10 Best Lake Vacation Photos that Will Make You Want to Pack Now | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • Captivating lake scenery can ignite wanderlust.
  • Picturesque lake destinations offer a retreat from the mundane.
  • Expertise and insights guide to the best lake vacations.

Imagine gazing over a serene lake, the gentle lapping of waves against the shore, the peacefulness that envelops you.

It's not just a dream; these moments are within reach and we've got the visuals to prove it.

Moments by the water spark joy like nothing else—and these top ten lake vacation photos are the perfect testament.

They'll have you reaching for your suitcase before you can say 'lake life'.

Trust us, we're enthusiasts of the great outdoors, veterans of countless lakeside retreats, and we know the power of a picture-perfect lake view.

Our insights will lead you to the most photogenic spots, from the crystalline shores of Lake Tahoe to the azure depths of Crater Lake.

We're here to guide your next escape into the world's most stunning lakefront vistas, ensuring your vacation memories are just as breathtaking as the destinations themselves.

Table of contents


Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

Ever wondered what it's like to capture the essence of a perfect lake vacation with just a click?

Picture yourself at Lake Tahoe, straddling California and Nevada, where the waters are as clear as crystal, complemented by snow-capped mountains and forests that seem to whisper tales of adventure.

Have you got your camera ready?

What to Snap:

  • Bonsai Rock: Get up early or stick around for the sunset and witness the magic hour bring alive this iconic rock formation.
  • Nevada State Park: With secluded coves and rocky cliffs, it's a mosaic of nature’s raw beauty. Got a penchant for pristine beaches? You're in for a treat here.
  • Carnelian Bay: It's all about the serene shoreline vibes and panoramic views that scream "frame me!"

Lake Tahoe isn't just for looking pretty in pictures, though.

It beckons the adventurer in you.

Fancy a boat ride or are you more of a hike enthusiast?

Either way, Tahoe's got your back.

And when winter rolls in, swap those hiking boots for skis because the slopes here are simply irresistible.

Top Photo Spots:

  • Camp Richardson: Heritage and nature collide at this scenic resort area, nestled in a pine forest.
  • Secret Cove: Looking for tranquility with a touch of awe? The aqua-green waters here are dreamy, especially from atop a submerged boulder.
  • Sand Harbor State Park: This spot is famed for its sandy coves and enormous boulders against the backdrop of turquoise waters.
  • Cave Rock: A sentinel of nature, this volcanic marvel offers one of the most scenic vistas.

So, have you decided which spot will be the hero of your photo album yet?

Grab that camera, pack your enthusiasm, and let Lake Tahoe's enchanting landscape do the rest.

Who knows, your next click might just be the reason someone packs for Tahoe!

Crater Lake, Oregon

Have you ever laid eyes on a lake so blue, it almost seemed surreal?

Let me introduce you to Crater Lake in Oregon.

Nestled within a collapsed volcano, Crater Lake is famous for its vivid blue hue and crystal-clear waters.

It holds the title of the deepest lake in the United States with a depth of 1,943 feet.

Why should you visit?

Imagine capturing the reflection of the steep, surrounding cliffs on its mirror-like surface.

Whether it's the crack of dawn or the golden hour of sunset, your photos are bound to be breathtaking.

Here's what you can't miss:

  • Phantom Ship Island: Resembling a ghostly vessel, this natural rock formation on the lake's surface provides an enchanting focal point for your pictures, especially when shrouded in mist.
  • Scenic Drives: Crater Lake Rim Drive offers pullouts with various angles of the lake. Each viewpoint is a photo op waiting to happen.
  • Watchman Overlook: Seek panoramic shots? This is your go-to for expansive views of the lake and the surrounding Cascade Mountains.

Not just for photographers, Crater Lake satisfies all adventure cravings with boat tours, scenic drives, and trails for all levels.

Take a hike up Watchman Peak for a sunset you'll want to relive over and over.

