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.
Tenaya Lake East Beach, California
Californians know to head straight to Tenaya Lake after passing through Yosemite National Park's Big Oak Flat Road gates. The Ahwahneechee Indians called the place Pywiack (Pie-we-ack), meaning "Lake of Shining Rocks," which was entirely apt. The peaks surrounding the water glint beautifully in the clear sunlight. Over the past few years, trails to East Beach have been refurbished, and the place is now more accessible than ever – and just as shiny.