during winter for mild weather and plenty of manatee-watching opportunities.

The Experience: Salt Springs

Another gem in Florida's Lake County, Salt Springs is near Ocala National Forest. This wonderland of pristine springs is a side of Florida most people never see. 

The crystal-clear springs are the main attraction. You can take boat tours if staying dry is very important, but the absolute best way to experience the springs is to rent a kayak and slowly wade through the beautiful ecosystem. Manatees abound in these waters, especially in the winter when they migrate south seeking warmth, so you're basically guaranteed to see these gentle giants feeding on seagrass and floating peacefully around.

Word of warning: You may also see alligators — this is Florida, after all.

48. Lake George, New York

Population: 3,413

Where to stay: The Inn at Erlowest

Best time to visit: Come during the summer, when the weather is beautiful and water activities are in full swing. 

The Experience: Lake George

The village of Lake George is located at the southern end of Lake George, aka the "Queen of American Lakes." The town dates back to the 19th century but was officially incorporated in 1903. It still has a 19th-century courthouse and jail, and the Lake George Steamboat Company, founded in 1817, is still operating out of the village. 

Lake George is a popular tourist destination during the summer, where the steamboats are traveling the lake, the rodeos are open, and the farmers markets are full of fresh goat cheese and maple syrup from the Adirondacks. 

47. Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Population:  3,379

Where to stay:  La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Santa Rosa

Best time to visit:  Come in the spring to enjoy the water without having to deal with the sweltering heat of summer in New Mexico. 

The Experience: Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa may be small and pretty much surrounded by desert, but it is still known as the "City of Natural Lakes." The city is near the 3,500-acre Santa Rosa Lake and its eponymous state park. But it's also known for the Blue Hole. This scuba diving hot spot is a narrow pool that only measures 60 feet in width but is 81 feet deep. 

Besides offering the typical lake activities, Santa Rosa is also a stop along the historic Route 66. This means you'll have plenty of photo ops at spots that have been around since the route's heyday.

46. Summersville, West Virginia

Population:  3,368

Where to stay:  Cabin at the lake

Best time to visit:  Summer is the perfect season to enjoy lakes and rivers in West Virginia. Summersville boasts the largest lake in the state, so you'll definitely want it to be warm enough to swim. It's even in the name of the town.

The Experience: Summersville

"Almost Heaven, West Virginia" sang John Denver , and it's true that parts of the state can be paradisiacal. With 60 miles of shoreline, Summersville is one of these places.

Taking its name from the largest lake in the state, Summersville is a popular lake getaway during the warmer months. Summersville Lake State Wildlife Area has picnicking, boating and swimming. There's scuba diving for those who are interested in the sport but don't want to do it in the open sea. You'll also find a beautiful beach perfect for some family fun.

45. Greensboro, Georgia

Population: 3,339

Where to stay:  The Lodge On Lake Oconee 

Best time to visit:  Come during spring or fall, when the temperature is not yet cold and the summer crowds are not around.

The Experience: Greensboro

Atlanta may have famous urban spaces, but sometimes, you need much more green and much less concrete. 

When this is the case, people like to head to Greensboro, where they can hang out in Lake Oconee. With six nearby golf courses and a Ritz-Carlton nearby, the town attracts an affluent crowd looking for peace in nature that’s luxurious rather than rustic.

44. Oakridge, Oregon

Population: 3,303

Where to stay: Westfir Lodge

Best time to visit: The main attraction in the area is Salt Creek Falls, the second highest waterfall in Oregon. The falls are the most magnificent in late spring and early summer when the mountain snow melts, making the falls their fastest and fattest. 

The Experience: Oakridge

Oakridge is situated 18 miles outside Waldo Lake, one of the purest lakes in the world. There are numerous alpine lakes and small mountain peaks around Waldo as well, making Oakridge a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Within Oakridge itself, mountain bikers enjoy tackling the Alpine Trail. Rest your head at Westfir Lodge, the only ride-in, ride-out accommodations in the Westfir-Oakridge Area. Stewart’s 58 Drive-In is a favorite food stop along Hwy 58, offering drive-in fare prepared to order, using local, natural and organic ingredients. 

43. Galena, Illinois

Population: 3,249

Where to stay: The Cottage on Lake Galena

Best time to visit: Between May and October, the mild-to-hot temperatures make for the most enjoyable time outdoors. 

The Experience: Galena

Rich with history, rolling hills and outdoor recreation, Galena is a small but booming town. Among the area’s most prized amenities is the scenic, 225-acre man-made Lake Galena. 

Main Street is another hit. Here, you can sign up for a ghost tour to see a spookier side of the area. Amelia’s Galena Ghost Tours offers historical and paranormal tours through a haunted pub crawl, vineyard tours or a shuttle bus ghost tour. When in town, be sure to grab a meal at the delicious Fried Green Tomatoes restaurant. A stay at The Cottage on Lake Galena offers a private lakeside retreat, complete with hot tubs, fireplaces and more. 

42. Frisco, Colorado

Population: 3,116

Where to stay: Frisco Lodge Bed & Breakfast

Best time to visit: Winter thrives with winter sports, and we recommend heading to nearby Keystone Lake to ice skate on 5 acres of ice. The lake is one of the largest Zamboni-maintained outdoor ice rinks in North America. 

The Experience: Frisco

Hugging Dillon Reservoir, Frisco is a nature lover’s playground. Take in the lake life at Frisco Bay Marina . Located at just over 9,000 feet, it’s a certified clean marina. There are sailboat lessons and rentals, a rowing center, a sandy beach, waterside dining and Marina Park. 

Explore the cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails in the winter. Frisco Lodge even lends out snowshoes for winter exploration. The many breweries in the area are a big hit, including Outer Range Brewing Company . For deliciously fresh food, people flock to Pure Kitchen . 

