Are you in need of some serious nature therapy?
Well, you’re in luck because we’re about to unveil California’s best-kept secrets.
Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey as we reveal the 30 best lakes to visit in the Golden State.
These hidden gems are where nature’s beauty takes center stage, and you won’t want to miss a single one.
So, let’s lace up those hiking boots, pack our swimsuits, and dive into a world of awe-inspiring landscapes and crystal-clear waters.
California’s spectacular lakes are waiting, and the adventure begins now
Here are 30 beautiful Lakes to visit in California.
1. Lake Tahoe: A Gem in the Sierra Nevada
Nestled up north in the Sierra Nevada mountains, this place is a dream come true for anyone who loves a good mix of nature and adventure.
Lake Tahoe isn’t just a lake; it’s a majestic wonderland where the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains meets the allure of outdoor adventures every season.
Things to Do in Lake Tahoe
Alright, let’s dive into the exciting things to do in Lake Tahoe the most beautiful Lake in California.
First up, during the winter months, you can strap on your snowboard or skis and shred some serious powder at Heavenly.
And if you’re visiting when the weather’s warmer, grab a kayak and explore the crystal-clear waters.
Seriously, the water is so clear you can see your own reflection (well, almost).
Nearby Attractions in Lake Tahoe
- Emerald Bay State Park: This iconic bay boasts the famous Emerald Bay State Park, where you can hike to Eagle Falls or take a boat tour to explore Fannette Island with its historic tea house.
- Squaw Valley: Known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter, Squaw Valley transforms into a hiking and mountain biking paradise in the summer.
- Heavenly Village: Located on the south shore, Heavenly Village offers shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The Heavenly Gondola offers breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Lake Tahoe Hotels
- The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe: This upscale resort in North Lake Tahoe offers luxurious rooms, a spa, multiple dining options, and ski-in/ski-out access in the winter. The beautiful mountain setting and exceptional service make it a top choice.
- Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino: Located on the North Shore, this resort offers stunning lakefront views, a spa, and private beach access.
- Edgewood Tahoe Resort: Situated on the South Shore, Edgewood Tahoe is known for its breathtaking lakefront location and championship golf course. It’s a perfect blend of luxury and natural beauty.
2. Mono Lake: A Serene Oasis in the Eastern Sierra
If you’re up for an offbeat adventure in the rugged Eastern Sierra, Mono Lake is the place to be.
Mono Lake is a testament to the wonders of nature, and its peaceful surroundings will make you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a secret oasis.
This hidden gem might not be on everyone’s radar, but once you discover its unique charm, you’ll wonder why you didn’t visit sooner.
Things to Do in Mono Lake
First things first, Mono Lake is a birdwatcher’s paradise.
Grab those binoculars and check out the incredible birdlife here.
The Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center is your go-to spot for insider tips and information.
Trust me; you’ll be captivated by the majestic avian residents.
Nearby Attractions in Mono Lake
- Mono Lake Visitor Center: Start your visit at the Mono Lake Visitor Center to gain insights into the lake’s geology, ecology, and cultural history.
- South Tufa Area: This is perhaps the most iconic attraction at Mono Lake. The South Tufa Reserve features otherworldly limestone formations formed by the interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water.
- Mono Basin Scenic Area: Take a drive along Highway 395 to appreciate stunning vistas of the Mono Basin and the lake. There are several viewpoints along the way where you can stop and take in the breathtaking scenery.
Mono Lakes Hotels
- Mono Inn: Located in Lee Vining near Mono Lake, Mono Inn offers cozy rooms with stunning lake views. Its lakeside restaurant serves delicious meals with panoramic vistas.
- Murphey’s Motel: In Lee Vining, Murphey’s Motel provides budget-friendly and comfortable accommodations, making it practical for exploring Mono Lake and nearby attractions.
- Tioga Lodge at Mono Lake: Tioga Lodge is a boutique hotel in Lee Vining, offering modern rooms and amenities. It’s a stylish choice with a beautiful garden courtyard and close proximity to Mono Lake.
Pro tip: Consider staying at the Mono Lake County Park Campground for a rustic experience or the Mono Vista RV Park for a bit more comfort.
3. Shasta Lake: Houseboat Adventures Await
If you’ve ever dreamt of being the captain of your own ship (or houseboat, in this case), Shasta Lake is your ultimate playground.
Nestled in Northern California, this colossal lake is like the Disneyland of houseboats.
Shasta Lake is more than just a lake; it’s a giant, watery playground waiting for you to dive in.
Things to Do in Shasta Lake
First things first, rent a houseboat. Trust me; it’s a game-changer when exploring these beautiful Lakes in California.
Imagine waking up on the water, surrounded by stunning mountain views.
Fishing fanatics, you’re in for a treat. Shasta Lake is teeming with fish, so cast your line and see what bites.
Nearby Attractions in Shasta Lake
- Shasta Dam: One of the largest concrete gravity dams in the United States, Shasta Dam is a remarkable engineering marvel. Enjoy breathtaking views from the visitor center overlooking Shasta Lake.
- Shasta Caverns: Accessible only by boat, Shasta Caverns offers a unique underground adventure. Explore stunning limestone caves with remarkable formations on guided tours.
- Houseboating on Shasta Lake: Houseboating is a quintessential Shasta Lake experience. Rent a houseboat and spend your days cruising the lake, swimming, fishing, and anchoring in tranquil coves.
Shasta Lake Hotels
- Win-River Resort & Casino: Located near Redding, this resort offers comfortable rooms, dining options, and an outdoor pool. It’s a convenient base for exploring the beauty of Shasta Lake.
- Oxford Suites Redding: This well-rated hotel in Redding provides spacious and comfortable suites, complimentary breakfast, and an outdoor pool and spa. It’s a great choice for a relaxing stay.
- Bridge Bay at Shasta Lake: For those looking to stay close to Shasta Lake, Bridge Bay offers houseboat rentals and marina services. It’s an excellent option for water enthusiasts.
4. Big Bear Lake: Four Seasons of Fun
If you’re into the charming village scene, a visit to Big Bear Lake Village is a must.
Nestled in the heart of Southern California, Big Bear Lake is a year-round playground that promises fun and excitement in every season.
Big Bear Lake is one of the most beautiful Lakes in California and truly lives up to its name as a four-season destination.
Whether you’re shredding the slopes, hiking through the vibrant forests, or simply sipping hot cocoa by the fire, you’re bound to create unforgettable memories in this SoCal mountain paradise.
