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By ShermansTravel.com Editorial Staff
When summer highs get unbearable, it's time to go jump in a lake. Literally! Our top picks for lake vacations will help you choose which watery oasis to dive into – in both hemispheres – during the dog days of summer. Pick between easy-to-get-to lakes in the United States and Canada, top draws in Europe and Japan, and even a match in far-flung New Zealand (where peak summer season runs from December to March). No matter whether you prefer to rough it at a lakeside campsite or sleep in 300-plus-thread-count Egyptian-cotton sheets at a top-tier resort, you're bound to find a perfect lake vacation fit on this watery-wonderland list.
Nestled snugly between Lake Ontario and the northern border of Pennsylvania, the Finger Lakes district of New York State is a popular summertime playground for kids of all ages, attracting locals from bustling regional cities such as Syracuse or Rochester, as well as in-the-know out-of-towners who are initially lured by the abundance of idyllic lakeside retreats, and end up enthralled by the many historic sites, sloping vineyards, wine trails, and annual festivals that occupy the shores surrounding the unique bodies of water. As you may have guessed, the area takes its name from the 11 slender blue lakes which stretch out, parallel to each other in almost finger-like formations; these are interspersed by pastoral landscapes of quaint waterfront villages and scenic vistas of gushing waterfalls and rocky gorges. Two top destinations for lake vacations are Keuka Lake, a pristine Y-shaped body of water, and Seneca Lake, the deepest and second longest of the group; both are widely regarded as the most beautiful of the Finger Lakes, and are well-equipped for tourists and recreational activities.
2. Lake Como, Italy
3. Lake District, England
4. Lake Kawaguchi, Japan
5. Lake Mead, Nevada
6. Lake Superior, U.S. & Canada
7. Lake Tahoe, California & Nevada
8. Lake Taupo, New Zealand
9. North Hatley, Canada
10. Thousand Islands, U.S. & Canada