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America's Greatest Lakes

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From the East Coast to the West, the United States boasts a collection of lakes as diverse and beautiful as the lands that surround them.
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Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, USA
When I dream of travel destinations, amusement parks seldom make the wish list; however, there is magic to stumble upon. While visiting friends in the Orlando area, I found myself on an adventure between the parks. A wish to try the famous Dole...
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5300 N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78730, USA
Okay, so I've never seen someone actually pull off the "hang ten" maneuver (when the surfer walks to the front of the board and hangs all ten toes over the nose of the board) while wake surfing, but surfing is still a popular pastime on Lake ...
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Lake Powell, United States
My uncle and I stood with my tripod on the lakeshore behind our houseboat, trying desperately to capture the massive red rock wall before us. It was one of my first lessons in night photography, and it wasn't going great: there just wasn't enough...
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Diablo Lake, Washington 98283, USA
In the summer, take at least a couple of days to drive the North Cascades Loop — four hundred miles of alpine splendor just to the northeast of Seattle, just south of the Canadian border. At Diablo Lake, pull off the highway and check out the...
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Lake Michigan, United States
Nothing beats coming home for the summer and meeting up with your old high school friends. Part of the yearly reunion is meeting on the beach and having a bon fire while watching the stars come out.
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Schroon Lake, NY 12870, USA
On my way to Montreal, I turned off on the NY thruway in search of gas in the town of Schroon Lake. I was captivated by the beauty of the large, clear lake as we approached the town. If it wasn't 20 degrees outside, I might have jumped in. Perhaps...
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6550 Comanche Trail, Austin, TX 78732, USA
Seriously, almost every night, you can enjoy a perfect sunset here. This is one money-maker, an enormous restaurant on a hilltop overlooking Lake Travis, outside Austin. The Oasis. The drinks are cold, and there's lots of room; the drinks are...
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Goat Lake, Washington, USA
Both residents and visitors to the Pacific Northwest bemoan the region's seemingly eternal grey skies...But summer turns things around. By July, sun is (almost) reliable and the outdoors pulls you away from the indoor pursuits of bookstores and...
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200 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704, USA
It might be a part of the Colorado River—a man-made reservoir carved out of the river in 1960—but everyone calls the body of water bisecting Austin Lady Bird Lake. On hot summer days, scores of walkers and joggers move...
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3901 Packer Lake Rd, Sierra City, CA 96125, USA

My wife, Robin, and I have been camping, fishing, and hiking in the Lakes Basin area, near Sierra City, since we met. These days, our usual home base is a tiny log cabin at the edge of Packer Lake, pictured here. From trailheads around Packer you...

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Mono Lake, California 93541, USA
The colors and incredible rocks at Mono Lake draw you in. It is like no place I have ever visited. The rock formations are called Tufa towers which form in a variety of ways at Mono Lake. The most visible formations are the towers on the lake’s...
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After driving two hours through the snow-capped Rocky Mountains and hiking an hour up from the Colorado River following Dead Horse Creek, I came across the mirage of Hanging Lake - clear turquoise water and gushing waterfalls surrounded by lush...
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Coulee City, WA 99115, USA
I'd lived in Seattle for a couple of years before having the chance to explore 'East of the Mountains.' The everlasting rains of the Pacific Northwest seem like a distant memory when you cross the Cascade mountain range into eastern...
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Dexter, ME 04930, USA
Before a summer sunrise, Lake Wassookeag, Maine. People who live around here say that in the winter and spring, you can hear the lake freeze and thaw. No chance of that on a mid-summer morning, but what a thought--the sound, creaking and groaning,...
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7900 Green Lakes Rd, Fayetteville, NY 13066, USA
Spend an entire day at Green Lakes, with its crystalline water and abundance of trees. Biking and walking down the nature trails, hiking, fishing, and purchase some food to enjoy on a blanket or at a picnic table are only some of the options the...
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Lake Vermilion, Minnesota, USA
On a weekend visit to friends with no road access to their cabin on Lake Vermilion, we started our visit at the public boat landing where they picked us up on their pontoon. Any vacation that starts with a pontoon shuttle has to be great!
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Watson Lake, Prescott, AZ 86301, USA
This place is a wonderful surprise just 4 miles northeast of downtown Prescott, Az. The lake was formed by a dam in the 1900's, and the granite dells that surround the lake, and are in the lake are amazing. Not well known, but just of Hwy 89A it...
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Lake Charles, LA, USA
In the early 1800's, French pirate Jean Lafitte had a rocking business plundering ships and smuggling the cargo into needy areas of New Orleans, like Robin Hood with a soupcon more swashbuckling. Lafitte was alternately hunted and utilized by the...