Lakes Appreciation Month: 10 Best Lakes to Visit by Boat

Are you looking for a unique way to celebrate Lakes Appreciation Month this year? Have you already visited all of your local lakes? It may be time to plan a trip to one of the best bodies of water known to boaters. 

Below, we’ll share a list of our ten favorite lakes to visit in July and a little bit more about what Lakes Appreciation Month is in the first place.

What is Lakes Appreciation Month?

Lakes Appreciation Month is an annual celebration of inland bodies of water. Many US states and Canadian provinces recognize the event each July through water conservation conversations, invasive species education, and shoreline cleanups. However, planning time to enjoy and appreciate our lakes can be as important as learning to protect them. So what better time than July to visit your bucket-list lake?

The 10 Best Lakes to Visit During Lakes Appreciation Month

1. Lake Powell (Northern Arizona)

Located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on the Colorado River, Lake Powell offers opportunities for both sightseeing and fun. Its 2000 miles of shoreline are filled with breathtaking mountain views. On the water, visitors enjoy watersports like tubing, waterskiing, canoeing, and kayaking. Large populations of bass also bring fishermen of all skill levels. 

Learn More About Watersports

2. Lake Tahoe (State Lines of California and Nevada)

Lake Tahoe is small but mighty with its 72-mile, mountain-filled shoreline. Several waterways enter and exit the lake, with waterfalls to view throughout. Visitors come for trophy fishing, watersports, paddle boarding, canoeing and kayaking, and more. 

3. Lake of the Ozarks (Heart of Missouri)

This large lake offers more than 1150 miles of stunning shoreline. Sightseeing is more than spectacular, thanks to the tall forests and bluffs surrounding the water. While boating, visitors can enjoy watersports and fishing for bass, crappies, and catfish.

4. Lake Winnipesaukee (Central New Hampshire)

With just 182 miles of shoreline, Lake Winnipesaukee is on the smaller side but still worth traveling to. Known for both power boating and sailing, adventurists can take in incredible foliage views, fish for bass or trout, or join a guided salmon-fishing tour.


5. Lake Okeechobee (Central Florida)

Are you looking for something slightly different? Try an airboat tour of this fabulous southern lake. Lake Okeechobee is filled with largemouth bass, speckled perch, and catfish, thanks to its many connecting waterways. And with 135 miles of shoreline, you can take in much of what the lake offers in a single trip.

Learn More: Fishing Tips for Beginners

6. Lake George (Upstate New York)

Lake George is small but mighty. Its 109 miles of shoreline are filled with scenery ranging from sandy beaches to the Adirondack Mountains. Visitors enjoy various water activities, including jet skiing, lake surfing, and parasailing.

7. Lake Cumberland (Southeastern Kentucky)

With its own State Park designation, this lake and its 1255 miles of shoreline are jam-packed with Southern beauty. The fishing is hard to beat as bass, crappies, and walleye roam the waters. Water sports of all kinds are a big hit here as well. Common fish to catch include bass, trout, salmon, and panfish.

8. Lake Havasu (Arizona/Colorado River)

Lake Havasu isn’t called “Arizona’s Playground on the Water” for nothing. It’s a perfect fit for vacationers of all kinds, with mountains and gorges to gaze at, fish to catch, and sandbars to swim. The waters offer higher-than-average speed potential for the most daring watersports. And with 1683 miles of shoreline, you can visit several times while keeping each trip unique.

Read Next: Arizona Boating Guide

9. Lake Michigan (Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana)

Lake Michigan is the fifth-largest freshwater lake in the world, boasting 1683 miles of forest-filled shoreline. It’s an incredible place to fish, with trout, perch, bass, and salmon lurking under the water and waiting for your bait. Crystal-clear waters and nature-filled islands offer spectacular adventures, many of which can only be accessed by boat.

10. Lake Superior (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario)

This is the world’s largest freshwater lake, with 2726 miles of shoreline. The scenery includes pine-filled forests, rocky cliffs, and lush green hills. Connecting waterways are filled with waterfalls of all sizes. The 88 fish species make for excellent fishing, and freight-filled barges make for intriguing spectating.


All in all, it’s clear that there are so many lakes for boaters to explore this summer. 

This July, whether or not you’ll be planning a large trip for the Fourth of July or simply want to explore a new lake, be sure to take some time to appreciate your favorite waters. 

Every lake deserves to be protected, cared for, and enjoyed — and the responsibility falls no further than each of us.

Day Cruising