Top 15 Best Lakes to Visit in California

21-11-2022 15 1 0 0 Báo lỗi

California's geography is unique in the country, and locals frequently brag about being able to spend the entire day outdoors, lunch on the beach, dinner on a mountaintop, and watching the sunset. Beautiful lakes can be found all over California, in both popular resort areas and recreation hotspots. Let's examine some of the best lakes to visit in California, what to do while you're there, and where to stay while traveling.

1 AnhThư Nguyễn

Lake Tahoe

The largest alpine lake in California, Lake Tahoe is renowned across the world for having the deepest and bluest waters of any lake in the state. Lake Tahoe, which straddles the California-Nevada border and is located about 200 miles northeast of San Francisco, is surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountain range.


Water sports and beach tanning are popular activities at Lake Tahoe, especially in the summer. Skiers visit in the winter, and mountain bikers and hikers frequent the lake's trails all year long. To be in awe of Lake Tahoe's beauty, you don't even need to get out of your car. Driving around the lake offers a variety of views, photo opportunities, and scenic vistas.


Try a half-day self-guided electric bike tour along the stunning eastern shore trail if it's your first time visiting Lake Tahoe. Take your mountain bike to the 14-mile Flume Track, a somewhat difficult trail with stunning views of the lake and mountains that extend from South Lake Tahoe all the way to the north, if you want to test your limits.


In addition, Lake Tahoe offers accommodations in South Lake Tahoe vacation homes, as well as resorts and quaint, vintage inns on the eastern shore that seem to have been plucked straight out of a 1950s summer vacation.


Location: The Sierra Nevada of the U.S., along the state line of California and Nevada

Photo: ordinarytraveler
Photo: ordinarytraveler
Photo: california
Photo: california
2 AnhThư Nguyễn

Shasta Lake

Just a few miles to the north of the city of Redding sits the reservoir known as Shasta Lake. This lake was developed in the 1940s when the Shasta Dam was constructed and blocked the Sacramento River.


The largest artificial reservoir in the state, Shasta Lake is a well-liked spot for house boating and fishing excursions and may be one of the best lakes in California to live on. Shasta Lake is a reservoir located in the Cascade region with stunning views all around. One of the best lakes to visit in California, the mountains surrounding the lake frequently have a light dusting of snow well into the spring.


Buy a ticket for a tour to Lake Shasta Caverns if you're staying in the area for more than a day and want to see something extraordinary and mind-blowing. This privately owned cave has extremely experienced tour guides and a gift shop with fascinating rocks and jewels.


You can rent a houseboat on Shasta Lake if you're feeling daring, but the Shasta region and Redding to the south also provide an unlimited number of cozy motels and vacation rentals.


Location: Shasta-Trinity National ForestShasta County, California

Photo: viator
Photo: viator
Photo: lakeshasta
Photo: lakeshasta
3 AnhThư Nguyễn

Big Bear Lake

Less than 100 miles from Los Angeles, in the San Bernardino National Forest, Big Bear Lake deviates from the conventional Southern California terrain. It is a snow-fed recreation area that is well-liked by all forms of boating throughout the summer. It is located at an elevation of over 6,700 feet and is bordered by pine woods.


One of Southern California's best lakes for boating, Big Bear Lake has a seven-mile stretch that is lined with marinas like Pleasure Point Marina. Pontoon boats and stand-up paddleboards are available for rent at these marinas. Big Bear Lake is a well-liked lake for swimming, and its shoreline is lined with a number of public beaches. On the southwest coast is Boulder Bay Park, which has one of the biggest swimming beaches.


Whether it's a winter wonderland in December or a gorgeous day in July, a vacation to Big Bear Lake is perfect. Big Bear Lake is a "four-season" destination for Southern Californians, which means you can reserve a Lakewood Cabin or vacation home at any time of the year for skiing, mountain biking, hiking trails, or just lounging by the lake.


Snow Summit ski park becomes a downhill mountain biking hotspot in the summer, and Big Bear Lake is highly outdoorsy. Along with miles and miles of hiking opportunities throughout the year, the area includes a ton of cross-country riding paths. Big Bear is a great Southern California destination for skiing and scrumptious evenings by the fire once November and December arrive.


Location: San Bernardino County, California

Photo: kayak
Photo: kayak
Photo: bluegreenvacations
Photo: bluegreenvacations
4 AnhThư Nguyễn

Mono Lake

Try Mono Lake, which is close to Mammoth Lakes and to the east of Route 395 if you're looking for one of the unusual lakes in Northern California. The Mono Lake tufa formations are some of the most bizarre rocks in the world, giving you the impression that you are on another planet.