Things to Do in Big Bear Lake
In the winter, you can hit the slopes at Snow Summit and Bear Mountain for skiing and snowboarding.
During the summer, the things to do in Big Bear Lake include boating, fishing, and swimming.
Hiking and mountain biking trails abound, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness.
Nearby Attractions in Big Bear Lake
- Snow Summit: Snow Summit is one of the places that snow in California, making it a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding during the winter months. In the summer, it transforms into a mountain biking and hiking hub, with scenic chairlift rides and a mountain-top adventure park.
- Big Bear Alpine Zoo: This wildlife sanctuary is home to a variety of native animals that cannot be released into the wild due to injuries or orphaning.
- Big Bear Lake Village: The charming village area is filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Stroll through the village to enjoy local cuisine and boutique shopping.
Big Bear Lake Hotels
- The Lodge at Big Bear Lake: This rustic yet modern lodge offers cozy rooms and a great location near the lake. It’s a great choice for those seeking comfort and proximity to outdoor activities.
- Big Bear Lakefront Lodge: Located right on the shores of Big Bear Lake, this lodge provides stunning lake views and comfortable accommodations.
- Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, Autograph Collection: While not in Big Bear Lake itself, this nearby resort offers a luxurious mountain getaway with elegant rooms, a spa, and beautiful views.
5. Clear Lake: California’s Largest Natural Lake
California is home to some of the most beautiful lakes, and Clear Lake is no exception.
It’s the largest natural freshwater lake in the state, and it’s got a whole lot of charm to offer.
Whether you’re gently gliding on its serene waters. Trekking through the encompassing woodlands.
Or simply savoring the breathtaking vistas. You’ll discover a profound sense of tranquility and serenity.
Things to Do in Clear Lake
You can take a dip in the crystal-clear waters. Clear Lake lives up to its name, offering some of the cleanest and swimmable waters in the state.
It’s like your own private swimming pool but with breathtaking mountain views as a bonus.
Nearby Attractions in Clear Lake
- Clear Lake State Park: Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, and kayaking in this picturesque state park.
- Anderson Marsh State Historic Park: Explore the cultural and natural history of the region through hiking trails and wildlife viewing in this scenic park.
- Mount Konocti: Hike this mountain for stunning panoramic views of Clear Lake and the surrounding area.
Clear Lake Hotels
- Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa: This lakeside resort offers comfortable accommodations, a spa, and beautiful lake views. It’s a great choice for a relaxing getaway.
- Clear Lake Cottages & Marina: These charming cottages provide a homey atmosphere and are right on the lake. They offer lake access, fishing opportunities, and a peaceful retreat.
- Best Western El Grande Inn: Located in the town of Clearlake, this Best Western offers comfortable rooms, a pool, and convenient access to nearby attractions and dining options.
6. Lake Almanor: Scenic Beauty in Plumas County
For those in search of a place where the beauty of Northern California comes to life, Lake Almanor in Plumas County beckons with its natural splendor.
It’s a peaceful haven where you can reconnect with nature and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Lake Almanor is the perfect escape that promises to recharge your spirit.
Things to Do in Lake Almanor
Grab your paddle and head out onto the lake.
Whether you’re into kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding, Lake Almanor offers calm waters perfect for exploring.
Plus, fishing here is excellent, so don’t forget your gear.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Almanor
- Lassen Volcanic National Park: This national park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore volcanic landscapes, hike scenic trails, and marvel at geothermal wonders like Bumpass Hell and Lassen Peak.
- Plumas National Forest: Surrounding Lake Almanor, the Plumas National Forest boasts extensive hiking, mountain biking, and camping opportunities. The Pacific Crest Trail also passes through this forest, providing stunning vistas of the region.
- Lake Almanor Recreation Trail: Enjoy a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the Lake Almanor Recreation Trail. This scenic path hugs the lake’s shoreline and offers beautiful views of the water and the surrounding mountains.
Lake Almanor Hotels
- Bailey Creek Cottages: These charming cottages offer comfortable accommodations with lake views. They provide a tranquil atmosphere and convenient access to outdoor activities.
- Knotty Pine Resort: Located on the shores of Lake Almanor, this resort offers a range of accommodations, from cozy cabins to spacious lakefront homes.
- Lake Almanor Country Club: This community offers vacation rentals, townhomes, and lakefront homes for guests. It’s a great option for those looking for a home-away-from-home experience.
7. Lake Arrowhead: Your SoCal Mountain Escape
If you’re in the mood for a mountain retreat that’s not too far from the bustling city, Lake Arrowhead is calling your name.
Tucked away in the Southern California mountains, this beautiful lake offers relaxation and adventure in equal measure.
Whether you’re seeking the thrill of adventure or the tranquility of a mountain getaway, Lake Arrowhead has it all.
Things to Do Lake Arrowhead
Start by exploring the charming Lake Arrowhead Village.
It’s like a scene from a postcard with its quaint shops, delightful eateries, and lovely lakefront views.
Pro tip: Grab an ice cream cone and take a leisurely stroll around the lake.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Arrowhead
- Lake Arrowhead Village: Explore the charming Lake Arrowhead Village, a picturesque alpine-style shopping and entertainment center. Enjoy boutique shops, restaurants, and seasonal events.
- Lake Arrowhead Queen Tour Boat: Take a scenic boat tour on Lake Arrowhead aboard the Lake Arrowhead Queen. Learn about the lake’s history and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding forested hills.
- San Bernardino National Forest: Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the San Bernardino National Forest, which surrounds Lake Arrowhead. Discover hiking trails, including the Pacific Crest Trail, and enjoy activities such as camping, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.
Lake Arrowhead Hotels
- Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa: This upscale resort offers comfortable rooms, a spa, and beautiful lake views. It’s a perfect choice for a luxurious mountain getaway.
- Saddleback Inn: Located in a tranquil setting, Saddleback Inn provides cozy accommodations with rustic charm. It’s an excellent option for those seeking a peaceful and romantic retreat.
- Arrowhead Pine Rose Cabins: These charming cabins offer a unique lodging experience. They come in various sizes and styles, perfect for couples, families, or groups looking for a cozy mountain stay.
8. Lake Elsinore: A Playground for Water Enthusiasts
Lake Elsinore is an adrenaline-pumping adventure waiting to happen.
If you’re craving some aquatic fun in sunny Southern California, Lake Elsinore is the perfect playground.
This sparkling gem is an oasis of activities that will satisfy your need for adventure.
Things to Do in Lake Elsinore
Rev up your jet ski or speedboat because Lake Elsinore is made for watersports.
