Arkansas is a state full of lakes. The best lakes are scattered all around the countryside, nestled in forests, tucked away behind hills, or hidden wholly within national forests. While Arkansas lakes provide their own form of scenery and serenity for those who go to visit them, they also offer many activities for visitors to partake in. Here are some of the best lakes in Arkansas for catching fish, swimming, boating, with brief descriptions on why people should consider visiting these lakes next time they want an outdoor vacation.

The listings we’ve pulled together on this site are as comprehensive as you’ll find on the web. Use them to help you plan:

  • The ultimate Arkansas lake vacation
  • A water sports weekend on the best lakes for boating in Arkansas
  • A fishing trip to the clearest lake in Arkansas for fishing
  • A family getaway to the best Arkansas lakes for swimming


Can’t make up your mind on which lake is best? Well, we’re not sure if you’re looking for hot springs, scuba diving, bass fishing or great views of bald eagles, but we’ll do our best.

The 5 best lakes to visit in Arkansas

1) Lake Ouachita – this is a first-class fishing destination where you can look forward to catching crappie, bass, bream and bluegill. You’ll also come across catfish, stripers and white bass in great quantities here. Lake Ouachita is also a good place for people who enjoy skiing or tubing since the water gets deep enough to support recreational boaters at most times of year.

2) Lake Dardanelle – this lake has an abundance of natural beauty surrounding it, making it a popular tourist destination. Lake Dardanelle provides campgrounds, boat docks and many other facilities that make a lakeside vacation worth your while. There are several places on Lake Dardanelle where you can fish if you bring your own equipment/boat, but if you’d rather purchase some gear or hire guides there are plenty of outlets available to help you do that as well.

3) Greers Ferry Lake – this is one of the most popular lakes in Arkansas for fishing since it’s home to populations of crappie, perch, white bass and bream. The lake also has large populations of catfish that can be caught year-round as well as stripers, hybrids and largemouth bass.

4) Beaver Lake – people come from miles around to take advantage of all the cool things you can do on Beaver Lake. There are great facilities for camping, picnicking and swimming here so if camping out by a lake appeals to you then don’t miss Beaver Lake. You can also go boating or water skiing on this lake if that’s something you enjoy doing. If you’d rather cast a line into the water, you can catch trout, catfish, bass and bream here.

5) Bull Shoals Lake – this is a great lakeside vacation spot that’s extremely popular with anglers. You’ll find lakeside accommodations for camping or renting cabins in lakeside resorts all over the place here. When fishing on Bull Shoals Lake there are plenty of opportunities to catch trout if you’re okay with using artificial bait instead of live fish for your hook. If you’d like to try something different while fishing on Bull Shoals Lake, then look into noodling; it’s an unusual sport but it could lead to catching some interesting fish!

6) Table Rock Lake – this is another lakeside resort town where visitors flock from around to spend their vacations by the lake. Fishing on Table Rock Lake is great since you can catch trout, catfish, largemouth bass and white bass all in the same lakeshore area. You’ll also find nearby accommodations for camping or renting lakeside resorts to stay at if that appeals to you.

We’ve provided you with six amazing lakes that we believe will be perfect lake vacation destinations next time you want to get away from the hustle of city life: Lake Ouachita, Lake Dardanelle, Greers Ferry Lake, Beaver Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, and Table Rock Lake. These lakes have their own unique qualities, but they all share one thing in common – relaxation! If you’d like help deciding which lake would best suit your needs, then contact our team today.