41. Versailles, Missouri

Population:  2,961

Where to stay:  Lakefront home

Best time to visit: Although swimming in the cold is only for the strong, going in the fall lets you enjoy the gorgeous foliage for which the Ozarks are known.

The Experience: Versailles

It may not have the golden glamor of the Sun King’s palace in France, but Versailles, Missouri, holds its own in terms of lakeside attractions. 

The small town is on Lake of the Ozarks, so you’ll be able to enjoy swimming, canoeing and boating to your heart’s content.

If you want a different kind of activity, visit Jacob’s Cave, a large beautiful cave near the town.

40. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Population:  2,841

Where to stay:  The VUE Boutique Hotel

Best time to visit:  Fall is the prettiest season in Wisconsin Dells. You can enjoy both lake activities and fall activities like the Wo-Zha-Wa Days Fall Festival, which has markets, fairs and parades.

The Experience: Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells is often overlooked when it comes to Wisconsin lake towns. We think this is a travesty given the town's proximity to Lake Delton and Mirror Lake State Park as well as the Wisconsin River. 

The area where the town is located is known for beautiful sandstone formations that were once caved by glaciers. If you want to take a break from nature, there are also two water parks with indoor and outdoor pools, and a magic theater.

39. Bayfield, Colorado

Population: 2,640

Where to stay: Pine River Lodge

Best time to visit: Come between May and mid-June, when fish are plentiful at the lake. However, if ice fishing is more your thing, come for the annual ice fishing tournament held in mid-February.

The Experience: Bayfield

Another Colorado lake town, Bayfield features a small historic district with a few shops and restaurants in town, but it’s the town’s Vallecito Lake that’s the star. Vallecito is one of the highest mountain lakes of its size anywhere, residing at 8,000 feet above sea level. 

Live music, beautiful views and home-style cooking can be found at The Lake House Bar & Grill. The lake is full of rainbow trout, brown trout and northern pike, making it a big draw for fishing. Also, be sure to check out the Tour of Carvings — 14 carvings standing around 18-feet tall created after the Missionary Ridge Fire of 2002 burned 70,000 acres. 

38. Vergennes, Vermont

Population: 2,596

Where to stay: Basin Harbor Resort & Boat Club

Best time to visit: The fall foliage is not to be missed in Vergennes, so plan a trip in mid-October for crisp, yet enjoyable temperatures and fiery hues all around. 

The Experience: Vergennes

Situated on Lake Champlain, Vergennes is as picturesque as it gets. A stay at Basin Harbor Resort makes for an authentic Vermont experience on the shores of the lake. 

Sip on local craft cider at Shacksbury Cider , stop by the Bixby Library to marvel at the stained-glass dome in its lobby, and picnic by the scenic falls at Vergennes Falls Park. Vergennes Laundry is a must for wood-fired baked goods. 

37. Lake Placid, New York

Population: 2,346

Where to stay:  Lake Placid Stagecoach Inn

Best time to visit: If you go in the winter, there are incredible skiing trails — Lake Placid hosted the Winter Olympics in both 1932 and 1980. If you visit during the summer, there are places to go mountain biking, golfing, fly fishing and cliff jumping if you're so inclined. 

The Experience: Lake Placid

The town of Lake Placid is located in the Adirondack Mountains and nestled around the southernmost tip of the lake. For a while, Lake Placid had the best skiing in the United States, attracting the Winter Olympics in both 1932 and then 1980. 

It still has fantastic skiing opportunities, as well as a Winter Olympic museum. This is where the "Miracle on Ice" happened, when the United States beat the Soviet Union at the 1980 Olympics, popularizing the "USA! USA!" chant. 

Aside from its intriguing history, Lake Placid boasts fantastic trails to sightsee the Adirondacks, upscale restaurants and boutique shops. 

36. Charlevoix, Michigan

Population : 2,338

Where to stay:  Horton Creek Inn

Best time to visit: Head over there in the spring or summer to avoid those blistering Michigan winters. 

The Experience: Charlevoix

Charlevoix is a beautiful small lake town set on Round Lake. It has several golf courses and a downtown area that's filled with small shops. You won't find any big box stores in Charlevoix, which outlawed them after Walmart tried to enter the town's borders. 

Aside from boating and trail hikes, there are Earl Young's mushroom houses to visit and historic architecture to sightsee.

Charlevoix is where Ernest Hemingway set his Nick Adams stories. 

35. Crosslake, Minnesota

Population:  2,204

Where to stay:  Whitefish Lodge and Suites

Best time to visit:  Summer is the only time of the year when you'll be able to enjoy the water without freezing. That said, winter brings about ice fishing and, if you're lucky, you may even get to see aurora borealis.

The Experience: Crosslake

The towns along Lake Superior get most of the out-of-state attention. And while we can't deny that the Great Lake is majestic, we'd also like to remind you that Minnesota is nicknamed, "The Land of 10,000 Lakes." 

It's not even an exaggeration. Just head to Crosslake to see it for yourself. This town is lakes upon lakes upon lakes upon lakes. There are so many lakes around it, we couldn't even tell you exactly how many they are.

If all you want is to be in the water the entire time you're not sleeping or eating, Crosslake will give you the opportunity to do just that.

34. Grand Isle, Vermont

Population:  2,086

Where to stay:  Lakefront cabin with beach access

Best time to visit:  Unless you love the pain of being by the water in the winter, save yourself the trouble and go in the summer or fall.

The Experience: Grand Isle

True to its name, Grand Isle is a large island in the middle of Lake Champlain. Take a ferry west, and you'll cross the state line into New York. Go a bit north, and you'll find yourself in Canada. A quick boat ride to a smaller island east will land you at a regional airport. 

One of the best things about Grand Isle is how connected it is, despite being fairly remote. The island is also home to Grand Isle State Park, so you literally could not avoid nature if you wanted to. 

