The Best U.S. Lake Beaches

From New York to Oregon, these are some of the most beloved lakefront beaches in the United States
Flickr/allie_k CC by SA 2.0

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Mich.

Some people who were fortunate enough to grow up near the ocean coast have stubborn opinions about what constitutes a “real” beach.  When referring to a lake, you may hear them utter something along the lines of, “Yeah, but that’s not actually the beach.”

For some reason they tend to think that the sandy shores of a picturesque lake don’t quiet equate to that of an ocean shoreline.

Sure, ocean and lake beaches have their differences, but what these closed-minded coastal natives fail to recognize is that plenty of U.S. lakes offer truly unique beach settings with pristine landscapes that could easily contend against some of our nation’s most beloved coastlines.

Maybe you won’t get a magnificent view of the vast horizon or waves perfect for surfing, but what lake beaches lack in size they certainly make up for in scenery and individuality.

The following lake beaches, easily considered among the best in all of the United States, perfectly exemplify this sentiment and serve as truly unique waterfront destinations for beach-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts of all different types.

Siltcoos Lake, Ore.

"Siltcoos Lake" by Visitor7 Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

As the largest lake on the Oregon Coast this waterfront oasis offers beach-goers a truly unique and picturesque experience. Here, visitors can choose from a wide range of water activities, including fishing, water skiing and kayaking, just to name a few. Plus, with Honeyman State Park in between, Siltcoos is situated just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean and the Siltcoos Lake Trail leads lake-goers directly to the ocean shore.

Tenaya Lake, Calif.

Flickr/tomhilton CC by 2.0

According to the National Park Service, Tenaya Lake is the largest lake in Yosemite National Park’s frontcountry and one of the park’s most popular destinations during the summer. Situated between Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows, a visit to this High Sierra lake offers unrivaled views of Yosemite’s vast wilderness. “The tranquil view here is nothing short of stunning,” one Yelp user wrote. “It's a great place to pause during your journey, enjoy lunch, or like I have, take a cold and refreshing dip.”

Click here to see more of the best U.S. lake beaches.

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