There’s a reason lakes take the cake in the summer time. Sparkling water, gentle waves and the absence of jellies and crabs make a perfect low-key vacation spot for families with bitty bums in tow. Flip through the gallery to discover 13 fresh bodies of water to dip your toes in this summer.

Lake Chelan – Washington

Lake Chelan formed over millions of years as the Cascade Mountains rose—you can still see glaciers on the peaks—and is known for its startling clarity. The Lake Chelan Valley includes the towns of Chelan, Manson and Stehekin, which are noted for outdoor recreation and a thriving art scene. You can shop, visit wineries, and play in the arcades and mini-golf after a full day of hiking, boating, fishing and swimming.


Photo: jodycl via flickr

Where will you make a splash this summer? Tell us in the comments section below!

—Shelley Massey