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Top 10 lakeside retreats

When summer highs get unbearable, it's time to go jump in a lake. Literally. Our will help you choose which one to dive into – in both hemispheres – during the dog days of summer.
New Zealand’s Lake Taupo is one of our top spots to cool off.
New Zealand’s Lake Taupo is one of our top spots to cool off.© Destination Lake Taupo/marcel / © Destination Lake Taupo
/ Source: Sherman's Travel

When summer highs get unbearable, it's time to go jump in a lake. Literally. Our will help you choose which one to dive into – in both hemispheres – during the dog days of summer. Pick between easy-to-get to lakes in the United States and Canada, top draws in Europe and Japan, and even New Zealand – where peak summer season runs from December to March. No matter whether you prefer to rough it at a lakeside campsite or sleep in 300+ thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets at a top-tier resort, you're bound to find somewhere to cool you off on our list.


Nestled snugly between Lake Ontario and the northern border of Pennsylvania, the Finger Lakes district of New York State is a popular summertime playground for kids of all ages, who are lured by the abundance of idyllic lakeside retreats, and end up enthralled by the many historic sites, sloping vineyards, wine trails, and annual festivals that occupy their shores.

As if the dramatic and sweeping vistas of Japan’s iconic Mt. Fuji weren’t enough, the region’s beauty is further amplified by Lake Kawaguchi, the largest of the Fuji Five Lakes that lie at the base of the famed mountain peak’s northern foothills.

Once described by Stendhal as, an "enchanting spot, unequaled on earth in its loveliness,” posh Lago di Como arguably offers the finest lakeside creature comforts anywhere in the world.

Immortalized by great writers, like Keats, Tennyson, and Charlotte Brontë, who sought inspiration and solace along its spectacular shores, England’s Lake District is surely one of Great Britain’s most cherished destinations.


Just 30 miles from the hotspot (literally and figuratively) of Las Vegas, droves of visitors flock to the massive Hoover Dam that staunches the flow of the mighty Colorado River. What keeps them sticking around, however, is Lake Mead, the massive body of water that winds up dammed in basins on the north and northeastern sides of the engineering marvel.

The mother of all the Great Lakes, and the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior is second to none, so pack up your tent, marshmallows, and bug spray and head to any of its 2800 miles of sunlit shores, whether in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Ontario.


Nestled in the scenic Sierra Nevada range, on the borders of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe has allured vacationers for decades. While primarily revered as a winter destination, summer months are equally appealing at this chic lakeside town, since, once the ice melts on the eponymous lake, boating, watersports, and fishing get top billing.


Whether sunbathing on the sandy shore, practicing your swing on one of the area’s six golf courses, soaking in a mineral spa, or diving off a towering cliff, Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s ultimate lakeside holiday destination.


Horseshoeing around glittering Lake Massawippi, North Hatley easily outclasses every other lakeside resort town in Quebec – and most others in Canada, to boot.

Straddling the US and Canadian borders between New York and Ontario, lakeside vacation lovers and salad-dressing aficionados have made the Thousand Islands a summertime mecca for over a century.

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