There’s truly nothing like a New England summer from the hazy cobblestone streets to the looming fresh pines, and the cool shores of the Atlantic ocean. Since most New Englanders head out to the Cape or Hamptons, some of the best lakes go unnoticed. There is a certain lure to the lake regions as well- they offer a temporary escape from the fast city life and the spirit of the great outdoors.
1. Sebago Lake
The deepest lake in the state of Maine and the second largest, Lake Sebago is a gorgeous spot for your next vacation. It borders the towns of Naples, Casco, Raymond, Sebago, Standish and Windham where you can rent a boat, kayak, or a paddle boat for the day amongst other activities.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, head to the boardwalk in downtown Naples where you can try a waterskiing lesson or spend a scenic afternoon by taking the seaplane over the lake.
2. Moosehead Lake
This is the largest lake in Maine and surely not one to miss with over 74,000 acres of wildlife and pure untouched beauty. While Moosehead is a bit further north than Sebago, it is definitely worth the trek for those who love to fish.
You can hire an expert Maine guide to take you out for the day with the possibility of hooking one of the lake’s many brook trout, salmon, and lake trout. For those who prefer to keep it more lowkey, you can opt for a moose safari that will take you along the lake’s spectacular perimeter.
3. Newfound Lake
Located in New Hampshire, Newfound is just a short distance from the major city of Boston. Situated in the central lakes region of NH, Newfound offers all the lakeside joys of swimming, fishing, and quaint ice cream stands for half of the travel distance.
4. Kezar Lake
You will find the amazingly clear waters of Kezar Lake in the foothills of the gorgeous White Mountains in Lovell, Maine. Like its bigger brothers, Kezar is known for its prime fishing experiences and the chances of spotting a moose grazing in the shallow waters.
5. Lake Winnipesaukee
One of the most popular places to be in a New England summer, Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire is the optimal lake to visit with family and friends. It is definitely more populated than other New England lake regions but for good reason, it boasts a famous ice cream spot, Kellerhaus, which is known for the ice cream sundae of your childhood dreams.
6. Walden Pond
This gorgeous small lake (pond just sounds better) was named a Massachusetts National Historic Landmark in 1692. The site is preserved thanks to writer Henry David Thoreau spent two years living in a log cabin on the shores and documenting the effects of nature in his novel Walden.
This is the perfect local spot to take a picnic and enjoy a quiet afternoon on the quiet shores of Walden in central Massachusetts.
7. Lake George
While technically not part of New England, Lake George in New York has been a favorite summer spot, especially amongst wealthy New Englanders for years. Situated in the Adirondack mountains, this resort area not only has a gorgeous lake for swimming but also famous hotels, wineries, restaurants, camping and more.
8. Lake Champlain
This gorgeous lake is the backdrop of Burlington, Vermont, or one of the best cities in New England for connecting with nature, eating, drinking, and receiving an education all in one place. Home to the University of Vermont and Champlain College, Lake Champlain is the playground for one of the most relaxed yet cool cities on the East Coast.
9. Squam Lake
Another gem set in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Squam is the perfect spot to visit when you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and especially in the Fall when the foliage is in its prime.
10. Lake Willoughby
Nestled in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, Lake Willoughby is a dreamy spot that’s also bordered by the Willoughby State Forest. The lake’s south end is framed by Mount Hor and Mount Pisgah which collectively form the picturesque “Willoughby Gap.”