For some quirky fun, head to South Hero, a community in the south of the island, where you'll find intricate miniature stone castles that have been deemed one of the coolest castles in the U.S.

33. Pinedale, Wyoming

Population:  2,030

Where to stay:  Gannett Peak Lodge 

Best time to visit:  There is no bad time to visit Wyoming, but summer is great for actually swimming in the lakes.

The Experience: Pinedale

Yes, Jackson Hole is amazing, but if you want a less touristy experience in the Wyoming mountains at a fraction of the cost, consider stopping in Pinedale. 

Surrounded by numerous peaks, it is also very close to the large Freemont Lake, where water activities and hiking are the best ways to spend the long summer days. Other nearby lakes include Willow Lake, Half Moon Lake and Boulder Lake. 

In the winter, you can enjoy snow sports at White Pine Ski Resort.

32. Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Population:  1,991

Where to stay: Beaver Lakefront Cabins 

Best time to visit: Summer brings the town to life and makes jumping in one of the lakes a great way to cool down.

The Experience: Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs is constantly referred to as one of the best small towns in the U.S., yet it’s rarely boasted as a perfect lake town. 

The springs that give the town its name feed Lake Leatherwood. There’s also Table Rock Lake and Beaver Lake. That’s right. This town has three lakes you get to choose from, with each one specializing in certain activities.

Beaver Lake, for instance, is perfect for fishing, while mountain bikers head to Leatherwood to practice their sport.

31. Lakeside, Oregon

Population: 1,765

Where to stay:  Lakeview home

Best time to visit:  There is nothing like fall in the Pacific Northwest, so we highly recommend coming at this time.

The Experience: Lakeside

Can't choose between a lake and the beach? Despite what its name may imply, at Lakeside, you don't have to choose. 

Blessed with a location right on North Tenmile Lake on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, this town is a perfect waterfront getaway. The only thing standing between you and the ocean are magnificent sand dunes that create a unique ecology.

30. Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina

Population: 1,733

Where to stay:  Townhome with private pier

Best time to visit:  Spring brings a pleasant temperature to enjoy the lake and its surroundings without feeling like you’re being cooked alive.

The Experience: Lake Waccamaw

Most people outside of North Carolina have never heard of Lake Waccamaw, probably because the town is very, very small. Also because those in the know would like to keep it a secret. 

The lake is within a state park named after it, where you can see endemic fish and clam species, kayak or walk along natural trails.

Pro tip: Pack a fresh picnic, and enjoy it with the sounds of nature around you.

29. Shutesbury, Massachusetts

Population: 1,717

Where to stay: The Maguire House Bed and Breakfast

Best time to visit:  Come in spring for swimming without the crowds and in the fall for boating and fishing.

The Experience: Shutesbury

Shutesbury's main draw is Lake Wyola State Park , which has facilities for plenty of fun activities like boating, swimming, fishing and picnicking. Families traveling with kids can rest assured knowing that there are designated lifeguards from late spring to late summer. 

If you want an even bigger lake, you can also head to the Quabbin Reservoir, which boasts 180 miles of shoreline. Fishing and boating are particularly popular here.

28. Greenville, Maine

Population: 1,646

Where to stay: Greenville Inn

Best time to visit: Come during the "Moosemania" festival in spring when moose sightings are in the hundreds. 

The Experience: Greenville

The small town of Greenville sits on stunning Moosehead Lake. The lake serves as the second-largest lake in New England and the largest mountain lake in the Eastern United States. A stay at Greenville Inn will put you just one block from Moosehead Lake and downtown Greenville restaurants. 

All four seasons entice with activities, from the plentiful hiking trails and moose safaris, to dog sledding and snowmobiling. Hop aboard Maine’s last remaining steamboat, The Katahdin , for a leisurely cruise around the lake. Enjoy a beer and a view on the deck at Kelly’s Landing , and dine in style at The Lodge .  

27. Lake Lure, North Carolina

Population: 1,498

Where to stay: Fox Run Resort

Best time to visit: Visit in October to comfortably enjoy a range of outdoor activities. The average temperature falls around 63 degrees Fahrenheit, and the air is moderately humid.

The Experience: Lake Lure

Checking into Fox Run Resort will put you in the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills. Explore the resort’s 2,700 acres, two 18-hole golf courses and onsite water sports. 

Stroll the shopping and restaurants in the village of Chimney Rock , and then check out Lake Lure Tours for guided boat tours and boat rentals when you’re not relaxing on the wide and sandy beach of the lake. Take a day trip to the renowned city of Asheville, located just 27 miles away.

26. Clarksville, Virginia

Population: 1,389

Where to stay: Magnuson Hotel on the Lake

Best time to visit: A mid-July visit will land you in town just in time for the Clarksville's Annual Virginia Lake Festival — named "One of the Top 20 Events" by the Southeast Tourism Society for many years.

The Experience: Clarksville

Virginia’s only lakeside town, quaint Clarksville rests on the shore of the 50,000-acre Lake Kerr. Outdoor activities, including boating, fishing, swimming, camping and hiking, reign supreme. 

Each year, dozens of fishing tournaments take place, while there are also various regionally famous festivals to attend. Check into Magnuson Hotel on the Lake for breathtaking views of Lake Kerr. The hotel puts you near Prestwould Plantation, Occoneechee State Park and MacCallum More Museum and Garden as well. 

25. Grand Marais, Minnesota

Population:  1,332

Where to stay:   Grand Marais Hotel Company

Best time to visit: Check it out in August to see the Fisherman's Picnic festival. The "Fish Pic," as the locals call it, has been celebrated for over 90 years. Expect food trucks, art vendors, family-friendly fun and fish burgers.

