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.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana
The name "Indiana" doesn't exactly conjure up images of white-sand bays, but at the state's northern edge, past Notre Dame and the industrial towns along the Michigan border, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore boasts some of the most striking water-frontage in the states. The deserted portions of the beach are a hike away – the reserve boasts 45 miles of trails – and tend toward the dramatic, appearing like frozen sand waves crashing into the cold blue. The area, home to myriad birds and plant species, tends to attract naturalists – also naturists.