Feel the wind in your hair as you zip across the lake’s glistening surface.
If you prefer a more relaxed vibe, pitch a tent at Lake Elsinore Campground and savor a night under the stars.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Elsinore
- Lake Elsinore Outlets: If you’re a shopping enthusiast, Lake Elsinore Outlets is a must-visit destination. Enjoy a variety of brand-name stores offering discounts on fashion.
- Lake Elsinore Storm Baseball: Catch a game at the Lake Elsinore Diamond Stadium, home to the Lake Elsinore Storm, a minor league baseball team affiliated with the San Diego Padres.
- Ortega Falls: Just a short drive to Ortega Falls offers a hiking adventure to a beautiful waterfall. Explore the natural beauty of the Santa Ana Mountains and take in the serene atmosphere.
Lake Elsinore Hotels
- Best Western Plus Lake Elsinore Inn & Suites: This comfortable hotel offers spacious rooms, a pool, and complimentary breakfast.
- Quality Inn Lake Elsinore: This budget-friendly option provides comfortable accommodations with easy access to nearby attractions. Enjoy amenities such as free breakfast and an outdoor pool.
- Lakehouse Hotel and Resort: This lakeside resort offers upscale accommodations with beautiful lake views. It’s an excellent choice for a more luxurious getaway.
9. Folsom Lake: Nature Meets History
Pack your bike, your fishing gear, and your curiosity, and get ready to explore the fascinating world of Folsom Lake!
If you’re looking for a unique blend of outdoor adventure and a glimpse into California’s past, Folsom Lake has got you covered.
Located in Northern California, this lake offers a refreshing mix of nature and history.
Things to Do in Folsom Lake
Start your adventure by cycling along the American River Bike Trail.
It’s not just a bike ride; it’s a journey through scenic landscapes and a chance to spot local wildlife.
If you’re more into water-based activities, bring your fishing gear and cast your line into Folsom Lake. The fish are biting, and the views are fantastic.
Nearby Attractions in Folsom Lake
- Folsom Lake State Recreation Area: The park itself is a fantastic attraction, offering hiking, picnicking, boating, and camping opportunities.
- Folsom Prison Museum: Located near the famous Folsom State Prison, this museum provides insights into the history and culture of the prison.
- American River Bike Trail: Known as the “Jewel of Sacramento,” this paved trail runs along the American River and Folsom Lake. It’s perfect for cycling, jogging, or leisurely walks.
Folsom Lake Hotels
- Lake Natoma Inn: While not right on Folsom Lake, Lake Natoma Inn offers comfortable accommodations near Lake Natoma, which is part of the American River Parkway.
- Courtyard by Marriott Sacramento Folsom: This modern hotel in Folsom offers comfortable rooms and amenities. It’s a convenient base for visitors exploring Folsom Lake.
- Staybridge Suites Sacramento-Folsom: This extended-stay hotel in Folsom City provides spacious suites with kitchenettes, making it a great choice for longer stays.
10. Salton Sea: California’s Unique Desert Oasis
The Salton Sea might not be your typical California destination, but that’s what makes it so captivating.
It’s a place where the wild and the weird come together to create unforgettable memories.
The Salton Sea is your ticket to a one-of-a-kind experience. This desert lake is unlike any other in the Golden State.
Things to Do in Salton Sea
This is a birdwatcher’s paradise.
Grab your binoculars and head to the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.
It’s a prime spot to observe both migratory and resident birds. You’ll be amazed by the diversity of species.
Nearby Attractions in the Salton Sea
- Salton Sea State Recreation Area: This state park provides access to the Salton Sea’s shoreline, making it an ideal place for birdwatching, picnicking, hiking, and photography.
- Salvation Mountain: Located near the Salton Sea in Niland, Salvation Mountain is a colorful and folk art-inspired creation by Leonard Knight.
- Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge: A significant stopover point for migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway, this refuge offers excellent birdwatching opportunities.
Salton Sea Hotels
- Travelodge by Wyndham Indio: Located in the nearby city of Indio, this budget-friendly hotel offers comfortable rooms and easy access to the Salton Sea region.
- Quality Inn & Suites Indio I-10: Another option in Indio, this hotel provides a range of amenities, including a pool and complimentary breakfast. It’s a convenient base for exploring the Salton Sea.
- Fantasy Springs Resort Casino: For a more upscale experience, this resort and casino in Indio offers comfortable rooms, dining options, and entertainment.
11. Silver Lake: Tranquil Beauty in the High Sierra
Silver Lake is a place where time seems to slow down, allowing you to connect with nature in its purest form.
If you’re looking for a tranquil escape surrounded by magnificent scenery, Silver Lake is the place to go.
It’s an environment where peace and quiet collide with the rough splendor of the mountains.
Things to Do in Silver Lake
Let’s start by talking about fishing.
Silver Lake is a hidden gem for anglers, so don’t forget your fishing gear.
The lake is stocked with trout, making it a fantastic spot to cast your line.
If you’re not into fishing, no worries. You can explore the many hiking trails in the area, or simply relax by the lake’s edge and soak in the serene vibes.
Nearby Attractions in Silver Lake
- Silver Lake Reservoir: Enjoy a leisurely walk or jog around the scenic Silver Lake Reservoir. The walking path offers beautiful views of the water and the surrounding hills.
- Sunset Junction: This lively area at the junction of Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard is known for its eclectic mix of boutiques, coffee shops, and restaurants.
- Griffith Observatory: While not directly in Silver Lake, the Griffith Observatory is a short drive away and offers panoramic views of Los Angeles, engaging exhibits about astronomy, and a chance to observe the night sky through telescopes.
Silver Lake Hotels
- The LINE Hotel: Located in Koreatown, just a short drive from Silver Lake, The LINE Hotel offers stylish accommodations with a trendy atmosphere.
- Hotel Figueroa: Situated in downtown Los Angeles, Hotel Figueroa is a historic hotel known for its Moroccan-inspired decor and unique ambiance. It offers easy access to downtown attractions.
- Silver Lake Pool & Inn: While not directly in Silver Lake, this boutique hotel is nearby in Echo Park. It provides modern accommodations with a pool and a welcoming atmosphere.
12. Lake Isabella: Gateway to the Kern River Valley
Lake Isabella is your doorway to a world of outdoor excitement and natural wonders.
If you’re on the lookout for an outdoor playground surrounded by majestic mountains, Lake Isabella will deliver.
This hidden gem is perfect for those who crave adventure and natural beauty.
