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Lakefront Accommodations

As summer rolls in, beaches and mountains become the most visited tourist destinations around the world. However, these destinations can also get a little too crowded. If you love a waterfront stay but don’t appreciate the crowds, lakefront accommodations for the summer are the best solution. You can spend the blissful summer days swimming, fishing, and kayaking and enjoying sizzling barbecues and drinks around the fire pit during the nights. Lake Como in Italy and Lake Bled in Slovenia might be some of the most popular lakes to visit during the summer in Europe. Meanwhile, in America, it is difficult to beat the popularity of Lake Tahoe in California and Lake Superior in Michigan.

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What are lakefront accommodations?

Lakefront accommodations come in a variety of sizes and types and offer land and water-based activities for visitors to partake in. Travelers can pick from resorts that offer luxurious modern amenities or secluded lakeside cabins surrounded by acres of woodland. Moreover, lakefront accommodations don’t just cater to families but they can also be rented for a romantic getaway or a weekend away with friends.

The popularity of lakefront accommodations

While lakes have always been a popular summer attraction, lakefront accommodations gained prominence when people started choosing destinations with fewer crowds. As opposed to accommodations on public beaches that continue to be crowded, lakefront accommodations usually come with private lake access. These properties may also include a boat dock or a deck from where guests can directly explore the lake.

Additionally, lakefront accommodations offer scenic surroundings, away from the constant blare of horns and plumes of smoke from vehicles. These properties are usually surrounded by pristine woodland or are within a national park, allowing visitors to explore native flora and fauna. Due to the numerous outdoor activities available near lakefront accommodations, they are a great choice for those looking for adventure. Alternatively, lakefront holidays can also be spent de-stressing and relaxing if you want to unwind.

Types of lakefront accommodations

You can choose from a wide variety of lakefront accommodations, from charming little cabins to farmhouse-style villas. These unique properties cater to individuals looking to carve a niche holiday experience.

  • Cabins and cottages

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Although both cabins and cottages are rustic retreats, cabins are generally more secluded, while cottages offer more modern amenities and are closer to towns or other properties. However, both are private retreats with outdoor spaces from where you can admire lake views. While here, guests may find a fire pit, hammocks, or hot tubs. These accommodations also include a private dock or an overhanging deck for al fresco dinners. Some of these rentals are pet-friendly, too!

  • Vacation homes and villas

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These accommodations are bigger and grander than cabins and cottages and are ideal for larger families and groups. Some vacation rentals offer catering services or allow guests to hire a chef, taking away the stress of meal planning. Aside from all the basic amenities, these homes or villas may also include additional perks — such as game rooms, movie rooms, and more. Moreover, lakefront vacation homes and villas are usually spread across multiple levels and boast prime lakefrontage. Many of these properties also feature kayaks and boats for guests to use during their stay.

  • Campgrounds and RV Parks

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Many love the freedom of living in an RV while leisurely exploring gorgeous landscapes. It allows travelers to travel to some of the remotest areas without worrying about booking a place for the night. It is possible to boondock or overnight park your RV for free in many places around the world when you need to get off the road and rest. Lakefront campsites are an excellent option to take a break, explore the surrounding area, and indulge in outdoor activities with fellow campers.

The campgrounds and RV parks offer on-site recreation, such as pickleball courts, game rooms, and even dog parks. Some also run arts and crafts camps and organize family activities over the summer.

  • Glamping sites

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If you only know of camp because of the Met Gala, then glamping may be more your style. Glamping is essentially glamorous camping, and it allows travelers a chance to experience a secluded stay in nature with all the comforts and luxuries of home. Lakeside glamping accommodations can be yurts, domes, or luxurious safari-style tents with amenities such as Egyptian cotton bedsheets, Turkish rugs, deep soaking bathtubs, and more.

  • Hotels and resorts

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If you want to avoid the logistics of grocery shopping, meal planning, and coordinating activities, then booking a lakefront hotel or resort is the best option. These family-friendly options can be found in several destinations around the world, from British Columbia in Canada to Udaipur in India. These properties usually offer water sports, lakefront dining, outdoor pools with lake views, and spas.

Typical features and amenities found in lakefront accommodations

  • Boat docks or slips

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Many lakefront accommodations often include a boat dock or a slip where travelers can tie their boats. This also gives visitors the freedom to explore the lake and venture deeper for fishing or simply enjoy the sun.

