The simple pleasures of life can be found at lakeside retreats. Float, fish, swim, sail. Or simply relax with a good book. Here are 10 lake locations to consider.
Lake Powell. Page, AZ.
Spectacular red-hued rock formations rise from water's edge. Sunny days fade into star-filled nights on this vast blue lake created when the Glen Canyon Dam stopped the waters of the mighty Colorado River. A houseboat holiday on Lake Powell promises adventure, unparalleled beauty and a host of opportunities for on shore hiking, rock climbing and exploring. With more than 2,000 miles of shoreline and scores of inlets and cozy coves, family members of all ages will depart with memories to last a lifetime.
Flathead Lake Lodge. Big Fork, MT.
Combine a western dude ranch experience with the joys of a lake holiday on this 2000-acre family operated getaway near Glacier National Park. Kids will love trail rides, joining the junior wrangler program, swimming, water skiing and sailing on the lake, arts and crafts and spending the night in a teepee. Parents should be prepared to join their kids for the family rodeo events.
Lake of the Ozarks. Osage Beach, MO.
Visit Lake of the Ozarks, one of the state's largest and most scenic lakes, and enjoy hiking, horseback riding and biking through oak-hickory forests. Climb to the bluff tops for views of the lake where water enthusiasts enjoy beaches, fishing and boat-based water sports. Stay in one of the park's rustic Outpost Log cabins, a spacious yurt or pop your own tent.
Big Cedar Lodge - Branson, MO
Ten miles south of Branson, on Table Rock Lake, families will find a picturesque lodge tucked into the Ozark Mountain's wooded hillsides. Stay in charming lodge rooms or quaint cabins and cottages spread throughout this 800-acre retreat. From water-skiing and kayaking to horseback riding and bass fishing, there is plenty to entertain each member of the family. Kids ages four to 12 can join the fun at the kids adventure club where they'll learn skills like fire-building, star-gazing and canoeing.
Broken Bow Lake. Broken Bow, OK.
Located in the foothills of the Kiamichi Mountains and with 180 miles of shoreline, the whole gang will love canoeing, boating and fishing on this scenic lake. With rich green forests as your backdrop, spend a day mountain biking or bird watching, then take time to visit the nearby kid-friendly Beavers Bend Wildlife Museum.
Yellowstone Lake. Yellowstone National Park.
For a different view of this high altitude lake, leave the camper vans and crowds behind and travel across the water via cabin cruiser. Then transfer to a sea kayak or canoe and embark on a short paddle to a small private camp operated by Far & Away Adventures. From this vantage point you and your family will enjoy the serene beauty of this national treasure while tossing a fly line, hiking, observing wild life or paddling to nearby points of interest.
Lake Coeur d'Alene. Idaho
This Northern Idaho playground is home to more than 55 lakes, including the namesake recreation area where an endless array of water and land-based adventures lures visitors. Families opt for boating, fishing, kayaking and jet boating but make time to enjoy the biking, hiking and and golf that is in abundance on terra firma. The small town, just 30 minutes from Spokane, has also gained popularity for eclectic shopping, festivals, fairs and art walks, creating a vacation option where everyone finds something to write home about.
For Midwestern hospitality, cherry picking and fish boils, head to Northern Wisconsin's Door County. There are loads of family-friendly, lakeside inns and cottages from which to choose. Bike along tree-covered lanes, tour local lighthouses and take your pick from 53 sandy beaches along Lake Michigan. Canoeing, kayaking, sailing and other water sports are plentiful. Spend an afternoon in search of arts and crafts and tasty ice cream cones.
Lake Winnipesaukee. Wolfeboro, NH.
Long a family favorite, this scenic, central New Hampshire lake is cradled by three mountain ranges. The wooded shoreline and more than 200 small islands make for great picnicking, sunning and simply relaxing on or near the water. Visit local galleries and museums, rent bikes, kayaks and canoes, enjoy community theatre or stroll on the beach.
Lake Conroe. Montgomery, TX.
The only resort on this 22,000 lake, the 445 suite La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa entices families with a 3.5 acre water park, welcome ice cream treats and miniature golf. Spend the day enjoying water sports on the lake, relax by the pools, schedule a treatment within the 17,000 square-foot spa or tee it up on the 18-hole lake front golf course. Fitness buffs will want to take advantage of the 10,000 square-foot fitness center. Ask about family packages.