Things to Do in Lake Isabella
If you’re into water sports, Lake Isabella is your paradise.
Rent a raft, kayak, or paddleboard, and conquer the sparkling waters.
The lake is also renowned for its fishing, so cast your line and see what you can reel in.
And for hiking enthusiasts, nearby Kernville offers the stunning Castle Rock Trail.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Isabella
- Kern River: This is a hotspot for outdoor activities such as rafting, kayaking, and fishing. The river’s North Fork offers challenging rapids, while the South Fork provides more relaxed waters for tubing and swimming.
- Trail of 100 Giants: A short drive from Lake Isabella, this grove within the Giant Sequoia National Monument is home to some of the world’s largest trees. Follow the Trail of 100 Giants to marvel at these ancient giants, including the massive General Sherman Tree.
- Kernville: This charming mountain town along the Kern River is a great place to explore. Enjoy its historic downtown area, and experience the beauty of the surrounding wilderness.
Lake Isabella Hotels
- Kern Riverfront Lodge: This lodge offers comfortable rooms with a rustic charm and riverfront views. It’s a great choice for those seeking a relaxing stay near the Kern River.
- Kern Lodge: Another option in Kernville, Kern Lodge provides simple and affordable accommodations with convenient access to outdoor activities, including river activities and hiking.
- Best Western Plus Frontier Motel: Situated in nearby Bakersfield, this Best Western offers a range of amenities, including comfortable rooms and a pool.
13. Lake Henshaw: A Hidden Gem in San Diego County
Lake Henshaw might not be on everyone’s radar, but that’s part of its charm.
It’s a place where you can disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and reconnect with nature.
If you’re looking for a serene escape off the beaten path, Lake Henshaw is the hidden gem you’ve been searching for.
Tucked away in San Diego County, this lake offers a slice of paradise far from the crowds.
Things to Do in Lake Henshaw
Start your adventure with some leisurely fishing by the lakeshore.
Lake Henshaw is well-stocked, and you might just reel in a big one.
Picnicking is also a popular activity here, so pack a basket and enjoy a meal with a view.
For a bit more action, take a scenic hike around the lake or explore nearby attractions.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Henshaw
- Palomar Mountain State Park: Just a short drive away, this state park offers pristine wilderness, hiking trails, and stunning views. The Palomar Observatory, home to the famous Hale Telescope, is also a fascinating stop within the park.
- Julian: The charming town of Julian is known for its historic Main Street lined with unique shops, and restaurants. It’s famous for its delicious apple pies, making it a must-visit for dessert lovers.
- Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve: Enjoy hiking and nature exploration in this beautiful wilderness area. The preserve features well-maintained trails that offer breathtaking views.
Lake Henshaw Hotels
- Warner-Carrillo Ranch House: Located in nearby Warner Springs, this historic ranch house offers cozy accommodations and a glimpse into the region’s history.
- La Casa del Zorro Resort and Spa: Situated in Borrego Springs, a short drive from Lake Henshaw, this resort provides comfortable rooms, a spa, and a serene desert atmosphere.
- Riviera Oaks Resort & Racquet Club: Located in Ramona, this resort offers spacious accommodations, a pool, and scenic views of the surrounding hills.
14. Lake Mary: Escape to Mammoth’s Lakeside Beauty
Lake Mary is a place where the beauty of the Eastern Sierra comes to life.
If you’re seeking an idyllic getaway in the heart of California’s Eastern Sierra, Lake Mary is your ticket to lakeside serenity.
Nestled in the shadow of Mammoth Mountain, this alpine gem is a slice of mountain paradise.
Things to Do in Lake Mary
Let’s start with a splash! Lake Mary is perfect for swimming, so don your swimsuit and enjoy the refreshing mountain waters.
If you’re a fishing enthusiast, you’re in for a treat.
Cast your line into the lake and try your luck with the local trout.
Or, for a more leisurely experience, rent a paddleboard or kayak and explore the lake’s crystal-clear depths.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Mary
- Mammoth Lakes: Just a short drive away, Mammoth Lakes offers a range of outdoor activities. In the winter, you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain. In the summer, explore hiking trails, mountain biking routes, and the scenic lakes in the area.
- Devils Postpile National Monument: This geological wonder is a unique formation of basalt columns that resemble giant organ pipes. Take a short hike to view these fascinating formations and visit Rainbow Falls nearby.
- Convict Lake: Located a few miles south of Lake Mary, Convict Lake is known for its crystal-clear waters, fishing, and hiking trails. It’s a great spot for a day trip, offering serene surroundings and stunning mountain views.
Lake Mary Hotels
- The Village Lodge: Located in Mammoth Lakes, this lodge-style hotel offers comfortable accommodations and is conveniently close to Lake Mary.
- The Westin Monache Resort: Also in Mammoth Lakes, this upscale resort provides modern rooms and amenities. It’s an ideal option for travelers seeking a luxurious mountain getaway.
- Tamarack Lodge and Resort: Situated in the Mammoth Lakes Basin area, this rustic lodge offers cabin-style accommodations with a cozy atmosphere.
15. Echo Park Lake: An Oasis in the Heart of LA
Echo Park Lake is proof that you don’t need to venture far to find a peaceful retreat within the city’s hustle and bustle.
If you’re craving a peaceful escape without leaving the bustling city of Los Angeles, Echo Park Lake is your little slice of paradise.
Nestled in the heart of LA, this serene urban oasis is where nature and city life harmoniously coexist.
Things to Do in Echo Park Lake
Grab your sunscreen and head to Echo Park Lake for some pedal boating fun.
Paddle around the lake, take in the skyline views, and snap some envy-inducing Instagram photos.
If you’re more into picnicking, the park has plenty of green spaces perfect for spreading out a blanket and enjoying a meal with friends or family.
Nearby Attractions in Echo Park Lake
- Dodger Stadium: Just a short distance from Echo Park Lake, Dodger Stadium is the iconic home of the LA Dodgers. Catch a baseball game and enjoy the atmosphere of this historic ballpark.
- The Echo and Echoplex: These neighboring music venues in the Echo Park neighborhood host various live music performances, from indie bands to established artists.
- Angel’s Point: Offers stunning panoramic views of downtown Los Angeles and the surrounding area. It’s a great spot for a scenic hike and a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Echo Park Lake Hotels
- Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles: Located in the historic United Artists Building in downtown Los Angeles, this stylish hotel offers comfortable rooms and a rooftop area with city views.
