A-z - Animals

10 Best Swimming Lakes in America

Keep reading to watch this amazing video

key point:

  • Lakes are bodies of water surrounded by land and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the largest lakes in the world include Lake Superior, Lake Victoria, and Lake Baikal.
  • Lakes play a vital role in the Earth's water cycle as they store and distribute water, regulate climate and provide habitat for a variety of plant and animal species.
  • The formation of lakes can be attributed to a variety of geological processes, including glacial erosion, volcanic activity, tectonic movement, and damming of rivers or streams.

Every year, millions of people across the United States take to rivers, lakes, oceans and other bodies of water for summer adventure, swimming and relaxation.

There's no doubt that the beautiful Great Lakes look alluring – clear blue waters surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches, sometimes with picturesque mountains as a backdrop. They are the perfect swimming spots for those looking for a calm, relaxing experience. Unfortunately, some lakes are far deadlier than you might think.

They could contain harmful algae or be contaminated with animal waste, or worse, move too fast to keep up. So before you jump into any lake to swim, you have to make sure it's safe to do so.

That's why we bring you our hand-picked list of the best swimming lakes in the U.S. — and every lake on this list promises to give you the best swimming experience possible!

Lake Tahoe, California

Lake Tahoe - Sierra - Nevada - California - USA
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America.


As the largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe is not only picturesque but also the perfect spot for a recreational swim. Spread over 120,000 acres, located between California and Nevada, its clear blue waters, coastal cities and snow-capped mountain backdrops make it the perfect vacation destination for every entertainment lover.

Read more  Copperhead Bites: How Deadly Are They?

Even though the water on this California lake stays cold most of the year, that hasn't stopped hundreds of tourists from flocking to swim at Sand Harbor Beach in northern Lake Tahoe.

Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake is one of the clearest bodies of water.


The crater formed by a massive volcano that erupted thousands of years ago eventually formed the deepest lake in the United States, Crater Lake, at about 1,943 feet deep. It's also one of the largest lakes in Oregon — covering a surface area of 13,180 acres.

At its center lies an island that was once the highest peak in the area, and you can find this lake in Crater Lake National Park. The calm, cool waters are perfect for a dip in the hot summer months.

Surrounded by the Oregon Mountains, the stunning Crater Lake is considered one of the clearest waters on Earth!

Newfound Lake, New Hampshire

new lake in new hampshire
Newfound Lake is the deepest and clearest lake in New Hampshire.

©Alison Leyton/Shutterstock.com

Newfound Lake is the deepest and clearest lake in New Hampshire, offering amazing swimming opportunities and beautiful views of the surrounding forest. This beautiful lake covers more than 4,000 acres with 22 miles of shoreline, and there are many other nearby attractions to explore, including lighthouses, nature preserves and seaside towns.

While visiting New Discovery Lake, you'll also have the opportunity to swim at Wellington State Park, New Hampshire's largest freshwater swimming beach.

Flathead Lake, Montana

Flathead Lake
Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River.


With more than 185 miles of shoreline, Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. Due to the proximity to colder climates, the best time to swim is usually late spring to early fall when the water is warm enough for swimming.

In addition to being one of the best swimming lakes in Montana, Flathead Lake offers a variety of recreational activities including boating, camping trail rides, horseback riding lessons and more.

Lake Santetra, North Carolina

© digidreamgrafix/Shutterstock.com

Santeetlah Lake is a freshwater swimming lake located off the Indian Lakes Scenic Byway, with approximately 80 percent of its 76 miles of shoreline within the Nantahala National Forest.

Read more  Rabbit Tooth: Everything You Need to Know

If you're looking for an entry-free swimming lake that guarantees you a tranquil experience, this lake should be on your to-do list. Remember, the best swimming area is the Cheoah Point Recreation Area, which has clean waters and lots of fun activities for visitors to explore.

Lake Texoma, Oklahoma and Texas

Lake Texoma is one of the largest lakes in Oklahoma.

