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.

Fontana Lake – North Carolina

Created by the highest dam east of the Rocky Mountains, Fontana Lake is on the Little Tennessee River in western North Carolina. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park borders the lake to the north, and part of the Appalachian Trail crosses over the top of Fontana Dam. You'll find activities such as boating, horseback riding and crafts making at Fontana Village—a resort on the site of the World War II-era construction village for Fontana Dam.

Online: visitsmokies.org

Photo: Donald Lee Pardue via flickr 

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

—Shelley Massey