- The LINE Hotel: This modern hotel offers comfortable accommodations with a trendy vibe. It features excellent dining options and is a convenient choice for exploring Echo Park.
- Silver Lake Pool & Inn: While not directly in Echo Park but in the nearby Silver Lake neighborhood, this boutique hotel provides modern accommodations and a serene atmosphere.
16. Lake Merritt: Oakland’s Crown Jewel
Lake Merritt is one of the most beautiful lakes in California.
If you find yourself in Oakland, California, and are looking for a serene escape in the heart of the city, Lake Merritt is your go-to destination.
It’s a shimmering jewel, offering a tranquil oasis amidst the vibrant urban landscape.
Things to Do in Lake Merritt
Start your visit with a leisurely stroll around the lake’s picturesque perimeter.
The iconic Lakeside Park provides a perfect backdrop for picnics and relaxation.
You can even rent a rowboat or a pedal boat if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous.
And don’t forget to visit the Rotary Nature Center to learn more about the local wildlife.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Merritt
- Oakland Museum of California: This museum showcases California’s rich history, art, and culture. Explore diverse exhibits, including art collections, historical artifacts, and interactive displays.
- Children’s Fairyland: A short walk from Lake Merritt, Children’s Fairyland is a whimsical amusement park designed for young children. It’s a magical place with storybook-themed rides, puppet shows, and gardens, making it a great spot for families.
- Jack London Square: Located a short drive from Lake Merritt, Jack London Square offers a mix of dining, shopping, and entertainment options along the Oakland waterfront.
Lake Merritt Hotels
- The Bellevue Club: This historic hotel offers comfortable rooms and easy access to the lake. It’s an excellent choice for travelers seeking proximity to Lake Merritt and downtown Oakland.
- Waterfront Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Hotel: Situated in Jack London Square, a short drive from Lake Merritt, this hotel provides stylish accommodations with views of the waterfront.
- The Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel: Located in the nearby Berkeley Hills, this luxurious hotel offers upscale rooms, a spa, and panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay. While it’s not right next to Lake Merritt, it provides a luxurious option for travelers seeking a more lavish stay.
17. Lake Skinner: A Riverside Gem for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Lake Skinner is your perfect getaway for an outdoor adventure and relaxation.
Lake Skinner is your ticket to lakeside pleasure if you’re looking for a clean vacation to the great outdoors in Southern California.
Located in Riverside County, this serene gem is an outdoor playground for those who love a mix of relaxation and adventure.
Things to Do in Lake Skinner
Let’s start with boating! Lake Skinner is perfect for a day of sailing, kayaking, or paddleboarding.
The tranquil waters and picturesque surroundings make it a paradise for water enthusiasts.
Fishing is also a popular activity here, so bring your gear and try your luck.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Skinner
- Temecula Valley Balloon Festival: Located near Lake Skinner, this annual festival features captivating hot air balloon rides, live music performances, and a diverse array of culinary delights.
- Pechanga Resort & Casino: This resort complex offers various entertainment and dining choices. It’s a popular destination for those seeking diverse forms of recreation.
- Old Town Temecula: Immerse yourself in the historic charm of Old Town Temecula. Wander through the district’s quaint streets, explore antique shops, and appreciate local art galleries.
Lake Skinner Hotels
- Pechanga Resort Casino: This resort offers comfortable rooms, a spa, and a variety of dining options. It’s a popular choice for travelers seeking a luxurious stay near Lake Skinner.
- Temecula Creek Inn: Situated in a scenic setting in Temecula, this inn provides comfortable accommodations with a golf course and beautiful surroundings.
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Temecula Valley: This hotel in Temecula offers spacious suites, complimentary breakfast, and easy access to local attractions.
18. Lake Success: Where Tranquility Meets Outdoor Thrills
Lake Success is your gateway to a world of natural beauty and outdoor excitement.
It’s not a bustling tourist spot, but it’s a hidden gem for anyone seeking tranquility in California’s scenic beauty.
Lake Success is surrounded by beautiful countryside, great for camping and hiking. You can camp under the stars and wake up to nature’s sounds.
Things to Do in Lake Lake Success
Let’s kick things off with some water sports.
Lake Success is a haven for boating, jet skiing, and water skiing.
If you’re into fishing, you’ll find a variety of fish species here, so make sure to bring your gear.
On land, explore the surrounding hiking trails for breathtaking views of the lake and the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Success
- Sequoia National Park: A short drive from Lake Success, Sequoia National Park is home to some of the world’s largest trees, including the General Sherman Tree. Explore hiking trails, take in breathtaking vistas, and experience the natural beauty of this iconic park.
- Kern River: The Kern River, which flows nearby, provides opportunities for outdoor activities like white-water rafting, kayaking, and fishing. The North Fork offers challenging rapids, while the South Fork provides a more leisurely experience.
- Trail of 100 Giants: Located within the Giant Sequoia National Monument, this trail takes you through a grove of giant sequoias, including the impressive General Sherman Tree. It’s an awe-inspiring destination for nature enthusiasts and hikers.
Lake Success Hotels
- Springville Ranch: Located in the nearby town of Springville, this rustic and charming ranch-style accommodation offers comfortable rooms with a countryside atmosphere.
- Comfort Suites Porterville: Situated in Porterville, a short drive from Lake Success, this hotel provides modern amenities, spacious suites, and complimentary breakfast.
- Best Western Porterville Inn: Also in Porterville, this Best Western hotel offers comfortable rooms and a range of amenities, including a pool.
19. Lake Anza: Berkeley’s Hidden Natural Oasis
If you’re in the mood for a peaceful escape nestled within the vibrant city of Berkeley, Lake Anza is your secret haven.
Tucked away in Tilden Regional Park, this hidden gem is a refreshing retreat that offers a blend of nature and relaxation.
Things to Do Lake Anza
Start your visit with a refreshing swim in the lake’s cool waters.
Lake Anza is known for its clean and refreshing swimming area, making it a perfect spot to beat the California heat.
If you’re into hiking, explore the surrounding trails, which offer serene forested paths and scenic overlooks.
Nearby Attractions Lake Anza
- Tilden Regional Park: Lake Anza is located within Tilden Regional Park, which offers a wide range of outdoor activities. Hiking enthusiasts can explore numerous scenic trails, while families can enjoy the Little Farm and the antique carousel.
- Grizzly Peak: Drive to Grizzly Peak, and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Lawrence Hall of Science: Situated atop the Berkeley Hills, the Lawrence Hall of Science offers exhibits, hands-on activities, and captivating displays related to science and technology.
