When you want a break from the usual beach vacation (or are simply looking for a waterside getaway on a smaller scale), the picturesque pull of a lakeside resort awaits. Whether you wish to indulge in some relaxed contemplation or partake in active adventuring, nothing beats the charming towns, beautiful landscapes, and range of water sports that come with a lakeside stay. This includes homey, family-run inns to luxurious country clubs, and everything in between. From upstate New York down to North Carolina, we’ve compiled a list of six awesome lake hotels on the east coast of the U.S.
1. High Peaks Resort, Lake Placid, New York
High Peaks Resort has the benefit of a location within the heart of Lake Placid. Located right on Main Street, the waterfront property manages to feel simultaneously central and secluded, providing guests with a charming small town experience, while also offering the scenic serenity of Mirror Lake. Most rooms offer views of the lake and natural stone showers. In keeping with the water theme, the lakefront area offers free kayaks, paddle boats, and paddle boards for guests. If things get chilly at night, take advantage of the wood-burning fireplace in the lobby.
2. Cove Haven Resort, Lakeville, Pennsylvania
Cove Haven Resort, a couples-only property in the Poconos, combines a lakeside sojourn with a romantic getaway. Most rooms have heart-shaped whirlpool tubs with split-level sitting areas that have fireplaces and tube-style TVs. Lovebirds who check in to the Champagne Tower Suite can also take a dip in a giant Champagne glass-shaped whirlpool. There's no town nearby, but guests will find multiple restaurants and bars on-site, along with a nightclub, indoor mini-golf corse, roller skating, an archery range, and tennis, racquetball, and basketball courts. Plus, the property is situated near Lake Wallenpaupack, which offers seasonal water sports and boating.
3. Lodges at Cresthaven, Lake George, New York
At this 11-acre lakefront lodge, guests can while away the evening with dinner and drinks on the terrace overlooking Lake George. The resort's two-bedroom units have Adirondack-style decor (think: bear patterns on blankets, light fixtures in the shape of acorns), providing visitors with a luxury home-away-from-home feel. Explore the lake with kayaks and canoes from the private beach area or hike the pretty grounds and surrounding nature. Alternatively, opt to take it easy on the porch, in a jetted tub, or at the popular restaurant and bar. Just note that this hotel is not for those on a tight budget.
4. The Sagamore Resort, Bolton Landing, New York
Located on a private island on Lake George, The Sagamore Resort is a unique upscale property with extensive grounds. Most rooms are housed within the sprawling resort’s historic Victorian building. A relaxed, easygoing atmosphere permeates the property, thanks to an 18-hole golf course, spa, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools (with lake views), hot tub, and eight restaurants, including a casual pub and steakhouse.
5. High Hampton Inn & Country Club, Cashiers, North Carolina
Set beside a private lake in the shadow of the North Carolina Mountains, the High Hampton Inn & Country Club is a gorgeous waterside retreat. The hotel offers 116 rustic rooms, 17 cottages, and 35 vacation homes. It’s a great place for families to unplug, since rooms don’t have phones or TVs (but they do have Wi-Fi), and there are plenty of nature-related activities for the family including canoeing, hiking, golfing, and swimming. Once you've had your fill of activities, pull up one of the chairs overlooking the lake (some rooms have porches or decks with chairs facing the lake).
6. The Willard Street Inn, Burlington, Vermont
When you want a charming, rustic inn with loads of character, head to New England—namely, The Willard Street Inn. Housed in a handsome, historic building, the inn features individually decorated rooms, some of which have Lake Champlain and Adirondack mountain views. Eat breakfast in the gorgeous solarium, then enjoy the landscaped back garden, arguably the prettiest in downtown Burlington. To top off the quaint experience, rooms, which feature four-poster beds and cozy gas fireplaces, receive deliveries of freshly baked cookies.
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