  • Lakefront outdoor spaces

Lakefront accommodations, whether they are hotels or private rentals, always offer plenty of outdoor space. In hotels, this can be a private lakefront boardwalk, outdoor pool, or gardens. In private rentals, expansive overhanging decks, backyards, fire pits, and grilling areas are quite common. In addition to private outdoor space, most lakes are surrounded by woodland or national parks that offer acres of verdant surroundings that can be explored on foot or mountain bikes.

  • Access to a beach

One of the best features of lakefront accommodation is direct access to the beach and the water. Even if your rental or hotel does not include a pool, a glittering natural water body is right in front of you.

  • Watercraft and watersports facilities

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Even if you are not at an ocean-facing beach, the watersports can all be enjoyed at a lake. Many private rentals offer complimentary life jackets, kayaks, and paddle boats, and guests can bring their own or rent from a nearby boathouse. Hotels and resorts usually offer a full range of activities or can recommend reliable operators.

  • Fishing gear

If you are booking a room at a lake that is a popular spot for fishing, you can be sure that most accommodations will include a dockside cleaning station. Some private rentals also include fishing rods, but most still prefer bringing their rods and hooks. Moreover, the properties always include barbecue grills or pits for some freshly grilled fish.

  • Access to nature trails

Lakes are usually away from major urban areas and surrounded by protected land. These national or state parks can include miles of marked and unmarked trails for visitors to explore. These trails can be a great way to disconnect and recharge your mind. Walking amidst nature can also help boost some creative ideas that you can implement once you are back in the office.

Planning your lakefront retreat

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To help you make the most of your serene getaway, here are some valuable tips to consider when planning your lakefront vacation:

  • Start planning in advance

Begin your planning process in advance to have a wide range of options and safely secure your preferred dates and location. Popular lakefront rentals tend to book quickly, especially during peak seasons. You should also set a budget beforehand so you won’t have to shell out unnecessary money later on.

  • Research

Take the time to research and compare different lakefront rental options thoroughly. You can explore different sources — including official rental websites, travel agencies, and local recommendations, to find the best fit for your needs in terms of amenities, location, and budget.

  • Choose a location

It is finally time to pick a location after narrowing it down to three or five destinations that fit your budget. The lake of your choice can be in-state or in a different country. It could be a stop as part of a longer holiday or the destination itself. There are countless options to help customize a lakefront holiday experience.

  • Check amenities and facilities

Identify your priorities and must-have amenities for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Consider factors such as lake access, specific features such as a fully equipped kitchen or outdoor seating area, and any recreational facilities that are important for you and your companions to have.

Depending on the accommodation, you might also want to review culinary amenities. If staying in a campground, you will need to carry cooking utensils, ingredients, as well as a burner. Moreover, in case someone in your travel group is physically disabled, check beforehand if the hotel is accessible. If you cannot find disability information for a private rental, get in touch with the host with your queries.

  • Read reviews and ratings

Before making a reservation, it’s ideal to read guest reviews and ratings of the properties you're considering. These insights can provide valuable information about the overall experience, cleanliness, responsiveness of the host, and other details that may impact your stay.

  • Check house rules and policies

Take the time to carefully review or go over the rental agreement — paying attention to important details, such as check-in and check-out times, cancellation policies, refund procedures, and other specific rules or restrictions related to the property. Ensure that you're comfortable with all terms before confirming your reservation.

Benefits of choosing lakefront accommodations

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Choosing a lakefront rental provides a multitude of benefits that make it an appealing option for vacationers. You'll be able to unplug from the frantic pace of regular life and find the tranquility of the natural world while rediscovering the peace of the wilderness.

  • Breathtaking scenery

One of the major benefits of choosing lakefront rentals is the stunning natural beauty that surrounds you. Enjoy picturesque lake views, serene sunrises and sunsets, and the calming sounds of water gently lapping the shore. Many lakes are also surrounded by woodland with marked and unmarked trails.

  • Outdoor recreation opportunities

Lakefront rentals provide convenient access to a wide range of outdoor activities. Whether swimming, boating, fishing, kayaking, or relaxing on the beach, guests can easily indulge in various water-based adventures right from your doorstep.

The outdoor areas can also be used for barbecues, al fresco dining, late-night chats around the bonfire, and stargazing. Since you are away from the noise and bustle of cities, it is also a great spot for bird watching and wildlife sightings.

  • Privacy and seclusion

Generally, waterfront rentals provide a peaceful and secluded environment, ideal for a romantic getaway or a pleasant family vacation. Lakefront rentals allow guests the freedom to plan solo as well as group activities and can be a great family bonding experience.