Lake Anza Hotels
- Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel: This luxurious historic hotel is perched in the Berkeley Hills, offering stunning views of the San Francisco Bay.
- Graduate Berkeley: Located in downtown Berkeley, this boutique hotel is within easy reach of Tilden Regional Park. It offers stylish and comfortable accommodations with a trendy ambiance.
- Hotel Shattuck Plaza: Situated in the heart of Berkeley, this historic hotel features well-appointed rooms and is conveniently close to the Tilden Regional Park area.
20. Crowley Lake: A Hidden Gem in the Eastern Sierra
Crowley Lake is a place where the tranquility of the Eastern Sierra meets the thrill of fishing and outdoor adventures.
Surrounded by rugged terrain, this reservoir provides a peaceful escape from the city’s chaos.
If you’re on the hunt for a pristine and less-visited lake, Crowley Lake is your dream destination.
Things to Do in Crowley Lake
Let’s start with what Crowley Lake is renowned for—fishing!
This lake is famous for its trophy-size trout, so anglers, bring your A-game and cast your line into these pristine waters.
If you’re into boating, the lake welcomes kayaks, canoes, and small boats.
And for hikers, the nearby McGee Creek Trail is a must, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Nearby Attractions in Crowley Lake
Mono Lake: Just a short drive away, Mono Lake is a unique natural wonder known for its striking tufa towers. Explore the Mono Lake County Park Visitor Center to learn about the lake’s geology and wildlife.
Hot Creek Geological Site: This geothermal wonder is one of the best hot springs in California. Witness the steaming hot springs, crystal-clear pools, and bubbling geysers that create a unique and dynamic landscape.
Mammoth Lakes: A little further south, Mammoth Lakes provides a wide range of outdoor activities. In the winter, enjoy skiing and snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain, while in the summer, explore hiking trails, mountain biking routes, and beautiful lakes.
Crowley Lake Hotels
- The Village Lodge: Situated in Mammoth Lakes, this lodge-style hotel offers comfortable accommodations and easy access to Crowley Lake.
- The Westin Monache Resort: Also in Mammoth Lakes, this upscale resort provides modern rooms and amenities. It’s ideal for travelers seeking a luxurious mountain getaway.
- Tamarack Lodge and Resort: Located in the Mammoth Lakes Basin area, this rustic lodge offers cabin-style accommodations with a cozy atmosphere.
21. Huntington Lake: High Sierra’s Water Wonderland
Huntington Lake is a mountain oasis where the beauty of the High Sierra comes to life.
If you’re in search of a pristine alpine lake surrounded by majestic forests, Huntington Lake in California’s High Sierra is your ultimate water wonderland.
This hidden gem offers a serene escape in the heart of the mountains.
Things to Do in Huntington Lake
Let’s start with some high-altitude fun!
Huntington Lake is a paradise for sailing, so whether you’re an experienced sailor or a novice, this is the place to set sail.
Kayaking and paddleboarding are also popular activities.
And if you’re into hiking, explore the nearby Rancheria Falls Trail for a breathtaking waterfall adventure.
Nearby Attractions in Huntington Lake
- China Peak Mountain Resort: Located adjacent to Huntington Lake, this ski resort transforms into an outdoor playground in the summer. Enjoy mountain biking, hiking trails, scenic chairlift rides, and breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
- Dinkey Lakes Wilderness: This wilderness area offers pristine alpine lakes, dense forests, and miles of hiking trails. It’s a great destination for backpacking, fishing, and camping in a remote and peaceful natural setting.
- Shaver Lake: A short drive away, Shaver Lake provides more recreational opportunities, including boating, fishing, and swimming.
Huntington Lake Hotels
- Shaver Lake Village Hotel: Located in Shaver Lake, this hotel provides comfortable rooms in a scenic mountain setting.
- Best Western Plus Fresno Inn: Situated in Fresno, this hotel offers modern amenities, and spacious rooms, and is a reasonable drive away from Huntington Lake.
- Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite: Although a bit further away, this luxurious lodge is located near the southern entrance of Yosemite National Park. It provides upscale accommodations for those seeking a more lavish mountain retreat.
22. Lake Castaic: Southern California’s Aquatic Playground
Lake Castaic invites you to relax amidst the beauty of Southern California’s wilderness.
It’s a place where you can dive into a world of outdoor adventure while being close to the entertainment hub of Los Angeles.
Tucked away amidst rolling hills, this man-made lake offers a tranquil escape from the urban hustle and bustle.
Things to Do in Lake Castaic
Let’s start with some exciting water activities.
Lake Castaic is a hotspot for boating, so bring your jet ski, paddleboard, or kayak and hit the water.
Fishing is also excellent here, with various species to catch.
For hikers, there are trails that offer breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding landscapes.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Castaic
- Castaic Lake State Recreation Area: While Lake Castaic itself is the centerpiece of this recreation area, there are numerous outdoor activities to enjoy, including boating, fishing, hiking, and picnicking.
- Six Flags Magic Mountain: Located a short drive away in Valencia, this popular amusement park offers thrilling rides, entertainment, and family-friendly attractions.
- Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park: This unique geological park features dramatic rock formations and scenic trails for hiking and picnicking.
Lake Castaic Hotels
- Hyatt Regency Valencia: Located in Valencia, this upscale hotel offers comfortable rooms and a range of amenities.
- Courtyard by Marriott Santa Clarita Valencia: Situated in Santa Clarita, this hotel provides modern accommodations and easy access to Lake Castaic.
- Hilton Garden Inn Valencia Six Flags: Also in Valencia, this hotel offers well-appointed rooms and is conveniently close to Lake Castaic.
23. Lake Cachuma: Santa Barbara’s Serene Oasis
If you’re looking for one of Santa Barbara’s top attractions that offers a peaceful lakeside retreat, Lake Cachuma is your serene oasis.
Lake Cachuma is one of the most beautiful lakes in California, nestled in the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley, and it’s a hidden gem offering a perfect blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventure.
Things to Do in Lake Cachuma
Let’s start with some lakeside relaxation.
Lake Cachuma is ideal for picnicking and simply soaking in the serene vibes.
For water enthusiasts, try your hand at kayaking or paddleboarding.
The lake also offers excellent fishing opportunities, so bring your gear and cast a line.
And if you’re into wildlife watching, keep an eye out for the many bird species that call this area home.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Cachuma
- Cachuma Lake Recreation Area: Explore the diverse recreational opportunities within the Lake Cachuma Recreation Area itself. Enjoy boating, fishing, birdwatching, and hiking along scenic trails.