The Experience: Grand Marais

Grand Marais is a small town on the shores of Lake Superior, and it's a picture-perfect place that's host to a number of annual festivals. Arts are alive and well in Grand Marais, as the town has a thriving art community and an arts festival that occurs in July. 

Downtown, you'll have a number of classy little shops, like Beth's Fudge & Gifts and Birchbark Books & Gifts. 

And there are lots of lake activities, plus you don't need to worry about crowding — Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. 

24. Bayview, Idaho

Population: 1,281

Where to stay:  Gold Creek Lodge

Best time to visit:  Summer is the only time when it is warm enough to swim comfortably — unless you’re one of those people that love pretending they’re a polar bear swimming in the Arctic.

The Experience: Bayview

Why stay near a lake when you can stay on the lake? This is what people who visit Bayview probably ask themselves, and their logic is flawless. 

The beautiful floating village is located right on Lake Pend Oreille. It is also near the majestic Coeur d’Alene Mountains, making for postcard-perfect landscapes and ideal seclusion.

Nature lovers return to this town again and again to swim, hike and feel miles away from the noise of modernity.

23. Talkeetna, Alaska

Population: 1,237

Where to stay:  Talkeetna Inn

Best time to visit:  Though winter in Alaska is incredibly harsh, Talkeetna hosts numerous festivals during the season to keep spirits up. If you want to actually swim in the lakes and rivers, summer is the only time to do so without freezing.

The Experience: Talkeetna

Talkeetna is famous for being one of the gateways to Denali National Park, home to the tallest mountain in the United States. 

The town is crossed by three rivers, but it's also surrounded by several lakes, the best of which is Christiansen Lake. This blessed geography makes this a perfect place for water activities, including salmon and trout fishing and kayaking. You can also hike around the national park and even try to trek up to the summit of Mount Denali. 

Only two hours from Anchorage, Talkeetna is an incredible Alaskan destination that has been called the state's "quirkiest town."

22. Mackinac Island, Michigan

Population: 1,072

Where to stay: Mission Point Resort

Best time to visit: Events are in full swing come summer, including the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival, which celebrates the area's collection of some of the oldest, most lush French lilacs in the nation. 

The Experience: Mackinac Island

Fairytale land is alive and well on Mackinac Island. Surrounded by Lake Huron, the small lake town bans motor vehicles. The only modes of transportation permitted are walking or horse-and-buggy. 

When you’re not attending a festival or lounging on the expansive waterfront lawn of Mission Point Resort, order up the Planked Whitefish at Cawthorne's Village Inn, located just off of Main Street downtown. 

21. De Smet, South Dakota

Population: 1,052

Where to stay: De Smet Super Deluxe Inn & Suites

Best time to visit:  Summer is mild and pleasant, but fall brings with it fun harvest activities.

The Experience: De Smet

If "Little House on the Prairie" sounds ideal to you, you need to plan a visit to De Smet as soon as possible. 

Laura Ingalls Wilder based the book on her family's experience as one of the first settlers in the town. Fans of the book can visit her home and join costumed guides that take you around different pioneering sites. 

After touring, you can cool down at one of the several lakes that are near De Smet, like Lake Thompson, Lake Whitewood and Lake Preston.

20. Rangeley, Maine

Population: 1,047

Where to stay:  Dog-friendly lake cottage

Best time to visit:  Winter breathes life into Rangeley. The town's generous snowfalls attract people seeking to do some serious cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

The Experience: Rangeley

Sitting at the entrance of Rangeley State Park, this small town is a nature lover's dream. Besides forested mountains, the town borders Rangeley Lake and Mooselookmeguntic Lake and is near several other ponds and lakes. 

Winter is particularly popular, as the town turns into a skiing paradise. Still, any time of year is great for fishing and hiking. The summer is especially perfect for those who want to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about the sweltering heat.

19. Bellaire, Michigan

Population:  1,015

Where to stay:  The Grand Victorian B&B

Best time to visit:  Unless you're looking to do some ice fishing, come to Michigan in the summer when the weather is nice and temperate.

The Experience: Bellaire

Located on the lake it shares a name with, Bellaire is also situated near Torch Lake, Intermediate Lake, Clam Lake and others. Most impressively, it's very close to Grand Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan. 

With all these lakes to choose from, you have no shortage of lake activities to enjoy. Fishing is a huge part of the culture here, so if that's what you're looking for, you'll find a strong community. Summer is the best time to come, so you can enjoy swimming and kayaking without worrying about the freezing winds that winter brings with it. 

18. White Lake, North Carolina

Population: 1,000

Where to stay: An eco cabin on Airbnb

Best time to visit: Come in May to enjoy the annual White Lake Water Festival , which includes tractor pulls, firemen Olympics, beach bands, a classic car show, arts and crafts, a parade and a 10k run.

The Experience: White Lake

The white, sandy bottom and crystal clear water of White Lake make it a burgeoning resort scene. The lake features some 1,200 acres that visitors can take advantage of for swimming, boating, wakeboarding, jet skiing and water skiing opportunities. 

Snag an Airbnb rental, like an eco cabin featuring an extensive decking area, a private fishing pier and floating dock, to enjoy supreme lake time. The Cork Room is a delightful dining experience immersed in nature and offering locally sourced food and wine. 

17. Saugatuck, Michigan

Population: 850

Where to stay: Lake Shore Resort

Best time to visit: The small lake town thrives in the summer, when visitors and locals enjoy their pick of six pristine beaches for sunbathing and swimming.

The Experience: Saugatuck

Lay back on a lounger and take in the sound of the lapping lake beneath you at Lake Shore Resort. Minutes away, downtown Saugatuck offers an eclectic mix of shops, including the iconic outdoor clothing and equipment store, Landsharks . The town is known for its fine art in every medium as well as finely crafted goods. 

