Three Romantic Lake Getaways
Planning a Valentine’s Day trip for two or a romantic vacation, just because? For lake enthusiasts, nothing could be more ideal than a quick getaway to a lake resort. And these three lakes have just what couples want: beautiful settings; amenities with charm; and lots of activities sure to please lake lovers and other outdoorsy folk.
Big Bear Lake, CA
Set in the heart of California's San Bernardino Mountains, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles, Big Bear Lake offers couples the perfect setting for romance any time of year.
For the most privacy, rent a private home or cabin by the lake. Or, book a stay at a resort cottage or one of Big Bear's seven stylish bed and breakfasts. Camping, resort lodges, condos and hotels are also available near Big Bear Lake.
Like any resort area, Big Bear Lake has shopping, restaurants and spas. It also offers numerous outdoor activities - every season of the year.
For warm-season, on-the-water fun, there's boating, canoeing, kayaking and paddleboating; bass and trout fishing; jet skiing, parasailing, wakeboarding, waterskiing—the list could go on and on!
Off the water, there’s just as much to do: mountain biking and hiking; golfing and horseback riding; and in the depths of winter (especially around Valentine’s Day) sledding, skiing, tubing and other snow play.
Lake Michigan, MI
Lake Michigan’s Mackinac Island, situated in the Strait of Mackinac between Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas, is another ideal destination for couples who want a vacation that’s truly away from it all.
Surrounded by the waters of Lake Michigan, Mackinac Island isn’t accessible by car. To reach it, visitors must either cross the lake by ferry or by air. Once there, transportation is limited to walking, biking or horse and carriage rides.
Places to stay on Mackinac Island range from budget-friendly inns to luxury hotels. And there are lots of low-stress venues for nature lovers on the island, most notably Mackinac Island Butterfly House, the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory and Mackinac Island State Park. The state park has over 70 miles of trails for hiking and biking, much of it along the shore, and numerous must-see geological formations, including breath-taking limestone bluffs, Arch rock and Skull Cave. History buffs will enjoy touring historic Fort Mackinac, too.
Finger Lakes, NY
The Finger Lakes region of New York State offers lake-loving couples numerous opportunities for fun getaways.
The area, which measures about 9,000 square miles, encompasses an incredible number of bodies of water, including Lake Ontario, the Erie Canal and the 11 lakes from which the area derives its name. The Finger Lakes, as they’re commonly called, span New York State like a giant hand.
A popular spot for politicians and movie stars, Skaneateles Lake (and the lakeside town named after it) is the trendiest of the bunch, attracting movie stars and politicians alike. With its clear, clean waters filled with land-locked salmon, trout and bass, Hemlock Lake is well-loved by anglers, while Otisco Lake, despite its small size (it’s only six miles long) is extremely popular with boaters and campers.
Honeoye Lake's shallow, pristine waters have made it popular vacation destination for years, and the area is well-developed. Couples seeking private accommodations will have no trouble finding a lakeside cottage or vacation home along its shores.
Wishbone-shaped Keuka Lake is also a favorite spot with vacationers, mostly for its hiking and biking trails, its wineries and the two charming villages on its shores, Penn Yan and Hammondsport. Canandaigua Lake near the city of Rochester is another favorite, in part because of nearby Sonnenberg Gardens and the lakeside town of Canandaigua.
In addition to the activities one associates with lakes, like boating, water sports and fishing, the Finger Lakes Region offers other fun year round: biking, hiking, shopping, camping and touring the more than 100 wineries in the area.