Or simply enjoy the beauty and serenity from the comfort of the historic Crater Lake Lodge.

Remember to pack your camera, because Crater Lake is one of those places that is just as magnificent in person as it is in the photos.

Trust me, you'll want to relive these memories long after you've returned home.

Who knows, your vacation photos might just become the highlight reel of your year!

Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona

Have you ever seen where desert meets water in a stunning display of natural beauty?

Lake Powell is that magical blend, with its deep red rock canyons cradling crystal-clear turquoise waters.

Whether you're an avid photographer or just looking for some eye candy for your Instagram feed, capturing the lake's panorama is a no-brainer.

What's in store for you at Lake Powell?

  • Houseboating adventures. Glide through the vast waters with all the comforts of home on a boat.
  • Kayaking escapades. Paddle the serene waters and find your own secret cove.
  • Fishing trips. Cast a line for some of the best fishing around—bass, anyone?
  • Trailblazing hikes. Dust off your boots and hit the trails for breathtaking views.

Did you know that while a good chunk of the lake is nestled in Utah, it's Arizona that seems to hog the limelight?

Yet, no matter where you claim your spot, the views are equally majestic.

Here's a tip: don't miss visiting the impressive Rainbow Bridge National Monument—it's a short trip from Bullfrog Marina and well worth it.

Imagine yourself on a kayak, the water lapping against your paddle as you navigate through towering canyons.

Or picture setting up camp on a secluded beach, where the night sky reveals more stars than you've ever seen.

Remember, with over 2,000 miles of shoreline to explore, your perfect photo op is just around the bend at Lake Powell.

So, what are you waiting for?

Pack your bags and set sail for an unforgettable lake vacation!

Lake Placid, New York

Have you ever imagined waking up to the gentle lapping of water against a canoe, the crisp mountain air filling your lungs, and the soft hues of dawn dancing across the peaks?

Welcome to Lake Placid, your next photo-worthy lakeside oasis nestled within New York's Adirondack Mountains.

Visualize capturing the serenity of a lake surrounded by majestic mountains.

Whether draped in the vibrant colors of fall or the pristine whites of winter, this locale offers breathtaking reflections that are a photographer's dream.

Forget the filters; nature's got this covered!

What's on the adventure menu?

How about:

  • Canoeing: Glide across mirror-like waters.
  • Hiking: Trails like Giant Mountain, with its 6-mile round-trip route, offer striking views of the Eastern High Peaks.
  • Consider Mount Marcy, the giant among peaks around Lake Placid. Challenge yourself with its 15-mile round-trip trail and bask in the victory at summit.
  • Skiing: Shred or glide on world-class terrain.
  • Olympic History: Step into the Herb Brooks Arena, a shrine to Miracle on Ice glory.

But wait, there's more!

Have you heard about High Falls Gorge?

Within a 22-acre nature park lies a quartet of waterfalls, cascading fervently and just waiting to star in your lens's frame.

Each click of your camera not only captures awe-inspiring scenes but also encapsulates the essence of Lake Placid.

Are you ready to pack your bags, grab your camera, and create lasting memories?

Lake Placid is eagerly waiting to be the backdrop of your next great photograph!

Lake Michigan, Michigan

Ever feel like you need a picturesque escape?

Well, picture yourself on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, with the sun warming your skin and the gentle waves lapping at your feet.

Isn't that a scene you could get used to?

Swimming, boating, and beachcombing are just a few activities you can indulge in.

Imagine combing through the sand for Michigan's state stone, the Petoskey stone, or spending your day building sandcastles with your family.

  • Silver Beach in St. Joseph: Picture-perfect with 2,450 feet of coastline dedicated just to you and the beachgoers looking to catch some rays or take a refreshing swim.
  • Oval Beach in Saugatuck: After soaking up the sun, why not explore local restaurants or catch a show? Saugatuck's charm is just a stone's throw away from the sand.
  • Grand Haven State Park: A treasure chest of family activities await — this place doesn't close down when summer ends; it's an all-season haven.