Adventure seekers love Saugatuck Dunes State Park for its 13 miles of sandy trails. As far as culinary adventures go, you’ll find  seasonal food, craft beers, unique spirits and homemade desserts at Borrowed Time . 

16. Marblehead, Ohio

Population: 825

Where to stay:  Lakeside cottage

Best time to visit:  Winter in the Great Lakes can be brutal, so come in the summer to enjoy the strong breeze and the refreshing temperature of the water.

The Experience: Marblehead

Looking to enjoy the wonders of Lake Erie? Head to the interestingly named town of Marblehead.

A vacation here does include the typical lake town attractions like boating and swimming. Plus, the size of this Great Lake guarantees that you feel more like you're at the sea than at a lake. But what we love about Marblehead is that it also provides opportunities for less typical fun. 

Head to Marblehead State Park, for instance, and visit the oldest continuously operated lighthouse on the Great Lakes. Or find a lakeside restaurant and sip some wine as the breeze soothes you.

15. Okoboji, Iowa

Population: 819

Where to stay:  Vintage Block Inn & Suites

Best time to visit:  Go during the summer to enjoy jet skiing, parasailing and flyboarding, as well as to visit the amusement park when it's open.

The Experience: Okoboji

Okoboji is one of Iowa's best-kept secrets. With a privileged location by the Iowa Great Lakes, you'll have access to five glacier-carved lakes that provide opportunities for great fun. 

The lakes are dotted with beaches and surrounded by state parks, but the town has also developed tourism infrastructure to cater to the summer crowds. On the water, families like to swim and play beach volleyball, but we encourage you to try more extreme sports like jet skiing, parasailing and flyboarding. The latter involves using a jet pack to hover above the water. 

On dry land, the must-do activity is visiting the Arnolds Park Amusement Park and daring to ride its 1930s roller coaster or enjoying the views from its Ferris wheel.

14. Dollar Point, California

Population: 805

Where to stay:  Lake Tahoe beach condo

Best time to visit:  Lake Tahoe is idyllic year-round, so this really depends on the activities that you prefer. Water activities like swimming are best in the spring and summer.

The Experience: Dollar Point

The only problem with Lake Tahoe is that its beauty has made it way too popular. Sometimes, it can be difficult to enjoy the lake when you have to share it with hundreds of other people. This is why we love Dollar Point, a tiny town right on the lake that not many out-of-towners know about.

Besides having premium access to Lake Tahoe, there are beaches, trails and boat ramps. For those traveling in the winter, there is also a cross-country skiing area that is rarely crowded.

13. Blairsville, Georgia

Population: 724

Where to stay: Paradise Hills Winery Resort & Spa

Best time to visit: Summer is filled with festivals, including The Butternut Creek Festival held in July, which is one of the best juried arts and crafts shows in the region. 

The Experience: Blairsville

Tucked into the Chattahoochee National Forest and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Blairsville is home to three sparkling lakes: the 18-acre Lake Winfield Scott, the 20-acre lake and beach at Vogel State Park, and the 4,180-acre Lake Nottely with 106 miles of shoreline. 

When you’re not lakeside, summit Georgia’s highest peak, Brasstown Bald. Check out the locally made wines at places like Odom Springs Vineyards . Lodge in a cozy cabin with a hot tub and mountain views at the 35-acre Paradise Hills Winery Resort & Spa. And for some of North Georgia’s best barbecue, dine at Jim's Smokin' Que . 

12. Aurora, New York

Population: 661

Where to stay: Inns of Aurora

Best time to visit: Upstate New York gets frigid in the winter, so to truly enjoy the charm that comes alive in this 19th century small lake town, make your trip in the summer. 

The Experience: Aurora

This storybook village is set on Cayuga Lake. Situated in the Finger Lakes region of central New York, the town offers easy access to 11 pristine lakes and 40-plus waterfalls. Check into the Inns of Aurora for a 180-degree view of Cayuga Lake. 

There’s plenty of nearby wineries and craft breweries in town to enjoy when you’re not hiking Watkins State Park or fishing in the lake. Go to the seasonal Wheelhouse Restaurant , located on the lake, and order up the Fisherman Platter. 

11. Huntsville, Utah

Population:  628

Where to stay:  Valley House Inn

Best time to visit:  Spring brings the perfect weather for lake activities. The water will be a bit cold, but it beats dealing with Utah's summer heat.

The Experience: Huntsville

Huntsville is located on the large Pineview Reservoir. The lake is popular for water sports like waterskiing and boating, which you can enjoy thanks to its size. There are also several beaches in case you want to go a more relaxed route or take a refreshing swim. 

When you're done with the water activities, you absolutely have to head to the Shooting Star Saloon . Opened in the 1850s, this bar is the oldest in all of Utah. The food and beer are also good.

10. Hammondsport, New York

Population: 495

Where to stay: Keuka Lakeside Inn 

Best time to visit: Fall is famously beautiful in New York, and harvest also brings interesting flavors to the area’s breweries. 

The Experience: Hammondsport

Hammondsport’s Keuka Lake has the honor of being the only lake in the entire world that is shaped like a Y. Besides the usual water activities, you’ll be able to go on light nature walks around the boundaries of the lake. 

When you’re finished with water activities, there are wine cellars and breweries to tour and enjoy, as well as relaxing spas. Not bad for a town with less than 800 people.

9. Garden City, Utah

Population:  442

Where to stay:  Lakefront home with private beach

Best time to visit:  Garden City is very popular during the summer, receiving visitors from Utah and Idaho looking to vacation in the "Caribbean of the Rockies."

The Experience: Garden City

Despite its size, Garden City enjoys popularity thanks to its location on the shores of the cerulean waters of Bear Lake. 

The lake is absolutely breathtaking, especially because people don't expect to find the distinct color of its water in Utah. But those who know the state's secret come here during the summer to swim, kayak and have an all-around good time. In July, the town celebrates Raspberry Days, which is mostly an excuse to stuff yourself with as many raspberry-flavored foods as your body can handle.

