The Best Lake Vacations in the USA, 2021

A girl sitting on a jetty looking out over a lake

The last few months have been hard for everyone. With social distancing, self-isolation, and even enforced quarantine, 2021 hasn’t exactly been the year we were all hoping for. With each state starting to ease quarantine rules depending on their own status in containing the coronavirus, we can all start to dream of family trips and excursions again. Just a few weeks ago, it seemed as though the notion of a summer or fall vacation was just an unachievable dream, but now it’s back to a real possibility, and with some of the best lake vacations on offer, now is the time to start planning the perfect getaway. While lockdown rules are less extreme in some states, we have to remember that COVID-19 is still there, so planning a vacation where you can maintain social distancing is key. Have you ever thought of planning a vacation on the lake? Rentals such as cabins on a lake are perfect for a secluded family getaway. From the best lakes to vacation rentals in stunning lake settings, we’ve got you covered.

Keep reading to find our picks for the best lake vacations

We’ve put together a list of some great options for vacations near and on lakes, so you can still enjoy the great outdoors while adhering to any social distancing rules and regulations. It’s important to check each state’s policies about movement while steps are still being taken to contain COVID-19 before you make any travel plans, but with restrictions being eased up across the country, you and the family can all look forward to booking a stay in lake rentals soon! From some of the best glamping Texas has to offer in spots like Canyon Lake, to the perfect destinations if you’ve got any four-legged friends looking to finally stretch their legs, there are plenty of dog-friendly lake vacations for you to discover as well. From lake house rentals to cabins, we have some of the best lake getaways for you to choose from. So keep reading for the best vacations, lakes, vacation rentals, cabins on a lake, and activities.

a girl kayaking on a lake with mountains in the background

Book relaxing lake vacations on the banks of Lake Cumberland, Kentucky

When it comes to a vacation at a lake, vacation rentals set on the peaceful, forested banks of Lake Cumberland, Kentucky, are idyllic spots to escape to for a vacation in the great outdoors. With wide, open space, and of course the stunning, tranquil waters of Lake Cumberland to make the most of, you’ll enjoy swathes of quiet, private space making a vacation during this time of social distancing easy, but most importantly stress-free and away from the new normal. With some incredible lakeside vacation rentals available, you can enjoy your own piece of paradise when you visit this unique part of Kentucky, and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the beautiful Cumberland Falls State Park while you’re in the area.

A waterfall in the Cumberland Falls State Park surrounded by woodland

Plan a romantic getaway at Lake Hartwell, South Carolina

Shared with neighboring Georgia, Lake Hartwell is 23,000 hectares in size. Perfect for activities on the water, including fishing, swimming, kayaking, and more, the surrounding area is stunning and perfect for hiking and biking. For a romantic getaway and the chance to finally get back into the wild, a stay in this charming bed and breakfast on the banks of Lake Hartwell, South Carolina, is the perfect spot for you and that special someone to escape together. With picture-perfect sunsets, lake vacations like this don’t come around too often.

A stunning sunset over Lake Hartwell
Photo by Sarah McKagen

Stay in the best lake cabin rentals on Norris Lake, Tennessee

For unique family lakeside vacations, look no further. Spread over five counties and set within the Great Valley of East Tennessee, Norris Lake is the perfect destination for a family vacation. Forests, rock formations, and the surrounding hills make this an idyllic spot to lose yourself in nature. Added to which, the 137 square mile lake offers visitors the perfect opportunity to explore the stunning shoreline, swim in tranquil waters, or to take in the incredible vistas from the water on a memorable boating adventure. When planning lake vacations on Norris Lake, Tennessee, you can look forward to a relaxing stay in one of our wonderful Norris Lake cabin rentals, such as the spacious accommodation overlooking the lake.

A spacious cabin on Lake Norris

Stay in a secluded vacation rental on Toledo Bend Reservoir, Lousiana

While New Orleans is undoubtedly Louisiana’s most famous tourist destination, now is the perfect time to plan a vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the city, especially as the state has only recently brought an end to the stay at home order issued a number of weeks ago. With a stay in this secluded vacation rental, hidden away in woodland near the stunning Toledo Bend Reservoir, Louisiana can become a haven for you and your loved ones for a summer vacation or a fall getaway in 2021.

Sunset over the Toledo Bend Reservoir, Louisiana

Head to Ohio for unforgettable lake vacations

Lake Erie, Ohio, offers visitors a wonderful spot to get away from it all and to enjoy some quiet time away with the family. With rentals such as this cozy cabin rental on Kelley’s Island, Ohio, you can look forward to lazy days exploring the shoreline, and exploring the lake with some kayaking, boating, and more besides. Lake vacations spent on Lake Erie won’t disappoint. As well as plenty of opportunities to swim and enjoy some watersports, Lake Erie is famed for its prize fishing, so any anglers among you can get your equipment out again. Head back to the mainland for the day, and you can discover a number of parks and charming waterfronts in the towns along the shores of the lake.

Dusk over Lake Erie, Ohio

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