cold lake, summer vacation
July 8, 2015 3:28 PM   Subscribe

I live in the Deep South; everyone goes to the beach for vacation. I hate the beach in the summertime (it is way too hot). Where should my wife & go on vacation this summer? I would like a cold, deep lake to swim in, hiking trails, and some privacy. She would like a cottage or cabin on said lake. Would prefer an area that is LGBT friendly (will settle for agnostic), and that we can get to on Delta (we have vouchers to burn).
posted by wearyaswater to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Any place in Minnesota would be good.
posted by sanka at 3:31 PM on July 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Ditto anyplace in Puget Sound (Western Washington/Seattle).
posted by singmespanishtechno at 3:32 PM on July 8, 2015

Vermont or New Hampshire.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:35 PM on July 8, 2015

Lake Tahoe is another option. It's not as popular in the summer as it is during ski season so there's generally a ton of rentable cabins around.
posted by brainmouse at 3:38 PM on July 8, 2015

Best answer: Any place in Minnesota would be good.

Specifically Grand Marais or really anywhere along the Gunflint Trail to the Boundary Waters.

Delta has service to Duluth, and then it's a couple hours north (without stops, but you will stop - very scenic!) to Grand Marais. I can highly recommend the Gunflint Lodge, but is very popular and reservations may be hard to get.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:49 PM on July 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Maine has tons of lakes! I personally like Lake St George. It's about an hour from either Portland or Bangor. Not many people know about it; we got to the state park beach and lie on the grass and swim without crowds (unlike the Belgrade Lakes, which are mostly private, although you might consider Cobbosseecontee and Marancook in Winthrop (too many listings to link here). Those are about 20 minutes off the highway from Augusta.

Another lake is Lake Wassookeag, in Dexter (about 40 miles from Bangor). My Mom grew up there, and we had a house on Big Wassookeag, but rented cabins on Little Wassookeag for several summers before we bought the house. Crystal clear waters.

If you have more questions, please feel free to MeMail me and I will do my best to help you. But we have two airports, Bangor and Portland, and many lakes within an hour of each.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:18 PM on July 8, 2015

My Aunts took my sister and I to Washington State Olympic Penninsula's Lake Quinault back when I was 16. They got a private cabin and my sister and I had a cabin. Not completely private, but nobody hassled us either. Walking distance to the cold lake, and walking distance to rain-forest hikes, LGBT friendly even 20 years ago. My aunts gave my sister and I a six pack to ensure their privacy. I remember thinking that was a lot of beer, but really I think it was just enough to keep us in our cabin for a bit. Went back there a few years ago and it was as nice as I remembered it.
posted by Kale Slayer at 4:31 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Lake Tahoe is another option. It's not as popular in the summer as it is during ski season so there's generally a ton of rentable cabins around."

I live in Tahoe and that statement above is dead wrong. Google images of places like "Emerald Bay" and "Secret Cove" and "Whale Beach" in Tahoe and you'll see why. The beaches here look like the Caribbean with giant boulders. There are even clothing optional beaches on the North shore. You can try renting private homes through the usual channels or there are cute little cabins to rent all around the lake in smaller resorts.

Tons of hiking, few mosquitos, rarely over 85 degrees, dry heat, nearly always abundant sunshine - it's perfection here at summer which is why I never leave Tahoe from June to August.
posted by HeyAllie at 4:35 PM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Lake Winnipesaukee, in New Hampshire.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:45 PM on July 8, 2015

Best answer: Fly into International Falls, MN, on Rainy Lake. There is Voyageurs National Park, which is beautiful. The lake is gorgeous. It is right on the Canadian border.
posted by jillithd at 7:26 PM on July 8, 2015

Lake Superior in Ontario. Remote, cold, deep, breathtaking. Pukaskwa National Park area; the hiking is great.
posted by tippy at 7:31 PM on July 8, 2015

Best answer: If you're not opposed to going to Canada look into some of the lakes up the Gatineau River, North of Ottawa. 31 Mile Lake, Pemechangan, Lac-Poisson-Blanc, Lac Heney. Tons of them. Crystal clear water, cottage rentals. Lots of paddling and swimming opportunities.
posted by bondcliff at 6:55 AM on July 9, 2015

If you'd like something closer, I always recommend Lake Santeetlah, over in the far Southwest corner of North Carolina. It's gorgeous and still cool in summer. There are some great (and reasonably inexpensive) vacations rentals around it. Also campgrounds! Many right by rivers and waterfalls! Nearby is Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, which is a magnificent Old Growth forest. It's part of the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness (and the Nantahala National Forest), where you will find many, many trails, and also opportunities for whitewater rafting and tubing (of the less floaty/more thrill ride variety). As the crow flies, you're also not far from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which I'm actually sort of loathe to recommend this time of year (it's crowded), but certainly is another option for outdoor recreation.
posted by thivaia at 7:10 AM on July 9, 2015

Best answer: Finger Lakes, New York State. Edited: You can fly into Rochester on Delta. That's the airline I take every time.

Deep, gorgeous glacial lakes. Cabins and rental properties all over. LAKES VERY COLD. Wineries all over. I don't think anyone there seemed to care about LGBT anything one way or the other any time I've been, and it's really pretty. Looks like the Southeast without the heat. Bonus is that a bunch of nice Frank Lloyd Wright architecture stuff is nearby (couple hours) and you're not too far from Niagara.

MeMail me if you want recs on where to go up there as far as wineries. One of my very best friends lives in Rochester and we go up to the Finger Lakes a couple times a year at this point. It's lovely.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:19 AM on July 9, 2015

Fly into Little Rock, Arkansas, rent a car, and drive a couple hours north into the Ozarks. You can rent a place like this that comes with its own shaded waterfall/swimming hole. You can rent kayaks and float the Buffalo River (right now, the lower end of the river is easy peasy and has lots of great swimming holes; start at the highway 14 bridge / Dillards Ferry and float to Rush Landing; Wild Bill's Outfitters will rent to you and pick you up at Rush). Float the Spring River, which is--as the name implies--spring fed and very cool. Or just rent an AirBNB or cabin in/near Heber Springs and swim in Greers Ferry Lake.

I grew up near all of these things, have done them hundreds of times, and just got back from floating the Buffalo. Sweet relief.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 9:01 AM on July 9, 2015

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