North Dakota

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway or looking to plan an extended vacation, lakes in North Dakota are the perfect place. You can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing and more. There are so many lakes to choose from that it might be hard to decide which one is best for your needs!

We can help you plan your next North Dakota lake vacation by helping you locate:

  • The best North Dakota lakes for swimming. Take the family for a fun weekend on a sandy swimming beach for a day of lake lounging. Pick a lake near a recreation area and add a picnic to your getaway!
  • The best lakes for boating in North Dakota. Whether you want to go water skiing or fishing with your buddies, we’ll help you find the right lake, complete with a boat ramp for easy access.
  • Beautiful lake views. If you want to get away in the colder months, search out a lake with nearby vacation rentals or bed and breakfasts for some leisurely time for decompressing away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Find North Dakota Lakes Near You

To help you plan your lakeside vacation, we have chosen five lakes that are perfect for a variety of activities and preferences.

The best lakes to visit in North Dakota

  • Lake Sakakawea is the largest lake in North Dakota with nearly 500 square miles to explore. The lake winds through much of the western end of the state and it’s a great place to enjoy fishing in the summertime and a nice spot for a quick weekend getaway in the spring or fall! If you visit in the summertime you’ll be able to see some amazing wildlife around Lake Sakakawea State Park. The park is also a popular spot for visitors, with options to stay in cabins, campgrounds, and yurts. There’s year-round fun to be had as well, with winter activities like snowmobiling and cross country skiing to go along with typical summertime activities like watersports and fishing.
  • Lake Darling is located in the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge and is a popular spot for fishermen. Formed by the Lake Darling Dam, there are plenty of spots for hiking and primitive camping near the shoreline.
  • Lake Renwick is known for having the bluest waters in all of North Dakota. Formed by the Renwick Dam, the lake isn’t particularly deep at only around 20 feet deep, but it’s a popular spot for swimmers in the summer months. At 181 acres, the lake is big enough for watersports and fishing, which is easily accessed from public boat launches. If you’d prefer to stay on the lakeshore there are plenty of options as well with cabins, campgrounds, picnic areas, hiking trails, and more!
  • Devil’s Lake is nothing to be afraid of despite the name. This lake is over 330 square miles of outdoor fun! The area is hugely popular with outdoorsmen for hunting and fishing, but the nearby town of Devil’s Lake also has some great dining and shopping options. Located between Minot and Grand Forks, this is a gorgeous spot for a getaway!
  • located near the town of Minnewaukan and offers visitors lakeside resorts to stay in! There are lots of restaurants too, so after a long day at the lake enjoying fishing or boating you can relax with your family and enjoy some good food together. If you visit in the summertime, you’ll also want to check out the Lostwood Wetland Management District where you can enjoy hiking trails and another gorgeous North Dakota view!

So which lake in North Dakota should you pick? The best lakes in North Dakota depend on who you’re going with, what you want to do, and how much time you have. Regardless, North Dakota has a lot to offer no matter what you’re looking to get yourself into for a weekend or a longer stay. Rent a rustic cabin on the water and relax by a fire, spend a weekend swimming and water skiing, or spend some time hiking and fishing. When you visit one of North Dakota’s fabulous lakes, the world is truly your oyster.