Loch NessGood luck if you’ve come here to witness the eponymous monster—though, given the dark, brooding waters of Loch Ness, seemingly anything is possible. At the very least, you’re bound to enjoy some beautiful scenery, from verdant shores to snowcapped peaks. One of the best ways to experience the loch is by boat tour, several of which leave daily from the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition in Inverness. Alternatively, you can drive up the A82 highway along the lake’s western shore, stopping at such spots as Castle Urquhart, a romantic stone ruin that’s some 1,000 years old.
The chance to bask in the lore of the greatest of all water-born legends—or to perhaps even catch a glimpse of the storied Nessie itself—is what brings most people to Loch Ness. But, because of its beautiful setting, the famous loch is worth a visit even if you aren't enthralled by the story of its "monster." The most popular way to take in the scenery is on one of the many boat trips that are offered here (most are narrated and include a good bit of history and Nessie lore). The official Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition building is the best place to begin a visit to the area, with exhibits covering local history and geology as well as all the Nessie sightings detailed with much drama. Boat tours depart from the center on an hourly basis, and there's also a café and shop (with Nessie stuffed animals!).