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Summer is coming… can’t you just feel it?

The weather is getting warmer. The sun is shining brighter. And its light is lasting longer. Add it all together, and it probably means you’re thinking a little bit harder about boating.

Once you get your boat out of storage and into the water, you’re ready to go. But, where exactly will your adventures take you?

To help inspire your itinerary, we’ve compiled a list of 14 beautiful lakes for boating:

  1. Lake Michigan – Bordered by Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake located entirely in the U.S. With a shoreline of 1,640 miles, it’s the fifth-largest lake in the world. (And if you ask us, it’s scenic beauty is certainly something worth seeing.)
  2. Lake Mendota – Bordering Madison, Wisc., on the north, east and south, the University of Wisconsin actually sits along its banks. Get a glimpse of student housing and the student union, or just get your water sport on. Things like water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing and wind surfing are popular activities to plan and participate in.
  3. Kaiser Lake – No motor boats allowed… which makes it ideal for anyone seeking solace. This large Ohio lake is surrounded by woodlands, with only a few cabins, cottages and campsites interspersed among them. If you’re looking for a remote experience, Kaiser Lake can offer it. Head here for a day of fishing, sailing or paddle boating.
  4. Torch Lake – At 19 miles long, Torch Lake is Michigan’s longest inland lake. Located directly between Antrim and Kalkaska Counties, it’s known for its nature activities — like kayaking, canoeing, fishing and diving. And with its unusually clear and turquoise waters, it wouldn’t be impossible to confuse it with the Caribbean.
  5. Lake Erie – Of all the Great Lakes, Lake Erie is the most southern and the most shallow. But it’s also one of the most picturesque. With a coastline that spans 293 miles and with 31 different islands scattered throughout the water, there’s a lot to see, and even more to experience.
  6. Petenwell Lake – Take a break on Petenwell Lake. It may be manmade, but it’s the second largest lake in Wisconsin. Fish for walleye, northern pike, bass, panfish and muskellunge. Or, plan a day full of fun at the surrounding restaurants, community theatre, golf course or casino.
  7. Lake Charlevoix – For some of the best sunsets, beaches and boating this summer, try traveling to Lake Charlevoix. There’s a shallow ledge along the entire lake, which makes it easy to anchor and enjoy a day of relaxation in northern Michigan.
  8. Lake Geneva – In Wisconsin, Lake Geneva is a popular tourist town… and it wouldn’t take long to see why. Built around a beautiful body of water in the southeastern part of the state, it’s the perfect place for canoeing, kayaking, rafting, tubing, boating, sailing, swimming and beach bumming.
  9. Tappan Lake – For a lot of locals, Tappan Lake is the place for “true boaters.” Located in Harrison County, Ohio, it spans 2,350 acres with a 5,000 acre park all along its shore. It’s known for its swimming and water sports, along with restaurants and shopping centers that surround it.
  10. Lake Huron – Lake Huron has the largest shoreline length of any of the Great Lakes, counting its 30,000 islands. Most notably, it forms the eastern outline of the Michigan mitten, including its thumb.
  11. Glen Lake – Fun fact? Glen Lake, located in Leelanau County, Michigan, is actually two large bodies of water connected by a narrow channel. Based on their size, locals call them “Big Glen Lake” and “Little Glen Lake.” Visit one or the other (or both!) on your next trip up north.
  12. Lake Winnebago – If you’re boating with kids on board, take them to Lake Winnebago, the largest lake entirely within the state of Wisconsin. Let them float through history, as Lake Winnebago is actually a remnant of Glacial Lake Oshkosh, which formed approximately 12,000 years ago. Today, all kinds of annual events happen here, like shoreline concerts, fishing tournaments, power boat events, pleasure boating rallies, sail runs and ice racing.
  13. Burt Lake – Short and sweet, Burt Lake in Cheboygan County, Michigan, is only 10 miles long from north to south. But, it’s nestled in the heart of northern Michigan’s Inland Waterway, giving you access to 38 miles of nearby rivers and lakes.
  14. Lake Superior – There’s a reason it’s called Lake Superior, and it’s because it’s the largest of all five Great Lakes. What’s more, it’s also considered the largest freshwater lake in the world (by surface area).


Before you go boating, brush up on the basic safety tips. Then, brush up on your insurance policy. Is your boat completely covered? Start a conversation with an agent near you.