It has been variously estimated that there are probably millions of natural lakes of various sizes in the continental United States and Alaska. However, the Environmental Protection Agency approximates that there are only about 123,439 natural lakes of significant size in the country (2.5 acres and above).
These bodies of water play a crucial role in the regional and global ecosystem, regulating the weather, as well as being a source of water and food for humans and animals alike. More than that, they are vital to local economies through their role in transportation, agriculture (irrigation), mining (of precious metals and minerals), and starting from the 20th century, tourism. The Brookings Institution estimates that the five Great Lakes alone (Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Superior) supply 90% of the country’s fresh water and impact the lives of approximately 35 million people.
Every year, millions of Americans spend their holidays near lakes. These lakes offer a wide range of outdoor activities to tourists, including fishing, boating, watersports and hiking. Moreover, lakes are usually densely populated by flora and fauna - a great source of attraction for urban dwellers.
In addition, areas surrounding larger lakes are typically blessed with temperate weather, great scenery and calm and relaxing surroundings. It should come as no surprise then that a number of these areas have evolved into major tourist destinations, coinciding with the development of townships, golf courses, hotels, resorts, etc. Some of them have even attained world class status, owing to the high standard of comfort, convenience and recreational activities accorded to visitors.
For individuals, couples and families looking to spend their next holiday near the water, beaches are no longer the only choices. In fact, a great many prefer the peace and tranquility of lake resorts compared to the frenetic pace of popular beaches on the West and East coasts.
In line with that, we have compiled below a list of the ten most luxurious lake resorts in the country that may help you decide on your next vacation destination.
10 Tamarack Lodge, Lake Michigan: Up to $803/Night
Located just five miles away from downtown Traverse City, this family-friendly lakefront resort offers guests with a blend of a glorious stretch of white sandy beach, the pristine blue waters of the Grand Traverse Bay, dozens of retail outlets, fine dining choices from over 100 restaurants and vineyards within walking distance.
First time visitors will be amazed with the rustic atmosphere of the lobby, complete with a large stone fireplace that harkens back to the days of old.
9 Geneva On The Lake Wine Country Villa & Resort, Seneca Lake: Up to $806/Night
Located next to the South Main Street Historic District inside the Finger Lakes Wine Country, Geneva On The Lake was once described as "one of the 10 most romantic inns" in the country by the American Historic Inns.
Built in 1914 inside a lush 10-acre area, the villa was modeled after Villa Lancellotti in Lazio, Italy, which once served as the official residence of the Sardinian King, Charles Emmanuel IV. Predictably, the building features a strong classical design, Ionic Greek columns, Venetian windows and terracotta roof tiles.
8 Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott, Lake Lyndon B. Johnson: Up to $1,000/Night
Located in Horseshoe Bay on the south eastern shore of Lake LBJ, the luxurious lake and golf resort sits inside an affluent community of about 3,000 locals. With a private airfield, three championship golf courses, 16 tennis courts, four swimming pools, and a host of other amenities, this is a destination tailored specifically for the inner executive within you.
7 Stonewater Cove Resort and Spa, Table Rock Lake: Up to $1,110/Night
If swimming at the pool, kayaking at the lake or trekking inside the nearby Mark Twain National Forest doesn't tickle your fancy, perhaps you’d like to consider a private moonlight cruise, a fishing trip, or even, a helicopter tour?
In the event you get tired of the luxurious Signature 3 Bedroom suite, maybe you can take a short walk across the landscaped pathways to the wooden and glass treehouse for a massage and spa session?
6 Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, Lake Oconee: Up to $1,599/Night
5 Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid: Up to $1,599/Night
4 Sagamore Resort, Lake George: Up to $2,000/Night
3 Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Crescent Lake: Up to $2,545/Night
2 The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe: Up to $5,000/Night
The modern 170-room wood and granite lodge is built to blend seamlessly with the existing panoramic green and white landscape. Featuring ski concierges, slope side pools and a signature 17-room spa, the Ritz-Carlton is a study in beauty, functionality, experience and service. Employing sustainable eco-friendly management practices, the resort is the perfect family winter getaway.
1 The Broadmoor, Cheyenne Lake: Up to $6,000/Night
The almost century old Broadmoor is the premier lake and golf resort in the world. Kings, presidents, prime ministers and Fortune 500 CEOs regularly visit The Broadmoor, if only for its critically-acclaimed world class championship golf course. However, Broadmoor is so much more than that. The resort provides a premium level of service, luxury and privacy to each and every one of its visitors. Augmented by gourmet meals, super luxurious rooms and suites, and a comforting and serene ambiance, it is easy to understand why Broadmoor is held in such high esteem by many.
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