Lake Vacations on the East Coast Best Western Experience | Travel Zone by Best Western

Lake Vacations on the East Coast

By Stuart Hughes

The allure of a relaxing lakeside escape will never fade – whether it’s a weekend getaway with friends or taking the family away to surround yourself with nature. The year-round appeal of being by the water has inspired us to create a shortlist of the best lake vacation spots on the East Coast you should visit this year. 

From the stunning Lake Champlain, Vermont, in the north, to Blue Ridge Lake, in the southern state of Georgia, join us for an incredible tour of the best lake vacations the East Coast has to offer. 

Lake Champlain, Vermont 

Situated on the fringes of the Canadian border, our first top recommendation of the best lake vacation spots on the East Coast is the amazing Lake Champlain in Vermont. With over 580 miles of shoreline, we suggest basing yourself in Burlington, Vermont, to explore Lake Champlain and indulge in the region’s delicious fresh seafood offerings. With over 80 islands on Lake Champlain and countless historic lighthouses, we suggest starting your visit by joining the crew at the Spirit of Ethan Allen Cruises for a lunchtime cruise on the lake 

However, for those who prefer to keep their feet on dry land, you can also discover a vast number of Lake Champlain’s hidden coves and secluded bays by driving along the scenic shores of this impressive lake. Then, end each evening on Lake Champlain, trying out the various waterfront dining options available. For us, our favorite restaurant for the perfect sunset meal over the lake has to be The Spot On The Dock 

Savor the local hospitality, the awe-inspiring views, and the scenic lakeside attractions of Lake Champlain by booking your stay at the Best Western Plus Windjammer Inn & Conference Center in South Burlington, Vermont. 

Lake Placid, New York 

We head west to Lake Placid, New York, for our next highlight of the best lake vacation spots on the East Coast. As picturesque as it is historic, Lake Placid offers a year-round playground for outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Whether you’re a fan of winter sports and hiking or an avid paddleboarder keen to get out on the water, this stunning freshwater lake offers an array of activities for all ages. 

Despite its size, the village of Lake Placid is steeped in Olympic history and holds the honor of being the only location in the world to have ever hosted the Winter Olympics twice. As a result, it’s only fitting that we recommend you head to the remarkable Olympic Jumping Complex, a hub for both snow sports in the winter and outdoor pursuits such as ziplining in the warmer months. Activates around Lake Placid are bound to help you build up an appetite, so make sure you stop in for the great food, drinks, and atmosphere at Lisa G’s in the heart of town. 

Be ready for the action every morning on your lake vacation after a great night’s sleep, every night, at the delightful Best Western Adirondack Inn in Lake Placid, New York. 

Lake Wallenpaupack, Pennsylvania 

Our next destination sees us heading for the forest-laden peaks and exquisite lakes of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. Here, we suggest heading directly for Lake Wallenpaupack, the fifth-largest lake in the Keystone State. Remarkably, this astonishing lake was formed by the damming of Wallenpaupack Creek in 1926 for flood control and to generate hydroelectric power for the region. 

Spanning an impressive 5,700 acres, Lake Wallenpaupack easily makes our shortlist of the best lake vacation spots on the East Coast for its pristine beaches and stunning hiking trails. If you’re a fan of having fun on the water, head to the team at Pocono Action Sports, where you can hire kayaks, paddleboards, and motorboats for the day. And, after a day on the water, you, your friends, and your family must head over to Gresham’s Chop House Restaurant to try their steak and seafood options for an unforgettable Lake Wallenpaupack sunset dining experience. 

Enjoy the breathtaking landscapes of Lake Wallenpaupack and the Poconos and sleep well each night of your lake escape at the Best Western Hunt’s Landing Hotel Matamoras/Milford in Matamoras, Pennsylvania. 

Douglas Lake, Tennessee 

We travel south again now for our next hotly tipped destination on our top picks of the best lake vacation spots on the East Coast and Douglas Lake, Tennessee. Spanning over 30,600 acres, Douglas Lake is famed for its tranquil setting in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. 

For wildlife and photograph enthusiasts, Douglas Lake provides visitors with a range of nature trails around the lake itself and a fantastic opportunity to see the region’s wildlife on display. However, for us, the best way to see Douglas Lake in all its beauty is to join the pilots at Scenic Helicopter Tours for the spectacular views of the Douglas Dam and the striking aerial views of the lake. If you’re looking for an excuse for magnificent craft-brewed beer and fine dining, then we strongly suggest heading to the Dandridge Brewing Company for a great night out after a day on the water. 

Bask in the Volunteer State’s refined southern hospitality in and around Douglas Lake by enjoying your lakeside vacation at the Best Western Sevierville/Kodak Inn in Kodak, Tennessee. 

Blue Ridge Lake, Georgia 

Our final gem on our list of first-choice destinations and last entry on our list of the best lake vacation spots on the East Coast finds us arriving in Georgia and the outstanding Blue Ridge Lake. Spanning 3,290 acres, Blue Ridge Lake is renowned for its incredible crystal-clear blue waters and laid-back, family-friendly shores. Ideal for lakeside picnics and numerous nature trails, you can’t beat the views it offers of the Blue Ridge Mountain vistas that frame this idyllic lake 

Blue Ridge Lake is ideal for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding. However, for fans of fishing, Blue Ridge Lake has a treat for you, so be sure to join the crew at Lake & Stream for a day on the water. Here, you can catch a variety of fish, including bass, walleye, and perch. Then, as the afternoon draws to a close, we highly recommend heading across to the Lake Blue Ridge Marina’s Boat Dock Bar & Grill for a meal overlooking the water and a well-earned beverage too. 

You can book ahead to stay at the Best Western Milton Inn in Blairsville, Georgia, and heighten your stay in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains on your lakeside trip away. 

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