8. Grand Rivers, Kentucky

Population: 373

Where to stay:  Rose of the Lakes Bed and Breakfast

Best time to visit: While you probably want to visit during the summer to take advantage of the lake life, the winter has its charms, too. Grand Rivers has an annual Festival of Lights event in November, and it really is dazzling . 

The Experience: Grand Rivers

Grand Rivers is a tiny little town located on an isthmus between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.

It's an absolutely gorgeous location with numerous places to fish, hunt and play. There's a playhouse for year-round, family-fun entertainment.

Be sure to visit Patti's 1880s Restaurant, an eatery so popular, it serves 350,000 people per year. 

7. Westmore, Vermont

Population:  357

Where to stay: WilloughVale Inn

Best time to visit:  Summer in Vermont is idyllic for swimming, camping and hiking.

The Experience: Westmore

Westmore's main attraction is Willoughby Lake. This large glacial lake offers natural beaches that can be enjoyed by all ages and is surrounded by mountains. Hikers enjoy trekking to the peak of Mount Pisgah and Bald Mountain, though there are also several trails that are more about the scenery than about getting to the top. 

Though the lake is at its best in the winter, Westmore also has plenty of winter activities thanks to its mountains. You can enjoy skiing while taking in the beauty of the lake, even if it's too cold to enjoy a splash in it.

6. Snoqualmie Pass, Washington

Population:  322

Where to stay:  Gorgeous mountain cabin

Best time to visit:  Spring through fall are perfect for lakeside water activities, and winter brings fun skiing opportunities.

The Experience: Snoqualmie Pass

It's not often that you get a lake town and a ski town in one, which is exactly what makes Snoqualmie Pass so unique. 

From spring to fall, it's the lakes that attract people, as the town is right on the northern shores of Keechelus Lake. True lake aficionados also make time to visit nearby Kachess Lake and Cle Elum Lake. 

During this time, the mountains that surround the town make for some great hiking. But come winter, the crowds come prepared with snowboard and ski gear, ready to hit the slopes. Those who love the snow but don't want to do sports can go snow tubing instead.

5. Moose Pass, Alaska

Population:  315

Where to stay:  Trail Lake Lodge

Best time to visit:  Summer brings about opportunities for swimming and fishing. Visit in June to catch the Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival .

The Experience: Moose Pass

Besides having a really awesome name, Moose Pass is surrounded by beautiful lakes. The best known is Kenai Lake, but there's also Crescent Lake, Tern Lake and Grant Lake. The town itself is located on the banks of the Trail Lakes, a series of large interconnected lakes.

The town is tiny but offers plenty of opportunities for exploring the Alaskan wilderness safely. Hiking around Crown Point Mine Trail will give you the opportunity to see brown bears, moose, beavers, bald eagles and mountain goats. But you might also run into some old mines. 

If you're a hunter, or simply have an ax or knife you want to keep sharp, you can head to the Ed Estes' Historic Waterwheel. This small landmark is pretty to look at but also receives visitors seeking to grind their axes.

4. Grand Lake, Colorado

Population: 282

Where to stay: Overlook at Grand Lake

Best time to visit: With an average of 130 inches of snowfall per year, winter is an ideal time to visit for winter sports enthusiasts. 

The Experience: Grand Lake

This teensy town is filled with natural grandeur. Situated on the pristine shores of the largest natural lake in Colorado, the village is your gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. A stay at Overlook makes for a unique mountain lodging experience, complete with unobstructed views of the lake and beyond. 

Grand Lake offers access to hundreds of acres of backcountry terrain where deep powder promises world-class snowmobiling, snowshoeing and skiing. The area is also known for its supreme ice fishing, ice hockey and ice skating. During the warmer months, an al fresco dining experience among the rapids at the Rapids Restaurant is a must.

3. Spring Branch, Texas

Population:  250

Where to stay:  Hampton Inn Bulverde Texas Hill Country 

Best time to visit:  Though it's named after a spring and not the actual season, it is still a sign that this is the best time to visit.

The Experience: Spring Branch

Located a mere hour away from San Antonio, Spring Ranch feels like a whole other world. The small town is near beautiful Canyon Lake and the Guadalupe River that feeds into it. 

Opportunities for water activities abound, and there are also several parks and golf courses around.

2. Island Park, Idaho

Population:  185

Where to stay: Eagle Ridge Adventures

Best time to visit:  Visit in the winter to avoid the summer Yellowstone crowds. Winter is also a popular time for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

The Experience: Island Park

Island Park sits by a large reservoir from which it gets its name. The small town is a gateway to the West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park , where it's usually less busy than other entrances. 

The reservoir makes Island Park a great lake town and a popular year-round destination for those who like fluvial landscapes. But there's also plenty of things to do besides have fun in the lake or visit Yellowstone (though those two things will keep you plenty busy). The town's main street, for instance, stretches 36.8 miles, making it the longest in the entire world. Its Island Park Caldera is also one of the largest in the world, with a diameter of 23 miles. 

1. Salem, South Carolina

Population:  132

Where to stay:  Keowee Lake Luxury Condo

Best time to visit:  Visit during fall to get the best of the Blue Ridge Mountains and perfect weather.

The Experience: Salem

If you've even heard of Salem, South Carolina, chances are you're from the area. With just over 100 people, this tiny, tiny lake town is a true hidden gem you'll want to keep hidden from everyone except your closest friends. Its best feature is that it sits right on Lake Jocasse and Lake Keowee, both large lakes that will provide you with ample time in the water. Boating, kayaking, jet skiing and even scuba diving are popular ways to enjoy the lakes. 

