Amarillo may evoke tumbleweeds and dusty plains, but several lakes dot the surrounding area, bringing water-charged fun to the residents. Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, located 30 miles north of Amarillo, extends for more than 16,000 acres. A deep lake ideal for fishing, water skiing, sailing, and scuba diving, it rates for land-based fun, too, from horseback riding to hiking. Encircled by rocky, wooded shores, Lake Meredith’s beaches are a salmon red color, reflecting the iron in the soil here. Campers love Cedar Canyon Beach, where tents can be raised right beside the water. A few developed campsites sit back from the water, and include picnic tables. No alcohol is allowed in the cove.