The lake is a saltwater lake rather than a freshwater lake and is well-liked by bird watchers. To get to Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, you'll need to travel on a gravel road, but you don't need an all-wheel-drive car with the latest technology.


Although boating is available at Mono Lake for guests, you don't need a boat to enjoy the scenery. There are picnic sites, a swimming beach, and a ton of signs all across the park that provide fascinating information on the history of the area.


The unique swimming experience makes Mono Lake one of the top lakes in California. Because the lake's water is denser and saltier than the ocean, you can float quite easily in it. The lake is best viewed during a day trip from one of the towns along the 395 or as a stop on a road trip throughout California because there are no camping or overnight facilities close by


Location: Mono County, California.

Photo: travelinusa
Photo: travelinusa
Photo: travelinusa
Photo: travelinusa
5 AnhThư Nguyễn

Mammoth Lakes

On the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains, which run up and down the eastern edge of the state, lies a posh holiday destination called Mammoth Lakes. U.S. Route 395 offers one of the best drives in California, and Mammoth Lakes is the ideal destination after traveling through the gorgeous Sierra Nevada mountains to the north.


The Devil's Postpile National Monument and Yosemite National Park are two impressive natural landmarks that are close to Mammoth Lakes. Snowmobiling, snowboarding, skiing, and ice skating are just a few of the popular winter activities available in the area.


But Mammoth Lakes offers more than just opulent skiing getaways. Beautiful outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking, and swimming are best enjoyed in the summer, when local property owners typically offer lower rates on their cabins, condos, and hotel rooms.


Bishop to Mammoth is a short drive away, and en route you'll enjoy stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and one of California's most picturesque lakes.


Location: Mono County, California.

Photo: tripadvisor
Photo: tripadvisor
Photo: boardingcallblog
Photo: boardingcallblog
6 AnhThư Nguyễn

Bass Lake

One of the best lakes to visit in California to visit with kids who are just old enough to appreciate simple water sports, hiking, and outdoor activities is Bass Lake. For a young family looking to have some summertime outdoor fun, the environment is tranquil, remote, and lovely.


Since Bass Lake is only a few miles from Yosemite National Area, it makes for the perfect stop for anyone visiting the park. Hundreds of vacation homes surround Bass Lake, many of which have private docks that provide direct access to the lake. Only 600 people live year-round in Bass Lake, but hundreds of tourists visit the region every year for skiing and watersports.


One of the lake's cool features is that it has a number of inlets with shallow water and docks where you can keep your kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, jet skis, and rental boats. On a bright, sunny summer day, paddle around the entrance or take a jet ski out into the main drag for an action-packed, brisk round through one of the best lakes in California.


Bass Lake is surrounded by many great properties, from modest vacation homes to expansive family vacation homes. Although you should stay at least a few days at Bass Lake before heading to Yosemite National Park, you can also travel to Yosemite in one day from your accommodations at Bass Lake.


Location: Madera County, California

Photo: basslakechamber
Photo: basslakechamber
Photo: basslake
Photo: basslake
7 AnhThư Nguyễn

Lake Sonoma

One of the newest California lakes, Lake Sonoma Recreation Area was built in the early 1980s with the completion of the Warm Springs Dam. It is a coastal gem in Sonoma County. Consider spending an afternoon at the lake fishing, swimming, or hunting after touring the best wineries in Sonoma.


The lake is among California's best for riding, hiking, and lounging by the water. In addition to having a boat launch, the lake is close to places where you can go horseback riding and businesses that offer hot air balloon rides over the lake.


Although a hot air balloon ride over Sonoma County is an option, driving is the most convenient way to reach Lake Sonoma. The majority of visitors from outside the area fly into one of the airports in San Francisco or San Jose, but the distances from both are about 100 miles.


Although Santa Rosa has a smaller regional airport that is a little closer to Sonoma County, you might still have to make a layover in San Francisco to reach Santa Rosa. Consider spending an afternoon at Lake Sonoma to unwind if you're traveling through Sonoma County on a leisurely winery tour of the region.


Location: Sonoma County, California

Photo:wikipedia
Photo:wikipedia
Photo: daytrippen
Photo: daytrippen
8 AnhThư Nguyễn

Donner Lake

The Sierra Nevada Mountains' beauty of Donner Lake is located in the alpine hamlet of Truckee. In the summer, it is a well-liked family lake where many boats for recreation are present. The most popular watercraft on the lake are kayaks, sailboats, and Jet Skis because there is a 35 mph speed limit on it.


