Many top ten lists use an arbitrary set of rules as to determine what lake makes the cut. I have simply created list of unique and special places. These lakes made it, because they are a uniquely new experience.
Flathead Lake, Montana
Located in the Flathead Valley, this lake lays directly adjacent to Glacier National Park, near several ski resorts and hiking trails. Full of wildlife, Flathead is one of the deepest and cleanest lakes in the US. Many resorts and campgrounds surround the massive lake.
Lake Coeur D’Alene, Idaho
Known for its boating, hiking, fishing and diving, this lake was glacially formed and offers beautiful resorts, fine dining and several spas. Most notable, however, is its large population of Bald Eagles who surface in great numbers each November to feed off the spawning salmon.
Crater Lake, Oregon
This caldera is located in Crater Lake National Park and is best explored through a guided tour like the boat and trolley tours offered. Its stunning blue color and unique location, make it one of the most unique lakes in the US. Staying here can be done via a resort, camping or cabin rental.
Big Bear Lake, California
Near the San Bernardino Mountains and National Forest , the Big Bear Lake area is a popular resort area in California. Though swimming is discouraged due to underwater currents, pleasure boating and fishing draw crowds each year. Its proximity to the Pacific Crest Trail makes it an excellent stop on a longer backpacking trek.
Lake of the Woods, Minnesota
This Minnesota lake sprawls across the Canadian border and is the lake for the fisherman in everyone. With fly fishing and ice fishing, many of the resorts and hotels in the area offer fishing excursions. In addition to all that fishing, many hiking and cross-country ski trails surround the massive watershed.
Torch Lake, Michigan
Located in Northern Michigan, this stunningly blue lake is the perfect place to rent a boat in the summer. Consider visiting in the fall for a color tour as well. There are several hotels in the area and the small towns surrounding as well as cabins up for rent for weekends or weeks at a time.
Lake George, New York
Located in the majestic resort area of the Adirondacks, this lake is a great spot to take a family vacation. With an abundance of hotels and resorts in the area, activities abound including cruises, fishing, golfing and even hot air ballon rides.
Lake Iliamna, Alaska
The largest lake in Alaska, Lake Iliamna is home to grizzly bears and one of the continents only populations of freshwater seals. Many visit this area to fish for the fat rainbow trout and several populations of salmon that live withing its depths. With only a few resorts in the area, its important to make reservations well in advance.
Kentucky Lake, Kentucky
Kentucky Lake is the largest man-made lake in the United States and is an excellent spot for a family vacation. With huge populations of fish, this is a great southern fishing spot. Camping, boating and hiking can also be found in the area. Stay at one of the many resorts, hotels and campgrounds.
Lake Martin, Alabama
Lake Martin is a scenic lake in Alabama that is home to several interesting and explorable islands. There is a spectacular fireworks show each year over its waters as well as fishing tournaments each year. Hiking, golfing, boating, its beautiful wooded shoreline and the well-known Chimney Rock are just of a few of the things it has to offer.