- Solvang: Known as the “Danish Capital of America,” Solvang is a charming Danish-style village nearby. Stroll through its streets, admire the architecture, explore boutique shops and bakeries
- Santa Ynez Valley: Known for its picturesque landscapes and small-town charm. Discover quaint towns, outdoor activities, and a variety of dining options in this beautiful valley.
Lake Cachuma Hotels
- Santa Ynez Inn: Located in Santa Ynez, this boutique hotel offers luxurious rooms and a tranquil ambiance. It’s a great choice for travelers seeking a peaceful retreat near Lake Cachuma.
- The Landsby: Situated in Solvang, this Scandinavian-inspired hotel features modern accommodations and a cozy atmosphere.
- Chumash Casino Resort: Located in Santa Ynez, this resort offers comfortable rooms, dining options, and a casino for entertainment.
24. Lake Natoma: Sacramento’s Hidden Aquatic Gem
Lake Natoma is an urban oasis perfect for a day trip from Sacramento.
If you’re seeking a serene escape right in the heart of the city, Lake Natoma is your hidden aquatic gem.
Tucked away in the American River Parkway, this picturesque lake offers a peaceful retreat with a side of adventure.
Things to Do in Lake Natoma
Let’s kick things off with a paddle.
Lake Natoma is perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, and even rowing.
You can rent equipment right by the lake, making it easy to get out on the water.
If you prefer to stay on land, the American River Bike Trail offers miles of scenic cycling routes along the river’s edge.
And don’t forget to pack a picnic and enjoy a meal at one of the park’s designated picnic areas.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Natoma
- American River Bike Trail: The American River Bike Trail, also known as the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, follows the American River and stretches for 32 miles.
- Folsom Lake State Recreation Area: A short drive from Lake Natoma, this recreation area offers opportunities for boating, picnicking, camping, and hiking.
- Folsom Historic District: Explore the charming historic district of Folsom, where you can step back in time and discover the city’s history. Visit the Folsom History Museum, enjoy the local shops and restaurants, and take a walk along Sutter Street, lined with historic buildings.
Lake Natoma Hotels
- Lake Natoma Inn: Located in Folsom, this hotel is in close proximity to Lake Natoma and offers comfortable accommodations.
- Courtyard by Marriott Sacramento Folsom: Situated in Folsom, this Marriott hotel provides modern amenities, spacious rooms, and easy access to Lake Natoma.
- Larkspur Landing Folsom: Also in Folsom, this extended-stay hotel offers well-appointed suites with kitchenettes, making it suitable for longer visits and those who prefer more space.
25. Lake San Antonio: Central California’s Lakeside Paradise
At Lake San Antonio you’ll discover a perfect blend of nature and adventure.
Whether you’re drawn to the thrill of water sports like boating and water skiing or prefer a leisurely day of fishing along its shores, Lake San Antonio caters to all types of outdoor enthusiasts
Nestled amidst the rolling hills of Monterey County, this reservoir offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and outdoor excitement.
Things to Do in Lake San Antonio
Let’s dive right into the water activities!
Lake San Antonio is a haven for boating, jet skiing, and water skiing.
The clear waters and warm climate make it ideal for aquatic adventures.
Fishing is also excellent here, with a variety of fish species to catch.
If you prefer dry land, explore the surrounding hiking trails or relax on the sandy beaches.
Nearby Attractions in Lake San Antonio
- Pinnacles National Park: A bit further afield but worth the drive, Pinnacles National Park features stunning rock formations, hiking trails, and opportunities for wildlife viewing.
- Mission San Antonio de Padua: This historic mission is one of California’s hidden gems. Visit the beautifully preserved mission and its grounds to learn about its history and the Native American heritage in the area.
- Hiking and Outdoor Adventures: The region around Lake San Antonio offers fantastic hiking opportunities. Explore the local trails, soak in the natural beauty, and enjoy the serenity of the great outdoors.
Lake San Antonio Hotels
- Paso Robles Inn: Located in Paso Robles, this historic inn offers comfortable rooms and a relaxing ambiance.
- La Quinta by Wyndham Paso Robles: Situated in Paso Robles, this modern hotel provides amenities such as complimentary breakfast and a pool.
- The Piccolo: This boutique hotel in Paso Robles offers stylish accommodations and a central location.
26. Convict Lake: A Tranquil Escape in the Eastern Sierra
Convict Lake in California is a natural marvel that all nature lovers should see.
This captivating alpine lake, framed by towering granite peaks, boasts crystal-clear waters that mirror the surrounding landscape.
Convict Lake’s charm extends beyond its scenic splendor; it carries a fascinating history, including its intriguing name, derived from an old tale of escaped prisoners.
Things to Do in Convict Lake
Let’s start with what Convict Lake is best known for—fishing!
This pristine alpine lake is renowned for its excellent trout fishing.
Anglers from all over come to test their skills in these crystal-clear waters.
If you’re into hiking, there are picturesque trails around the lake that provide breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks.
The Convict Lake Loop Trail is a favorite among hikers, offering easy access to the lake’s shoreline.
Nearby Attractions in Convict Lake
- Convict Lake Trail: Start with the scenic Convict Lake Trail that loops around the lake. It’s a beautiful hike with breathtaking views of the lake, surrounding mountains, and colorful trees.
- Mammoth Lakes: A short drive away, Mammoth Lakes is a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts. In the winter, enjoy skiing and snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain. In the summer, explore hiking trails, mountain biking routes, and pristine lakes.
- Hot Creek Geological Site: This geothermal wonder is located nearby and is worth a visit. Witness the steaming hot springs, crystal-clear pools, and bubbling geysers that create a unique and dynamic landscape.
Convict Lake Hotels
- The Westin Monache Resort, Mammoth: Located in Mammoth Lakes, this upscale resort offers comfortable accommodations and modern amenities.
- Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa: Situated in Mammoth Lakes, this resort provides a range of amenities, including a spa and fine dining options.
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Bishop: Located in Bishop, this hotel offers convenient access to Convict Lake and the surrounding attractions.
27. Tenaya Lake: Yosemite’s Clear Blue Jewel
Tenaya Lake offers a refreshing oasis in the midst of Yosemite’s awe-inspiring landscapes.
This pristine alpine lake is nothing short of a natural wonder, captivating visitors with its stunning clarity and serene surroundings.
Tenaya Lake is the clear blue jewel you’ve been dreaming of.
