Des Moines Lakes

Lakes Around Des Moines

Every once in a while you should spend some time near the water. Fortunately, when you make a trip to Des Moines you have some great spots for getting on, or in the water.

It doesn’t matter if you’re itching to float in a tube with a book, get active with water skiing, go for a swim, or nap in the sand, the lakes near Des Moines provide you with numerous opportunities for outdoor activities. Take a look at the local listings directly beneath this paragraph to see your options including swimming lakes with beaches to larger lakes for you to enjoy.

Nearby Lakes for Des Moines

Lake Activities

A quick excursion to a lake, or a longer trip provides an almost limitless list of things to do for couples or families.

A day, weekend, or a week on or in the water offers you all the options from partying to restful bliss.

Start paddling. If you like to paddle around, strap your favorite kayak or paddleboard to the top of your vehicle and chart your course to a lake that has a public launch and start paddling around to enjoy the scenery on the waterfront.

Go for a swim. The swimming lakes near Des Moines offer tons of laughs and games for the big kids and little ones, or all the physical activity that an exercise junky could want in between working on their tan. If you want to spend time swimming and on the beach you’ll want to be sure your lake has a sandy beach and a designated swimming area before you make the trip! Admit it, even the nicest swimming pool doesn’t offer as much to do as a beautiful public beach on a lake near Des Moines!

Go fishing. For those that love to fish, finding a good fishing hole shouldn’t be too hard to help you have a relaxing day with a line in the water whether you’re out on a boat or fishing from shore.

Lake Getaway Prep

Your plan for a lake getaway can be drastically different when you take into consideration the specific lake you’ll be visiting, the weather forecast, and your plan of attack. To make things easier we’ve built out a short list of some of the most common lake and beach-related necessities that you can use as a checklist to make sure you cover your bases.

Lake basics

When the plan is to be outdoors for the majority of the day, the following list of items should be an excellent starting point when it comes to the necessities that you’ll be happy to have on hand.

  • Bathing suits
  • Food
  • A beach blanket and umbrella
  • Bug spray
  • Something to dry off with
  • A sunhat or glasses
  • Sunblock
  • Plates, bowls, utensils, cups
  • A cooler and drinks
  • Sweatpants and sweatshirt

Additional lake gear

The list of items below might prove useful for trips to the lake considering your itinerary. It’s also worth checking prior to hitting the road.

  • Goggles or masks
  • Fishing and boating licenses
  • Safety gear like life jackets
  • Fishing poles, nets, etc.
  • Diapers and baby gear
  • Corkscrew
  • Bait
  • Rafts and floaties
  • Your favorite magazine or book
  • Something to clean up with like sanitizers or wet wipes

Lake Safety

While the water can provide fun during a day on the lake, safety should be top of mind. These safety tips can ensure that you and your family remains safe while around the lake.

  • Regularly apply sunblock throughout the day – following the product’s instructions
  • Stay close to shore and avoid areas with shallow water or where the current is strong
  • Always wear a life jacket when boating, kayaking or paddle boarding
  • Have an emergency plan if you run into trouble on your watercraft
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while boating
  • Make sure no one swims alone
  • Keep children within arm’s reach at all times while swimming in deep water

More Ideas for Lake Fun

When you make a trip to the fabulous lakes near Des Moines, there are a few things that will make your weekend gameplan substantially more successful. As an example, every individual lake near Des Moines is going to have their own qualities and surroundings so it is important to consider what you need to make an unforgettable adventure when planning yours.

  1. Maximize the best assets in the area. If you have time for a longer trip, look for local state parks and recreation areas that offer the ability to stay near or even on the water at an affordable price.
  2. Pay attention to the beaches. If you pick the wrong time of year, sometimes the beaches near Des Moines might be swarmed with beachgoers. If you want some more peace and quiet, research a variety of lakes in the area to learn about how busy they are if you want a more relaxing vibe. If you want to be where the party’s at, then look for the biggest, most popular sandy party scene!
  3. No boat, no problem. If you’re near the water you’ll often find local marinas that offer boat rentals. Just because you don’t own a boat to enjoy a relaxing day of fishing or tubing with the kids. Doing a quick Google search can usually allow you to find several places that can hook you up with the right vessel.