The west and north beaches of the lake are surrounded by a number of resorts and resort facilities. A vast network of hiking trails and campgrounds are available in Donner Memorial State Park, which is to the west. The state park is also the location of several opportunities to discover more about earlier settlers, including the tragic Donner Party, who traveled across these mountains in search of better lives in California.


The lake can be enjoyed by hiking the trails that lead from the Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center. The Sierra Nevada Mountains provide stunning views of the lake's shoreline as you walk along the Lakeside Interpretive Trail. Along the trail, there are several places to stop for a picnic.


Location: Truckee, California

Photo: cabbi
Photo: cabbi
Photo: donnerlakevacations
Photo: donnerlakevacations
9 AnhThư Nguyễn

Lake Havasu

A dam in the Colorado River built the enormous reservoir known as Lake Havasu, which is located on the border between California and Arizona. Havasu is a vast playground for individuals who enjoy water sports, speedboats, and general mayhem since it is one of the best boating lakes in California. It's a well-liked location for lake camping, boat rentals, and houseboating as well.


With 400 miles of coastline and 300 days of sunshine annually, the lake is one of the best in California for boating, water skiing, tanning, and hanging out with friends. One of the best places in California for extreme water sports is Lake Havasu. Arizona is another option.


The eastern shoreline of Lake Havasu is lined with numerous campgrounds and boat-access campsites, and the nearby town of Lake Havasu City offers up-to-date lodgings and a famous London Bridge that spans the lake.


Location: San Bernardino County, California

Photo: backroadramblers
Photo: backroadramblers
Photo: totalescape
Photo: totalescape
10 AnhThư Nguyễn

Lake Berryessa

Less than two hours north of San Francisco, Lake Berryessa is a sizable freshwater reservoir and the largest lake in Napa County. Boating, jet skiing, and other water sports are very popular there. In addition, Lake Berryessa is a playground for non-motorized boating, fishing, and swimming thanks to its abundance of hidden coves and sandy beaches. In addition, Lake Berryessa is a wonderful spot to cool off in the Napa Valley's scorching summers.


The 2.6-mile Smittle Creek Trail links the Oak Shores and Smittle Creek Day Use Areas on the southwest side. With public beaches and accessible shoreline fishing, these day-use locations are well-liked with families. Along the 165 miles of the lake's shoreline, there are various campgrounds and Pleasure Cove Marina, which is where you may hire boats.


Even just standing on the coast of Lake Berryessa, which is flanked by golden hills of oak and manzanita, is worth the trip. The Morning Glory Spillway at Lake Berryessa is another thing to see. When the reservoir fills up too much, this innovative water management system behaves like a huge drain plug and blows a whirlpool in the middle of the water.


Location: Vaca Mountains,Napa County, California

Photo:goberryessa
Photo:goberryessa
Source: Evan K youtube channel
11 AnhThư Nguyễn

Silverwood Lake

One of the best lakes to visit in California is Silverwood Lake. Less than 90 miles separate it from Los Angeles and is located in the San Bernardino Mountains. Silverwood Lake, located in the same mountainous area as Big Bear Lake, is a well-liked spot for boating, fishing, and swimming. When the lake is busy, between April and October, the nearby state recreation area frequently fills to capacity due to the water's popularity.


Over 130 tent and RV campsites are available at the Mesa Campground at the southern end of Silverwood Lake. On the southern end of the lake, there are also two-day use areas with lifeguards on duty and public swimming beaches. It's a well-liked vacation spot in the summer, and bald eagle watching in the winter also attracts a small throng.

There is a 13-mile path network that around the park. Most significantly, Silverwood Lake is traversed by the Pacific Crest Trail, making the recreation area a well-liked rest stop for thru-hikers. For soakers who value the sycamores' shade and a more natural experience, Deep Creek Hot Springs is a popular destination. A sizable waterpark in the southeast's Lake Gregory Regional Park is ideal for families and people who enjoy water slides and diving boards. Take the longer hike to the numerous swimming holes in Upper Deep Creek Canyon, or brave the crowds at Aztec Falls, a popular spot for cliff diving in the area and the ideal activity for a hot summer day.


Location: San Bernardino County, California

Photo: water.ca.goc
Photo: water.ca.goc
Photo: wikipedia
Photo: wikipedia
12 AnhThư Nguyễn

Manzanita Lake

One of the northernmost lakes in northern California, Manzanita Lake is east of Shasta Lake and Redding. It is a part of Lassen Volcanic National Park. Numerous volcanoes, more than 100 miles of trails, and geothermal sites can all be found in the park. Manzanita Lake is a well-liked trout fishing location and provides some spectacular views of the nearby volcanic mountains. Since motorized boats are not permitted on the lake, your fishing expedition will be rather tranquil.


