North America boasts a range of beautiful lake towns each with unique attributes. Whether you want to spend your summer days ogling at the stunning Canadian mountain range, the charm of small-town lakes or the liveliness of the city center, this is the place to be. Avid outdoor enthusiasts can participate in a range of activities like hiking, sightseeing, tubing, and kayaking, and relax at one of the exquisite waterfront restaurants. Here’s a roundup of the top ten lake towns in North America:
1. Lake Lure, North Carolina
This lake town makes an adventurous getaway from Ashville. Located at the edge of Blue Ridge Mountains, Lake Lure was the film set for the infamous blockbuster movie Dirty Dancing. Other movies like A Breed Apart, Thunder Rock, The Last of the Mohicans and Firestarter have also been filmed here.
Today, locals relive the movie by celebrating the Dirty Dancing Festival with a Baby & Jonny lake lift competition. Tourists can participate in plenty of water-based activities too; thanks to the bumper water cannons, boats, and waterslides. There are certified ski and wakeboard instructors to help you navigate the waters.
The famous Chimney Rock is also located here. Atop this rock, you get to view the spectacular features of the lake and gorge.
2. Meredith, New Hampshire
The town remains a famous travel destination of New Hampshire. It has a classic lake appeal thanks to its convenient location on the western shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. Despite the busy Route 3 which divides the small business district and the lake, Meredith is the epitome of this small lake town, once you explore both sides of the highway.
The not-too-distant mountains and vast water body make boating a great summertime activity. Also, there are plenty of paths along the lake which you can explore on foot. Across the street is Mills Falls Marketplace that provides lodging spaces and dining areas.
3. South Lake Tahoe
This vibrant lake town boasts vast beaches with restaurants, gorgeous sceneries, and ski resorts. It is believed to be the only destination that combines two different worlds: world-class resorts and the stunning beauty of a national park. A visit to this lake town will have you enjoying a range of exciting outdoor activities including skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, kayaking, fishing, swimming, biking, and hiking. South Lake Tahoe town also has several historical monuments.
The most popular is Zephyr Resort that dates back in the 1900s constructed in response to the Comstock silver mining boom. Vikingsholm Castle is another grand estate built in the 1920s as well as Camp Richardson Resort, a lakefront retreat area since 1924.
4. Door County
This picturesque peninsula is nestled between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. It is abuzz with historic venues, lighthouses, and harbors which invite visitors to explore the 300-mile shoreline. What’s more, it is home to 50 beaches.
During the summer period, this lake town makes a great water sports destination. Whether you want to fish, kayak, sail or go for shipwreck diving, this is the place to be. The winter season makes Door County a favorite spot for cross-country skiing, ice fishing and riding ice-breaker ferries.
5. Saugatuck Michigan
This scenic lake town boasts soft piles of sand heaped along the vast shoreline of Lake Michigan. The city sits atop Saugatuck dunes which provides a beautiful picturesque of the sunset overlooking the lake.
Saugatuck Dunes State Park is famous for ziplining and cross-country skiing on the 200-foot mounds. Oval Beach is also located here and is often ranked among the best Midwest top beaches. Avid cyclists can rent bicycles from the little resorts and B&Bs to explore the craft breweries and many galleries spotting the town.
6. Lake George, New York
Relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Lake George town on a sightseeing cruise aboard Lac du Saint Sacrement. Tucked in the stunning Adirondack Mountains of New York, the lake town is a favorite vacation destination for many families.
There are countless activities to do in the region ranging from swimming, hiking, and exploring the amusement park. Carry a camera to the hiking trail which leads you to the beautiful Shelving Rock Falls.
7. Sandpoint, Idaho
The town is located on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. It is surrounded by stunning mountains which provide plenty of summer and winter sports activities. During the warmer months, you can explore the beauty of the lake up close on a cruise.
The winter season is an excellent time for families to go for snowmobile tours or explore the ski trails. A drive up Pend Oreille Scenic Byway is the best way to enjoy the spectacular autumn foliage.
8. Osoyoos, Canada
The lake town is nestled between the Canadian Rockies of Banff National Park and Vancouver’s Coastal Mountain Range. It is famous for its beautiful beaches, warm water, and surrounding vineyards. Locals and visitors explore the vast Osoyoos Lake by waterskiing and surfing.
If traveling with kids visit Rattlesnake Canyon’s bumper boats, the large trampolines and go for horseback trail rides across the gorgeous landscape. Also, an afternoon wine tour takes you to the town’s four vineyards where you taste the exquisite wines produced here.
9. Branson, Missouri
It is a great family-friendly lake town with a country vibe. Branson is home to the famous Silver Dollar City which has numerous educational activities. There is the Titanic Museum, animal and environmental science lessons held at the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery and performance venues like the Sight & Sound Theatres. Visitors can also explore the Table Rock Lake, an excellent place for swimming and sailing.
10. Chelan, Washington
The lake town provides a peaceful escape for families, couples and singles. Adventurous tourists can head out on a rafting trip down the Spokane River or go on an electric bike tour with a stop at the local wineries.
If looking for an unobstructed vantage point of the lake visit the Echo Ridge Nordic Ski area. The trail system has 25 miles of intertwining trails for hikers of all ages, i.e., from wide-open trails to singletrack trails as you head upwards.