America has over 400,000 lakes. Some of them are Great and some of them are decidedly more humble, but many of them offer the sort of sandy respite many travelers reflexively seek out in the Caribbean. The scenery tends to be different, pine forests replace jungle and granite mountains replace volcanic spires, but lakes can be just as welcome a place to enjoy a tan or a dip as any tropical island. Here are the best inland spots for swimming and sprawling this summer.
Bliss Beach, Nevada
Lake Tahoe boasts many of America's most striking beaches. The water is clear in the shallows and dark blue in the middle. The sand is clean and bright. The snow remains on top of the Sierras year-round. But the most memorable beach is on the eastern side of the lake in Nevada's D.L. Bliss State Park (named for a prominent banker/lumberman). Bliss Beach is popular with swimmers – who tend to jump out of the freezing water fairly quickly – SCUBA divers taking advantage of the amazing clarity, and campers, who can stay at the nearby Beach Camp.