Having returned recently from
one of the largest bodies of lakes in the US, the Great Lakes, and
Lake Erie specifically, it struck me that we have some "great" lakes
in California, too.
From the summer boat rides and
water skiing on
Big Bear Lake,
a Southern California weekend getaway favorites for Southern
Californians, to the newest fishing spot that serves as a water
Diamond Valley Lake
in Hemet, the good times never end when there's a lake nearby.
A reflective season is the
California's Central Valley lakes, the wildlife and
expansive lands surrounding pounds and bodies of water make not only
beautiful photos, but an experience to inspire as Californians and
vacationers enter the mild, cool winters of the Central Valley.
Having grown up in the midwest,
our lakes were the best it gets for summer water sports
entertainment. Some were muddy, some were clean. Some had snakes and
some were green. But what the lakes all offered were sports
fishing, boating, swimming and beautiful reflections to break up the
In California, there's quite a
bit to crow about with the awesome lakes our state provides.
Shasta Lake is a house boater's paradise. In the summer
months when the region gets so hot you think you'll never see
another cool day in your life, that's when Lake Shasta comes to the
rescue with its temperate waters that bring relief to all who enjoy
the reddish-mountains and tall green pines that surround the
Several natural wonders in
Northern California include lakes within
Lassen Volcanic National Park. With names like Bumpass Hell,
some are filled with boiling springs, steam vents and mud pots and
are not conducive to anything but looking and watching.
Burney Falls is a national landmark and spectacular to see.
Just an hour or two from Lassen, we have to thank our friends in
Redding for teaching us about their beautiful lakes that make this
part of California a perfect drive trip opportunity.
Whiskeytown Lake in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is
one of the few we've seen where they supply you with the kayaks and
teach you lessons free. In the summer the lake can be nearly as hot
as the outside air that stand at 100 degrees for nearly an entire
month. Locals love it!
holds many distinctions, not just because it is surrounded by so
much entertainment. Home to winter skiing and summer fun, several
cities that surround the lake are tourist attractions, with South
Lake Tahoe being the most prominent. Casino gambling at Stateline,
Nevada right next to the lake, golf courses, beaches and of course
the lovely winters all make Lake Tahoe a must-see on any California
Just north of Santa Barbara, a
steep drive up the hills, lies
This lake has seem much dry weather, causing its size to diminish
greatly in recent years. But it's a beautiful lake where
people like to camp, fish or even sleep in a yurt. For drives
between Southern California and the Central Coast, veer off Highway
101 to Cachuma Lake. There are several spots where you can pull over
at vistas and simply look. Or you can pay the fee to park in the
recreation area and go fishing, hiking, or spend a while enjoying
The Central Coast is known for
many stunning, useful, popular and easty-to-find lakes.
Oso Flaco Lake near the Guadalupe sand dunes that were used
in the film "The Ten Commandments" features a natural environment
and habitat where you may see little bobcats, coyotes and endangered
One of the absolutely most
stunning lakes to look at is
Mono Lake. If you've never seen this gem located in
the desert, please take a peak at a marvelous photograph taken by
fine arts photography Timothy Wolcott. This lake and Wolcott's work
will blow you away.
Yosemite National Park has lakes on the valley floor. The
best way to check them out is on a tour that runs daily. This
narrated bus ride offers (when the weather is not too icy) an
overview of the lakes, forests and mountains immortalized by the
most famous photographer in the world, the late Ansel Adams. For a
special treat, go at Christmas when it's often snowy and white. Part
of your ritual will become the
Bracebrigde Dinners that Adams helped launch.
In contrast to the rugged,
Lake Merritt in Oakland , Lake Forest and
Viejo are Orange County communities with urban manmade lakes
surrounded by houses. These types of lakes are very common in
California, and serve a useful purpose. Don't sneer at them
until you've seen the beautiful homes that surround them. What they
lack, however, are the settings such as mountains and forests that
will take your breath away.
We've barely scratched the
surface of California's great lakes. But beaches are so turbulent
and have so many waves. Why not enjoy the best of California's lakes
and discover a whole new side of vacationing in the Golden State.