Spring break isn’t the only way to travel this season, and Americans are searching and booking more and more smaller and less assuming destinations. One trend in particular that is proving popular is the lake lifestyle. American travelers are looking to beaches and lakes this year, with lake towns seeing a nearly 500% increase in searches from last year.
Luckily in America, we are spoiled for choice with the many lakes we can choose from, from great to small and everything in between. While some lake destinations need no introduction, there are many other options that seem to fly under the radar.
Here are 10 lake towns in the U.S. perfect for you to live your best lake-life:
You can find this small town gem located on the northern shores of Kentucky’s Lake Barkley. This Bluegrass state destination has been called the Cape Cod of Kentucky, and with good reason. The town itself has a bit of an interesting past, with the original Kuttawa being covered in water from the creation of a dam in the 1940s. Kuttawa was then moved to the edges of the newly created Lake Barkley. If you visit in the off-season, guests can still explore the ruins of the original town when they visit.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Easily the most well-known lake town on this list, Lake Havasu is simply too enticing not to include as a perfect lakeside escape. With over 60 miles of waterways to explore and home to the new London Bridge, it’s no wonder over a million people visit this lake each year. What Lake Havasu City lacks in small-town appeal, it makes up for with its desert beauty and wealth of things to do. It’s worth mentioning that this area is popular with Spring-Breakers, and you might want to schedule your trip accordingly if you are looking for some peace and quiet!
Summerville, West Virginia
With a nickname of “The Little Bahamas of the East,” it’s no wonder people love to visit Summerville. Almost hidden among the Appalachian Mountains, Summerville is a favorite for those looking to get on the water. Boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, scuba diving, and other activities are popular here. West Virginia’s largest lake, Summerville, also has waterfalls and gorges to explore if you get bored of sitting and staring at the stunning scenery.
Lake George, New York
While New York has no shortage of picturesque lakes to enjoy, the Finger Lakes region deserves its own separate list entirely. But for this New York lake, we are heading a bit further north and into the Adirondack Mountains. Lake George is the perfect example of what a lake town should be, with rolling mountains lining the shores, wineries, steamboats, and plenty of water and hiking activities for the whole family to enjoy.
You can find Lakeway tucked away into the south shore of Lake Travis, only 25 miles outside of Austin, Texas. Referred to as the Texas Hill Country, this area of the state is green, lush, and perfect for those looking for a lakeside escape. The small town setting is still very much Texas-style, and visitors can kick back and relax among the waves or hike any of the area’s many trails.
Winter Haven, Florida
This centrally located Florida town is found between Orlando and Tampa, offering travelers a much-needed respite from the amusement park-focused tourism of the area. Lakeland is a charming series of lakes, all linked by canals, and paddle boating along them is a favorite pastime here. While LEGOLAND is a big draw for this area, there are plenty of other ways to spend your time, from botanical gardens to nature trails. Winter Haven also has a recently restored downtown area, which is full of locally owned shops and restaurants to enjoy after a day on the water.
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
This classic New England town, set amongst the banks of the largest lake in New Hampshire, is a favorite among people coming from larger East Coast cities, seeking peace and quiet. Wolfeboro is often referred to as “America’s Oldest Summer Resort,” and the area remains popular even in the off-season. Lining the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, the charming small town is surrounded by beaches, hiking trails, and views of the mountain ranges across the water.
Lake Lure, North Carolina
Located in the Western North Carolina mountains, Lake Lure is both a mountain and a lake town. With opportunities for hiking, stunning viewpoints, swimming, and history, there is enough to do in Lake Lure to keep you busy. Located about 45 minutes from Asheville, Lake Lure can be found along the border between North and South Carolina. One area in which this town shines is the small local businesses that remain thriving today, with classic mom-and-pop shops lining the main street.
Steeped in both tradition and history, Greensboro is Lake Oconee’s most well-known town for many reasons. Greensboro’s quaint and charming downtown offers shopping, restaurants, and bars, as well as lake activities such as water sports, boating, and fishing. The small-town charm of Greensboro keeps regulars coming back year after year, and it’s becoming increasingly popular with lake-goers looking for a small-town feel surrounded by natural beauty.
The town of Clinton is perched on the shores of the Clinch River, next to the brightly colored greenish-blue Norris Lake. Favored by families looking to escape the daily grind in the nearby cities, Clinton and Norris Lake offer many outdoor adventures to enjoy. The charming downtown Clinton offers hometown restaurants and shops with a focus on handicrafts and antiques. Other options include the Museums of Appalachia, an immersive living history museum educating visitors on the region’s past.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com