You could go for a walk on the trail that circles the lake if fishing isn't your thing. Most people with some experience on hiking trails will find it to be mostly flat and simple to navigate. You should hike to Bumpass Hell, which is accessed through a trail that passes mud pots and pools of boiling water, if you plan to spend the entire day in the park. Another lovely lake in the park worth visiting is Horseshoe Lake.

The best times to visit Manzanita Lake are in the late spring, summer, or early fall. Keep in mind that the routes leading into and around the park are shut down if snow or bad weather clogs the roadways.

The park is also rather rural, and Redding, which is about 70 miles distant and has a large number of accommodations, is the closest large town. The park also offers camping, but reservations are required to guarantee a site.


Location: Lassen Volcanic National Park, Shasta County, California

Photo: nps.gov/
Photo: nps.gov/
Photo: tripadvisor
Photo: tripadvisor
13 AnhThư Nguyễn

Lake Cachuma

A man-made lake called Lake Cachuma may be found in Southern California's northernmost region. It offers great camping, fishing, and quiet time with nature. Despite being only a short 30-minute drive from the coast and Santa Barbara, the lake has a feeling of being fairly far away.


The truly unique town of Solvang, which appears to have been plucked straight out of Denmark and transported to stunning, sun-drenched Santa Barbara County, is close to Lake Cachuma. On your way to Lake Cachuma, if you're passing through the area, you must stop in Solvang for lunch and shopping.

A Santa Barbara cupcake and wine tour, some peace and quiet at Lake Cachuma, and some hiking trails around Santa Maria, if you're up for a drive about an hour north of Lake Cachuma, are all things to put on your itinerary.


Try the Historic Santa Maria Inn, a stunning hotel with one of the best lobbies you'll ever see, if you'd rather enjoy the lake for the day while staying in a hotel than setting up camp overnight.


Location: Los Padres National ForestSanta Barbara County, California

Photo: trip.com
Photo: trip.com
Photo: tripadvisor
Photo: tripadvisor
14 AnhThư Nguyễn

Castaic Lake

Castaic Lake can be reached in a few hours or less from practically any location in Los Angeles County. Just off the 5 Freeway in the north of Los Angeles, the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area offers boating, fishing, hiking trails, camping, and mountain biking. One of the nicest lakes in California for family vacation activities, the lake is fairly well-liked by residents of Southern California.


Teenagers should visit Castaic since Valencia's Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park is only 10 miles to the south, right next to the motorway. Take advantage of the lake's outdoor recreation opportunities, then the next day take your kids to Magic Mountain to ride the roller coasters and frighten the living daylights out of them.


You don't necessary have to spend the night at or close to Castaic Lake to enjoy it because Castaic is situated close enough to the rest of Southern California. It's a simple 45-minute trip from Downtown or the majority of Westside LA if you're in Southern California and want to combine a day of outdoor recreation with your touristy activities like the Hollywood Sign and the Santa Monica Pier.


Location: Castaic, Los Angeles County, California

Photo: parks.lacounty.gov
Photo: parks.lacounty.gov
Photo: 661fishing
Photo: 661fishing
15 AnhThư Nguyễn

Lake Arrowhead

On a Southern California road trip, it is simple to travel from one lake to the other, as Lake Arrowhead is located in the San Bernardino National Forest just to the west of Big Bear Lake. They're one of the best lakes in California for scenery and leisure activities if you're staying nearby for a few days.


Lake Arrowhead, like many other stunning lakes in California, was created as a result of a dam that was built in the San Bernardino Mountains at the turn of the 20th century. The nearby arrowhead-shaped natural rock formation is where the lake got its name.


The lake still offers many of the same outdoor pursuits, including water skiing, fishing, camping, and everything else associated with the great outdoors. It is now a tiny resort town.


Additionally, Lake Arrowhead features a charming, affluent town center that is great for shopping, window browsing, and taking a break from your leisure pursuits. Renting a cabin is among the best ways to experience Lake Arrowhead. But some of the Lake Arrowhead cabins aren't exactly small. The opulent lake town excels at offering spacious cabins with plenty of space for relaxation.


Location: San Bernardino County, California

Photo: ala-ca.org
Photo: ala-ca.org
Source: Wind Walk Travel Videos youtube channel


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