  • Unique and memorable experience

Staying at a lakefront rental offers a unique and memorable experience that differs from traditional accommodations. The combination of natural surroundings, cozy interiors, and proximity to the water creates a distinct atmosphere that sets it apart from other rental types.

  • Relaxing environment

Lakefront rentals provide an excellent opportunity to relax and unwind. The tranquil scenery, gentle sounds of nature, and relaxing presence of water provide a perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and recharge your batteries.

Top destinations with lakefront cabins in the Americas

Destinations with lakefront cabins in the United States

  • Ossipee, New Hampshire

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This small town in New Hampshire is an excellent choice if you are looking to spend quality time by the water. Ossipee Lake is one of the largest lakes in the state, with many Airbnb and VRBO lakefront vacation rentals available. But lakefront rentals can also be found near Duncan Lake and White Lake State Park.

The range of rentals, from secluded cabins to sprawling lakefront ranches, make Ossipee a great choice for couples and families planning a holiday. What all these rentals have in common are expansive outdoor spaces and direct lake access.

  • Rangeley, Maine

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The picturesque town of Rangeley sits on the shores of Rangeley Lake and is surrounded by mountains, including Saddleback Mountains. The town might not have a large permanent population, but it is extremely popular with tourists who help raise the numbers during the summer. Lakefront cabin rentals in Rangeley offer visitors tranquil surroundings where they can swim, fish, and kayak on the lake. When they are not in the water, they can explore the nearby mountains or Rangeley Lake State Park. Several golf clubs are also present near the town.

  • Oscoda, Michigan

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Oscoda sits on the banks of the mighty Lake Huron — one of the five Great Lakes of North America, with several smaller lakes in the vicinity. While Oscada is just an unincorporated community, it offers access to stunning beaches on Lake Huron and fishing on the Au Sable River. Lakefront rentals here have direct access to the lake, and some come with private docks. The vast outdoor spaces overlook Lake Huron and can be used for games and barbecues, followed by smores around the fire pit.

Destinations with lakefront cabins in Canada

  • British Columbia

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The westernmost province in Canada is defined by its rugged Pacific coastline and lofty mountains. It is also home to over 20,000 lakes, such as the Emerald Lake which is within the lush surroundings of Yoho National Park. The lakefront cabins in British Columbia also offer unfiltered views and are a great way to explore some of the stunning beaches in the province. In addition to swimming and fishing, visitors can explore the many walking trails near the lakes.

  • Saskatchewan

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Saskatchewan is another stunning Canadian province with several thousand freshwater lakes. These pristine lakes are a popular playground for outdoor enthusiasts who love to fish, wakeboard, and kayak. Candle Lake and Little Manitou Lake are some of the most popular lakes in the province. The latter is often referred to as the Dead Sea of Canada for its high quantities of salt and healing qualities. Moreover, lake cabin rentals in Saskatchewan offer peace and serenity and can also make for an excellent workation site.

  • Alberta

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A low cost of living and breathtaking natural beauty make Alberta a top choice if you are planning a nature-immersive holiday. The province is also home to hundreds of lakes and five national parks, offering visitors plenty of interesting things to do to keep themselves entertained. Cabin rentals in Alberta offer serene locations where guests can spend the holidays or a few weeks during the summer. The cabins can also be used as a base to explore the small towns nearby and learn more about the local way of life.

Top destinations with lakefront hotels around the world

Destinations with lakefront hotels in the United States

  • Kings Beach, California

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Kings Beach is a popular spot on the northern shore of Lake Tahoe with public beach access favored for swimming and kayaking. Kings Beach and Lake Tahoe are surrounded by the Sierra Nevada range, which can be hiked during the summer and makes for a top skiing destination during the winter. Moreover, lakefront hotels near Kings Beach offer direct lake access, and many include a tour desk that can help book tours and refine itineraries to make the most of the activities at Lake Tahoe.

  • Muskegon, Michigan

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Sitting on the grand Lake Michigan, Muskegon is one of the many cities packed with tourists as soon as summer rolls in, so make sure to plan early and book fast. In addition to Lake Michigan, a smaller Muskegon Lake borders the city. Lakeshore Art Festival is also a popular draw here, with fun games, food stalls, and handcrafted items for sale. Lakefront hotels in Muskegon even offer exceptional views and allow tourists to explore the lakes, the city, and the surrounding Muskegon State Park.

  • Hot Springs, Arkansas

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Set amidst the Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs is a paradise for those who love the outdoors. The man-made lakes in the city are perfect for fishing, boating, and swimming during summer. Lakefront hotels in Hot Springs include boat docks, allowing visitors to bring their private boats for their stay. Lake Ouachita, the largest in Arkansas, is surrounded by the beauty of Ouachita National Forest, with activities offered around the year. Hot Springs also offers things to do in the city, such as a visit to Mid-America Science Museum and Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo.

