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 Anna – Virginia

<ahref="http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/lake-anna#general_information">Lake Anna is big, beautiful, and family-friendly. A children’s fishing pond, a life-guarded swimming area with a sandy beach, a playground, a concession stand and a boat launch make Lake Anna one of the easiest options for family vacations, but it's more than just a lake. There are 15 miles of hiking trails, and plenty of campsites and cabins for wilderness-not-too-wilderness experiences, perfect for families looking to “rough it” a little.

Online: dcr.virginia.gov 

Photo: Virginia State Parks via flickr

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

—Shelley Massey