Summer Party at the Lake!

Image: PHOTO: Party Cove, the Lake of the Ozarks. (photo via Flickr/James Carr)
Image: PHOTO: Party Cove, the Lake of the Ozarks. (photo via Flickr/James Carr)
Scott Hartbeck
by Scott Hartbeck
Last updated: 7:00 PM ET, Mon July 10, 2017

In addition to miles of magnificent seashore, the United States is also blessed with a loaded interior of lakes.

Come summertime, nearly all of these placid bodies of water turn into playgrounds, with swimmers, jet skiers and boaters taking over.

Some of these lakes have garnered a national reputation as a place where you can both enjoy the great outdoors and be guaranteed to have a ridiculously good time.

Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

In a state famous for having 10,000 lakes, Lake Minnetonka may just be the one with the most stellar reputation. Located only 15 miles from Minneapolis, this is a year-round escape from the city for its residents and is popular with tourists for fishing trips and dinner cruises.

During the summer, Lake Minnetonka's Big Island becomes the place to be seen in your swimsuit, as the island that once was home to a theme park is now the spot for a floating cocktail carnival.

The Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Affectionately known to locals as the 'LOTO', you are sure to hit the good times jackpot at Lake of the Ozarks. This serpentine-shaped lake spreads out over mid-Missouri and is home to more than a thousand miles of shoreline. The towns that line the lake are hubs of outlet shopping and dining, while the water itself is home to countless quiet coves lined with lake houses.

There's one inlet that isn't so silent, however: Party Cove.

It's a place the New York Times once described as "the oldest established permanent floating bacchanal in the country." Boaters gather here for Spring Break-type shenanigans all summer long, and you are bound to be talking about it long after you're gone.

[READMORE]READ MORE: The Best Lake Vacations in the US[/READMORE]

Lake Havasu, Arizona/Nevada

Lake Havasu is located in parts of Arizona and Nevada and is home to 400 miles of coastline, 300 days of sunshine and the one and only London Bridge.

(Yes, the same London Bridge from the nursery rhyme was painstakingly packed up brick-by-brick in Britain, sailed across the sea and then re-assembled over the water at Lake Havasu in 1971.)

In addition to world-class shopping, dining and golfing, Lake Havasu is known for being a hub of hedonistic hijinx, with Bridgewater Channel being the best place to let loose with fellow lakers.

Lake Lanier, Georgia

Less than an hour from Atlanta, Lake Lanier feels a world away with its miles of shoreline and range of watersports and woodland activities. The town of Gainesville is located nearby and serves as the center for shopping, dining and nightlife for the region.

On the water itself, the fun really gets cranked up at Cocktail Cove-the tucked-away corner of the Lake Lanier where revelers come to cool off with iced libations.

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Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

Due to its dramatic location in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe has one of the most striking settings anywhere in the USA. The lake is a hub for skiers in the winter but, come summer, Tahoe comes alive with boats of all shapes and sizes.

Great bars and restaurants can be found all over, but Zephyr Cove on the Nevada side has picked up a reputation for being the best beach party spot around.

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Scott Hartbeck

Scott Hartbeck

Born in the USA but now based in England, Scott has been writing about travel for over 10 years. He specializes in Europe, rail...

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