If you’re on the hunt for a quick getaway or a longer vacation, there are some great lakes in Wisconsin that offer swimming, boating, fishing and other recreational activities. The best lakes in Wisconsin vary from those without waves to those with large waves perfect for surfing. Some of the best lakes have stunning views as well as peaceful surroundings.
It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for when it comes to recreation, there’s something special about finding it at an inland lake in Wisconsin. From kayaking to volleyball games and everything in between, these lakes offer hours of fun no matter how long your stay is!
Check out our listings below and we’ll help you find:
- The best Wisconsin lakes for swimming
- The clearest lakes in Wisconsin
- The perfect destination for a Wisconsin lake vacation
- The best lakes for boating in Wisconsin, especially if you’re a fisherman
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The best lakes in Wisconsin typically have the following features:
Clean water. Many people assume all lakes are clean, but that’s not always the case. Some lakes have high levels of algae and pollution, which can make swimming and fishing unpleasant, if not dangerous. Make sure you research a lake before you visit to make sure its water is clean.
Good fishing. If you’re looking to do some fishing while on vacation, be sure to choose a lake with good fish populations. You’ll want to check with the locals or do some research online to find out which lakes are best for fishing.
Boating access. Not all lakes offer boat access, so if that’s something you’re interested in, be sure to choose a lake that has a boat launch.
Clear water. For those who love swimming and tubing, it’s important to choose a lake with clear water. You’ll be able to see the bottom of the lake and avoid swimming near areas with dense algae growth.
Good beaches. A good beach makes for a great place to soak up the sun, play games, and enjoy the views. Look for lakes with sandy beaches instead of rocky shores.
The best lakes to visit in Wisconsin
If you’re planning on visiting one of the amazing lakes in Wisconsin this summer (or any time) check out this list of some great lakes and their recreational activities and amenities.
Lake Superior: The largest inland lake in the nation is also one of the best lakes to visit in Wisconsin for kayaking. For those looking for a longer break, camping at one of the Northwoods Lakeside Campgrounds is a great way to experience Lake Superior as well as other lakes such as Mirror Lake and Brule River Falls (among others). These campgrounds offer everything from fishing to hiking tours so there’s something for everyone!
Lake Michigan: This lake offers some beautiful views and scenery but also has spots where you can go out on your own boat and catch bass and trout, or if you prefer more calm waters, head toward Green Bay for a nice day of fishing.
Devil’s Lake: This is a great place for swimming, boating and fishing as it offers both calm and rough waters. The scenery around Devil’s Lake is also something to take in with the bluffs and cliffs making for a beautiful backdrop.
Pewaukee Lake: This lake is known for its waves which make it perfect for surfing (or just watching from the shore). In addition to waves, Pewaukee Lake also has a sandy beach for swimming, docks for boats, and plenty of places to fish.
Lac du Flambeau: If you’re looking for a more remote location, Lac du Flambeau may be perfect for you. There are numerous campsites on the lake ranging from RV camping to cabins and tent sites. There are also kayak trails for the avid paddler and an abundance of places to fish.
Little Bull Falls: This lake is known for its great fishing spots but it’s also one of the best lakes in Wisconsin to get away from it all. The only sounds you’ll hear here are birds chirping, trees rustling, and water flowing through the falls which will make for a relaxing trip without distractions.
Lake Poygan: The best part about this lake? It’s known as “Wisconsin’s Big Bass Lakes” with some experts catching upwards of 50+ pound bass! Along with Bass, there are plenty of Walleye swimming around these waters so if you want to fish, you’ll have plenty of options.
Lake Butte des Morts: The best part about this lake is its location right at Apple Holler – the perfect place for a family or group to rent a cabin and relax after catching their fill of bass! As the name suggests, there are numerous small tributaries which are great for kayaking as well as fishing.
Lake Geneva: If you’re looking to unwind with some afternoon cocktails at one of the many lakefront bars then look no further than Lake Geneva which also has everything from fun water sports to summer dances. The scenery here is stunning with flower gardens surrounding it so make sure to take pictures along the way!
Wisconsin is known for its large inland lakes, and if you’re looking for some fun activities to do on the water this summer then look no further than one of these best lakes in Wisconsin. Whether you want to kayak or fish (or both!), there are plenty of options available depending on what lake suits your needs best!