There are too many incredible boating spots in America for one person to hope to see them all in one lifetime. Wherever you are, you’re never more than a day’s drive from an unforgettable adventure on the water.
To help you pick your next boating experience, we’ve compiled a list of five fascinating boating spots in the United States – some of them highly popular and well-known, others slightly off the beaten path.
1) The Finger Lakes – New York State
The famous Finger Lakes were carved by glaciers in the last ice age. Known for their distinctive shape and beauty, these long, deep lakes have earned their place as one of the top fresh-water boating spots in the Northeastern United States. The majestic Cayuga Lake, spanning 3.5 miles at its widest points, offers a well-rounded boating experience – complete with award-winning local vineyards, consistently ranked among the best in the country. Seneca Lake, the longest and deepest of the lakes, boasts the same attractions. And to make things easy, public boat launches at these and other Finger Lakes are ample.
2) Hilton Head – South Carolina
South Carolina is well-known for having one of the most beautiful coasts in the eastern United States. Hilton Head, a popular resort destination, possesses both a beautiful coast and some of the best accommodations money can buy. In addition to its numerous public access marinas and warm Atlantic waters, Hilton Head provides virtually any other accommodation you can dream of – from world class eco-resorts, dolphin activities, and golf courses galore.
3) Lewisville Lake – Texas
Lewisville Lake has the distinction of being both the former water supply of Dallas, Texas, and the site of the earliest evidence of human life in the southwestern United States. It is also known as one of the most popular boating attractions in the Lone Star state. Lewisville Lake has a little something for everyone – its calm reservoir waters are ideal for watersports, while its robust fish populations make it great for anglers.
4) Otter Tail County – Minnesota
There are 1,048 reasons to make Otter Tail your next boating destination – one for every lake in the county. Yes, Otter Tail County boasts more lakes than any other county in the United States. Its largest, aptly named Otter Tail Lake, offers 21 square miles and is a particularly popular boating and sailing destination. What’s more, prehistoric remains suggest that populations have been enjoying these lakes (and the fish that reside in them) for 13,000 years.
5) Shasta Lake – California
Sporting jaw-dropping views of Northern California’s most enchanting mountains, Shasta Lake is the largest reservoir in the entire state. A popular spot for house-boating, Shasta Lake’s calm waters accommodate all manner of interests, and draw smaller crowds than its better-known neighbor, Lake Tahoe. It’s also impounded by the imposing Shasta Dam, one of the top ten largest dams in the country.