In planning your next vacation, it might be a good time to think outside the box a bit, with a different choice of destinations than the most common? While the beach, mountains and adventure parks are all certainly wonderful places to vacation, there is just something extra sweet about stepping outside of that old comfort zone–right? You know it’s true, but if you need a little help getting started thinking outside of your vacation comfort “zone,” just think about this year’s hot spot being a lake. Yes, a lake–you have a whole world of amazing exploration awaiting you, and all of it is accessible right within the U.S.!

Lake Powell
This distinctive reservoir runs the shared border of Arizona and Utah, and as a part of the Colorado River that draws around 2 million visitors annually. This major vacation destination didn’t become the pinnacle it is without a whole lot of something really special to offer vacationers. This one of a kind reservoir is less lake, in appearance, and more like wildly wonderful watery veins that run throughout a stunning Utah canyon backdrop. Stay at one of the world-class hotels right there, or choose from other unique lodging sources. Pitch a tent right on the water or rent a houseboat for the week and spend your vacation floating on this divine lake. There is plenty to do, and even more to see, with tons of adjacent opportunities for exploration and adventure. Chock-full of history, like Hole in the Rock.

Lake Ouachita
Pronounced “Wash-ah-taw,” this lake was created by the construction of the Blakely Mountain Dam. This pristine shoreline runs over 600 miles, with no homes allowed. Camping is fine, and with over 200 islands, you can find the ideal spot and beach for your vacation. One of the cleanest lakes in the county, Lake Ouachita was left uncut before it was filled, so it contains a forest underneath the glassy surface of this 40000-acre lake. Averaging 50 feet in depth, it goes in spots to depths of 200 feet.

Crater Lake
It was the violent eruption of Mount Mazama, located in the central part of Oregon that first produced Crater Lake. There’s no one alive to tell about it, as it happened 7,700 years ago. Crater Lake originated from this volcanic event as a massive caldera that goes almost 2,000 feet deep, and cuts directly through the center of the mountain. And oddly, even without the availability of inflow from surrounding streams, this crater of Mazama’s making managed to, over the course of one millennia, fill up with water, all on its own. This amazing body of water is the second deepest lake in all of North America, with some of the cleanest, bluest and clearest water, worldwide.

Lake George
Dubbed “The Most Beautiful Lake In the U.S., Lake George offers visitors a wealth of day trip opportunities, as there is no shortage of festivals and events in the immediate area. The breathtaking beauty of the lake itself will keep you entertained, Located in the Adirondack Region of Upstate New York, Lake George is the largest resort of its kind in the entire Northeast. Something for every budget, from cheap-cheap to uber-pricey, it’s all at Lake George. Visit national history, at one or more of the many preserved forts for tourists, along with historical reenactments.