Destinations with lakefront hotels in Canada

  • Osoyoos, British Columbia

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This is a small lakefront town surrounded by the scenic beauty of desert, vineyards, and mountains on all sides. In addition to water sports, visitors can experience desert trails and swing at a world-class golf course. Osoyoos Lake is the warmest freshwater lake in Canada, with several family-friendly hotels lining its coast. Rattlesnake Canyon and Sẁiẁs Provincial Park are some of the top attractions in Osoyoos away from the water.

  • Toronto, Ontario

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Toronto is the largest city in Canada and also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. There are countless things to see and do here, including heading to the iconic Niagara Falls near Lake Ontario. If you wish to stay here, lakefront hotels in the city are luxurious properties for leisure tourists as well as corporate travelers. These can also make for a great setting for an indoor wedding or other events.

  • Kelowna, British Columbia

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With thousands of lakes in British Columbia, it is not difficult to find lakefront hotels. Kelowna sits on Okanagan Lake and is known for its thriving wine industry. In addition to the lake, Kelowna also includes exciting winter options that include heli-skiing. It is best to book a few nights at a lakefront hotel in Kelowna to make the most of the wide range of things to do in the city. After a day of hiking or wine tasting, visitors can dip in the indoor heated pool or soak in a hot tub.

Guests are guaranteed stunning lake views and the surrounding mountains from the rooms as well as the outdoor spaces. Don’t forget a glass of local wine to accompany your lake-watching time.

Other destinations with lakefront hotels around the world

  • Geneva, Switzerland

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At the foothills of the Swiss Alps, Geneva is a picturesque city on the shores of Lake Geneva. The lake is the number one attraction in the city, and a lakefront hotel is a must to soak in the dramatic beauty of the lake and its surroundings. These are luxurious properties that cater to diplomats, corporates, and leisure travelers. While the hotels might be pricey, there are many cost-friendly things to do in Geneva.

  • Taupo, New Zealand

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This picturesque small town sits next to Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. Interestingly, the lake is within an active volcano. But don’t worry, it hasn’t erupted in over 1,000 years. Taupo ideally sits in the middle of North Island and offers a glimpse of the rich Maori culture. The spectacular Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay can only be seen as you kayak or boat on the lake. The surrounding forest is popular for hiking and mountain biking. The town also offers many exciting activities, such as bungee jumping, jet riding on Huka Falls, and unwinding in thermal pools. The lakefront hotels in Taupo sit right by the lake and offer fantastic views from the rooms as well as the outdoor spaces.

  • Queenstown, New Zealand

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Queenstown is a thrill seeker's paradise located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and at the foot of the Southern Alps. The stunning lakefront hotels in Queenstown make for the best choice to experience the beauty of the city and the surrounding region. Cliff jumping on Shotover River, bungee jumping off Kawarau Bridge, and jet boating are some of the top activities during the summer. Once the temperature drops, the city transforms into a winter wonderland with skiing and snowboarding at the top of everyone's mind. Wine tours, fishing, and hiking are year-round things to do in the city.

  • Udaipur, India

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Udaipur is a former kingdom and a popular destination that has grown around a selection of man-made lakes. The most famous and largest of these lakes is Lake Pichola, which is lined with hotels. The star, however, is the Taj Lake Palace, a former summer palace in the middle of Lake Pichola. Many lakefront hotels in Udaipur have been converted from royal palaces and houses of noblemen and still retain their old-world charm. The city’s lakes are also popular with locals and tourists and offer cycling and walking tracks.

These lakefront hotels are the most popular properties in the city, with many Instagrammable spots, so book months in advance, especially during the peak season. From here, it is easy to navigate the city lanes and discover the many interesting things to do. While Udaipur is a lake city, most of its attractions are cultural and historic sites.

Enjoy unforgettable moments in lakefront accommodations

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Whether it's savoring breathtaking sunsets, partaking in water activities, or simply relishing the tranquility of the surroundings, these lakefront properties offer a remarkable experience. For a comprehensive list of lakefront accommodations that promise an exceptional stay, check out the curated recommendations in this article and discover the perfect lakeside retreat for your next getaway.

Lakefront hotels in the USA

Lakefront hotels in Canada

Lakefront hotels in Other Destinations

Other Lakefront Accommodations in the USA

Other Lakefront Accommodations in Canada

FAQ's about Lakefront Accommodations

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