America’s Coolest Spots for Lake Lovers
Looking for a cool place to hang out by a lake this summer? These US cities have the lowest normal daily mean temperatures during the months of June, July and August—and plenty of beautiful bodies of water, too.
With mean average temperatures at 67 degrees F, Portland, Oregon is a cool spot for lake swimming, fishing and boating.
Bybee Lake in the northern area of the city is part of the Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area. It’s located between the Columbia and Willamette Rivers not far from Pier Park. The lake has a canoe launch and is located in a prime spot for observing nature, including bald eagles, black-tailed deer, osprey, river otter and the rare Western painted turtle.
Blue Lake is a 64-acre natural body of water just 20 minutes outside downtown Portland near the towns of Fairview, Wood Village, and Troutdale. Blue Lake is part of a regional park that bears its name. Canoes, paddleboats and rowboats are popular there as is swimming for those above the age of five. Small fry are relegated to a nearby water park to keep lake waters clean.
Fairview Lake is also near downtown Portland, about 200 feet south of Blue Lake. A shallow lake of approximately 106 acres, it’s a good spot for non-motorized boating and fishing for catfish, carp and trout.
The Seattle, Washington, area has a mean average temp of just 65 degrees F in summer and, like the San Francisco Bay Area, lots of bodies of water from which to choose when you’re looking for a cool place to fish, boat or just relax.
Lake Chelan, located between Seattle and Spokane, is a summertime favorite for many. Not only is it beautiful set among the Cascade Mountains, it’s also near the charming resort town of Chelan, a more rugged settlement called Stehekin, and several other small lakes.
If you’re looking for a cool lake the whole family can enjoy, there are several that are either near or part of parks, and they have amenities like shallow swimming areas and changing rooms that make them kid friendly: Lake Wilderness, Lake Sammamish, , Silver Lake and Lake Meridian.
San Francisco has a mean average summer temperature of just 61 degrees F and over 45 lakes in the Bay Area alone, so keeping cool by the water isn’t too much of a chore once you’re there.
Popular lakes in the San Francisco area that allow boating include Del Valle Reservoir near Livermore, Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland, Lake Chabot near San Leandro, the San Pablo Reservoir in El Sobrante and the Loch Lomond Reservoir near Ben Lomond.
Del Valle Reservoir is a long, narrow lake adjacent to the Ohlone Regional Wilderness. Swimming is also allowed there. Lake Merritt is an urban lake set in a park only minutes from Interstate 580. Lake Chabot enjoys a sylvan setting and is a great choice for birders, while the San Pablo Reservoir is ideal for those who love to fish and the Loch Lomond Reservoir, situated in a canyon among the Santa Cruz Mountains, is an ideal spot for photographers.