Many dream of the Caribbean’s azure waters, envisioning a distant paradise that requires a passport and a long flight. However, the allure of crystal-clear blue waters isn’t exclusive to tropical islands. Across the U.S., there are stunning locales that rival the Caribbean’s beauty. No need to cross borders; breathtaking aquatic vistas await right in your backyard.
1. Torch Lake, Michigan
Often referred to as the “Caribbean of the North,” Torch Lake boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters that stretch over 19 miles. It’s Michigan’s second-largest lake and is known for its stunning beauty.
Fun Fact: Every year, Torch Lake hosts a sandbar party where thousands gather to celebrate on the lake’s famous sandbar, turning it into a floating festival.
2. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
Situated in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe is renowned for its clear, cobalt blue water. It’s a popular destination for both summer and winter activities.
Fun Fact: Lake Tahoe is believed to be one of the oldest lakes in the world. It’s also home to some unique species of fish that are not found anywhere else.
3. Havasu Falls, Arizona
Located in the Grand Canyon, Havasu Falls features vibrant blue-green waters that contrast beautifully with the red canyon walls.
Fun Fact: The Havasupai Tribe, which means “people of the blue-green waters,” has lived in the Grand Canyon for over 800 years. They are the sole guardians and managers of the Havasu Falls.
4. Crater Lake, Oregon
Formed by the collapse of a volcano, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. Its deep blue waters are a sight to behold.
Fun Fact: Crater Lake is so clear that in good conditions, you can see up to 143 feet below the surface. It also holds the title for the cleanest and clearest large body of water in the world.
5. Ginnie Springs, Florida
This popular diving spot in Florida is known for its crystal-clear waters. The springs maintain a constant temperature, making it perfect for year-round diving.
Fun Fact: Ginnie Springs is home to an extensive underwater cave system. Divers from all over the world come to explore its intricate passages.
6. Flathead Lake, Montana
One of the cleanest lakes in the populated world, Flathead Lake’s clear waters allow visitors to see all the way to the bottom in some spots.
Fun Fact: There’s a local legend about a monster named “Flessie” that resides in Flathead Lake, similar to the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland.
7. Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, Missouri
This natural water park features pools and waterfalls with clear blue waters, perfect for a summer dip.
Fun Fact: The term “shut-in” refers to a place where the river’s breadth is limited by hard rock resistant to erosion. This creates natural flumes and pools, making it a unique water playground.
8. Blue Spring State Park, Florida
This park is a designated Manatee Refuge and is known for its clear blue waters that remain 73 degrees year-round.
Fun Fact: During the winter months, over 300 manatees migrate to Blue Spring State Park, seeking its warm waters as a refuge from colder ocean temperatures.
9. Little Red River, Arkansas
Don’t let the name fool you! Known for its trout fishing, the Little Red River’s clear blue waters are a favorite among anglers.
Fun Fact: The world record for the largest brown trout, weighing in at 40 pounds and 4 ounces, was caught in the Little Red River in 1992.
10. Lake Jocassee, South Carolina
Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, Lake Jocassee boasts clear blue waters and is a popular spot for scuba diving.
Fun Fact: Lake Jocassee is home to several underwater ghost towns. These towns were submerged when the lake was created, and their remnants can still be explored by divers today.
10 Gorgeous Lake Towns Americans Can’t Get Enough Of
Lakeside retreats offer more than just serene waters; they often come with a rich tapestry of history and a plethora of activities to indulge in. For those yearning for a picturesque escape, dive into this list of beloved lake towns that promise an unforgettable experience.
Troubled Waters: 10 of the World’s Most Polluted Beaches
Are you getting ready for a beach vacation this summer? Nothing beats finding that pristine shoreline to enjoy some downtime. However, be careful where you book your trip and make sure you do some research. If not, you could end up on one of these awful beaches, as people in a recent online discussion recommend. Here are some of the worst beaches in the world.
Lagoons at Ko Olina: Your Ultimate Vacation Guide
Visiting the lagoons at Ko Olina was one of our favorite things about our vacation in Oahu. If you’re considering whether or not to spend time there, I’m here to give you the rundown on why I think you absolutely should!
Although we absolutely loved the lagoons at Ko Olina, there’s a specific reason why. Read on and I’ll explain why while answering all your questions.
Then you can decide if visiting the most popular lagoons in Oahu is what you want to do, too.
The World’s Most Beautiful Mountain Ranges
For as long as humans have existed, mountains have inspired and daunted us. They’re the basis for countless legends, and although they can be deadly, have an irresistible pull on us, drawing millions of sightseers, hikers, climbers, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts every year. Making a definitive list of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world is subjective, but the ones here are certainly strong contenders.
Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.