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.
Lake Mead, Nevada
Lake Mead is so famous for the spring break parties and its proximity to Las Vegas that its beauty frequently goes overlooked. Visitors to Boulder Beach have to confront the area's beauty as they dash across luxuriously soft sand towards bright, refreshing water. The beach is generally thick with locals, college kids, and partiers, so visitors would do well to wear shoes lest they end up with broken bottles in their feet, but the atmosphere is inviting and the smell of BBQ is always welcome. Swim out into the lake and look back if you want to put the celebration in some natural perspective.
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