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 Almanor – California

The Lake Almanor Basin and surrounding Lassen National Volcanic Forest are the jelly to the Sierra Nevada's and the Cascade Mountains' peanut butter, making it perfectly situated for families to enjoy its 52 miles of shoreline within reach of dormant volcanos, millions of wilderness acres, and hundreds of campsites. Lodging options range from well-maintained campsites to B&B's, hotels, and cottages on the lake's shoreline.

Online: lakealmanorarea.com

Photo: Don DeBold via flickr

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

—Shelley Massey