But besides this, Salem is at the foot of the mystic Blue Ridge Mountains, providing visitors with endless hiking trails and a number of gorgeous waterfalls. Oh, also, this is South Carolina, so the food tastes like it was made by angels.

80 Best Small Lake Towns in the U.S.

Lake Geneva


Are the boats heated.

Yes! Both of the boats we use for our Santa Cruise are enclosed and heated! We want to make sure it is an enjoyable experience for everyone!

Where do the Santa Cruises depart from?

All Santa Cruises depart from Pier 290/Gage Marine in Williams Bay, Wisconsin at 1 Liechty Drive.

Are all the lakeshore homes decorated?

Private lakeshore homes are not decorated for the holidays – most homes are summer residences. All lighted displays are provided by Gage Marine and Lake Geneva Cruise Line.

Does Santa get on the boat with the kids?

Santa greets children and reads names from his hideaway on the lakeshore but does not come aboard the boat.

What is the Santa Cause?

Santa Cause is a super charity that benefits, supports, and helps local Walworth County charities through interactive fundraising and community-based events. The Christmas Tree Festival, in partnership with Gage Marine, is their most successful event every year, helping them to raise more than half-a-million dollars over the last five years for charity. Gage Marine is supporting the Santa Cause this year with a donation of at least $25,000.

Can I use my promo code for a Santa Cruise?

Unfortunately we don’t offer promo codes or discount rates for our Santa Cruises.


  1. Lake Geneva Cruise Line: Lake Geneva Boat Tours in Wisconsin

    Lake Geneva Cruise Line offers group boat tours, themed rides, private charters, events, and more. ... WI on a captivating, narrated tour of Lake Geneva's iconic historical estates. Great for kids and parents! VIEW DETAILS. FULL LAKE CRUISE ADULTS $54 ... Williams Bay, WI 53191 262-248-6206 800-558-5911 [email protected]

  2. Lake Geneva Boat Rides & Cruises

    Lake Geneva Cruise Line offers the best way to explore Lake Geneva. ... LAKE GENEVA BOAT TOURS; PRIVATE EVENTS; CORPORATE EVENTS; WEDDINGS; FAQ; ABOUT US; CONTACT; ... Pier 290 / Gage Marina 1 Liechty Drive Williams Bay, WI 53191 262-248-6206 800-558-5911 [email protected] Stay updated on our tours! Never miss a new tour or promotion with our ...


    Home » LAKE GENEVA BOAT TOURS » BEST OF THE LAKE CRUISE. From . Check Availability. TOUR-SPECIFIC FAQS. ... Lake Geneva, WI 53147 ... 1 Liechty Drive Williams Bay, WI 53191 262-248-6206 800-558-5911 [email protected] Stay updated on our tours! Never miss a new tour or promotion with our email newsletter. Name . Email .

  4. Lake Geneva Boat Tours

    This narrated tour will take our around the eastern side of the lake, called Geneva Bay. The shorter tour time make it popular with all ages and again snacks and cash bar are available. Length: 1 hour. Good For: All Ages. Runs: May 1st- end October. Cost: Adults $38, Kids $24, 3 and under free. Portion of lake: Geneva Bay. Full Length Tour

  5. Lake Geneva Boat Tours: Where To Take Lake Geneva Tours

    Discover the beauty of taking a Lake Geneva boat tour. Find out where to take the best tours and explore the stunning scenery. Find details here. ... Williams Bay; Town of Linn; Other - Near Lake Geneva; Delavan; Lake Geneva; Outside Walworth County; Elkhorn; Town of Lyons; VIEW MORE ; ... Lake Geneva, WI 53147. 800.345.1020. 262.248.4416 ...

  6. Lake Geneva Cruise Line

    4,991 reviews. #1 of 9 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Lake Geneva. Historical & Heritage ToursBoat Tours Sightseeing ToursPrivate ToursFood Tours. Closed now. 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Write a review. See all photos. About. For the True Lake Geneva Experience, you have to get on the water!

  7. Lake Geneva Cruise Line Tour Finder

    See the best of Lake Geneva. (Formerly Geneva Bay Tour.) Learn More. This tour is a bit longer, but popular with family groups. 10+ 2.5 Hours. Cash bar, snack bar. From $ 55. US Mailboat Tour. There are only a handful of places left in the country where mail is still delivered by boat, and none with a more exciting and scenic tour than this!

  8. The BEST Lake Geneva Cruises & boat tours 2024

    What are the best Lake Geneva Cruises & boat tours? The best Lake Geneva Cruises & boat tours are: Geneva: 50-Minute Lake Geneva Cruise. Geneva: Scenic Lake Cruise with Snacks and Wine. From Montreux: 2-Hour Riviera Cruise. Lausanne: 2-Hour Lake Geneva Cruise Along Lavaux Vineyards. Geneva City Tour and Boat Cruise.

  9. Lake Geneva Cruise Line

    The perfect group outing! Spend the day out on Lake Geneva! Founded in 1873, Lake Geneva Cruise Line is deeply rooted in the history of Lake Geneva. Our fleet of eight classic boats from a variety of historical eras, gets locals and visitors out on the water! We offer a wide variety of boat tours including narrated scenic tours; brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises; and private parties.

  10. Lake Geneva Cruise Line

    Lake Geneva Cruise Line. 812 Wrigley Drive - Lake Geneva, WI 53147. Information: 262-248-6206. Toll Free: 800-558-5911. Boat tours operate April through October at our Summer Harbor at the Riviera Docks (812 Wrigley Drive in Lake Geneva). Santa Cruise operates November and December at our Winter Harbor at Gage Marina (1 Liechty Drive in ...

  11. Lake Geneva Cruise Line

    Enjoy the holiday season with a magical Santa Cruise aboard the Grand Belle at the Lake Geneva Cruise Line. This cruise will depart Thanksgiving through New Year's from the tour boats' winter harbor located in Williams Bay, all in support of "Santa Cause". Tours Depart Wednesday through Sunday at 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm and 8 ...

