Cool Off at These Summer Lake Side Escapes

Testing the waters across New England, we uncover nine beauties worth their salt—or lack thereof…by

The coast is fine, if you’re into jellyfish, lugging around your own shade, and paying peak-season super-premiums for overnights. But we’re thinking that this is the summer to bag the ocean in favor of New England’s other liquid attractions—namely, its lakes. Well, certain ones of them, anyway: For every shimmering pool, there’s a dozen mucky swamps with pesky phosphorous “issues.” (You’ll want the former.) So to very literally test the waters, we dispatched our reporters to search out the best inland destinations within driving distance of Boston. They came back with these nine freshwater gems, and, for each, an itinerary for the perfect stay. Lake neophytes, rest assured: You’ll never miss the salt.

Connecticut: Lake Waramaug: The Classic

Pretty much everything you could want from a lake, in one neat, S-shaped package: Crystal-clear water. Sandy beaches. And it’s named for an Indian chief. It’s practically overkill that Lake Waramaug sits smack-dab in the middle of Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills, one of the most achingly New England areas of New England, with white church steeples and “Washington slept here” signs on every country corner. The topographic layout of the lake showcases the scenery to full advantage, with a shoreline road tracing its circumference and forested hills nudging every vista. Waramaug also has an avid following in the local community, which is dedicated to keeping the place as unspoiled as possible. For nonresidents, a maximum of 20 powerboats are allowed on the water on any given day, which helps keep down the noise and sight pollution and makes the lake itself as undisturbed as the surrounding woods. When a lone scull from a nearby prep school skates across the water at sunset, it’s damn near magical. —Michael Blanding.

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Posted by Scott Freerksen “The Lake Guy”

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