Things to Do in Tenaya Lake
Tenaya Lake beckons with its pristine waters and scenic surroundings.
It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely picnic by the shore, where you can savor a meal while taking in the breathtaking mountain views.
But the real treat is the chance to swim in the refreshing, crystal-clear lake.
The water here is incredibly clear and inviting, making it an ideal spot to cool off on a warm day.
For those who love photography, the lake’s reflections of the surrounding peaks create postcard-perfect moments.
Nearby Attractions in Tenaya Lake
- Tioga Road Scenic Drive: The drive along Tioga Road provides stunning vistas of the High Sierra and takes you through the heart of Yosemite’s alpine scenery. You’ll encounter numerous viewpoints, trailheads, and opportunities for wildlife viewing along the way.
- May Lake: A relatively short hike from the trailhead near Tenaya Lake leads to May Lake, another pristine alpine lake surrounded by granite cliffs.
- Olmsted Point: Located along Tioga Road, Olmsted Point provides a unique perspective of Yosemite Valley and the iconic Half Dome.
Tenaya Lake Hotels
- The Ahwahnee: This historic hotel is located in Yosemite Valley and offers elegant accommodations with stunning views of the park’s iconic landmarks. It’s an upscale choice for a luxurious Yosemite experience.
- Yosemite Valley Lodge: Situated in Yosemite Valley, this lodge provides comfortable rooms with convenient access to many of the park’s attractions.
- Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite: While not located directly at Tenaya Lake, this lodge is situated just outside the park’s southern entrance. It offers a range of accommodations and amenities.
28. Lake Gregory: A Mountain Gem in Crestline
If you’re on the hunt for a serene alpine escape in Southern California, Lake Gregory in Crestline is the hidden gem you’ve been searching for.
Nestled among the majestic mountains, this picturesque lake offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of nature.
Things to Do in Lake Gregory
Lake Gregory is a mountain paradise, perfect for a day of outdoor fun.
The crystal-clear waters of the lake invite you to take a refreshing swim, and there’s a designated swim area to enjoy safely.
If you prefer to stay on land, explore the surrounding hiking trails or simply relax by the lakeside and bask in the serene atmosphere.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Gregory
- Lake Arrowhead: Just a short drive away, Lake Arrowhead is another stunning mountain lake surrounded by pine forests. You can enjoy boating, hiking, and shopping in the charming Lake Arrowhead Village.
- SkyPark at Santa’s Village: Offers family-friendly attractions, including ice skating, mountain biking, and an adventure park, all set in a festive North Pole-themed environment.
- Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area: Located to the west of Lake Gregory, Silverwood Lake offers more outdoor recreational opportunities, including boating, fishing, hiking, and picnicking.
Lake Gregory Hotels
- The North Shore Inn: Located in Crestline, this inn offers cozy rooms and is a short drive from Lake Gregory.
- Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa: Situated in Lake Arrowhead, this upscale resort provides modern amenities and scenic views.
- Arrowhead Tree Top Lodge: Also in Lake Arrowhead, this lodge offers a rustic mountain atmosphere and comfortable accommodations.
29. Bass Lake: Yosemite’s Gateway on the Water
Bass Lake, nestled in the picturesque Sierra National Forest of California, is a hidden gem that combines natural beauty with a touch of recreational charm
The annual Bass Lake Fishing Derby is a highlight for anglers from all around, and the Fourth of July fireworks display over the lake is a spectacle that draws crowds.
The lake’s gentle slopes and sandy shores make it ideal for families and water enthusiasts of all ages.
Things to Do in Bass Lake
Bass Lake is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts.
Whether you’re into boating, jet skiing, paddleboarding, or simply cruising on the water, this lake has it all.
Explore the surrounding hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the lake and the Sierra Nevada.
The Willow Creek Trail is a favorite among hikers. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and enjoy a meal at one of the lakeside picnic areas.
Nearby Attractions in Bass Lake
- Yosemite National Park: Bass Lake is located just south of Yosemite National Park, making it an ideal gateway to this iconic natural wonder. Explore Yosemite’s breathtaking landscapes, including Yosemite Valley, Bridalveil Fall, and Glacier Point.
- Sierra National Forest: The surrounding Sierra National Forest offers a multitude of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and camping.
- Bass Lake Water Sports: Enjoy water-based activities right on Bass Lake itself. Rent a boat, go water skiing, paddleboard, or simply relax on the lake’s sandy shores. It’s a perfect spot for swimming and picnicking.
Bass Lake Hotels
- The Pines Resort: Located right on the shores of Bass Lake, this resort offers a range of accommodations, including lakefront suites and cabins.
- Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite: Situated near the southern entrance of Yosemite National Park, Tenaya Lodge is a luxurious mountain retreat that provides comfortable accommodations and various amenities.
- Bass Lake Vacation Rentals: This option includes a variety of vacation rentals and cabins in the Bass Lake area.
30. Lake Mendocino: Serenity in Mendocino County
Lake Mendocino is a serene escape where the beauty of Mendocino County’s rolling hills meets the calmness of its clear waters.
Nestled amidst the rolling hills of this picturesque region, this beautiful California lake offers a peaceful retreat in the lap of nature.
Things to Do in Lake Mendocino
Lake Mendocino is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
The lake’s calm waters are ideal for boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Don’t forget to pack your fishing gear; the lake is stocked with a variety of fish, making it a favorite spot for anglers.
For those who prefer to stay overnight and immerse themselves fully in the natural beauty, camping at the nearby Lake Mendocino Campground is a fantastic option.
Nearby Attractions in Lake Mendocino
- Russian River: Offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and tubing. You can also enjoy picnicking along the riverbanks and exploring the charming towns of Guerneville and Healdsburg.
- Ukiah: The city of Ukiah is located nearby and boasts a variety of attractions. Visit the Grace Hudson Museum to explore local history and art.
- Mendocino Coast: Head west to the stunning Mendocino Coast, where you can discover dramatic cliffs, a rugged coastline, and quaint coastal villages. Explore the Mendocino Headlands State Park, visit the Point Arena Lighthouse, or relax on one of the beautiful beaches.
Lake Mendocino Hotels
- Hampton Inn Ukiah: Located in Ukiah, this hotel offers comfortable rooms and modern amenities.
- Best Western Orchard Inn: Situated in Ukiah, this Best Western hotel provides a range of amenities, including a pool and complimentary breakfast.
- Discovery Inn Ukiah: Also in Ukiah, this inn offers affordable accommodations and is a practical choice for visitors exploring Lake Mendocino and the attractions in the region.