© iStock.com/asiantiger247

Take the opportunity to swim in two states on the same day by visiting Lake Texoma, a large body of water that stretches from the southern edge of Oklahoma to Texas. At approximately 89,000 acres, the lake is one of the largest in Oklahoma, offering plenty of room for everyone to enjoy a variety of outdoor recreational activities. As far as fun lakes go, this lake is one of the best swimming lakes you can visit with friends or family.

Lake Chelan, Washington

Surrounded by lush forests, small towns and mountains, Lake Chelan is one of the best lakes in Washington.

© iStock.com/jmacarthur

Lake Chelan, Washington's largest natural lake, is a beautiful swimming lake with more than 100 miles of shoreline. Lake Chelan is undoubtedly one of the best lakes in Washington, surrounded by lush forests, small towns and mountains.

Most visitors come to swim in the pristine waters of the lake, explore the surrounding state parks, and enjoy the stunning views in every direction. You should also know that some parts of the lake are only accessible by hiking.

Rainy Lake, Minnesota

Lake Rainey is located in the famous Voyager National Park.

© Ken Lund / flickr – License

"Lake Country" Minnesota is home to at least 10,000 lakes. One of the most beautiful lakes in the state is located in the famous Voyager National Park – this is the magnificent Rainy Lake. Rainy Lake is a popular tourist destination for swimming and other recreational activities. It has approximately 930 miles of coastline along which you can swim for hours.

There are hundreds of other small islands in its waters, perfect for swimming. Since you'll find this lake on the Canadian border, try to understand the rules of the border crossing if you're taking a boat.

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Lake of the Ozarks

© iStock.com/scgerding

Lake of the Ozarks is the most popular warm-weather destination in the entire state of Missouri. It's a man-made lake in the Ozark Mountains with more than 1,000 miles of shoreline stretching in all directions, making it ideal for swimming.

Read more  Crow Spirit Animal Symbolism

You can also visit the Lake of the Ozark State Park to enjoy the beauty of the lake with two long sandy beaches and a variety of amenities, hiking trails, and stunning views of the beautiful lake.

Lake Crescent, Washington

Crescent Lake is one of the best swimming lakes in the United States.

© FloNight (Sydney Poore) and Russell Poore / Creative Commons – Licensed

You can find pretty Crescent Lake in the temperate rainforest of Washington's Olympic National Park. The park has about 100 houses and even has a fairly flat trail for hikers to swim in the shade. The water at Crescent Lake is beautiful and blue; some swimmers have reported that it is so clear that they can see into the depths!

Add a visit to this lake to your bucket list and you can guarantee yourself an enjoyable experience.

animals that live in and around lakes

Ruby Topaz Hummingbird
The male Ruby Topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) can be quite hostile even though it weighs only 0.12 oz when it comes to defending its territory from rivals.

© Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock.com

Lakes are unique ecosystems that provide a variety of habitats for a wide variety of animals. From fish to birds, mammals to insects, the lakes support a wide variety of species that have adapted to life in and around the water.

Here are some of the most common animals that live in and around lakes:

  • fish
  • birds
  • mammal
  • insect
  • reptile
  • amphibians

Lakes are diverse ecosystems that provide habitat for a variety of animals including fish, mammals, birds and insects.

These animals play an important role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem and make the lake one of the most fascinating and diverse environments in the world.


  • animals of the great lakes region
  • What is a lake? 5 characteristics that define a lake
  • Kentucky Lakes – 10 Lakes From Largest To Smallest


  • Saw an alligator biting an electric eel with 860 volts
  • The 15 Deepest Lakes in America
  • Watch rare coyotes and bobcats now

More from AZ Animals

featured image

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

© Colton Lee Garcia/Shutterstock.com

about the author

Victor Victor

For six years, I have been a professional writer and editor of books, blogs and websites, with a particular focus on animals, technology and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with my friends.

Thanks for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the 10hunting.com editorial team.