Sure, North Carolina has amazing beaches…but sometimes you want a break from the saltwater (and shark scares) and to dip your toes into some freshwater. Look no further than one of our state’s beautiful lakes. There are SO many to choose from, but these 10 are guaranteed to give you a great experience!
1. Lake Lure
If being the backdrop for Dirty Dancing isn't enough, Lake Lure is about as scenic as it gets. Nestled between gorgeous mountains, even with small beaches and a place to lay your towel, Lake Lure is a true getaway!
2. Lake Mattamuskeet
Flickr / Jim Liestman
As North Carolina's largest natural lake, Lake Mattamuskeet is a coastal paradise. Perfect for boating, fishing, kayaking, or just exploring the area around.
3. Lake Norman
As North Carolina's largest body of freshwater, there's plenty to explore here. Lake Norman is centrally located, near Charlotte and not too far from the Piedmont. Easy for a day drive. It's best to explore by boat or jetski.
4. Jordan Lake
Speaking of centrally located, Jordan Lake is west of Raleigh and south of Durham. It's a picturesque place, full of peaceful coves and places to swim.
5. Lake Tillery
Surrounded by the Uwharrie Mountains, this secluded lake is perfect for sailing and amazing views.
6. Nantahala Lake
Another lake that absolutely surrounds you in towering pines and mountain views is Nantahala Lake. The perfect place for a kayak adventure amidst nature.
7. Lake Phelps
As the second largest natural lake in North Carolina, Lake Phelps is the perfect place to explore on the eastern side of the state.
8. Lake Drummond
Located right in the Great Dismal Swamp, Lake Drummond is a fisherman's paradise.
9. Lake Gaston
Easily located, Lake Gaston is the perfect place for weekend getaway. Rent or bring your boat and/or jetskis, and have some freshwater fun.
10. White Lake
White Lake has gorgeous, crystal clear water and a beachy vibe (minus the sharks). If you're looking for a unique lake experience in NC, visit here!
I’m ready for a day on the lake! Were any of your favorite lake destinations on the list?