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8 Best Lake Vacations For Families (+ Budget Tips!)

Dreaming of a family getaway? How about one of the many picturesque lakes found across the USA? Here's the best lake vacations for families!

Dreaming of a family getaway? Look no further than one of the many picturesque lakes found all around the United States! In this guide, we’ll take you through the best lake vacations for families!

(P.S. – if you’re on a budget, we have tips to make sure you can enjoy great family lake vacations without breaking the bank!)

best family lake vacations

8 Best Lake Vacations For Families

From the most tranquil of shores to action-packed recreational spots, these are some of the best family lake vacations around. Let’s dive in!

1. Lake George, New York

Nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, Lake George is a gem in upstate New York. Often referred to as the “Queen of American Lakes”, it offers the perfect blend of natural beauty and family-friendly activities.

If you do find yourself there for your family lake vacations, don’t miss out on the chance to:

  • Enjoy a scenic boat ride along crystal-clear waters.
  • Hike the nearby Adirondack mountain range.
  • Head to Million Dollar Beach for a day of picnicking and swimming.

If you prefer something cultural, you can visit one of the many art galleries and theatres in the area.
And, if you’re looking for a bite, why not visit some of the waterfront restaurants?

lake vacations for families

2. Lake Of The Ozarks, Missouri

In the heart of the Midwest is Lake of the Ozarks. This sprawling reservoir offers the best lake vacations for families looking for natural beauty.

You can spend your time hiking the scenic trails, fishing in the abundant waters, or just kicking back on the public beaches.

Why not take the whole family to explore secluded coves, go cliff jumping, or visit the water parks and miniature golf courses? And, if you’re looking to explore natural wonders, you don’t want to miss Ha Ha Tonka State Park.

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3. Lake Tahoe, California / Nevada

Hidden in the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe sits on the border of California and Nevada.

With crystal-clear waters and panoramic mountain views, it’s no wonder that Lake Tahoe is on the list of the best lake vacations for families.

Spend some time swimming at the public beaches, go skiing, or consider a boat rental if you’re feeling up to it. If you prefer something else, you could enjoy one of the many scenic hiking trails.

Whatever you’re looking for, Lake Tahoe has it!

great family lake vacations

4. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in the state of New Hampshire – and one of the best lake vacations for families.

Spanning 72 square miles, with 283 miles of pristine shoreline, this lake is perfect for swimming, fishing, and boating. It’s also surrounded by charming towns and villages, each with their own unique characteristics.

Whether your family wants fun in the sun, or wants to spend time exploring US history, this is the place to be.

5. Lake Lanier, Georgia

Just north of Atlanta is Lake Lanier. With over 38,000 acres of water, and 692 miles of shoreline, there are plenty of opportunities for water sports.

But what makes this ideal for the best family lake vacations is the fact that you can do just about anything here. Want to go hiking? Explore quiet coves and caves? Enjoy a picnic? Visit historic sites? There’s something for everybody!

Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Lake Lanier offers the perfect escape for families seeking outdoor fun in Georgia’s great outdoors.

family lake vacations

6. Lake Powell, Arizona / Utah

Situated along the border of Arizona and Utah, Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir renowned for its stunning red rock scenery and crystal-clear waters.

Families can rent houseboats, kayaks, or powerboats, or spend the day fishing for bass and trout.

And the lake is surrounded by tons of hiking trails and slot canyons, making it ideal for the active families too!

7. Lake Champlain, Vermont / New York

Lake Champlain is a freshwater lake that spans across te border of New York and Vermont.

It’s one of the best lakes for family vacations because of its beauty and historical significance. From charming waterfront towns to historic sites and museums, Lake Champlain has a lot to offer in the way of culture.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not great for some water-based fun! Families can enjoy activities like fishing boating, sailing, and swimming in the blue waters, with the stunning Green Mountains as the backdrop.

best lake vacations for families lake chaplain

8. Flathead Lake, Montana

One of the best lakes for family vacations is most definitely Flathead Lake in Montana. The largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River offers boating, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and fishing.

And, with the Rocky Mountains surrounding the lake, families can also enjoy hikes along scenic trails, visits to scenic towns, and endless outdoor experiences.

If you’re looking to reconnect with nature, Flathead Lake is the place to be!

Planning Budget-Friendly Lake Vacations

Even the best lake vacations for families doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Here are a few things you can do to enjoy family lake vacations without going over budget!

Travel In The Off-Season

Consider traveling during the off-peak season when accommodation prices are lower and crowds are thinner. Shoulder seasons, typically in the spring or fall, offer more affordable rates while still providing enjoyable weather and outdoor activities.

Book In Advance

Once you’ve chosen your destination, book your accommodation well in advance to secure the best rates. Look for deals and discounts offered by hotels, rental agencies, or campgrounds. Consider staying in self-catered accommodation such as cabins or vacation rentals to save on dining costs.

Explore Activity Options

Look for free or low-cost activities to enjoy during your lake vacation. Many lakes offer public beaches, hiking trails, and picnic areas that are free to access. Research local attractions, parks, and events that offer affordable or discounted admission for families.

Plan Your Meals

Eating out can quickly add up, so plan your meals in advance to save money. Pack a cooler with snacks, sandwiches, and drinks for day trips or picnics by the lake. Consider cooking meals at your accommodation or using communal grills at campgrounds to save on dining expenses.

Don’t Forget To Download the Air Doctor App (Just In Case):

Traveling the world is exciting – but it comes with challenges.
That’s why apps like Air Doctor are there for you (just in case).

With the Air Doctor app in your pocket, you can access medical advice, get prescriptions, and receive expert medical guidance wherever you are in the world.

Air Doctor’s easy-to-use app gives you:

  • A global network of over 20,000 multi-lingual doctors and specialists
  • Choice of clinic, at-home (hotel), and video consultations
  • Active in 75 countries
  • Cross border prescription services
  • Telemedicine services in up to 21 languages
  • 24/7 multi-lingual support
  • Transparent pricing, and reviews
  • Most common medical specialties

Safe travels!

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Jenny Cohen Drefler

Jenny Cohen Derfler

Air Dr CEO & Co-Founder

Jenny is the CEO and one of the Co-Founders at Air Doctor. She spent more than 20 years at Intel, most recently as general manager of its manufacturing facility in Israel and before that in various engineering and manufacturing roles in Silicon Valley. Air Doctor is her second startup having previously founded electric vehicle company ElectRoad.