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 Cypress Springs – Texas

Only 100 miles northeast of Dallas, this spring-fed lake in Texas’ “Piney Woods” is crystal-clear and a fisherman’s favorite. Pack a picnic for a day trip to one of the five public parks that border Lake Cypress Springs or plan a longer stay in nearby Mount Pleasant—a Main Street town filled with antique shops, boutiques, restaurants and tearooms—or in Pittsburg, east of Lake Cypress Springs and home to Bob Sandlin State Park, historic homes, shops, and museums.

Online: tpwd.texas.gov

Photo: Michael Salazar via flickr 

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

—Shelley Massey