Did you know that Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake entirely within the United States?

And with nearly 23,000 square miles to explore, it's a water wonderland waiting for you.

Here's a quick snapshot of what you could discover:

  • Manistique: A cozy town in the Upper Peninsula with a penchant for outdoor adventures and a love for craft beer.
  • Hops on the Harbor: Plan your visit to coincide with beer festivals that celebrate Michigan's microbrewing culture.

Don't just sit there; Lake Michigan is calling your name!

Slip on your sandals, grab your camera, and make some memories that are sure to fill your photo album (and your heart) with pure Michigan joy.

Ready to dive in?

Lake George, New York

Have you ever dreamt of basking in the glow of a sunset with the Adirondack Mountains reflecting off placid waters?

Well, pack your bags, because Lake George, New York, is the perfect canvas to fulfil that dream!

Imagine yourself here: a serene haven where the calm waters are your playground.

What's on the agenda?

How about starting your day with a hearty breakfast at a quaint lakeside diner, followed by a leisurely boat cruise where you can snap that perfect vacation photo – with the grandeur of the mountains as your backdrop.

  • Boating: Feel the fresh breeze while you steer through the sparkling waves.
  • Fishing: Got a knack for angling? The lake is teeming with fish, just waiting for you!
  • Hiking: Lace up your boots and conquer the trails to earn a panoramic view that'll just beg to be photographed.

And hey, calling all history buffs!

You’re in for a treat because Lake George isn't just about the natural beauty.

This place whispers tales of the past through its historical sites.

Picture yourself exploring old forts where echoes of the 18th century still linger.

So, grab your camera and your sense of adventure.

Whether you're looking for that perfect Instagram shot by a Tiki statue or a quiet spot amongst the trees, Lake George is a treasure trove of photo ops.

Trust me, your gallery will thank you later!

Lake Champlain, Vermont/New York

Have you ever felt the tug of wanderlust when you see stunning vacation photos?

Imagine yourself standing by a vast expanse of water, the Green Mountains rising in the distance, and the serene Adirondacks mirroring in the clear lake surface.

That's Lake Champlain for you—a photographer’s paradise where every snapshot tells a story of natural splendor.

Photo Tip: Find your perfect frame as you sail across the blue waters or angle for a fish that could be the star of your next big tale.

Snag a shot with your bike leaning against the backdrop of a sunset that sets the lake on fire with hues of orange and purple.

  1. Why it’s Picture-Perfect:
  1. The Causeway: A dream ride for cyclists, with uninterrupted views of sky and water.
  2. Oakledge Park: Where whimsical charm meets natural beauty—a sanctuary for your lens.
  3. Historical Exploration: Capture the essence of time at the historic forts, where each stone has a story.

Looking for something iconic?

The sailing scene here is vibrant—aim your camera at the crisp sails cutting through the lake’s surface.

For a touch of nature and science, the ECHO, Leahy Center offers a peek into aquatic life that’s sure to intrigue your followers.

Have you caught a glimpse of Route 2 or the Burlington Bike Path?

These stunning routes offer panoramic shots that are local favorites and deserve a place in your travel diary.

Remember, every photo has the power to transport you back to the moment, the crisp air, and the freedom of the outdoors.

Lake Champlain is an untapped album of memories just waiting for you—so why not start packing?

Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Ever dreamed of a lake vacation that has it all?

Let me paint a picture for you: crystal-clear waters, a backdrop of dense forests, and endless activities to keep your days action-packed.

Welcome to Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho!


  • Boating: With 109 miles of coastline, your boating adventures never have to end.
  • Fishing: Cast a line and reel in the catch of the day.
  • Hiking: Explore trails offering breathtaking views.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Keep an eye out for the local inhabitants!

Have you ever skimmed along a lake so blue, you thought you were flying?

