10 Best Outdoor and Boating Lakes in the USA

Nothing feels better than a day spent outdoors floating on the clear waters of a beautiful lake. The refreshing feeling of the cold waters being neutralized by the sunshine being reflected brings the feeling of closeness to mother nature.

Add an activity like fishing into the overall picture and the excitement would surely move-up to the next level. Thankfully, most of us would be able to enjoy these things in one of the United State’s 117 million lakes! Most of these are destinations for recreation and in this article, we’re going to give you the top 10 lakes that really stand out among the rest!

If you’re looking for an adventure that includes activities beyond just boating then the following lakes are a perfect choice!

1. Lady Bird Lake

It’s not just pretty because of the feminine adjective used in its name, it’s pretty because of the scenery that perfectly complements its calm waters. Lady Bird Lake is a small lake found in Austin, Texas. It is located within the city that is around six miles long. It used to be one of the most polluted bodies of water in Texas but after its cleanup, the lake is now starting to thrive.

Lady Bird Lake is now a picturesque destination with walking paths and parks along its edges. Fish and as well as wild ducks and birds are regular guests as well making one feel even closer to mother nature when spending time relaxing on a boat or even just by the edges. Motorized boats are prohibited but kayaks, rowboats, and paddleboards are allowed. It’s a perfect destination for boating enthusiasts on a sunny Austin day!

Fishers and anglers will also enjoy the large pikes, catfish and small-mouth bass which can be caught in the lake. Natural pools that are connected to the lake aren’t lacking as well which can serve as swimming poles to those who would love to cool-off the heat!

2. Lake Coeur D’Alene

This beautiful lake lies in Idaho right at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. It covers over 30,000 acres with clear waters coming from a glacier around the area. It’s one beautiful paradise for boaters where different recreational activities can be done.


Lake Coeur D’Alene is a very popular destination for Boat Parties that are hosted on the Docks with boaters blasting their Boat Speakers & Loud Sound systems while fueling the Fun in the Sun. Many Boaters come afar to enjoy the festivities as well as Enjoy the Music and Scenery at this famous Boat party!

Whether it’s swimming, camping, hiking or even golfing that you’re looking for, Lake Coeur D’Alene has a place for you. Fishing and angling are also perfect in the lake. Every morning, fishermen look for kokanee and Chinook salmons in the cold waters while those who love fly fishing would find an abundance of cutthroat and rainbow trout in the lake.

Dock fishing is also possible or fishing from a boat is also allowed. Cruise boats operate on Coeur D’Alene while experienced divers can take you to an underwater tour where you can find old model T Fords at the bottom of the lake.

3. Lake Placid

Surrounded by the scenic view of the Adirondack Mountains that’s famous for its tall green pines, Lake Placid is probably one of the most reflective lakes in the USA. Its clear surface mirrors the beautiful slopes and silhouettes of pine trees lining the edges and peaks of the mountains around it. At the middle of the lake are two islands which are popular destinations for boaters who want to spend a night camping and those who love having a picnic during the daytime. Fishing the lake would give an abundance of perch, smallmouth bass, pike, and trout. No boat? No problem! Lake Placid has several boat rental and as well as kayak and canoe rental shops. Lake tours and cruises are also available which is a perfect way for relaxing while learning more about the area.

4. Lake Charles

Located just beside the city that bears the same name, Lake Charles is known for its brackish waters while the city adjacent to it is famous for its casinos, golf courses, and even the many festivals that it holds throughout the year. The lake offers several recreational activities with some boating options for everyone to enjoy. Canoeing and kayaking are just two of the water activities that are perfect in the lake and they’re better enjoyed with friends or family having some drinks and groovy music playing in the background. The typical fishes caught in the lake are redfish, hardhead catfish, flounder, and speckled trout.

5. Beaver Lake

If you’re looking for one of the best boating destinations in Arkansas then Beaver Lake should be in your list. It enjoys a scenic view of the Ozark Mountains making it perfect for those who want to be close to mother nature. It’s been created by the Beaver Dam in the 1960s to effectively prevent flooding in the areas that surround it. The lake lies at the center of cliffs and caves made of limestone. Boaters, scuba divers, fishers and anglers are a normal scene on the lake. The waters serve as the source of drinking water for the counties that are nearby and it’s teeming with different fish species such as bass, stripers, catfish, and trout.

6. Saratoga Lake

Saratoga lake covers around 4,028 acres of surface area. It might not be close to the largest lake in this list but it’s definitely worth exploring! It is located just north of Saratoga Springs in New York and is known as a good fishing and boating spot.

A large sandbar right at the middle of the lake has long served as a favorite spot for boaters to anchor their boats and swim through the cool waters. Entertainment is also available through a floating stage that hosts concerts. If you want to enjoy Saratoga, you will find it most beautiful in the fall season when the leaves are in red, orange, and yellow color reflecting through the water around the edges of the lake.

7. Caddo Lake

This lake is massive in size covering 27,000 acres stretching through some parts of Texas and Louisiana. It’s a fun place for boating and other water activities through the interconnected waterways, swampy bayous, channels, and small islands.

There are several parts of the lake that feature trees growing out of the water. These are mostly found on the part of the lake on the Texas side. It’s more swampy compared to the open and boater-friendly side in Louisiana.

The warm climate in these areas means that Caddo Lake enjoys sunny weather most of the time. If you plan to visit this place then you need to make sure that you’ll be drinking lots of water and use sunscreen as well to protect yourself from the sun’s heat.

8. Big Bear Lake

This tranquil place is only a few hundred miles away from the busy atmosphere of Los Angeles. It’s the nearest paradise for those who want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located within the San Bernardino National Forest, this lake features a beautiful scene of the surrounding mountain peaks that are covered by green tree canopies.

It has over 22 miles of shoreline where picnics and campings mostly take place while boaters can enjoy fishing for bluegill, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass and many other fish species that are abundant in the lake. Taking a dip in its cool and refreshing waters is another thing that people love to do in this lake.

9. Crater Lake

Found within the Crater Lake National Park, Crater Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the US. It enjoys a majestic view of the Cascade Mountains and boaters would not only enjoy the waters but also the huge park that is part of the area itself. Crater Lake is among the deepest lakes in the entire USA and it also belongs to the top ten list of deepest lakes of the world.

Located in the southern part of Oregon and around a hundred miles from the Pacific Ocean, Crater Lake could easily be mistaken as part of the ocean itself. Its depth reaches 1950 feet at the deepest portions.

Visitors and tourists can enjoy beautiful sceneries of mountain vistas that reflect through its waters. Swimming, hiking, camping, and fishing are just some of the recreational activities that people can enjoy within the park.

10. Flathead Lake

The 122,500 acres of surface area covered by Flathead Lake has made it one of the largest freshwater lakes in the entire USA. It was formed over 10,000 years ago by glaciers and it now has a shoreline that stretches up to 160 miles.

The gorgeous mountains that surround it provide some great hiking opportunities while enjoying a beautiful view and perfect feel of every element of mother nature. There are 25 unique species of fish found in the lake which fishers and anglers can catch.

This includes the sculpin, yellow perch, bull trout, and Mackinaw. Flathead Lake has been purported to be the home of a mythical freshwater beast known as Flathead Nessie. There have been several reports through the years of beast sightings but no definitive or conclusive proof has been produced even up to this day.

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