  12. THE 5 BEST Lake Geneva Boat Rides & Cruises

    Lake Geneva Cruise Line. 4,990. Historical & Heritage Tours • Boat Tours. By nsbar2023. Gorgeous lake and homes, beautiful weather we experienced, very informative and fun crew and a talented jumper, Marie... 2. Boat Elmers Boat Rentals. 116. Boat Rentals.

  13. The BEST Lake Geneva Tours 2024

    The best Lake Geneva Tours are: Geneva: 50-Minute Lake Geneva Cruise; Geneva: Scenic Lake Cruise with Snacks and Wine; Geneva: Open-Top Sightseeing Bus Tour; Geneva: 2-Hour Tour of International Quarters and Old Town; From Geneva: Swiss Riviera Tour

  14. Walking the lakeshore path in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

    Lake walk: It's 20 miles, depending on the source. We used the guide "Touring the Geneva Lake Shore Path," which puts the mileage at 19½. It says that from Williams Bay, it's a 6½-mile or 13-mile walk back to Library Park, depending on which way you walk; from Fontana, it's 8¼ miles or 11¼ miles.


    A Great Way to See All of Lake Geneva! Relax and enjoy all the scenic beauty of Lake Geneva as you cruise around the entire lake. ... Home » LAKE GENEVA BOAT TOURS » FULL LAKE CRUISE. From . Check Availability. ... Williams Bay, WI 53191 262-248-6206 800-558-5911 [email protected] Stay updated on our tours! Never miss a new tour or promotion ...

  16. Lake Geneva Ziplines & Adventures

    Tours canceled 48-24 hours before their tour start time receive a voucher for store credit in the full amount of the booking. ... Lake Geneva Ziplines & Adventures will customize a program to help you meet your objectives and have fun along the way. Visit Website . Hike, Bike, Climb, Meet. Adventure Together. Birthday & Bachelorette Parties!

  17. Lake Geneva Boat Tours: Where To Take Lake Geneva Tours

    Discover the beauty of taking a Lake Geneva boat tour. Find out where to take the best tours and explore the stunning scenery. Find details here. Close. Meetings & Groups. Submit an RFP. Venues. Team Building & Group Bonding. Dining. Things to Do. Motorcoach & Group Tours. Meeting Support Services. Summer Savings: Meeting Specials. Weddings.

  18. Lake Geneva Tours

    Lake Geneva Tours is working to make accommodations possible in the future. 2- The tour requires some light walking, which is approximately 1.5 miles of walking in a 3 hour time frame. 3- While the Food Tour reservation is required a week in advance, payment may be made shortly after reservation as needed. Call or email for details or to place ...

  19. ABOUT US

    LAKE GENEVA BOAT TOURS; PRIVATE EVENTS; CORPORATE EVENTS; WEDDINGS; FAQ; ABOUT US; CONTACT; PARKING & DIRECTIONS; Contact Us. Summer Harbor Office: Riviera Docks 812 Wrigley Drive Lake Geneva, WI 53147 Winter Harbor Office: Pier 290 / Gage Marina 1 Liechty Drive Williams Bay, WI 53191 262-248-6206 800-558-5911 [email protected]

  20. Lake Geneva area lights up the sky for Fourth of July with various

    Fireworks Tours — July 3, at 8, 8:15 and 8:30 p.m.; and Thursday, July 4, 8 p.m., Riviera Docks, 812 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva.Enjoy area Fourth of July fireworks shows from a boat on Geneva Lake, courtesy of Lake Geneva Cruise Line. The Grand Belle is taking guests out July 3 from 8-10 p.m., and the Walworth will be on the lake July 3 from 8:15-10:15 p.m.

  21. Lake Geneva Boat Cruise

    This is one of the most popular cruises in Lake Geneva! This narrated tour will take our around the eastern side of the lake, called Geneva Bay. The shorter tour time make it popular with all ages and again snacks and cash bar are available. Length: 1 hour. Good For: All Ages. Runs: May 1st- end October. Cost: Adults $38, Kids $24, 3 and under ...

  22. 62 Lausanne COURT UNIT 06, Lake Geneva, WI 53147

    62 Lausanne Court Unit 06, Lake Geneva WI, is a Condo home that contains 1000 sq ft and was built in 1979.It contains 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom.This home last sold for $221,000 in June 2024. The Zestimate for this Condo is $218,700, which has increased by $218,700 in the last 30 days.The Rent Zestimate for this Condo is $1,340/mo, which has increased by $1,340/mo in the last 30 days.

  23. Lake Geneva Cruise Line

    Founded in 1873, Lake Geneva Cruise Line is deeply rooted in the history of Lake Geneva. Our fleet of eight classic boats from a variety of historical eras, gets locals and visitors out on the water! We offer a wide variety of boat tours including narrated scenic tours; brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises; and private parties. May through October you will find us at the Riviera Docks in Lake Geneva.

  24. MSN



    Lake Geneva, WI 53147 Winter Harbor Office: Pier 290 / Gage Marina 1 Liechty Drive Williams Bay, WI 53191 262-248-6206 800-558-5911 [email protected] Stay updated on our tours! Never miss a new tour or promotion with our email newsletter. Name . Email . Submit.


    All lighted displays are provided by Gage Marine and Lake Geneva Cruise Line. Does Santa get on the boat with the kids? ... LAKE GENEVA BOAT TOURS; PRIVATE EVENTS; CORPORATE EVENTS; WEDDINGS; FAQ; ABOUT US; ... Pier 290 / Gage Marina 1 Liechty Drive Williams Bay, WI 53191 262-248-6206 800-558-5911 [email protected] Stay updated on our tours ...