Or maybe you fancy a calmer day, casting your line into the water and waiting for that thrilling tug.

Lake Coeur d'Alene’s maximum depth hits 220 feet, offering plenty of hidden spots for fish to lurk, waiting for your bait.

But it's not just about the water.

The surrounding green space is a haven for hikers and wildlife watchers alike.

Imagine setting off on a trail that leads to stunning panoramas of the Coeur d'Alene River and surrounding mountains.


  • Location: A stone's throw away from downtown Coeur d'Alene.
  • Depth: Up to 220 feet, inviting diverse aquatic life.
  • Wildlife: Deer, birds, and more await your gaze.

Feeling like a home away from home, Lake Coeur d'Alene beckons with vacation rentals offering jaw-dropping views.

Whether perched high on a hill or nestled by the riverside, your perfect getaway is here.

Are you ready to indulge in some lakeside bliss?

Coeur d'Alene is not just a destination; it’s the start of your next big adventure in Idaho!

Flathead Lake, Montana

Have you ever seen crystal-clear waters that make you feel like you're gazing into another world?

Imagine the calm, tranquil waters of Flathead Lake, with the majestic Mission Mountains reflecting off the surface.

Just picture yourself there, breathing in the pure Montana air.

Could there be a more perfect backdrop for your memory-making vacation snaps?

What can you do at Flathead Lake?

Let’s run through the checklist!

Are you into sailing?


Fancy a bit of fishing?


What about a leisurely swim in its refreshing waters?

Yes, you can!

And for those of you who've dreamed of stepping into a natural wonderland, Glacier National Park is just a stone's throw away.

  • Sailing: Glide across the lake with the wind in your hair.
  • Fishing: Cast a line and wait for the trout to bite.
  • Swimming: Dip your toes or dive in, the water's fine during summer!

From surprised gasps at the sight of a bald eagle overhead to the quiet hum of nature as you tiptoe through Wild Horse Island — noted for its population of bighorn sheep — what’s not to love about Flathead Lake?

Each season brings its own flavor, but summer's warm embrace, with lake temperatures hitting a comfortable 69°F, is unbeatable for water activities.

Did you know this lake is huge?

Some spots offer peaceful solitude, while others, like Volunteer Park, give you picture-perfect views.

You've got options galore for that postcard-worthy photograph!

So grab your camera, rent a boat, or just sit lakeside with your feet in the water.

Tell me, what's not to click 'like' for?

Lake Havasu, Arizona

Have you been dreaming of a picture-perfect vacation by the lakeside?

Imagine the warm sun on your skin as you stand by the vibrant blue waters of Lake Havasu.

It's the desert meeting water in the most spectacular way—with the historic London Bridge as the ultimate backdrop for your vacation photo.

What's that?

You love activities?


Lake Havasu is a playground for water lovers.

Whether you're into boating, jet skiing, or fishing—this lake has you covered.

And let's not forget about the thrill-seekers; exploring the surrounding desert landscape makes for a fantastic adventure.

But that's not all.

Lake Havasu City isn't just your run-of-the-mill lakeside retreat.

It's home to places like Cattail Cove State Park, only 10 miles south, with its beautiful white sand beach and clear water just waiting for you to dive in.

Additionally, with 61 campsites, a boat ramp, and ample tent/RV spots, you won't run out of new places to settle down and relax.

And if you thought Arizona was only about cacti and canyons, think again.

Want a memory that'll stick just like that one catchy tune?

Take a flying boat tour with Hangin' Over Havasu to capture absolutely spelled-binding angles of the lake and mountains from 1,000 feet up.

Yep, you heard that right—a flying boat!

Or, if you fancy an evening picture, saunter over to London Bridge Beach.

This is not your average beach; it's lined with family-friendly amenities and activities.

Just picture the sun setting behind the bridge—can you say #NoFilter needed?

So grab your camera, swimsuit, and a bit of wanderlust because Lake Havasu is waiting to be the star of your next vacation album!