En español | According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — and they should know — America has a lot of lakes: 123,439, to be exact, not including the Great Lakes or those smaller than 10 acres.
While not all of these lakes are wonderful vacation destinations, many are.
Here are five especially sweet spots for a summertime idyll on lakes other than the famous Great Lakes.
1. Lake Tahoe: Tahoe City, Calif.
Lake Tahoe is North America's largest alpine lake, a virtual inland sea of lapis water ringed by snow-capped peaks. With its lively in-town beach, restaurants and shops, Tahoe City makes a fine base for exploring the lake's less-developed north shore, a world away from the razzmatazz of south shore casinos.
Check out gorgeous Washoe tribal baskets at the museum, take a dip in the lake or a spin on a personal watercraft, or head just outside town for tranquil lakeside or mountain walks through forests with bracing pine-scented air.
2. Saranac Lakes: Village of Saranac Lake, N.Y.
With 186 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places and many of its gracious Queen Anne homes now serving as inns, the Village of Saranac Lake exudes an aura of gentler times.
It's named for a trio of nearby Adirondack Mountain lakes — Upper, Middle and Lower Saranac — where old, lovingly restored lodges with massive stone fireplaces house overnighters in timber cabins, and it's de rigueur to gaze at the water from an Adirondack chair.
3. Lake Chelan: Chelan, Wash.
Wine tasting, parasailing, snow cones, a round of golf or swimming in sun-warmed waters: The town of Chelan, at the southern tip of the 55-mile-long lake for which it's named, offers a wide array of summer activities.
But hop aboard the daily four-hour cruise to the lake's northern end and you'll soon enter the wild and rugged heart of the Cascade Mountains, the domain of mountain goats, bighorn sheep and serious backpackers. Make it a day trip and you'll be back in time for cocktails and a fine lakeside supper.