When the thick, summer heat has the pavement steaming, few things sound more satisfying than leaping into cool water. And whether that’s a rooftop pool on a long afternoon or the ocean with a cooler of beer and a towel spread out on the sand — throwing on a bathing suit and going for a swim is a classic sign of summer. But unfortunately, you don’t always have a rich friend with pool access or an ocean nearby. So, what are you to do when you hear the siren’s call to get in the water?
May we suggest a lake?
Going to a lake is the ultimate (and accessible!) fun in the sun activity. Every single state has at least a few, and they’re the best of a pool and the ocean combined. The water is calm but still wide and open. And there’s room for a boat, but not one that might be overtaken by sharks. Lakes are just the ideal spot for hanging with friends or getting buzzed on a giant unicorn floaty. But all lakes are not created equal — some are filled more with retirees looking to catch a fish than a bunch of young people partying all day. So, we looked for the most fun lake in every state, and we found amazing spots. From manmade ones to those carved out by glaciers, the lakes on this list are a guaranteed good time — perfect for summer 2019.
Check out the list below to find out which lake in your state should get worked into your summer plans ASAP.
Alabama — Lake Martin
When Alabama dammed the Tallapoosa River in 1926, it formed the largest man-made body of water on the entire globe (at the time). Lake Martin is a whopping 41,150 acres of sparkling water — which gives ample room for parties between Memorial Day and Labor Day. From sun up to sun down in the summer, it’s packed with people socializing on pontoons, docks, and party barges. Some liken Lake Martin to an all-ages summer camp.
Pro-tip: Accessible only by the water, Chimney Rock is the party cove not to be missed. The array of graffiti on the rocks makes for great pictures, and the area is also home to Acapulco Rock, whose 60-foot face is a huge temptation for daredevils looking to flip into the water in full view of folks cheering from vessels bobbing on the lake.
Alaska — Kenai Lake
There are plenty of lakes filled with beautiful water, but Kenai Lake sees those lakes, and raises them the most startlingly, greenish-blue, glacial water you could imagine. That makes it a great place to visit year-round for hiking the shore and taking dope pictures. But when the weather gets warm, you also have the option to engage in a whole mess of other activities like fishing, kayaking, wildlife viewing, boating, and stand up paddleboarding.
Pro-tip: This Alaska lake is a large zigzag or boomerang shaped body of water that is the headwaters of the Kanai River. It’s also set against the Kenai Mountains and fairly close to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, so people looking to stay in the area for more than a fun afternoon should make that a stop!