5 Serene Lake Retreats in the U.S.

Last updated September 2, 2023

Let’s face it. Some of us are just lake people. 

Yes, the ocean is amazing in its own right. Yet there is something special about the serenity of a lake and ending the night with a bonfire and s’mores.

“Life is better at the lake.”


So, we’ve compiled five lake retreats that offer stunning views of lakes (no duh) in Austin, New York, Wisconsin, Georgia and Michigan. Step away from the chaos of routine and enjoy exhilarating aquatic activities such as wake surfing, paddleboard yoga, tubing and water skiing. Or simply just relax shoreside with a good book.

Five Idyllic Lakeside Retreats

Even if you only have a weekend to spare, a lakeside retreat is definitely worth it for a staycation! You’re sure to come back feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Bottom line. If you’re looking for a breathtaking and serene way to reset your body and mind, look no further than a lakeside retreat. Here are our top five!

1. Austin, TX | Lake Austin Spa Resort

At Lake Austin Spa Resort, you’re invited to dive into a wave of restoration and experience the transformational properties of water. With all-inclusive activities, you can immerse your mind, body, and spirit in a variety of ways.

From floating water meditation and sundown paddle outings, to scenic boat cruises and live music lakeside—plus aquatic spa treatments—you’ll find aquatic influences all around you during your stay. Aquatic activities include wake surfing, paddleboard yoga, wakeboarding, tubing, water skiing and SUP board balance.

At the LakeHouse Spa, guests find true tranquility. Whether you come for a spa day or as part of a longer stay at the resort, you’ll have access to the world’s best ancient and modern spa treatments. These treatments are perfect for couples looking to enjoy a private getaway, or anyone who wants to take advantage of the serene swimming pools. Come spend some time at this oasis, just 30 minutes from downtown Austin!

2. Canandaigua, NY | The Lake House on Canandaigua

The Lake House on Canadaigua is a beautiful Finger Lakes destination that offers guests stunning lakefront views, luxurious guest rooms, delicious dining options and plenty of on-site amenities.

You’ll enjoy access to a full-service spa with sauna garden, heated pool, year-round hot tub, private daybeds and boating activities (in the summer). Whether you’re looking to relax and rejuvenate or explore all that the Finger Lakes region has to offer, The Lake House is the perfect place.

If you’re looking for a fun-filled getaway, Canandaigua features a historic downtown Main Street shopping district with charming local wineries and breweries. And in winter, Bristol Mountain is just a short drive away. This ski resort offers over 1,200 vertical feet of skiing fun! So what are you waiting for? Book your idyllic upstate New York getaway today!

3. Elkhart Lake, WI | The Osthoff Resort

The Osthoff Resort is the ideal place to escape the hustle-bustle of city life. Whether you’re looking for a one-bedroom getaway or a three-bedroom oasis, they have something for everyone. Plus, each room is complete with all the amenities you need to feel right at home.

Situated on a sand beach, the Osthoff Resort offers one of the finest lakeshore settings in southeastern Wisconsin. Formed by retreating glaciers, Elkhart Lake is unique due to its natural sand bottom which helps keep the water clear year-round.

Lakefront features include picnic areas with watersports, grills, a bonfire area, playground, volleyball courts and a concession stand. Perfect for any type of outdoor activity or relaxation!

And If you’re looking to relax and rejuvenate during your stay, the spa offers a complete range of treatments to soothe the mind, body and soul. Book a full spa day or just an invigorating massage at the end of the day. You won’t find a better spa experience in this part of Wisconsin.

4. Greensboro, GA | The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Lake Oconee

Greensboro, just outside of Atlanta, is a town steeped in southern history and tradition. Its downtown is filled with antebellum homes, churches and antiques stores. Twenty miles away, Lake Oconee offers a different kind of experience; a tranquil retreat surrounded by natural beauty.

This luxury hotel is the perfect place to escape everyday life and relax in peaceful surroundings. A true vacation destination, The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds is the ideal place to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with family, friends and most importantly—yourself.

Five championship golf courses offer 99 holes of play. And in the summer, the lake hosts kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and other watersports. Winter features include ice skating and fireside s’mores.

Whether you’re looking for a place to stay for a quick weekend getaway or a longer vacation, this resort has everything you need for a relaxing staycation.

5. Mackinac Island, MI | Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel has always been a place where guests can enjoy old-world hospitality and charm. The hotel was founded in 1887 on Mackinac Island and has since been a National Historic Landmark.

Today, guests can still enjoy the hotel’s original architecture and charm while also having access to modern amenities. Cars are not allowed and horse and carriage or bicycle are the preferred methods of transportation. This contributes to the overall relaxed atmosphere of the hotel.

Grand Hotel is one of the top family-friendly resorts in the country. The resort’s rooms showcase a variety of colorful and distinct themes, and most room rates include breakfast and dinner. 

You can also enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. These include cornhole, ladder toss, croquet and spike ball on the Grand Lawn. You can go for a swim, bike around the island and play miniature golf on their new course, the Gem. On the Woodlands sports court, you can play pickleball, shuffleboard and bocce.

Know Before You Go: Grand Hotel operates seasonally and is open during summer months only.

Escape to a Lake Retreat

You’ll instantly fall in love with the charming lakeside atmosphere and the serene beauty that surrounds these idyllic lake retreats.

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